Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/06/2014 08:30 AM FINANCE

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                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 6, 2014                                                                                            
                         8:34 a.m.                                                                                              
8:34:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 8:34 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Senator  Kevin  Meyer;  Kris  Curtis,  Legislative  Auditor,                                                                    
Alaska  Division   of  Legislative  Audit;   Lauree  Morton,                                                                    
Executive Director, Council on  Domestic Violence and Sexual                                                                    
Assault, Department of Public  Safety; Kelly Howell, Special                                                                    
Assistant, Department of Public  Safety; Ms. Caren Robinson,                                                                    
Alaska Women's Lobby; Senator Peter  Micciche; Ms. Anna Kim,                                                                    
Department of Revenue Tax Division.                                                                                             
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Johanna Bales, Deputy Director,  Tax Division, Department of                                                                    
CSSB 71 (FIN)                                                                                                                   
          PAYMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING TAX                                                                               
          CSSB 71 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                           
          further consideration.                                                                                                
SB 124    EXTENDING COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE                                                                                
          SB 124 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with one previously                                                                          
          published fiscal note: FN1 (DPS).                                                                                     
SENATE BILL NO. 124                                                                                                           
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Council                                                                      
     on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; and providing                                                                     
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
8:34:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN MEYER  testified on SB 124;  an extension bill                                                                    
for the Council of Domestic  Violence and Sexual Assault. He                                                                    
informed  the committee  that  he spent  time  on the  Stand                                                                    
Together   Against    Rape   (STAR)   Board.    He   thanked                                                                    
Representative  Holmes for  carrying the  companion bill  on                                                                    
the House  side. He stated  that the mission of  the council                                                                    
was to  provide safety  for Alaskans victimized  or impacted                                                                    
by  domestic violence  and sexual  assault. The  council was                                                                    
responsible for  ensuring a system-wide  crisis intervention                                                                    
services.  The  council  works in  the  public  interest  by                                                                    
awarding and administrating grants  to the various community                                                                    
organizations. Services were also  provided for the domestic                                                                    
violence  and   sexual  assault  victims.  He   spoke  about                                                                    
batterer's  intervention   services  to   domestic  violence                                                                    
perpetrators along  with crisis intervention  and prevention                                                                    
Senator  Meyer explained  that the  Division of  Legislative                                                                    
Audit  completed  a  sunset  review on  May  21,  2013.  The                                                                    
division's recommendation  was to  extend for  an additional                                                                    
eight years.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze explained  that  Kris Curtis,  Legislative                                                                    
Auditor, Alaska Division of  Legislative Audit would present                                                                    
the audit recommendations.                                                                                                      
Senator    Meyer    pointed    out   the    audit's    three                                                                    
recommendations.  The council  took appropriate  measures to                                                                    
address  all  three   recommendations.  He  highlighted  the                                                                    
council's  importance   to  the  state.  He   requested  the                                                                    
committee's support for the extension.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Stoltze  acknowledged that  the Senate bill  had 19                                                                    
8:37:20 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Gara  complimented   the  senator   on  his                                                                    
presentation  of the  bill. He  wished to  cross-sponsor the                                                                    
Senator Meyer replied that cross-sponsoring  the bill was an                                                                    
available option for House members.                                                                                             
Co-Chair Stoltze had cross-sponsored the legislation.                                                                           
Senator Meyer appreciated the support.                                                                                          
8:38:30 AM                                                                                                                    
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE AUDIT, discussed the  sunset audit pertaining to                                                                    
the council, "Summary of: A  Sunset Review on the Department                                                                    
of Public  Safety, Council on  Domestic violence  and Sexual                                                                    
Assault, May  21, 2013 (copy  on file)." She noted  that the                                                                    
purpose of  the audit was  to determine whether  the council                                                                    
was   serving  the   public's  interest   and  whether   the                                                                    
termination date  should be extended. The  report provided a                                                                    
summary of  the council's organization and  function as well                                                                    
as  a description  of funding  sources. The  audit concluded                                                                    
that  the  council  was serving  the  public's  interest  by                                                                    
funding and monitoring Alaskan  domestic violence and sexual                                                                    
assault   response  programs   and  prevention   activities.                                                                    
Additionally,  the  division  found  that  the  council  was                                                                    
effectively  serving as  essential  coordinator for  related                                                                    
services  throughout Alaska.  The division  recommended that                                                                    
the  termination  date  be  extended  the  maximum  8  years                                                                    
provided for in statute.                                                                                                        
Ms. Cutis  noted that the report  included information about                                                                    
the  council's expenditures  and  funding.  She pointed  out                                                                    
page   16  of   the   audit  revealing   that  funding   and                                                                    
expenditures  for  the  council  had increased  from  FY  09                                                                    
through FY  12. The increases were  the result of the  FY 12                                                                    
addition  of a  prevention coordinator,  reduction in  staff                                                                    
vacancies, increased  funding through the  governor's Choose                                                                    
Respect  initiative and  the  additional  focus on  domestic                                                                    
violence   and   sexual   assault  prevention.   The   audit                                                                    
identified   three   areas  for   operational   improvements                                                                    
addressed  on page  11 in  the findings  and recommendations                                                                    
8:40:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Curtis  pointed  out the  first  recommendation  was  a                                                                    
continuation of prior finding identified  by the division in                                                                    
the 2005 sunset audit  report. The recommendation encouraged                                                                    
improvement   between  the   council,   the  Department   of                                                                    
Education  and Early  Development and  Department of  Health                                                                    
and Social  Services. The current audit  determined that the                                                                    
council  had  significantly  improved  coordination  between                                                                    
themselves  and  the  Department   of  Education  and  Early                                                                    
Development.  The  council  did   not  coordinate  with  the                                                                    
Department  of   Health  and  Social  Services   to  develop                                                                    
standards and procedures. She  stated that general standards                                                                    
and  procedures for  health  care  providers and  facilities                                                                    
delivering  services  to   domestic  violence  victims  were                                                                    
developed over  10 years  ago, however  the council  and the                                                                    
department did  not coordinate regarding  continued delivery                                                                    
and availability  of the  standards. The  recommendation was                                                                    
an improvement in the coordination process.                                                                                     
Ms. Curtis pointed out the  second and third recommendations                                                                    
beginning  on page  13 of  the  audit. Both  recommendations                                                                    
were  administrative in  nature.  The second  recommendation                                                                    
included improvement  procedures for  the timely  posting of                                                                    
public  notices by  the  council's  executive director.  She                                                                    
stated that  the council lacked  formal procedures  to guide                                                                    
their  posting;  23  percent of  meetings  were  not  posted                                                                    
during  the audit  period  and 59  percent  were not  posted                                                                    
timely.   The third  recommendation included  improvement of                                                                    
grant  award  in  monitoring policies  and  procedures.  The                                                                    
council did have  internal controls in place  to award funds                                                                    
to  grantees and  monitor  their  performance. The  internal                                                                    
controls were not used consistently  during the audit period                                                                    
due to staff turnover and  a lack of procedures. The council                                                                    
did agree with all three recommendations.                                                                                       
8:41:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson pointed out  that the audit report was                                                                    
incomplete in the member's packets.  She noticed the federal                                                                    
matching funds.  She asked  for documentation  regarding all                                                                    
funding for the council.                                                                                                        
8:42:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Curtis  explained  that page  16  provided  a  complete                                                                    
analysis  of  the  funding including  federal,  interagency,                                                                    
PFD's for incarcerated individuals and general funds.                                                                           
Representative Wilson  asked if the council  was required to                                                                    
account for private funding.                                                                                                    
Ms. Curtis  replied that the  audit determined  that federal                                                                    
and general funds were the  primary sources. She recommended                                                                    
asking the council's executive director.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Stoltze   stated  that  the   council's  executive                                                                    
director  and staff  from the  Department  of Public  Safety                                                                    
would testify on the legislation.                                                                                               
8:44:26 AM                                                                                                                    
LAUREE  MORTON,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  COUNCIL  ON  DOMESTIC                                                                    
VIOLENCE AND  SEXUAL ASSAULT,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY,                                                                    
appreciated the hearing.                                                                                                        
KELLY  HOWELL,  SPECIAL   ASSISTANT,  DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY introduced herself.                                                                                                      
Ms. Morton  informed the committee that  the programs served                                                                    
9330  program  participants  with approximately  75  percent                                                                    
seeking services  for domestic  violence. She noted  that 20                                                                    
percent of  program participants sought services  for sexual                                                                    
assault,  30  percent  for  stalking  and  approximately  13                                                                    
percent  for  other violent  crimes.  She  pointed out  that                                                                    
people  often experience  more than  one of  these types  of                                                                    
crimes.  She stated  that 68  percent  of participants  were                                                                    
adults, 28 percent were children,  79 percent were women and                                                                    
17  percent were  men. She  highlighted the  3000 volunteers                                                                    
that provided over  78,000 hours of service.  She noted that                                                                    
approximately 200  employees staffed the 20  programs funded                                                                    
by the council with 418 beds available.                                                                                         
Ms.  Morton  noted that  the  council  provided funding  for                                                                    
rehabilitation   services  for   perpetrators  of   domestic                                                                    
violence. She  stated that 84 people  completed the program.                                                                    
A best practices manual and  a revision of regulations would                                                                    
further  improve the  diversity of  services. She  mentioned                                                                    
the   Alaska  victimization   survey.   She  discussed   the                                                                    
coordination of  several different  intervention activities,                                                                    
training,  and coordination  with the  Office of  Children's                                                                    
services and training with first responders.                                                                                    
8:47:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  asked about  the interplay  between the                                                                    
council and shelters operating beyond their capacity.                                                                           
Ms.  Morton  understood  the problem  of  bed  shortages  in                                                                    
shelters throughout  the state. She believed  that a capital                                                                    
request was submitted with a  combination of state funds and                                                                    
funds from the Rasmussen  foundation to explore an expansion                                                                    
of bed capacity in Alaska.                                                                                                      
Representative  Gara asked  about  a shelter  than was  over                                                                    
capacity. He asked  if a shelter would  accept a beneficiary                                                                    
if they were over-capacity.                                                                                                     
Ms.  Morton  replied that  when  beds  and spaces  were  not                                                                    
available in the facilities,  other accommodations were made                                                                    
in safe homes or hotels.                                                                                                        
8:50:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked how  much money was  coming in.                                                                    
She  asked  about  duplicates  provided  in  the  statistics                                                                    
mentioned by Ms. Morton.                                                                                                        
Ms.  Morton replied  that  the  count included  unduplicated                                                                    
numbers. She  explained that  the council  required grantees                                                                    
to provide  a 15 percent  match to state funds  granted. She                                                                    
mentioned two  federal funding sources; The  Family Violence                                                                    
Prevention and  Services Act  and The  Victims of  Crime Act                                                                    
that both  required a  20 percent  match for  grantee funds.                                                                    
The council  funded between  30 to 85  percent of  the total                                                                    
budgets.  Programs in  communities  did  receive money  from                                                                    
private  foundations, fundraising  and  federal grants.  She                                                                    
explained  that the  council funds  comprised  less than  50                                                                    
percent of the total budget for 10 programs.                                                                                    
8:52:22 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson wished  to  understand the  available                                                                    
federal funding.                                                                                                                
8:52:41 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Neuman  discussed  the  $1.4  million  moved  to                                                                    
Department of  Public Safety from  the Department  of Health                                                                    
and  Social  Services  for   domestic  violence  and  sexual                                                                    
assault. He  asked Commissioner Streur multiple  times about                                                                    
the  money  used by  the  Department  of Health  and  Social                                                                    
Services.  He  pointed  out  the  audit  and  the  council's                                                                    
coordination  with  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                                    
Services.  He asked  Ms. Morton  to  tell him  how the  $1.4                                                                    
million  was used  by the  Department of  Health and  Social                                                                    
Ms. Morton replied  that the $1.4 million was  detailed in a                                                                    
reimbursable  services  agreement  from the  office  of  the                                                                    
governor to the Division  of Behavioral Health for four-year                                                                    
pilot  projects.   She  believed  that  the   difficulty  in                                                                    
obtaining   information  existed   with   the  Division   of                                                                    
Behavioral Health.  The transfer  was requested  because the                                                                    
pilot projects  would be completed  on June 30th,  2014. She                                                                    
noted  that   the  provision   of  the   primary  prevention                                                                    
strategies and  goals could be  better utilized  through the                                                                    
services of the council's  primary strategies. She noted the                                                                    
intention of winding the pilot  projects down, with the view                                                                    
toward continuing some.                                                                                                         
Ms. Morton  continued that money for  the unsuccessful pilot                                                                    
projects would be granted to  communities ready to engage in                                                                    
primary prevention  strategies. She stated that  the funding                                                                    
source  was   one-time  only.   She  expected   an  improved                                                                    
awareness about sexual assault and  domestic violence in the                                                                    
participating   communities.  The   council   hoped  for   a                                                                    
decreased  acceptance  of  violence and  improved  community                                                                    
sanctions  as a  result of  the funding.  She mentioned  the                                                                    
council's  contract with  a group  of evaluation  teams that                                                                    
were  working  to  provide  a  comprehensive  evaluation  of                                                                    
primary prevention strategies, utilizing the $1.4 million.                                                                      
8:57:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Neuman  discussed  concerns  with  the  one-time                                                                    
funding expenditures.  He noted statistics quoting  that sex                                                                    
offenders averaged 110 victims  and 318 offenses before they                                                                    
were caught.  He stated that  sex offenders  went undetected                                                                    
for  an average  of 16  years  before they  were caught.  He                                                                    
questioned the efficacy of one-time funding.                                                                                    
8:57:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Holmes  stated   that  she   served  on   a                                                                    
legislative  task force  in 2006,  following a  prior audit.                                                                    
The task  force presented  26 recommendations; most  of them                                                                    
had  been  implemented.  She sought  additional  information                                                                    
about  the batterer's  intervention program.  She asked  for                                                                    
information about  the council's action regarding  the audit                                                                    
findings.   She  mentioned   that  the   council  signed   a                                                                    
memorandum of  agreement with the Department  of Corrections                                                                    
to be  the responsible  entity for revising  the regulations                                                                    
for  the batterer's  intervention program.  She pointed  out                                                                    
two  stakeholder   groups  that  were  meeting   to  address                                                                    
regulation  revision and  best practices.  She mentioned  an                                                                    
expansion of  materials and  understanding available  in the                                                                    
last 30 years.  She noted that the  council hosted quarterly                                                                    
meetings  on February  26th and  27th to  review a  draft of                                                                    
regulations  agreed  upon thus  far.  The  council hoped  to                                                                    
present  a draft  for  the public  proofing  process in  May                                                                    
2104. The council hoped to  operate under new regulations by                                                                    
9:00:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze found  the Batterer  Intervention Programs                                                                    
(BIPs) acronym offensive.                                                                                                       
Representative Holmes agreed.                                                                                                   
Ms. Morton concurred.                                                                                                           
9:01:34 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Morton discussed  the audit  recommendation related  to                                                                    
public notices,  which was addressed  by the council  with a                                                                    
written  protocol. She  stated that  the council  designated                                                                    
their meeting dates for the  upcoming fiscal year. The dates                                                                    
were listed  on the council's  website. She spoke  about the                                                                    
improvement  of  the  evaluation and  grant  processes.  She                                                                    
instituted a  policy where coordinators  met once  a quarter                                                                    
to  evaluate  files.  She  mentioned   that  work  with  the                                                                    
Department of Health  and Social Services was  specific to a                                                                    
statutory requirement  to implement policies  and procedures                                                                    
for healthcare  facilities and how  to work with  victims of                                                                    
domestic  violence.  The  council's  responsibility  was  to                                                                    
consult  with the  department during  the  process. She  met                                                                    
with  Commissioner Streur  and  planned  to consult  further                                                                    
about updating policies and procedures.                                                                                         
9:03:41 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg appreciated  Ms. Morton's historic                                                                    
perspective. He asked how the council measured success.                                                                         
Ms.  Morton  replied  that  she  viewed  individual  success                                                                    
stories  when  evaluating  the  council's  performance.  The                                                                    
council bore  witness to survivors  and held the  stories of                                                                    
people  trapped in  criminal activities.  She spoke  about a                                                                    
safety  plan  and  the  ability  to  access  resources.  She                                                                    
discussed   various   supports    available   including   an                                                                    
understanding  of the  judicial system.  She stated  that if                                                                    
legal  representation was  accessed, women  felt safer.  She                                                                    
stated  that   people  learned   skills  that   allowed  for                                                                    
increased safety  and support.  The council  provided safety                                                                    
and services.  She agreed that  batterers and  sex offenders                                                                    
existed in the  world, but she hoped to move  toward a place                                                                    
of zero-acceptance of the crimes.                                                                                               
9:07:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Morton  pointed  out $157  thousand  designated  for  a                                                                    
public  awareness prevention  campaign  with recognition  of                                                                    
the benefits of prevention. She  believed that the state was                                                                    
experiencing  a greater  willingness to  discuss the  issues                                                                    
because Alaskan's were better informed about the problems.                                                                      
Ms. Howl  stated that she  was the department's  designee on                                                                    
the  council.  She replied  that  the  Department of  Public                                                                    
Safety and  the Alaska  state troopers attacked  the problem                                                                    
through  training. She  stated that  a training  coordinator                                                                    
organized  training throughout  the state  for troopers  and                                                                    
Village Public  Safety Officers (VPSO). She  stated that the                                                                    
training was provided at the  public safety training academy                                                                    
and through local and  regional trainings throughout Alaska.                                                                    
The training  pertains to laws and  notification of victim's                                                                    
rights.  She  discussed  the measuring  of  success  by  the                                                                    
victimization survey  performed by the University  of Alaska                                                                    
Anchorage  in conjunction  with  the  council. Victims  were                                                                    
encouraged to seek assistance  by contacting law enforcement                                                                    
and  accessing  victim   service  programs.  The  department                                                                    
expected  the  number  of incidents  to  increase  with  the                                                                    
state's  awareness  leading  to  greater  reporting  of  the                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze appreciated the  Choose Respect program. He                                                                    
pointed  out  that  he  purchased   75  t-shirts  for  young                                                                    
athletes  in Palmer.  He talked  to the  children and  their                                                                    
parents  about  the message  of  respect.  He believed  that                                                                    
battles were won by influencing the youth.                                                                                      
9:13:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz  mentioned  the   17  percent  of  men                                                                    
seeking   service  from   the   council.   She  wished   for                                                                    
Ms.  Morton replied  that adult  males  sought services  for                                                                    
domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.                                                                                 
Representative  Munoz asked  if  male  victims received  the                                                                    
same level of service as females.                                                                                               
Ms. Morton replied yes, but  safe shelter was more difficult                                                                    
to obtain for males.                                                                                                            
9:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze asked about the male victims.                                                                                  
Ms. Morton did not have details.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze expressed curiosity.                                                                                           
MS.  CAREN  ROBINSON,  ALASKA WOMEN'S  LOBBY,  testified  in                                                                    
support of the bill and the council.                                                                                            
     The Mission of  the lobby is to defend  and advance the                                                                    
     rights  and needs  of women,  children and  families in                                                                    
     Alaska. We  strongly support  extending the  Council on                                                                    
     Domestic  Violence  and  Sexual Assault.  Many  of  the                                                                    
     Lobby's steering committee members  sat at the original                                                                    
     table when  we created the  council. It would  have not                                                                    
     been possible without the  backing of Governor Hammond,                                                                    
     Lt.  Governor Terry  Miller,  and  the commissioner  of                                                                    
     Public Safety, Commissioner Nicks.  Also the support of                                                                    
     former  legislators  Hugh   Malone,  Bill  Miles,  Russ                                                                    
     Meekins, Sam Cotton, Nilo  Kopena, Arliss Stugulos, and                                                                    
     in the later  years Rick Halford and  Fran Ulmer. Today                                                                    
     with  the  support  of Governor  Parnell,  the  council                                                                    
     members,  and most  important  with  the leadership  of                                                                    
     Lauree Morton you have vibrant  council and staff. This                                                                    
     should give  you comfort. I  think most of us  have the                                                                    
     same  vision when  it comes  to  domestic violence  and                                                                    
     sexual assault  and that vision  is stopping  it. We've                                                                    
     come a  long way,  but it's  taken a  long time  and we                                                                    
     have a  ways to  go. For a  little perspective:  In the                                                                    
     beginning  there were  no programs,  no  staff, and  no                                                                    
     money. Very  few people even understood  or cared about                                                                    
     the  complex   problems  of  violence   against  women.                                                                    
     Neither police  nor medical providers had  the training                                                                    
     or  understanding  to  respond  effectively  to  sexual                                                                    
     assault. We didn't have a  911 emergency system or even                                                                    
     a 411  option. In  1980, the first  National Conference                                                                    
     on  Domestic  Violence  was   held  in  Washington  DC.                                                                    
     Finally, an  issue that had  haunted women and  kept in                                                                    
     the shadows  forever was in the  spotlight. Alaska from                                                                    
     the  start was  unique.  Shelter programs  successfully                                                                    
     worked  to  secure  state  funding  for  five  regional                                                                    
     shelters.  We  believed,  it   was  important  to  have                                                                    
     regional  shelters   that  rural  woman   and  children                                                                    
     deserved safety  as much  as their  urban counterparts.                                                                    
     We insisted  that a new  statewide Council  on Domestic                                                                    
     Violence and Sexual Assault be  under the Department of                                                                    
     Public Safety  and that batterers be  arrested like any                                                                    
     other violent  person. This put  Alaska years  ahead of                                                                    
     the nation  in recognizing  that women victims  are not                                                                    
     sick and in  need of mental health  treatment. They are                                                                    
     victims needing medical  assistance and police support,                                                                    
     just  like  any  other  crime victim.  We  offered  all                                                                    
     victim  services  for  women  and  children  under  one                                                                    
     umbrella.  We learned  that  battered  women often  are                                                                    
     marital rape victims or incest  survivors and that some                                                                    
     children in  violent homes are  victims of  physical or                                                                    
     sexual  abuse  as  well.  We   recognized  that  it  is                                                                    
     critical to  have offender  treatment services  for men                                                                    
     and that  stopping domestic and sexual  violence begins                                                                    
     with education.  But today, with  a big thanks  for the                                                                    
     continued  efforts of  folds at  the State  council and                                                                    
     this legislative  body, physicians today  routinely ask                                                                    
     patients  if  they  are  safe  at  home,  teachers  are                                                                    
     required  to  report  suspected abuse,  children  learn                                                                    
     early on  about the  difference between good  touch and                                                                    
     bad  touch  and  reports domestic  violence  result  in                                                                    
     arrest.  Offenders   are  licked  up,   shelters  exist                                                                    
     throughout Alaska and the nation  and women are telling                                                                    
     their   stories.   The   governor,   legislators,   law                                                                    
     enforcement,   schools   and  health   providers   have                                                                    
     responded Victims in Alaska are  no longer alone. Thank                                                                    
     you  for supporting  the council  on Domestic  Violence                                                                    
     and Sexual Assault.                                                                                                        
9:19:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  CLOSED public testimony. He  discussed the                                                                    
fiscal  note  which  showed  a  continued  annual  operating                                                                    
budget  expenditure of  $17,762,000,  with  $3.7 million  in                                                                    
federal receipts.                                                                                                               
Representative  Holmes  MOVED  to   REPORT  SB  124  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
SB  124 was  REPORTED  out  of committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  one previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
note: FN1 (DPS).                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 71(FIN)                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the fishery resource landing tax."                                                                     
9:22:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PETER MICCICHE,  testified  in support  of CSSB  71                                                                    
(FIN). He presented a portion of his sponsor statement.                                                                         
     SB  71  is  a  bill  important  to  commercial  fishing                                                                    
     families throughout  Alaska. It has been  introduced to                                                                    
     repair glitches  in the  landing resource  tax statutes                                                                    
     and  regulations that  require  the  payment of  unfair                                                                    
     penalties and  interest by  well-intentioned commercial                                                                    
Senator  Micciche  elaborated  that  the  bill  changed  the                                                                    
current   timing  of   tax  payments   to  align   with  the                                                                    
publication  of  the  corresponding statewide  average  fish                                                                    
report. He stated  that section 1 aligned the  date that the                                                                    
resource  landing  tax  was  due  with  the  date  that  the                                                                    
statewide average  fish price report was  released. He noted                                                                    
that the  report was due  March 31st, but sometimes  was not                                                                    
published  until May.  The mismatch  in  timing resulted  in                                                                    
late  payment   fines  and  interest   for  well-intentioned                                                                    
producers as well as confusion,  frustration and wasted time                                                                    
that could  be better  spent harvesting and  processing fish                                                                    
to increase revenue.                                                                                                            
Senator  Micciche continued  with section  2, which  added a                                                                    
new (e) and (f) in AS  43.77.020 appearing in section 3. The                                                                    
current statute  included provisions  for 4  equal payments,                                                                    
but  with  the  seasonal   nature  of  many  fisheries  with                                                                    
variability  of  harvest,  it was  impossible  for  resource                                                                    
landing taxpayers  to predict their full-year's  harvest for                                                                    
equal  payments. He  noted that  many fishermen  operated in                                                                    
only  one  of four  quarters  per  year. He  explained  that                                                                    
section  3   provided  three   different  methods   to  make                                                                    
estimated quarterly payments. A  new subsection (f) required                                                                    
the taxpayer to notify the  department by March 31st of each                                                                    
year the payment they choose.                                                                                                   
9:25:11 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Micciche noted  that if a taxpayer  failed to select                                                                    
a payment method,  the department would help  them apply the                                                                    
method with  the lowest  tax liability.  He stated  that the                                                                    
bill provided  a fair and  equitable tax system  by aligning                                                                    
the date  of the  tax with  the report.  He pointed  out the                                                                    
various  supporters   of  the  bill.  The   legislation  was                                                                    
designed  to bring  efficiencies to  both fishermen  and the                                                                    
9:26:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Neuman  asked about  the penalties or  late fees.                                                                    
He  discussed the  tax collected  from factory  trawlers and                                                                    
floating   processors.   He   mentioned   different   issues                                                                    
affecting  the fisheries.  He  was  involved in  discussions                                                                    
with  the  Department  of   Revenue  and  Legislative  Legal                                                                    
regarding the use of penalty fees.                                                                                              
9:27:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche did  not think  that SB  71 was  the right                                                                    
bill  for  intercept  issues. He  understood  the  need  for                                                                    
fairness. He  was willing to  discuss the issues  with Vice-                                                                    
Chair Neuman.                                                                                                                   
Representative Munoz asked about  the issue of cost recovery                                                                    
comparing a flat rate to a percentage.                                                                                          
Senator  Micciche considered  the  issue  and considered  an                                                                    
amendment. He wished for the  best bill for fishing families                                                                    
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
9:29:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ANNA  KIM, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE  TAX DIVISION, believed                                                                    
that the senator captured the  sentiment of the legislation.                                                                    
She   stated   that   the   administration   supported   the                                                                    
9:30:50 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHANNA BALES, DEPUTY DIRECTOR,  TAX DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
REVENUE    (via    teleconference),    agreed    that    the                                                                    
administration  supported the  legislation.  She noted  that                                                                    
tax  returns  were  due  on  April  1st  of  each  year  and                                                                    
taxpayers were required  to calculate the tax  owed based on                                                                    
statewide  average prices  published  by  the Department  of                                                                    
Fish  and Game  and the  Department of  Revenue. She  stated                                                                    
that it  was impossible for  fishermen to calculate  the tax                                                                    
by April 1st.                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
SB  71  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
9:33:24 AM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 9:33 a.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CS SB 71 FIN Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB 71 changes from original bill to CS.pdf HFIN 3/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB 71 Letters in Support.PDF HFIN 3/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB 124 DPS Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Audit 2013.pdf HFIN 3/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
SB 124
SB 124 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
SB 124
SB 124 Support.pdf HFIN 3/6/2014 8:30:00 AM
SB 124