Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/07/2014 01:30 PM FINANCE

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:33:07 PM Start
01:33:14 PM HB266 || HB267
01:34:02 PM Fy 15 Budget Overview: Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
02:35:01 PM Fy 15 Budget Overview: Department of Public Safety
03:35:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ - FY15 Governor's Budget Overviews: TELECONFERENCED
Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities
Dept. of Public Safety
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 7, 2014                                                                                           
                         1:33 p.m.                                                                                              
1:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Austerman  called   the  House  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 1:33 p.m.                                                                                                   
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Pat  Kemp, Commissioner,  Department  of Transportation  and                                                                    
Public  Facilities;  Mary   Siroky,  Director,  Division  of                                                                    
Administrative  Services, Department  of Transportation  and                                                                    
Public  Facilities;  Jeff  Ottesen,  Director,  Division  of                                                                    
Program  Development,   Department  of   Transportation  and                                                                    
Public Facilities; Gary  Folger, Commissioner, Department of                                                                    
Public   Safety;   Dan   Spencer,  Director,   Division   of                                                                    
Administrative Services, Department of Public Safety.                                                                           
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Colonel  Jim Cockrell,  Director, Division  of Alaska  State                                                                    
Troopers, Department of Public Safety.                                                                                          
HB 266    APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
          HB 266 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
HB 267    APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
          HB 267 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
FY 15 BUDGET OVERVIEWS:                                                                                                         
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES                                                                          
     DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 266                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain  programs,   capitalizing  funds,   and  making                                                                    
     reappropriations; making appropriations  under art. IX,                                                                    
     sec. 17(c),  Constitution of the State  of Alaska, from                                                                    
     the constitutional budget reserve fund."                                                                                   
HOUSE BILL NO. 267                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health program."                                                                                      
1:33:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Austerman discussed the agenda for the day.                                                                            
^FY  15 BUDGET  OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT  OF TRANSPORTATION  AND                                                                  
PUBLIC FACILITIES                                                                                                             
1:34:02 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT  KEMP, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF TRANSPORTATION  AND                                                                    
PUBLIC FACILITIES (DOT),  discussed changes and efficiencies                                                                    
that had  been implemented in  the past year. He  provided a                                                                    
PowerPoint   presentation  titled   "Alaska  Department   of                                                                    
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities FY  2015  Governor's                                                                    
Request  Overview"   (copy  on   file).  He   discussed  the                                                                    
executive  organization  on slide  2.  He  relayed that  the                                                                    
department worked in  up to six "silos"; it  had worked hard                                                                    
to "clear  the decks."  He discussed  his experience  at DOT                                                                    
and his understanding of problems  that existed. He recalled                                                                    
being asked by  Governor Parnell to head  the department; he                                                                    
had communicated his ideas about  how to move the department                                                                    
forward in  a more efficient  way. He shared that  his ideas                                                                    
to effect change  included the ability to bring  some of the                                                                    
department's  long-term  employees into  the  commissioner's                                                                    
office to help straighten  out inefficiencies. He was amazed                                                                    
at  the progress  they had  made in  a year's  time. He  had                                                                    
formed  an   executive  team  that   worked  to   steer  the                                                                    
department  and  provide  improved  communication  with  the                                                                    
legislature; the goal  was to take pressure  off of regional                                                                    
directors.  He detailed  that when  regional directors  were                                                                    
asked to  do things  it directly  impacted DOT's  ability to                                                                    
deliver  projects and  plow roads.  He had  also created  an                                                                    
executive  management  team  that   met  once  a  month  and                                                                    
included  regional  directors.   He  likened  the  executive                                                                    
management team to  running a ship; captains  ran ships, but                                                                    
it was  not possible to  go anywhere without  the engineers.                                                                    
He referenced the ferry system.                                                                                                 
1:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Kemp  believed the department was  going in the                                                                    
right  direction; he  was working  to bring  improvements to                                                                    
all  levels of  the  organization. He  believed the  efforts                                                                    
would result in improvements to the transportation system.                                                                      
Co-Chair Austerman  noted that committee questions  would be                                                                    
held until after the presentation.                                                                                              
Commissioner  Kemp discussed  2013 accomplishments  on slide                                                                    
3. Noteworthy accomplishments  included routine services and                                                                    
operations (e.g.  plowing roads  and building  projects). He                                                                    
detailed that DOT was making  a significant reduction in its                                                                    
deferred  maintenance  backlog.  He referred  to  a  handout                                                                    
titled "Department  of Transportation and  Public Facilities                                                                    
Joint  Transportation Committee  Meeting" dated  January 23,                                                                    
2014 (copy on  file). He shared that pavement  rutting was a                                                                    
substantial  problem statewide;  in the  past Juneau's  Egan                                                                    
Drive  had been  paved every  five  years due  to wear  from                                                                    
studded tires. Approximately  15 years ago DOT  began to use                                                                    
much harder rock in the pavement  in Juneau; it had taken 15                                                                    
years  to bring  the harder  rock  to the  remainder of  the                                                                    
state, but  it had  been accomplished  in the  current year.                                                                    
The department had also written  a policy that the hard rock                                                                    
would  be  incorporated  into pavements,  primarily  in  the                                                                    
Anchorage bowl that  had soft rock. He  underscored that the                                                                    
change could save the state  tens to hundreds of millions of                                                                    
dollars over the long-term; saved  money would be applied to                                                                    
the  rest of  the  highway systems  needing improvement.  He                                                                    
noted that  the in the  past year DOT had  paved Anchorage's                                                                    
Dimond Boulevard and Debarr Road with the hard rock mix.                                                                        
Commissioner  Kemp  highlighted  that   DOT  had  given  the                                                                    
railroad  a  new market;  materials  were  being sourced  in                                                                    
Alaska instead of  from the Lower 48 or  Canada. He believed                                                                    
real efficiencies were taking  place. He provided an example                                                                    
of  regulations related  to speed  limits. He  detailed that                                                                    
Representative Eric  Feige had  asked about speed  limits on                                                                    
the  state's  rural  National Highway  System  (NHS)  roads.                                                                    
Subsequently, DOT  had identified problems and  made changes                                                                    
in  the  policy.  The department  was  currently  installing                                                                    
signs that met comfortable  driving speeds. He remarked that                                                                    
the changes were DOT's shining  star for the year related to                                                                    
the governor's  goal of undoing unnecessary  regulations and                                                                    
1:42:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Kemp spoke  to  the  Anchorage airport  master                                                                    
plan,  which DOT  would  wrap up  shortly.  The master  plan                                                                    
dialed back a plan to  create an additional runway. He liked                                                                    
that the  department would maximize  everything it  could at                                                                    
the existing facility before  considering another runway. He                                                                    
relayed that someday  another runway may be  needed, but the                                                                    
department was  currently on a  good track. He was  proud of                                                                    
the decision.                                                                                                                   
Commissioner Kemp  turned to  slide 4  titled "Where  are We                                                                    
Headed."  He believed  the new  federal highway  bill MAP-21                                                                    
was  problematic. He  stated  that the  bill  would have  an                                                                    
impact  on  local  community projects  and  secondary  roads                                                                    
maintained  by  the  department. He  explained  that  MAP-21                                                                    
focused on NHS roads and  took away funding for local roads;                                                                    
adjustments  would  need to  be  made  and some  communities                                                                    
would lose as a result of  the law. He shared that there was                                                                    
such a  significant backlog  that he  was not  confident the                                                                    
gap could be filled with  state funds due to current revenue                                                                    
problems.  The department  would  focus on  its mission  and                                                                    
essential  public services,  locate  more efficiencies,  and                                                                    
continue  to  improve  communications. He  referred  to  the                                                                    
department's goal  to use "plain talk"  instead of acronyms.                                                                    
Additionally, DOT  would continue to make  changes that were                                                                    
sustainable. He noted that he  would meet with directors and                                                                    
section chiefs the following week.                                                                                              
1:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Kemp  believed DOT was  on the right  track. He                                                                    
asked the  committee to trust  the direction  the department                                                                    
was headed.                                                                                                                     
MARY SIROKY, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT   OF   TRANSPORTATION  AND   PUBLIC   FACILITIES,                                                                    
addressed the  department's mission  to "keep  Alaska moving                                                                    
through  service  and  infrastructure"   on  slide  5.  Core                                                                    
services   included  the   construction  of   transportation                                                                    
infrastructure  and facilities,  maintenance and  operations                                                                    
of  the   state  transportation  systems,   and  measurement                                                                    
standards/commercial vehicle  enforcement. She  relayed that                                                                    
the department's commercial  vehicle enforcement program was                                                                    
responsible  for  ensuring  commercial  vehicles  were  safe                                                                    
during operation and  that loads did not  damage the state's                                                                    
roads.  The program  had a  secondary function  of providing                                                                    
assurance  that any  measuring devices  were accurate  (e.g.                                                                    
measuring jet fuel,  baggage at airports, or  produce in the                                                                    
grocery store).                                                                                                                 
Ms. Siroky highlighted department priorities on slide 6:                                                                        
     · Live within our means                                                                                                    
     · Take care of what we have                                                                                                
     · Operate and maintain safe and reliable roads,                                                                            
        airports, ferries & facilities                                                                                          
     · Ensure Alaska has the transportation infrastructure                                                                      
        necessary to grow the economy                                                                                           
     · Develop and implement efficiencies in both the                                                                           
        operating and capital budgets                                                                                           
Ms.   Siroky    referenced   the    department's   statutory                                                                    
requirements  on slide  7 and  its  assets on  slide 8.  She                                                                    
communicated  that DOT  had over  3,000 full-time  positions                                                                    
and  18 new  center line  miles  of roadway  in the  current                                                                    
year. She  addressed the department's organization  on slide                                                                    
9. She  moved to slide  9 and relayed that  the department's                                                                    
organization had not changed.  There were executive teams in                                                                    
place that provided the  commissioner with information. John                                                                    
Bender  was the  department's  new  deputy commissioner  for                                                                    
aviation, who  joined the department  in December  2013. She                                                                    
directed attention  to challenges  facing the  department on                                                                    
slide  10. Challenges  included  the federal  transportation                                                                    
bill  MAP-21,  balancing  the  department's  budget  against                                                                    
public  needs, changing  conditions,  and expectations.  She                                                                    
elaborated  that the  department impacted  every citizen  in                                                                    
the  state; being  able  to  meet the  public's  needs at  a                                                                    
specific  time could  be a  challenge.  She discussed  other                                                                    
challenges  such  as  congestion in  Anchorage  traffic,  an                                                                    
increase  in  federal  oversight,   and  budgeting  for  the                                                                    
severity  of  winters  and events.  She  reported  that  the                                                                    
department  did   not  anticipate  needing  to   ask  for  a                                                                    
supplemental   appropriation   for   clearing   the   recent                                                                    
avalanche that  blocked the road  to Valdez. She  added that                                                                    
the department  did need to  balance the severity  of winter                                                                    
against its summer  maintenance programs; summer maintenance                                                                    
programs shrank  to absorb increases  in winter  costs. Over                                                                    
the  long-term DOT's  deferred  maintenance  costs had  been                                                                    
1:49:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky pointed  to  slides 11  through  13 that  showed                                                                    
recent images of  the runway in Seward and  the avalanche in                                                                    
Thompson Pass. She  looked at a map on slide  14 showing the                                                                    
511  snapshot  of  driving  conditions on  the  day  of  the                                                                    
avalanche.  The snapshot  indicated a  variety of  hazardous                                                                    
driving conditions  that the department had  been working to                                                                    
sand  and   keep  as  ice-free  as   possible.  The  efforts                                                                    
represented work the department did on a daily basis.                                                                           
Ms.  Siroky  turned  to slide  15  titled  "DOT&PF  Regional                                                                    
Boundaries."  The   organization  was  divided   into  three                                                                    
regions  and  two  systems, which  maintained  and  operated                                                                    
roads,  airports,  and  ferries.  She  noted  that  the  two                                                                    
systems were  the international  airport and  marine highway                                                                    
system. Slide 16 pertained to  the Central region and budget                                                                    
resources  used   in  the  area.  The   Central  region  was                                                                    
responsible  for urban  areas  including Anchorage,  Mat-Su,                                                                    
the Kenai  Peninsula, and Western  Alaska; it  was comprised                                                                    
of  651  positions  and  20   percent  of  the  department's                                                                    
operating budget.  The region  also included  traffic signal                                                                    
maintenance (funding was transferred  to the Municipality of                                                                    
Anchorage  for signals  it operated),  the Whittier  Tunnel,                                                                    
and the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA).                                                                            
1:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky  turned to  slide 17  and discussed  the Northern                                                                    
Region that  encompassed the  highest number  of road-miles.                                                                    
The  region housed  718 positions  and represented  slightly                                                                    
over 20  percent of the  department's operating  budget. The                                                                    
region was  responsible for the Dalton  Highway and villages                                                                    
in  the  Yukon  River  area  up  to  the  North  Slope.  The                                                                    
Southeast   region   was   the  smallest,   which   included                                                                    
communities from  Yakutat and  everything south  (slide 18).                                                                    
The region  provided support to  the state's  marine highway                                                                    
system (i.e. terminal design and construction).                                                                                 
Ms.  Siroky  looked  at  slide  19  related  to  the  Alaska                                                                    
International Airport System. The system  was made up of 488                                                                    
positions  and had  a budget  of $82  million from  all fund                                                                    
sources including  federal (funds  were made up  of revenues                                                                    
brought in  from rates and  fees); the system  accounted for                                                                    
approximately 13  percent of the budget.  She discussed that                                                                    
the  department maintained  the  Ted  Stevens and  Fairbanks                                                                    
International  Airports  and  had airport  police  and  fire                                                                    
employees. She spoke to the  Alaska Marine Highway System on                                                                    
slide  20. The  system was  comprised of  935 positions  and                                                                    
accounted for  approximately 25 percent of  the department's                                                                    
budget; it brought  in over $50 million of  its $162 million                                                                    
budget  request   via  fees   and  costs.   She  highlighted                                                                    
challenges  with  the  system including  aging  vessels  and                                                                    
requirements to  meet US Coast  Guard regulations.  Slide 21                                                                    
focused  on  the   department's  Measurement  Standards  and                                                                    
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement,  which included 64 positions                                                                    
and   accounted  for   approximately   1   percent  of   the                                                                    
department's budget.                                                                                                            
1:55:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky  discussed Public Facilities  on slide  22, which                                                                    
was accounted  for 0.7 percent  of the  department's budget.                                                                    
She  discussed that  the  division  employed architects  who                                                                    
were  responsible  for  designing buildings  and  retrofits;                                                                    
each region  had public  facilities and  maintenance workers                                                                    
maintaining  the buildings.  The Commissioner's  Office, and                                                                    
Administrative  Services  supported   other  divisions  with                                                                    
budgeting,  finances,  information   technology,  and  human                                                                    
resources.  She   shared  that   the  Division   of  Program                                                                    
Development  was  focused  on  capital  budget,  long  range                                                                    
planning,  federal aid  agreements, and  the highway  safety                                                                    
program;  the  division accounted  for  0.9  percent of  the                                                                    
department's operating budget.                                                                                                  
Ms. Siroky addressed  the State Equipment Fleet  on slide 28                                                                    
that supported regional  construction. The division employed                                                                    
165 positions, which were  primarily mechanic positions. The                                                                    
Statewide Design and  Engineering Services division provided                                                                    
the policy structure  for much of the  department's work; it                                                                    
also housed  a bridge  design section that  conducted bridge                                                                    
engineering  and  inspections.  Additionally,  the  division                                                                    
included  a materials  lab that  helped with  measuring road                                                                    
materials.   The   Statewide  Aviation   Division   provided                                                                    
administrative  support and  was  primarily responsible  for                                                                    
aviation leasing; the division  accounted for 0.5 percent of                                                                    
the  department's  operating  budget.  She  noted  that  the                                                                    
division  also provided  some  policy  direction related  to                                                                    
aviation issues (slide 28).                                                                                                     
Ms.  Siroky   discussed  efficiencies   on  slide   29.  The                                                                    
department had put  ice breakers in place that  broke up ice                                                                    
primarily  at  intersections.  The  ice  breakers  had  been                                                                    
piloted in Fairbanks  and the machines had  been ordered for                                                                    
use  in  Anchorage  as  well.   She  communicated  that  the                                                                    
breakers  provided substantial  savings. The  department had                                                                    
determined that the  use of anti-icing chemicals  prior to a                                                                    
large  snowfall  reduced  the need  for  plowing  and  sand.                                                                    
Additionally,  DOT had  implemented a  vegetation management                                                                    
program where  herbicides were used  to save money  on brush                                                                    
cutting.  She   mentioned  hard  aggregate   that  increased                                                                    
pavement  life.   The  department  had   eliminated  low-use                                                                    
equipment and  was working to simplify  processes. She noted                                                                    
that DOT  had recently  held a two-day  summit with  some of                                                                    
its engineers  to discuss automation, agree  on policies and                                                                    
procedures, and develop recommendations for the department.                                                                     
1:59:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky addressed  how the  DOT operating  budget FY  14                                                                    
management plan  differed from  the FY  15 adjusted  base on                                                                    
slide 30. She  relayed that like any  other department there                                                                    
had  been   salary  and  health  insurance   increases.  She                                                                    
detailed  that   some  one-time  items  had   been  reversed                                                                    
including  payments  made  under union  contracts  and  some                                                                    
fiscal  notes.  The  department was  transferring  the  Nome                                                                    
Office  Building to  Department  of  Administration and  its                                                                    
state digital  mapping project to the  Department of Natural                                                                    
Resources (DNR).  She noted that  DNR was better  at mapping                                                                    
than DOT.                                                                                                                       
Ms.  Siroky addressed  the operating  budget FY  15 adjusted                                                                    
base compared to  the governor's FY 15 request  on slide 31.                                                                    
The  department's  overall  increase was  $43,700;  DOT  had                                                                    
worked very hard  to keep requests limited to  items that it                                                                    
could not  absorb. Additional requests included  funding for                                                                    
10 new  facilities that had been  added in FY 14  and FY 15;                                                                    
the facilities included snow  removal equipment buildings, a                                                                    
warehouse  and sand  storage buildings.  The department  had                                                                    
eliminated approximately  21 Position Control  Numbers (PCN)                                                                    
for  a   total  of  $1.5  million.   Additionally,  a  small                                                                    
reduction had been made to  the highway safety corridor Safe                                                                    
Driving program  (the total equaled funds  received from the                                                                    
Bureau  of Highway  Patrol associated  with drunk  driving);                                                                    
the  figure  was estimated  to  be  down about  $7,000.  She                                                                    
discussed a  request for  an increase  in general  funds for                                                                    
the  department's rural  airport  maintenance contracts  and                                                                    
insurance;  DOT  had  well over  100  contracts  with  small                                                                    
operators  responsible  for   plowing  rural  airports.  She                                                                    
elaborated  that the  cost of  the operations  and contracts                                                                    
continued  to increase.  She explained  that the  department                                                                    
worked  diligently to  keep the  costs as  low as  possible;                                                                    
when substantial increases were  requested under the request                                                                    
for proposal  (RFP) process, DOT  opted to put the  RFP back                                                                    
out for additional bids.                                                                                                        
2:03:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky continued  to highlight items shown  on slide 31.                                                                    
The  department paid  the  Alaska  Railroad Corporation  for                                                                    
service  on  DOT  signal crossings;  the  agreement  renewal                                                                    
showed an increase  of $123,000. She addressed  a lease cost                                                                    
accumulated   shortfall  of   approximately  $138,000.   She                                                                    
reiterated  that   the  increases  listed  were   those  the                                                                    
department was not able to  absorb. She shared that AMHS was                                                                    
requesting $60,000  for an additional maintenance  person to                                                                    
help care for terminals; AMHS  had been able to provide half                                                                    
of the  funds, but  needed the  remaining funding.  The AMHS                                                                    
also  needed  a   small  amount  of  general   funds  for  a                                                                    
Bellingham, WA  terminal lease increase. The  department was                                                                    
hoping to eventually be out  of the building within the next                                                                    
few years.  The last request  was for general funds  to help                                                                    
pay  the Municipality  of Anchorage  for its  maintenance of                                                                    
DOT traffic signals.                                                                                                            
Ms. Siroky moved to FY  15 operating budget changes on slide                                                                    
     · Salary and Health                     $1,351.3                                                                           
     · New Initiatives                       $453.7                                                                             
     · Maintain Current Level of Service     $1,110.7                                                                           
     · Deletion of Long-Term Vacant                                                                                             
        Positions (15 full-time; 2 part-time;                                                                                   
        4 non-perm)                          ($1,513.0)                                                                         
     · Technical Adjustments                 ($342.6)                                                                           
    · One Time Items                        ($1,181.9)                                                                          
Ms.  Siroky elaborated  on slide  32.  New initiatives  were                                                                    
primarily  related  to  new  facilities.  The  increment  to                                                                    
maintain  current  level  of   service  pertained  to  small                                                                    
requests  the  department was  unable  to  absorb. Slide  33                                                                    
included  a  pie  chart  depicting  DOT's  FY  15  operating                                                                    
budget;  its  budget  was  composed  of  approximately  $350                                                                    
million in general  funds, $278 million in  other funds, and                                                                    
$2.8  million in  federal  funds. Slide  34  included a  pie                                                                    
chart  showing  FY 15  operating  budget  fund sources.  She                                                                    
explained that the department paid  for capital project work                                                                    
with  capital improvement  project (CIP)  receipts from  the                                                                    
capital  budget. The  department had  received gas  pipeline                                                                    
funds  for the  first time  in  the prior  year, which  were                                                                    
shown on  the slide. Slide  36 showed how DOT  allocated its                                                                    
general funds. She outlined  the expenditures including $160                                                                    
million  on  the  marine highway  system,  $140  million  on                                                                    
highways and  aviation, and $22  million on  maintenance and                                                                    
operations; the three sectors  of the department represented                                                                    
the people "doing  what DOT does" and were the  parts of the                                                                    
department  that people  interfaced with.  Remaining sectors                                                                    
representing  construction   funds  included  administration                                                                    
support,  planning,  commercial   vehicle  enforcement,  and                                                                    
design and engineering.                                                                                                         
2:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky  communicated the department's pride  in the data                                                                    
shown on slide  36. She pointed to the graph  and noted that                                                                    
although  the  growth of  all  funds  was 3.3  percent,  the                                                                    
department  had worked  hard  over the  past  four years  to                                                                    
stabilize growth. She  relayed that DOT was  working to keep                                                                    
its general  fund growth  at a  minimum; however,  there was                                                                    
slow  and steady  growth going  forward. The  department had                                                                    
started to  use the 10-year  plan to track what  it believed                                                                    
the increased  cost of  the operating  budget would  be with                                                                    
construction   projects.  She   elaborated   that  DOT   was                                                                    
beginning to  track the projected increase  for construction                                                                    
projects  coming  online;  the chart  illustrated  that  the                                                                    
projections accounted for the slow and steady increase.                                                                         
2:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF  OTTESEN, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF PROGRAM  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT   OF   TRANSPORTATION  AND   PUBLIC   FACILITIES,                                                                    
discussed the capital budget on  slide 38. He explained that                                                                    
DOT  separated responsibility  for the  capital budget  from                                                                    
other funds due  to the large size of the  budgets. He added                                                                    
that  the capital  budget  was filled  with  a multitude  of                                                                    
federal requirements, which  necessitated specialists in the                                                                    
area.  Slide 38  included  a  pie chart  showing  the FY  15                                                                    
capital budget request. The majority  of the budget was made                                                                    
up  of close  to $1  billion in  federal funds.  He detailed                                                                    
that the  proposed budget was  larger than in past  years in                                                                    
an attempt to get out of a  trap DOT had been in for several                                                                    
years. He  elaborated that  DOT had  been busily  working in                                                                    
the last  quarter of the year  to get the programs  out; the                                                                    
federal funding  fell into the  "use or lose"  category. The                                                                    
department  was concerned  that  the level  of overtime  was                                                                    
jeopardizing  staff's desire  to  stay with  DOT; there  had                                                                    
been  summers  where staff  had  worked  Memorial Day,  July                                                                    
Fourth, and Labor  Day. Therefore, the plan was  to get some                                                                    
of  the  work  forward  funded for  reimbursement  from  the                                                                    
federal government the next year.  The goal was to level the                                                                    
workload   and  eliminate   stress.   He   noted  that   the                                                                    
department's general fund request  (shown in green) had been                                                                    
substantially reduced  from prior  years; it was  the lowest                                                                    
he  had seen  in several  years, which  was a  reflection of                                                                    
DOT's   understanding  of   the  current   difficult  fiscal                                                                    
Mr. Ottesen turned to slide  39 that showed the department's                                                                    
capital construction  projects measured by dollars  spent on                                                                    
advertising  in  a calendar  year.  He  noted that  DOT  had                                                                    
provided committee members  with a copy of  its general fund                                                                    
budget earlier in the week. He  relayed that there was up to                                                                    
a 600 percent variance in the  document from one year to the                                                                    
next; however,  the variance was  much less on slide  39. He                                                                    
explained  that projects  required many  steps to  complete;                                                                    
there  was a  limit  to  the work  that  could  be done.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that despite  years of  high swings  in funding,                                                                    
the department's output of plan  sets for contractors to bid                                                                    
on, was  much more level.  He stated that the  dollars input                                                                    
could  not match  the  level  of work  pushed  out the  door                                                                    
without  increasing and  decreasing  staffing levels,  which                                                                    
was not practical.                                                                                                              
2:11:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky provided  a snapshot  of  performance levels  on                                                                    
slide  40. The  top left  chart showed  a change  in traffic                                                                    
fatalities per  100 million vehicles traveled.  She detailed                                                                    
that  although no  deaths  were acceptable  to  DOT, it  was                                                                    
proud that  the number of highway  deaths in FY 13  was at a                                                                    
10-year low. She detailed that  there had been approximately                                                                    
50 deaths  per 100 million vehicles  traveled; the reduction                                                                    
was  a  result  of  construction  projects;  the  department                                                                    
worked to construct  safe transportation infrastructure. She                                                                    
relayed  that  according  to  FY 13  numbers,  none  of  the                                                                    
state's  highway  safety   corridors  qualified  as  highway                                                                    
safety  corridors.  She  noted  that the  corridors  were  a                                                                    
partnership  between  DOT  and   the  Department  of  Public                                                                    
Safety. The  upper right chart  related to  National Highway                                                                    
System Miles showed an increase  in the number of miles that                                                                    
met  national highway  system criteria;  the department  was                                                                    
slowly  increasing  the number  over  time.  The lower  left                                                                    
chart depicted  the change in  the number of  rural airports                                                                    
that  were closed  seasonally; DOT  was working  to decrease                                                                    
the number by one each  year. The airports excluded from the                                                                    
list  were   open  year-round.  There  were   currently  six                                                                    
airports  that were  closed  seasonally,  there were  either                                                                    
significant costs  associated with  bringing the  airport up                                                                    
to a year-round standard and/or  the airport was very small,                                                                    
which  would require  a cost-risk  analysis. The  department                                                                    
planned  that  the number  of  airports  on the  list  would                                                                    
continue to be reduced by one every two to three years.                                                                         
2:14:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky  discussed the final  measure on the  lower right                                                                    
of  slide 40  related to  the  AMHS car  deck capacity.  She                                                                    
detailed that  the department generated  significant revenue                                                                    
from the car deck. She  elaborated that the chart provided a                                                                    
good  representation of  how the  state's  boats were  being                                                                    
used for what the department  wanted, which was to transport                                                                    
Alaskan  citizens as  opposed to  tourists.  The number  had                                                                    
peaked in  2010, but a  steady increase had begun  to occur.                                                                    
She  concluded on  slides  41 and  42  with DOT  information                                                                    
Co-Chair  Austerman  looked   at  operating  budget  funding                                                                    
sources (slide 34). He pointed  to CIP that accounted for 24                                                                    
percent  of the  department's  budget. He  wondered how  the                                                                    
department  determined how  much delegated  to each  project                                                                    
from operations. He wondered if  the figure was 5 percent of                                                                    
each project.                                                                                                                   
Ms. Siroky replied that the  department had an indirect cost                                                                    
allocation  plan that  it worked  through a  federal process                                                                    
for determination, which varied  by mode. The department was                                                                    
authorized by the federal  government for road constructions                                                                    
for  approximately 5.7  percent; it  had been  collecting at                                                                    
about 4.6 to  4.7 percent. The department felt  that it kept                                                                    
its indirect rate at a  modest amount for services provided.                                                                    
She  defined  indirect  expenses  as  any  costs  that  were                                                                    
impacting  a  capital  construction project,  but  were  too                                                                    
difficult or  onerous to  charge to  the project.  She noted                                                                    
that the department had staff  who billed people for capital                                                                    
project work; having  the staff track all of  their time for                                                                    
each  individual project  would be  onerous. The  department                                                                    
did not spend  any of its indirect money  on maintenance and                                                                    
operations for  any of  its facilities,  which was  clear in                                                                    
federal guidelines.                                                                                                             
2:18:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Austerman remarked  that he  had wanted  to ensure                                                                    
that  the  figure  was  not   30  to  40  percent  like  the                                                                    
University  of  Alaska. He  asked  whether  an inner  island                                                                    
ferry increment of $500,000 was a recommendation from DOT.                                                                      
Commissioner Kemp replied in the negative.                                                                                      
Co-Chair Austerman  asked about fuel tanks  near the Yakutat                                                                    
airport. He  explained that the  airport had been  told that                                                                    
it may need to move fuel  tanks away from the airport at its                                                                    
cost. He asked for detail.                                                                                                      
Commissioner Kemp  did not know.  Ms. Siroky added  that the                                                                    
department would follow up with the information.                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman elaborated  that  the  airport had  been                                                                    
told by DOT that it would  have to move the fuel tanks based                                                                    
on a  Federal Aviation Administration requirement.  He asked                                                                    
the department to provide him with the information.                                                                             
2:19:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  pointed  to an  Alaska  Railroad                                                                    
Corporation  signal crossing  agreement line  item on  slide                                                                    
31.  He asked  if  the amount  represented  an increase  and                                                                    
wondered what  the corporation  was doing  on the  issue. He                                                                    
remarked  that he  had  a problem  with  the crossings.  Ms.                                                                    
Siroky  replied  that  the  increment  was  related  to  the                                                                    
devices maintained by the railroad  that allowed state roads                                                                    
to cross the tracks.                                                                                                            
Representative  Guttenberg  discussed  major  problems  with                                                                    
railroad  crossings in  Fairbanks. He  detailed that  one of                                                                    
the problems  related to  the settling  out of  roadbeds. He                                                                    
observed that crews  reset the beds and raised  the road. He                                                                    
asked who  was responsible  for the  upkeep and  whether the                                                                    
cost was included in the increment on slide 31.                                                                                 
Commissioner Kemp  replied in  the affirmative.  He detailed                                                                    
that  the  state  roadways crossed  railroad  right-of-ways;                                                                    
therefore  the state  was responsible  for keeping  the road                                                                    
meeting the tracks in good  shape; the railroad provided the                                                                    
maintenance and  was reimbursed  by DOT.  He added  that the                                                                    
traffic signals were also a component.                                                                                          
Representative  Guttenberg asked  who had  primacy over  the                                                                    
right-of-way.  Commissioner Kemp  replied that  the railroad                                                                    
had primacy.                                                                                                                    
Representative   Guttenberg  asked   if   the  $15   million                                                                    
increment for  international airport construction  bonds was                                                                    
bonding authority the department  was paying off (slide 38).                                                                    
Commissioner    Kemp    replied    in    the    affirmative.                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg   asked  if  there   was  bonding                                                                    
authority  remaining.  Commissioner  Kemp replied  that  the                                                                    
department would  follow up on  the question. He  added that                                                                    
DOT did not  plan on requesting any  additional bonded funds                                                                    
for some time.                                                                                                                  
Representative Guttenberg asked  about an aggregate interest                                                                    
rate paid on  the bonds. He noted that  the department could                                                                    
follow up with  the information. He pointed to  slide 39 and                                                                    
referenced construction projects  the department staff could                                                                    
not  keep   up  with.   He  asked   about  how   far  behind                                                                    
construction schedules were running.                                                                                            
2:22:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Kemp  replied that  the problem would  cease to                                                                    
exist in  the near future.  He explained that  currently DOT                                                                    
was  redefining  the  Statewide  Transportation  Improvement                                                                    
Program (STIP) and working to  understand the federal MAP-21                                                                    
changes. His  goal for  the past  year had  been to  get one                                                                    
year ahead  in the  STIP program  to relieve  the department                                                                    
stress and to put out  better products. The department would                                                                    
soon be  one year ahead.  He predicted that within  10 years                                                                    
it would  be 2 to  3 years ahead.  He added that  there were                                                                    
many  large projects  coming to  "the  pinnacle" at  present                                                                    
(e.g. Seward and Parks Highways, Juneau access, and other).                                                                     
Representative  Guttenberg thanked  the  department for  the                                                                    
511 that had been helpful on selecting driving routes.                                                                          
2:23:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz wondered  whether  the department  had                                                                    
looked  at what  it would  cost  to bring  ferry service  to                                                                    
Prince of  Wales Island from  Ketchikan if the  inner island                                                                    
ferry  service was  discontinued. Commissioner  Kemp replied                                                                    
that DOT was looking at the issue.                                                                                              
Representative Munoz asked if the  Lituya vessel was part of                                                                    
the review. Commissioner Kemp replied in the negative.                                                                          
Representative  Gara asked  about  a cost  estimate for  the                                                                    
clearing  of the  avalanche from  the Richardson  Highway in                                                                    
Thompson  Pass.  Ms. Siroky  did  not  have an  estimate  at                                                                    
present. She would follow up with the information.                                                                              
Representative Gara  asked about  the amount spent  from the                                                                    
general fund  on the  Juneau Access  project the  prior year                                                                    
and in  the current year.  He believed the road  was planned                                                                    
to end  with a ferry terminal.  Ms. Siroky did not  have the                                                                    
number. The department would follow up with the data.                                                                           
Representative Gara asked about  the Juneau Access increment                                                                    
proposed  by  DOT in  the  current  year. Commissioner  Kemp                                                                    
believed he capital request was $30 million.                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz   interjected  that   the  legislature                                                                    
approved  $10   million  in   the  prior-year   budget;  the                                                                    
governor's   proposed   budget   included  $5   million   in                                                                    
undesignated  general  funds  and  $30  million  in  federal                                                                    
receipt authority.                                                                                                              
Representative Gara  wondered if  the state could  choose to                                                                    
use the $30  million in federal funding  on another project.                                                                    
Commissioner Kemp  replied that  the $5 million  request was                                                                    
part  of the  funding plan  for Juneau  Access; the  funding                                                                    
plan  consisted  of  federal   aid  and  general  funds.  He                                                                    
explained that the match for  the $30 million would come out                                                                    
of the match appropriation.                                                                                                     
2:26:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair    Austerman   clarified    Representative   Gara's                                                                    
question. Commissioner Kemp replied  that the $30 million in                                                                    
federal funds were not earmarked for the specific project.                                                                      
Representative  Gara asked  about the  airport expansion  in                                                                    
Anchorage,  which  the legislature  had  been  told was  not                                                                    
moving forward.  He wondered  why the  airport and  the city                                                                    
had been meeting at least as  recently as December on a land                                                                    
trade task  force. He  surmised that a  task force  to trade                                                                    
land  for that  expansion was  unnecessary if  the expansion                                                                    
was not going ahead.                                                                                                            
Commissioner  Kemp   answered  that  the   municipality  was                                                                    
driving the task  force due to its need for  a new snow dump                                                                    
area. He  stated that it  just happened that that  snow dump                                                                    
area  enhanced  the  department's  ability  to  construct  a                                                                    
runway  one  day.   He  believed  it  was   a  good  working                                                                    
relationship. He  added that the  municipality was  the lead                                                                    
agency and DOT was partnering with it.                                                                                          
Representative Gara remarked that  he had "one more question                                                                    
on  this runway  that is  apparently not  going ahead;  that                                                                    
concerns me." He  relayed that he had friends  living in the                                                                    
area and "their  understanding was that they  were told when                                                                    
the airport  came by  and said we're  going to  build triple                                                                    
pane windows  for you that  that was money that  the airport                                                                    
was  spending in  anticipation of  an  expanded runway."  He                                                                    
asked if the  state was spending money in  anticipation of a                                                                    
runway that  it had not  decided to  go ahead with,  "or was                                                                    
that for something else?"                                                                                                       
Commissioner Kemp replied in the negative.                                                                                      
Representative  Gara  asked  if the  expenditures  were  for                                                                    
something else.  Commissioner Kemp  answered that  they were                                                                    
for something else.                                                                                                             
2:28:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Costello pointed to slide  35 and asked for a                                                                    
breakdown of  funding for highways and  aviation items shown                                                                    
in the pie  chart. Ms. Siroky replied  that approximately 25                                                                    
percent  of  the funds  went  to  aviation to  maintain  the                                                                    
state's  254 rural  airports (consisting  of small  airports                                                                    
such  as  Allakaket  and  airports  other  such  as  Bethel,                                                                    
Deadhorse,  Kodiak,  Sitka,  Petersburg, and  Wrangell  that                                                                    
were 139  certificated by  the FAA;  there were  17 airports                                                                    
that fell in the 139 certificated category).                                                                                    
Representative  Costello  asked  for  verification  that  45                                                                    
percent of  the budget  went to  the state's  marine highway                                                                    
system, 25 percent went to  aviation, and 14 percent went to                                                                    
highways. Ms. Siroky replied in  the negative. She clarified                                                                    
that the  percentage allocated to aviation  accounted for 25                                                                    
percent of  the 40  percent portion designated  to "Highways                                                                    
and Aviation."                                                                                                                  
Representative   Costello   wondered   if   the   department                                                                    
regularly  assessed how  to increase  safety  on the  Seward                                                                    
Highway. Ms.  Siroky replied that  the Seward Highway  was a                                                                    
highway  safety corridor.  The department  was working  with                                                                    
the Department  of Public  Safety on  enforcement activities                                                                    
as well as  work with DOT staff to  implement various safety                                                                    
infrastructure. She believed DOT  posted a variety of boards                                                                    
to  remind  drivers  of   speed  limits.  Additionally,  she                                                                    
believed the  department had a long-term  capital project to                                                                    
make improvements to the area.                                                                                                  
Mr.  Ottesen elaborated  that DOT  had traffic  engineers in                                                                    
all  three regions  who monitored  crash statistics  with an                                                                    
emphasis   on    major   injury   and    fatality   crashes.                                                                    
Additionally, the engineers  worked to devise infrastructure                                                                    
and  non-infrastructure  strategies  that would  reduce  the                                                                    
numbers.  He stated  that fatalities  were currently  at the                                                                    
lowest level  since statehood;  Alaska was  one of  the best                                                                    
states in the  country in that regard. He  detailed that the                                                                    
Seward Highway  safety corridors would not  rank high enough                                                                    
to qualify as a highway safety corridor at present.                                                                             
2:32:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello asked  how many  new miles  of road                                                                    
the state  created since 2000.  Ms. Siroky replied  that she                                                                    
would follow up with an answer.                                                                                                 
Representative  Holmes   spoke  to  the  transfer   of  some                                                                    
facilities  from DOT  to the  Department of  Administration.                                                                    
She  noted that  there  were some  similarities between  the                                                                    
departments'  work.  She noted  an  interest  in working  to                                                                    
determine how to create further efficiencies.                                                                                   
2:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:35:01 PM                                                                                                                    
^FY 15 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                           
2:35:01 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  FOLGER,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY,                                                                    
introduced his staff.                                                                                                           
DAN SPENCER, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF PUBLIC  SAFETY  (DPS), introduced  additional                                                                    
department  staff.  He  provided a  PowerPoint  presentation                                                                    
titled  "Department of  Public  Safety Department  Overview"                                                                    
dated February 7,  2014 (copy on file). He  began with slide                                                                    
2 titled "Department of Public Safety":                                                                                         
     Our Mission                                                                                                                
     To ensure public safety and enforce fish and wildlife                                                                      
     Our Core Services                                                                                                          
     • Law Enforcement Patrol and Investigations                                                                                
     • Rural Law Enforcement                                                                                                    
     • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs                                                                            
     • Statewide Public Safety Programs                                                                                         
     • Resource Protection                                                                                                      
     • Highway Safety                                                                                                           
2:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer continued with  slide 3: "Organizational Chart."                                                                    
He relayed that the  command structure of the organizational                                                                    
chart had not  changed from the prior year. He  noted that a                                                                    
few components had been consolidated  into one program.   He                                                                    
detailed  slide  4:  "Statewide Impact."  He  discussed  the                                                                    
department's role  as the primary statewide  law enforcement                                                                    
agency;  DPS provided  assistance to  local and  federal law                                                                    
enforcement agencies  and to other  agencies such  as school                                                                    
districts.  He  referred  to  DPS  resources  including  the                                                                    
Alaska  Public Safety  Information Network  (APSIN), various                                                                    
criminal background checks, and sex offender registries.                                                                        
Mr. Spencer  explained slide 5: "Alaska  State Troopers." He                                                                    
detailed  that  the  Alaska   State  Troopers  and  Wildlife                                                                    
Troopers had  a variety of detachments  headquartered around                                                                    
the  state. State  trooper detachments  included the  Alaska                                                                    
Bureau of Investigations and the  Statewide Drug and Alcohol                                                                    
Enforcement Unit  [other units  included the  Village Public                                                                    
Safety   Officer  (VPSO)   program   office,  and   Judicial                                                                    
Services]. Wildlife  trooper sections  included detachments,                                                                    
the  Wildlife  Investigations   Unit,  Marine  Section,  and                                                                    
Aircraft Section.                                                                                                               
2:38:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer  continued with  slide 7:  "Statewide Services."                                                                    
The  Statewide   Services  group  was  included   in  a  new                                                                    
component called Information  Technology; it included APSIN,                                                                    
security guard  licensing information, and the  sex offender                                                                    
registry.  He  detailed  that  currently  there  were  3,131                                                                    
individuals  on   the  sex  offender  and   child  kidnapper                                                                    
registry;  at present  there were  132 individuals  who were                                                                    
not  in  compliance, which  could  occur  for a  variety  of                                                                    
reasons.  There   were  currently  7,390   active  concealed                                                                    
handgun permits; 2,242 were exempt.                                                                                             
Mr.  Spencer looked  at slide  8  related to  fire and  life                                                                    
safety.  The  state  fire marshal  conducted  building  plan                                                                    
reviews, worked with fire departments  around the state, and                                                                    
had  a smaller  operation  with the  Joint Pipeline  Office.                                                                    
Slide  9 pertained  to the  new  Scientific Crime  Detection                                                                    
Laboratory. He believed the lab  was a "great and wonderful"                                                                    
entity;  the  lab  had  allowed  the state  to  bring  in  a                                                                    
significant  amount of  equipment that  would not  have been                                                                    
feasible in the prior facility.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Spencer   addressed  the  Division   of  Administrative                                                                    
Services on  slide 11.  He referred to  the division  as the                                                                    
division  of  bureaucracy.  He highlighted  the  Council  on                                                                    
Domestic  Violence and  Sexual  Assault  (CDVSA), which  had                                                                    
been one  of the  governor's ongoing priorities.  The Alaska                                                                    
Police  Standards Council  dealt with  the certification  of                                                                    
police  and  correctional  officers around  the  state.  The                                                                    
Alaska  Fire  Standards  Council   worked  with  local  fire                                                                    
departments  and   was  responsible  for   setting  training                                                                    
2:40:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer  discussed the FY  15 operating budget  on slide                                                                    
12.  He relayed  that the  total difference  in unrestricted                                                                    
general  funds versus  the adjusted  base was  $130,000. The                                                                    
restricted  general funds  were about  $100,000 higher  than                                                                    
the  adjusted   base.  He   detailed  that   the  department                                                                    
accounted  for approximately  3.5  percent  of total  agency                                                                    
operations general  fund expenditures.  Slide 13  showed the                                                                    
operating budget by organization;  the Alaska State Troopers                                                                    
accounted  for 51  percent of  the  budget, Alaska  Wildlife                                                                    
Troopers  represented 14.2  percent,  the  VPSO program  had                                                                    
grown to 10.2  percent, and CDVSA had grown  to 8.6 percent.                                                                    
The remaining programs  represented much smaller increments,                                                                    
but remained essential to the agency.                                                                                           
Mr. Spencer looked  at the budget by line item  on slide 14.                                                                    
He relayed that similar to  most agencies, DPS services were                                                                    
delivered by people;  therefore, personal services accounted                                                                    
for  the  largest segment  of  the  department's budget  [56                                                                    
percent].  Grants and  benefits included  funding for  items                                                                    
such  as  domestic  violence  shelters  and  village  public                                                                    
safety  programs  run by  nonprofits  around  the state.  He                                                                    
looked at the total number of DPS positions on slide 15:                                                                        
     · 885 Permanent Full Time                                                                                                  
     · 18 Permanent Part Time                                                                                                   
     · 21 Nonpermanent                                                                                                          
     · 341 Alaska State Troopers                                                                                                
     · 97 Alaska Wildlife Troopers                                                                                              
     · 59 Court Services Officers                                                                                               
     · Positions in 50 locations around the state                                                                               
Mr.  Spencer  elaborated  that   DPS  was  in  50  locations                                                                    
depending  on  the  time  of   year.  Slide  16  included  a                                                                    
Legislative  Finance  Division  chart showing  a  change  in                                                                    
budget over the  years. The chart on slide 17  had also been                                                                    
prepared by the Legislative  Finance Division; it showed the                                                                    
percent of the  total department's budget by  fund group. He                                                                    
pointed  out  that  federal  receipts  in  the  department's                                                                    
budget  were the  same  as  the prior  year,  which was  the                                                                    
lowest level  of federal  receipts since  FY 01.  The figure                                                                    
included  CIP receipts  coming  through  the Alaska  Highway                                                                    
Safety  Office and  the  National  Marine Fisheries  Service                                                                    
(NMFS)  agreement  with  the wildlife  troopers,  which  was                                                                    
funded  in  the  capital  budget. He  relayed  that  federal                                                                    
funding had  been declining;  the department  suspected that                                                                    
the funding would not increase any time soon.                                                                                   
2:44:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer looked at current  year accomplishments on slide                                                                    
18. He detailed  that the Public Safety  Academy Dining Hall                                                                    
had  been completed  with  funding from  a  couple of  years                                                                    
earlier;  the hall  was operated  by a  contractor that  was                                                                    
responsible for providing and  preparing food. He elaborated                                                                    
that  the  operation  was overseen  by  Deputy  Commissioner                                                                    
Vrabec.  He  added  that  Colonel  Jim  Cockrell,  Director,                                                                    
Division of Alaska  State Troopers was happy  with the hall.                                                                    
He discussed funding from the  prior year for the Hooper Bay                                                                    
post; the positions operated on  a two-week on, two-week off                                                                    
rotation (Selawik  and Emmonak also had  similar posts). The                                                                    
post  was  currently  fully staffed.  He  communicated  that                                                                    
housing   and  office   space  was   challenging,  but   the                                                                    
department  worked  through the  issues.  He  looked at  new                                                                    
aircraft in  service; two helicopters  were in  service. The                                                                    
Helo helicopter was originally appropriated  in 2012; it had                                                                    
been temporarily  stationed in  Anchorage and  was currently                                                                    
stationed  in  Fairbanks   where  originally  intended.  The                                                                    
replacement helicopter was based  in Anchorage. He addressed                                                                    
domestic  violence and  sexual assault  prevention planning.                                                                    
Over  the past  year  CDVSA worked  with  14 communities  on                                                                    
community  prevention  plans  and  continued  to  work  with                                                                    
grantees  and   other  groups   throughout  the   state.  He                                                                    
referenced a number of  outreach programs including Coaching                                                                    
Boys into Men. He noted  that the DPS budget backup included                                                                    
additional  details  on  the  programs.  He  discussed  that                                                                    
highway  fatalities  had  decreased, especially  in  highway                                                                    
safety  corridors.  He  discussed  that  increasing  highway                                                                    
safety    included    a   combination    of    construction,                                                                    
reconstruction,   configuration,    and   enforcement.   The                                                                    
department believed safety efforts were working well.                                                                           
Mr. Spencer  addressed challenges  on slide 18.  He remarked                                                                    
that the state's  population continued to grow  and with the                                                                    
growth  came an  increased call  for police  services, which                                                                    
was an  ongoing challenge. The VPSO  recruitment, retention,                                                                    
and infrastructure  continued to be a  challenge; there were                                                                    
fewer VPSO positions filled than  the department wanted. The                                                                    
department  was  working to  improve  the  number of  filled                                                                    
positions.  He noted  that improvement  had  been made;  the                                                                    
program  had been  successful and  there were  more officers                                                                    
than  there had  been in  the past.  He referenced  that the                                                                    
prior year  the legislature had included  intent language in                                                                    
the  budget that  validated prior  work on  the program.  He                                                                    
elaborated that  if a program  reached year-end and  had not                                                                    
spent  all of  its allocated  funds, it  had the  ability to                                                                    
take  care  of  other   program  needs  (e.g.  office  space                                                                    
improvements,  four-wheelers,  firefighting  equipment,  and                                                                    
other). Another  challenge presented  to the  department was                                                                    
the decline in  federal grants. In some  cases federal funds                                                                    
had  been  high at  the  beginning  of  a program,  but  had                                                                    
declined.  For example,  the Bureau  of  Highway Patrol  had                                                                    
been given  supplemental funds by  the legislature in  FY 11                                                                    
and FY 12 and unrestricted general  funds in FY 13 and FY 14                                                                    
of over $3 million due to a decline in federal funds.                                                                           
2:48:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer  continued speaking  about challenges.  The last                                                                    
challenge was  absorbing cost increases. The  prior year the                                                                    
department  had an  increase of  approximately $160,000  for                                                                    
dispatchers as a result of  a classification study conducted                                                                    
by  the Department  of  Administration (DOA).  Subsequently,                                                                    
the positions  had been reevaluated and  classifications had                                                                    
been increased  again; the  cost was  approximately $320,000                                                                    
that DPS had not received  an appropriation for. He stressed                                                                    
that the department was not  asking for additional funds and                                                                    
would  find  a  way  to absorb  the  costs.  The  department                                                                    
supported the pay increase as  it believed the positions had                                                                    
been underpaid.  He believed the increase  would support job                                                                    
retention. He  mentioned other increases  that had  not been                                                                    
seen over  the years.  He compared  the increases  to rising                                                                    
grocery  store costs.  He detailed  that  DPS had  operating                                                                    
funds when it received the  helicopter for the Interior, but                                                                    
over time it would need  increased funding as the helicopter                                                                    
aged. He noted  that typically the department  had not asked                                                                    
for  large increases  over  the  years; it  found  a way  to                                                                    
absorb  the costs.  He referenced  additional increases  for                                                                    
supplies  and building  rent (including  rent for  buildings                                                                    
managed by  DOA for  the Public  Building Fund;  as personal                                                                    
service  costs  increased  the  money  charged  to  DPS  for                                                                    
maintenance and operations increased as well).                                                                                  
2:51:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer  looked at performance  indicators on  slide 19.                                                                    
He relayed that  in the prior year 100  percent of homicides                                                                    
reported to  the Alaska State  Troopers had been  solved. He                                                                    
noted  that the  figure  varied from  year-to-year, but  the                                                                    
target was to  solve all of the cases. He  addressed that 87                                                                    
percent of  sexual assault/sexual abuse victims  indicated a                                                                    
positive  program  impact  on   their  lives  due  to  CDVSA                                                                    
services.  He highlighted  statewide public  safety programs                                                                    
and  relayed that  the  prior  year had  been  a high  fire-                                                                    
fatality year with  23 deaths; the five-year  average was 17                                                                    
fatalities, the target was 15.  He noted that DPS could help                                                                    
to  influence  the number,  but  could  not control  it.  He                                                                    
remarked that  it only took  one or two fires  with multiple                                                                    
victims to increase the number.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Spencer   discussed  resource  protection,   which  was                                                                    
conducted  by  wildlife  troopers. He  elaborated  that  5.9                                                                    
percent of  wildlife violations detected as  a percentage of                                                                    
total contacts, which  was a slight increase  over the prior                                                                    
year. He  did not believe 5.9  percent was all that  bad; he                                                                    
did not know the exact target,  but it was within the range.                                                                    
There were  11 DUI fatalities  in the prior year,  which was                                                                    
22 percent  lower than the  previous three-year  average. He                                                                    
remarked that there was no  question that the combination of                                                                    
highway  safety  corridors,  DOT   funding,  and  Bureau  of                                                                    
Highway  Patrol enforcement  had helped.  He added  that the                                                                    
current question related to how to move forward.                                                                                
Mr.  Spencer  addressed  "FY 15  Significant  Increases"  on                                                                    
slide 20. The  governor had requested an  additional 15 VPSO                                                                    
positions and  $3,078,700 in unrestricted general  funds and                                                                    
a new VPSO Support  Trooper position for $349,000. Currently                                                                    
there were  88 filled  VPSO positions versus  121 authorized                                                                    
positions. The prior year the  governor had requested 15 new                                                                    
positions per year  with support troopers for  10 years. The                                                                    
goal was to get an  officer in every village requesting one;                                                                    
the  department  continued  to work  towards  the  goal.  He                                                                    
addressed  why   the  department   was  requesting   15  new                                                                    
positions  when the  current positions  were not  filled. He                                                                    
relayed that  the governor had  made a commitment  and would                                                                    
honor  it. Additionally,  the reality  of filling  positions                                                                    
was  that  on August  9,  2013  DPS  had submitted  a  press                                                                    
release  announcing  that  it   had  reached  101  positions                                                                    
employed;  subsequently, 13  positions  had  been lost.  The                                                                    
department did not know why  the positions had been vacated;                                                                    
there were  a variety of  reasons why the state  lost VPSOs.                                                                    
He relayed that DPS would  provide the committee with a copy                                                                    
of a PowerPoint presentation  that addressed the reasons for                                                                    
2:56:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer  stated that over  the years DPS had  hired more                                                                    
than 40  VPSOs in a  year (slide  20); in other  years there                                                                    
had  only been  a small  net  increase due  to turnover.  He                                                                    
acknowledged the  challenge and  stated that  the department                                                                    
would love to  increase the number to  121 filled positions.                                                                    
He  remarked   that  vacant  positions   did  no   good.  He                                                                    
elaborated that neither the department  nor nonprofits had a                                                                    
perfect answer for  how to fill the  positions. He discussed                                                                    
that years  earlier the department  had asked for  a funding                                                                    
increase,  which  had  been   granted  by  the  legislature.                                                                    
Additionally,  merit  increases  had  been  implemented  and                                                                    
equipment  had improved;  the strategies  had  worked for  a                                                                    
while, but the number had  begun to decline. He relayed that                                                                    
Alaska  State Troopers  went through  the  academy prior  to                                                                    
becoming troopers; it  did not work the same  way for VPSOs.                                                                    
He  explained that  VPSOs acted  as law  enforcement, health                                                                    
aides,  fire  fighters, search  and  rescue,  and other.  He                                                                    
explained  that the  number  of VPSOs  could  increase by  a                                                                    
significant number at  any time. He stated that  the ups and                                                                    
downs of  VPSO hire  was very different  than what  was seen                                                                    
anywhere else  in the  department. Part  of the  trouble was                                                                    
the  jobs were  influenced by  the pressures  of working  in                                                                    
very  small communities.  The department  would continue  to                                                                    
ask for the  funding increment and would continue  to try to                                                                    
fill the positions.                                                                                                             
2:59:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer highlighted  an increment  to  fund a  forensic                                                                    
scientist   position   to   provide  timely   DNA   evidence                                                                    
processing; an  existing position would be  reclassified and                                                                    
the  requested funding  was to  fill and  keep the  position                                                                    
filled. The goal  was to have DNA  analysis completed within                                                                    
45  days;  currently  there  were  approximately  23  sexual                                                                    
assault screening cases waiting.  The position would help to                                                                    
prevent DNA analysis backlogs. He  addressed an increment of                                                                    
$100,000  in  general  fund   program  receipts  that  would                                                                    
increase law enforcement agency  participation in the Alaska                                                                    
Records  Management  System  (ARMS);  the  program  receipts                                                                    
would come  from local law  enforcement agencies  wanting to                                                                    
participate in the program that  would provide an electronic                                                                    
records  storage system.  He added  that the  agencies would                                                                    
pay a  per user fee  to DPS that  would be used  to maintain                                                                    
the  system. He  shared  that in  2008  the legislature  had                                                                    
provide a  capital appropriation  to build ARMS;  the system                                                                    
was operational and working well.                                                                                               
Mr. Spencer  spoke to a grant  in the amount of  $250,000 to                                                                    
help  children  exposed  to violence.  The  increment  would                                                                    
provide  counseling,  child  advocates,  and  shelter  staff                                                                    
training.  An increment  totaling  $287,500 for  maintaining                                                                    
existing services  to domestic  violence and  sexual assault                                                                    
victims  was  aimed  at  basic   shelter  costs.  The  final                                                                    
increment  of  $100,000  would  go  to  enhancing  fish  and                                                                    
wildlife  enforcement.   The  increment  would   enable  the                                                                    
department  to  use  confiscated fish  receipts  (where  the                                                                    
value  was  forfeited   to  the  state  when   a  person  is                                                                    
convicted)  for Bristol  Bay enforcement;  it would  free up                                                                    
$100,000 currently used in the area  that could be used on a                                                                    
targeted enforcement  program for moose and  caribou hunting                                                                    
activities in the Copper River Basin area.                                                                                      
Mr.  Spencer  relayed that  there  were  also smaller  items                                                                    
included in  the budget;  the department  characterized them                                                                    
as transfers  in and  out of  general fund  program receipts                                                                    
revenue.  He   elaborated  that   DPS  had   previously  had                                                                    
authority for building  plan reviews and a  fire marshal; it                                                                    
had been  more than  the department needed;  therefore, some                                                                    
of the authority had been  transferred to the state troopers                                                                    
detachments and Statewide Drug Enforcement  Unit to use some                                                                    
"finds and forfeitures" funding  and fees for public records                                                                    
copying to  offset the program. He  believed the Legislative                                                                    
Finance Division had characterized the items as increments.                                                                     
3:03:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer addressed  significant reductions  in FY  15 on                                                                    
slide  21.  He  relayed  that  reductions  meant  that  some                                                                    
department functions  would have to be  done differently and                                                                    
there was  risk that some things  would not be done  as well                                                                    
as before. Reductions included:                                                                                                 
     · Disband Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol and assign                                                                       
        highway patrol duties to AST detachments, ($2,200.0)                                                                    
    · Realign workload to improve efficiency, ($640.3)                                                                          
     · Decommission Patrol Vessel Woldstad, ($500.0)                                                                            
     · Move Patrol Vessel Stimson base of operations to                                                                         
        Kodiak, ($500.0)                                                                                                        
     · Reduce PFT count, ($110.9)                                                                                               
Mr.  Spencer  elaborated  on  the  items  on  slide  21.  He                                                                    
communicated  that  the  department's  proposal  to  disband                                                                    
Alaska Bureau  of Highway Patrol  and assign  highway patrol                                                                    
duties to AST  detachments was not one it  had made lightly.                                                                    
Additionally, DPS  did not know  what it would look  like at                                                                    
the end of  FY 15. He relayed that over  the past four years                                                                    
several million dollars  in general funds had  been put into                                                                    
the program when federal funds  had not been sufficient. The                                                                    
state continued  to receive federal funds;  DPS had recently                                                                    
reached  a  tentative  agreement  with  the  Alaska  Highway                                                                    
Safety Office to continue to  receive federal monies through                                                                    
the remainder of FY 14 and  the first three months of FY 15.                                                                    
He  explained that  previously the  department did  targeted                                                                    
highway enforcement  during high traffic times  (e.g. Fourth                                                                    
of  July,  Labor Day,  Alaska  State  Fair, and  other)  and                                                                    
officers including  troopers and local police  had typically                                                                    
been  on  overtime.  The  proposal was  to  return  to  this                                                                    
previous  method  of  highway  enforcement.  The  department                                                                    
recognized  the  value  of the  Bureau  of  Highway  Patrol;                                                                    
however, it had to make a  choice about making cuts in order                                                                    
to live with a smaller amount of money.                                                                                         
Mr. Spencer  continued to discuss the  department's proposed                                                                    
disbandment  of the  Bureau of  Highway  Patrol. He  relayed                                                                    
that there  were currently  19 uniformed  positions assigned                                                                    
to  the   bureau  including  16  troopers,   1  sergeant,  1                                                                    
lieutenant, and  1 other. The department  planned to release                                                                    
the positions to  the detachments where they  were (e.g. the                                                                    
Fairbanks  Bureau   of  Highway  Patrol  would   go  to  the                                                                    
Fairbanks headquarters).  He expounded that as  the troopers                                                                    
moved out to  other vacant positions within  DPS (there were                                                                    
currently  28  vacancies)  the  vacated  Bureau  of  Highway                                                                    
Patrol would be reclassified  to civilian positions with the                                                                    
intent that the reclassified  positions would allow troopers                                                                    
to be on the road more in  the long run. He relayed that the                                                                    
change  would save  $2.2  million. He  did  not believe  the                                                                    
total amount  would be saved in  FY 15. He relayed  that the                                                                    
most   money  would   be  saved   if   the  positions   were                                                                    
reclassified  to positions  responsible for  entering report                                                                    
information. He acknowledged there  would be challenges with                                                                    
the change.                                                                                                                     
Mr.   Spencer  relayed   that  DPS   recognized  that   high                                                                    
visibility,  high  impact  patrols  were a  good  thing.  He                                                                    
stated that  DPS still believed in  traffic safety corridors                                                                    
and enforcement, but  he did not know if  the services would                                                                    
be  provided  at the  exact  same  level. He  discussed  the                                                                    
presence of  computers in police  cars where  officers could                                                                    
enter information. He noted that  the $2.2 million reduction                                                                    
in  conjunction with  a $640,300  reduction  related to  the                                                                    
realignment   of  workload   to  increase   efficiency  both                                                                    
represented  work  in  progress.   The  department  did  not                                                                    
believe  it  was  providing   any  unnecessary  services  at                                                                    
present and  it did not  want to lose uniform  positions. He                                                                    
explained  that uniform  positions  could  respond to  crime                                                                    
reports whereas  civilian positions  could not;  however, he                                                                    
stressed  the essential  nature  and  cost effectiveness  of                                                                    
civilian  positions.  He  could  not  predict  the  ultimate                                                                    
outcome,  but  information  would  be  known  the  following                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer addressed  the proposal  to save  $500,000 with                                                                    
the  decommissioning  of  the  patrol  vessel  Woldstad.  He                                                                    
referred  to  a  $2.4  million  increment  provided  by  the                                                                    
legislature  two years  earlier to  repower the  vessel that                                                                    
had  a  unique  propulsion  system. A  marine  engineer  had                                                                    
assessed the  vessel and had  determined that  an additional                                                                    
$1.3 million  was needed.  He discussed  that simultaneously                                                                    
the  wildlife   troopers  were  looking  to   determine  how                                                                    
fisheries  enforcement  had  changed  over  the  years.  The                                                                    
department  proposed the  purchase of  a 58-foot  seiner for                                                                    
use as  an enforcement vessel. The  Woldstad was responsible                                                                    
for the Bristol  Bay region; DPS proposed to  run the vessel                                                                    
through the  upcoming fishery and  sell it after  the season                                                                    
ended.  He  believed there  would  be  an amendment  in  the                                                                    
capital budget  to reallocate  the repower  appropriation to                                                                    
the purchase  of the replacement  vessel; the  proceeds from                                                                    
the sale  of the Woldstad  would be  used to outfit  the new                                                                    
vessel. He  relayed that wildlife troopers  believed the new                                                                    
vessel would  be a better  patrol base. He observed  that it                                                                    
would also be easier to maintain over the long-term.                                                                            
3:12:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer  highlighted  a proposal  to  move  the  vessel                                                                    
Stimson,  which  patrolled  the  Aleutians,  to  Kodiak.  He                                                                    
acknowledged that it  would take more time to  reach much of                                                                    
the patrol  area from Kodiak;  however, its location  in the                                                                    
Dutch Harbor area was expensive.  He elaborated that parking                                                                    
was difficult to come by  and parking the boat cost $100,000                                                                    
annually   (not  including   electricity).  The   department                                                                    
estimated that  it would  save a minimum  of $500,000  in FY                                                                    
15.  The   department  understood  that  the   change  could                                                                    
negatively impact  a community;  however, as  funding became                                                                    
tighter  it was  necessary  to determine  how  to do  things                                                                    
better. Lastly,  DPS had eliminated a  Woldstad boat officer                                                                    
position for  a savings of  $110,900; there continued  to be                                                                    
three positions to run the boat over the upcoming year.                                                                         
3:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer looked at FY 15 capital projects on slide 22:                                                                       
     · Alaska State Troopers law enforcement equipment                                                                          
        replacement: $500.0 GF                                                                                                  
     · Alaska Wildlife Troopers law enforcement equipment                                                                       
        replacement: $500.0 GF                                                                                                  
     · VPSO equipment: $500.0 GF                                                                                                
     · Alaska    Wildlife   Troopers   Vessel   Repair   and                                                                    
        Maintenance: $1,000.0 GF                                                                                                
     · Alaska Wildlife Troopers Marine Fisheries Patrols:                                                                       
        $1,200.0 GF                                                                                                             
     · Statewide Deferred maintenance; $1,350.0 GF                                                                              
     · Statewide    Domestic   Violence    shelter   repair,                                                                    
        renovation, and improvements: $1,000.0 GF/$1,000.0                                                                      
Mr. Spencer  expounded on items  on slide 22. He  noted that                                                                    
the  fourth  bullet point  related  to  aircraft and  vessel                                                                    
repair  and maintenance.  He detailed  that the  funding did                                                                    
typically go  to some repowering; however,  the Woldstad was                                                                    
an extraordinary  case that required more  funding. The $1.2                                                                    
million  increment  for  wildlife trooper  marine  fisheries                                                                    
patrols was in  anticipation of an agreement  with NMFS (the                                                                    
cooperative agreement had  been running for 8  to 10 years);                                                                    
the actual amount may ultimately  differ. He relayed that in                                                                    
the past a significant amount of  the money had run into the                                                                    
operating budget as  CIP receipts; it had also  been used by                                                                    
DPS for "big ticket" items with the agreement of NMFS.                                                                          
Mr. Spencer  spoke to an annual  appropriation for statewide                                                                    
deferred maintenance  to keep facilities  operating smoothly                                                                    
(slide  22). He  relayed  that the  department's 80  housing                                                                    
units statewide and offices  in various communities required                                                                    
significant  funds  and  time (funding  included  two  staff                                                                    
positions). He  highlighted the statewide  domestic violence                                                                    
shelter repair, renovation, and  improvements. He noted that                                                                    
the  buildings were  not brand  new  with state  of the  art                                                                    
furnaces  and other.  The department  proposed an  increment                                                                    
for  $1 million  in general  funds and  $1 million  from the                                                                    
Rasmuson Foundation  and possibly other sources  to obtain a                                                                    
professional  assessment  of  the facilities  statewide.  He                                                                    
elaborated that  the assessment would determine  life safety                                                                    
needs (e.g. the need for  a new furnace, new lighting, roof,                                                                    
door  locks,  and  other); the  assessment  would  create  a                                                                    
statewide   catalog   of   needs  and   necessary   repairs.                                                                    
Subsequently  a  priority  list   would  be  developed.  The                                                                    
department believed  the increments would be  beneficial. He                                                                    
added that  how the funds  would be dispersed was  not known                                                                    
at present.                                                                                                                     
3:17:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Austerman noted that  the committee had seen slides                                                                    
23  and 24  ["Department of  Public Safety  Continued Budget                                                                    
Growth  Compared  to  10-Year Plan  (Non-Formula  Only)  (GF                                                                    
Only)"  and "Department  of Public  Safety Continued  Budget                                                                    
Growth  Compared to  10-Year  Plan  (Non-Formula Only)  (All                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer replied  that the  presentation had  concluded.                                                                    
The department  was available  for questions.  He reiterated                                                                    
an  earlier  statement  that  a  VPSO  PowerPoint  would  be                                                                    
provided to members.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Austerman  referred  to  a  performance  indicator                                                                    
related  to domestic  violence and  sexual assault  on slide                                                                    
19. He noted that the  information that 87 percent of victim                                                                    
service participants  felt positively about the  program did                                                                    
not  indicate whether  domestic  violence  had increased  or                                                                    
decreased. He wanted to know  if the department was actually                                                                    
decreasing sexual  assault and  domestic violence.  He asked                                                                    
the  department to  keep  the request  in  mind when  making                                                                    
future presentations.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Austerman  pointed to  the  request  for new  VPSO                                                                    
positions  on slide  20. He  remarked that  Mr. Spencer  had                                                                    
relayed  several  times  during the  presentation  that  the                                                                    
proposed increase was based on the governor's commitment.                                                                       
Mr. Spencer replied in the affirmative.                                                                                         
Co-Chair Austerman  responded that it  was fine that  it was                                                                    
the  governor's  commitment;  however, there  had  been  two                                                                    
years where  nothing had  happened in  the program  that was                                                                    
based  on  a  governor's  commitment.  He  stated  that  the                                                                    
legislature was  more than  willing to  fund a  program that                                                                    
worked. He wondered why  additional positions were requested                                                                    
if  the department  could not  support or  make the  program                                                                    
work.  He  believed in  the  VPSOs  and believed  more  were                                                                    
needed; however, if the positions  could not be filled [more                                                                    
positions  should not  be requested].  He stressed  that the                                                                    
department had worked  on the program for a  number of years                                                                    
through  various commissioners  and had  never been  able to                                                                    
make it  succeed. He stated that  he was close to  being fed                                                                    
up with  the current  approach. He  underscored that  if DPS                                                                    
could not  come up with a  plan that showed how  to make the                                                                    
program work,  he did not want  to see a request  for funds.                                                                    
He referred to  other ideas that had been  proposed that had                                                                    
never been brought  forward to the legislature.  He wanted a                                                                    
plan showing how success would be achieved.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Austerman addressed  the proposed  decommissioning                                                                    
of  the  Woldstad.   He  relayed  that  he   needed  to  see                                                                    
significant  numbers  from  the department  to  justify  the                                                                    
change. He referred to the  $100,000 the department proposed                                                                    
it would save in moorage  fees and reasoned that there would                                                                    
be costs  associated with  basing the  Stimson to  Kodiak as                                                                    
well.  He wanted  to know  the  net difference  in cost.  He                                                                    
wondered  if the  difference would  be  $5,000, $50,000,  or                                                                    
other. He  had lived on the  ocean and he could  not believe                                                                    
that   a  58-foot   vessel   would   replace  the   Woldstad                                                                    
effectively. He  would prefer to  spend the $3.7  million to                                                                    
refurbish the  vessel. He compared the  refurbishment to the                                                                    
vessel  Tustumena  that  was  50  years  old  and  still  in                                                                    
service.  He did  not believe  the  Woldstad was  inferiorly                                                                    
built.  He reiterated  the need  for  justifications on  the                                                                    
3:22:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Wilson  asked   what   happened  to   money                                                                    
allocated  to the  department for  unfilled VPSO  positions.                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer  replied  that  the   money  was  used  in  the                                                                    
department's  budget. He  elaborated  that  the funding  was                                                                    
used for a  coordinator to run the  programs, equipment, and                                                                    
facilities.  Funds were  also  specified  for equipment.  He                                                                    
stressed that  work in rural communities  was more expensive                                                                    
than in urban areas.                                                                                                            
Representative  Wilson  wondered  what would  have  happened                                                                    
with the  money if the  VPSO positions had all  been filled.                                                                    
She  knew  that many  communities  wanted  a VPSO,  but  she                                                                    
believed  the  program  made it  difficult  for  some  small                                                                    
communities to  have the required services.  She asked about                                                                    
background checks.  She observed  that there  were currently                                                                    
two types  of background  checks; a  more stringent  one for                                                                    
pre-K  and Head  Start programs  and another  K-12 teachers.                                                                    
She believed  the check should  be the same for  all grades.                                                                    
She  wondered  about the  cost  difference  between the  two                                                                    
different checks.  Additionally, she  wondered how  long the                                                                    
checks took.                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer would follow up with an answer.                                                                                     
3:26:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Neuman believed in 1990  the state had 425 Alaska                                                                    
State Troopers  with less  than 400,000  Alaskans; currently                                                                    
there  were about  375 troopers  with  738,000 Alaskans.  He                                                                    
referred  to  slide  19 related  to  domestic  violence  and                                                                    
sexual   assault.   He   recalled   working   on   difficult                                                                    
legislation  related  to  sexual  assault in  the  past.  He                                                                    
stated that 23 percent of  all sexual assaults were reported                                                                    
and that a perpetrator assaulted  19 to 24 children prior to                                                                    
being caught.  He pointed  to a  $250,000 increment  to help                                                                    
children exposed  to violence (slide  20). He  surmised that                                                                    
the money spent  on aiding victims was  not proportionate to                                                                    
the number  of victims  experiencing lifelong  trauma caused                                                                    
by the crimes.  He wondered why more money  was not directed                                                                    
to the programs.                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Folger understood  Vice-Chair Neuman's  point.                                                                    
He would follow up at a later time.                                                                                             
Representative Gara  shared concerns  of the  prior speakers                                                                    
related  to  the  VPSO  program. He  stated  that  the  VPSO                                                                    
expansion program  had been a complete  failure. He remarked                                                                    
that  the  goal  of  filling  the  positions  would  address                                                                    
concern  about  sexual  assault   because  people  would  be                                                                    
protected; however, the positions  continued to be unfilled.                                                                    
He asked  how many VPSO positions  had been filled in  FY 10                                                                    
when the  governor's plan had  begun compared to  the number                                                                    
of filled positions at present.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Spencer replied  that on  December 31,  2010 there  had                                                                    
been 70  VPSOs; currently  there were 88.  There had  been a                                                                    
high of 101.                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara observed  that over  five years  75 new                                                                    
VPSOs should have been added;  however, only 17 officers had                                                                    
been added. He asked rhetorically  how long it would take to                                                                    
figure out  how to make  the program  work. He asked  if the                                                                    
proposed   program  only   allowed  VPSOs   to  respond   to                                                                    
misdemeanors.  He  wondered  if   the  officers  could  also                                                                    
intervene in sexual assaults.                                                                                                   
Mr. Spencer deferred the question to his colleague.                                                                             
COLONEL  JIM COCKRELL,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF ALASKA  STATE                                                                    
TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY (via teleconference),                                                                    
answered  that a  VPSO  could respond  to  any crime,  which                                                                    
frequently included felony offences such as sexual assault.                                                                     
3:30:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  asked for verification that  there were                                                                    
currently 33  vacant VPSO positions. Mr.  Spencer replied in                                                                    
the affirmative.                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara surmised  that the  department did  not                                                                    
require a budget increase in  the present year given that 33                                                                    
positions  would not  be  filled in  the  upcoming year.  He                                                                    
noted  that 18  positions had  been filled  in 5  years. Mr.                                                                    
Spencer  replied that  three months  earlier there  had been                                                                    
100 positions filled; the number fluctuated.                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  explained  that  the  legislature  was                                                                    
working to find places to save  money where it was not being                                                                    
utilized. He stated  that there were many  areas that needed                                                                    
more funding.                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Spencer reiterated  that the  department would  provide                                                                    
committee  members  with  the   VPSO  presentation  and  the                                                                    
committee would make  its decision. He added  that DPS would                                                                    
rather aim high than low.  He agreed that the department had                                                                    
its work cut out to fill the vacant positions.                                                                                  
Representative  Gara  proposed  sending VPSOs  to  the  same                                                                    
academy  provided   to  troopers.   He  asked   whether  the                                                                    
department would commit to not  spending money allocated for                                                                    
new VPSO  positions if  the positions  were not  filled. Mr.                                                                    
Spencer was  unable to commit  to not spending the  funds at                                                                    
present. He could look into the issue.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Austerman  believed the  message to  the department                                                                    
related to  the VPSO program  was clear. He  elaborated that                                                                    
issues repeatedly  brought to the legislature  regarding the                                                                    
VPSO  program  related  to  the  high  cost  of  living  and                                                                    
housing.  He  remarked that  the  department  did not  bring                                                                    
forward a proposal to address the problems.                                                                                     
3:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara clarified that  he wanted the program to                                                                    
Co-Chair Austerman agreed.                                                                                                      
Mr.  Spencer replied  that the  problem was  not new  to the                                                                    
past five years;  the state had been working  on the problem                                                                    
in the  1970s. He  relayed that  there had  been constables,                                                                    
regional  police officers,  and  then VPSOs.  The state  was                                                                    
still trying to find a program that would work.                                                                                 
Co-Chair Austerman surmised that if  the goal was to be fair                                                                    
across  the state  that maybe  the positions  should all  be                                                                    
state   trooper  positions.   He  stressed   that  DPS   was                                                                    
responsible for presenting a plan to the legislature.                                                                           
HB  266  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
HB  267  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
3:35:15 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DOT Overview Document HFIN.pdf HFIN 2/7/2014 1:30:00 PM
DOT HFIN Overview document
DOT Budget Overview HFIN Presentation February 7 2014 - NO NOTES.pdf HFIN 2/7/2014 1:30:00 PM
DOT HFIN Budget OVerview
FY15 DPS House Finance Committee Overview 2-7-14.pdf HFIN 2/7/2014 1:30:00 PM
DPS Budget Overview HFIN