Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/14/2015 06:00 PM FINANCE

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06:03:59 PM Start
06:05:15 PM HB26
06:05:17 PM Public Testimony: Statewide
08:11:05 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 26 BUDGET: CAPITAL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Statewide Public Testimony --
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- Send your written testimony to the House
Finance Committee via lhscfin@akleg.gov
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 14, 2015                                                                                            
                         6:03 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:03:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson   called  the  House   Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 6:03 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Steve Thompson, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Dan Saddler, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Paul  Fuhs,  Board  Chairman,  Marine  Exchange  of  Alaska,                                                                    
Juneau;  Ed Page,  Executive  Director,  Marine Exchange  of                                                                    
Alaska,   Juneau;  Carl   Uchytil,  Alaska   Association  of                                                                    
Harbormasters and Port  Administrators, Juneau; Dave Donley,                                                                    
Hope  Community  Resources,   Juneau;  Alyse  Galvin,  Great                                                                    
Alaska  Schools,   Juneau;  Deena  Mitchell,   Great  Alaska                                                                    
Schools, Juneau.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ann Arrisi,  Hope Community Resources, Matsu;  Chuck Kaucic,                                                                    
Wasilla  Soil  and  Water  Conservation  District,  Wasilla;                                                                    
Peter  Williams, City  of  Bethel,  Bethel; Brenda  Akelkok,                                                                    
Bristol  Bay  Housing  Authority (BBHA),  Dillingham;  Kevin                                                                    
Tennyson, Bristol  Bay Housing Authority,  Dillingham; Jason                                                                    
Storter,  Rilke  Schule,  Anchorage; Mariah  Storter,  Rilke                                                                    
Schule, Anchorage; Janeen  Wilkins, Rilke Schule, Anchorage;                                                                    
Mitzi  Barker, Rural  CAP, Chugiak;  Joel Neimeyer,  Federal                                                                    
Co-Chair,   Denali   Commission,   Anchorage;   Dan   Duane,                                                                    
Association of  Alaska Housing Authorities,  Anchorage; Erin                                                                    
Wilson,   Deputy  Director,   Aleutian  Housing   Authority,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Ulf  Asplund,  Parent, Anchorage;  Gabe  Layman,                                                                    
Cook  Inlet Housing  Authority, Anchorage;  Brendan Wilkins,                                                                    
Student,  Rilke  Schule,  Anchorage;  Kristina  Gwyn,  Rilke                                                                    
Schule,  Anchorage; David  Dobler, Rilke  Schule, Anchorage;                                                                    
Tonja Rambow,  Hope Community Resources,  Anchorage; Kjersti                                                                    
Von  Wichman, Rilke  Schule, Anchorage;  Corrie Davis,  Hope                                                                    
Community   Resources,   Kodiak;   Bart   Meyer,   Executive                                                                    
Director,  Baranof Island  Housing Authority,  Sitka; Reggie                                                                    
Joule, Mayor, Northwest  Arctic Borough, Kotzebue; Elizabeth                                                                    
Cravalho, Nana  Regional Corporation, Kotzebue;  Joel Alowa,                                                                    
Maniilaq Association, Kotzebue;  Samantha Mitz-Gentz, Direct                                                                    
Service   Advocate,   Standing    Together   Against   Rape,                                                                    
Anchorage; Etta  Kuzakin, President, Tribal Council  of King                                                                    
Cove,  King  Cove;  Rick  Berns,   Mayor,  Old  Harbor;  Dan                                                                    
Winters,  Director,  Public  Utilities,  City  of  Unalaska;                                                                    
Kimberly Carlo, Chief  Operations Officer, Interior Regional                                                                    
Housing  Authority, Fairbanks;  Paul Gill,  Self, Fairbanks;                                                                    
Jack  Hebert, CEO,  Cold  Climate  Housing Research  Center,                                                                    
Fairbanks;   Scott   Bell,   Vice   Chancellor,   Facilities                                                                    
Services, University  of Alaska Fairbanks,  Fairbanks; Bruno                                                                    
Grunau,  Self,  Fairbanks;  William  Dushkin  Sr.,  Aleutian                                                                    
Housing  Authority,  Sand  Point;  Dr.  Ann  Marie  O'Brien,                                                                    
Superintendent,  Northwest Arctic  Borough School  District,                                                                    
Kotzebue; Doug  Bridges, Alaska Mobility  Coalition, Juneau;                                                                    
Christopher    Constant,    Fairview   Community    Council,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Nancy   Anderson,  Municipality   of  Anchorage,                                                                    
Department of Health and  Human Services, Anchorage; Marilyn                                                                    
Houser,  Self,   Anchorage;  Ray  Oakley,   Parent,  Indian;                                                                    
Kjerstin Lastufka, Parent,  Anchorage; Dean Ball, Principal,                                                                    
Rilke  Schule,  Anchorage;   Carrie  Longoria,  Victims  for                                                                    
Justice,  Anchorage;  Christopher   Dyke,  Self,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Peter  Brandorff,  Rilke  Schule, Anchorage;  Emily  Davies,                                                                    
Data Analyst,  Alaska Domestic  Violence and  Sexual Assault                                                                    
Intervention   Program,  Anchorage;   Vanessa  Wise,   Rilke                                                                    
Schule,  Anchorage;  Jack  Walker,  Self,  Anchorage;  Bryan                                                                    
Clemenz,  Self, Anchorage;  James Kurth,  Parent, Anchorage;                                                                    
Joni  Scharfenberg, Fairbanks  Soil  and Water  Conservation                                                                    
District,  Fairbanks;  James   Wileman,  Parent,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Molly   Rettig,  Self,   Fairbanks;  Daniel   Blair,  Mayor,                                                                    
Whittier;   Carolyn   Ramsey,   Citizens   for   Responsible                                                                    
Development,  Anchorage;   Bryan  Anderson,   Rilke  Schule,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Chantal Walsh,  Self, Anchorage;  Chris Turetes,                                                                    
Facilities   Director,  University   of  Alaska   Anchorage,                                                                    
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 26     BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB 26 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson discussed the agenda for the evening.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 26(FIN)                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  making and amending  appropriations, including                                                                    
     capital  appropriations,  supplemental  appropriations,                                                                    
     reappropriations,  and   other  appropriations;  making                                                                    
     appropriations    to     capitalize    funds;    making                                                                    
     appropriations under art.  IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution                                                                    
     of the State of  Alaska, from the constitutional budget                                                                    
    reserve fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:05:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: STATEWIDE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:05:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  FUHS,  BOARD  CHAIRMAN,  MARINE  EXCHANGE  OF  ALASKA,                                                                    
JUNEAU, placed himself on record.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ED  PAGE, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  MARINE  EXCHANGE OF  ALASKA,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  provided background  information  about the  Marine                                                                    
Exchange of Alaska, a  non-profit organization. He explained                                                                    
that  the exchange  provided a  portion  of Alaska's  vessel                                                                    
tracking system.   He reported that in past  years the State                                                                    
of  Alaska provided  approximately $600  thousand per  year.                                                                    
He  furthered  that the  United  States  Coast Guard  (USCG)                                                                    
contributed $1.2  million per year  and the  marine industry                                                                    
contributed  another  $1.5  per   year  to  the  system.  He                                                                    
referred  to   a  briefing  packet  provided   to  committee                                                                    
members.  He stated  that on  page  two of  the handout  the                                                                    
graphic showed  120 vessel tracking sites  throughout Alaska                                                                    
built  by the  Marine Exchange  to aid  maritime safety.  He                                                                    
pointed to  another graphic which showed  the marine traffic                                                                    
in the Arctic.  He asked the committee for  the same funding                                                                    
support as  provided in  past years.  He mentioned  that the                                                                    
Marine  Exchange  met  the qualifying  criteria  to  receive                                                                    
cruise ship head  tax funds set aside  for services provided                                                                    
for the  maritime industry. He  asked for  continued funding                                                                    
for the program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Fuhs  gave a  brief description of  the movement  of the                                                                    
appropriation  in the  budget. He  explained that  the funds                                                                    
were  matching federal  funds and  from designated  funds in                                                                    
the  operating budget.  The finance  subcommittee felt  that                                                                    
the  appropriation  should  come  from  the  capital  budget                                                                    
rather  than the  operating budget;  therefore, it  had been                                                                    
removed.  However,  the  funds  were  not  placed  into  the                                                                    
capital  budget. He  asked the  committee to  consider using                                                                    
money from the cruise ship head tax to fund the exchange.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:08:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  acknowledged that the  Marine Exchange                                                                    
of Alaska  had received $600  thousand from the  state every                                                                    
year for many  years. She asked about  the potential effects                                                                    
of the lost funding.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Page stated  that there were currently  gaps in coverage                                                                    
existing  in the  Arctic. The  exchange was  trying to  fill                                                                    
gaps  by expanding  the vessel  tracking system.  He relayed                                                                    
that  the USCG  provided funding  for the  24-hour operation                                                                    
center, but  the state  had been the  builder of  the vessel                                                                    
tracking  sites  throughout  Alaska. He  reported  that  the                                                                    
shipping  traffic was  increasing, and  without filling  the                                                                    
gaps important information would not be captured.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:09:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL UCHYTIL,  ALASKA ASSOCIATION OF HARBORMASTERS  AND PORT                                                                    
ADMINISTRATORS, JUNEAU,  testified in support of  the Alaska                                                                    
Municipal Harbor  Grant Program,  a 50-50 match  program. He                                                                    
represented 37  harbors throughout Alaska. He  reported $4.4                                                                    
million  in  the  program currently.  He  relayed  that  his                                                                    
membership  asked for  $14 million.  He  explained that  the                                                                    
grant program  was worthwhile.  He stated  that, previously,                                                                    
harbors   were  state   owned   and   were  transferred   to                                                                    
municipalities. He mentioned that  the grant program was the                                                                    
only mechanism for many harbors  to recapitalize the state's                                                                    
facilities   over  50   years  old.   The  association   was                                                                    
requesting a  $250 thousand increment which  would allow for                                                                    
a $1.2  million boat ramp  to be in Anchorage.  He commented                                                                    
that it was very rare  that Anchorage had the opportunity to                                                                    
participate in the matching grant program.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:11:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  DONLEY, HOPE  COMMUNITY  RESOURCES,  JUNEAU, spoke  on                                                                    
behalf  of  Hope  Community Resources.  He  detailed  Hope's                                                                    
services  in housing  for  Alaskan's  with disabilities.  He                                                                    
reported that Hope Community  Resources had received funding                                                                    
in the  state's capital budget  for many years.  He outlined                                                                    
the  current budget  request  of $361  thousand  to pay  for                                                                    
life-safety projects. He conveyed  that $125 thousand of the                                                                    
request was for  projects mandated by the state  in order to                                                                    
comply  with licensing  requirements.  He  reported that  in                                                                    
2013 the  average operating budget  savings was  $79,487 per                                                                    
individual housed by Hope  Community Resources. He continued                                                                    
to  provide  statistics  about  additional  savings  to  the                                                                    
state's operating  budget, comparing Hope's cost  of care to                                                                    
other institutional  care. He informed the  committee of the                                                                    
additional benefits  and savings the state  would realize by                                                                    
continuing  to support  Hope  Community  Resources. He  also                                                                    
reported significant  growth in  the Medicaid  waiver system                                                                    
creating  greater demand  for housing  for the  disabled. He                                                                    
urged  the  committee  to  continue  its  support  for  Hope                                                                    
Community Resources.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANN   ARRISI,   HOPE   COMMUNITY  RESOURCES,   MAT-SU   (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged support for  a capital request in the                                                                    
amount of  $361 thousand.  She reported that  Hope Community                                                                    
Resources supported  over 1,400 disabled  Alaskans including                                                                    
children.  She   expressed  her  concern   with  significant                                                                    
quality  of  life  challenges  without  state  support.  The                                                                    
funding   included  support   for   state  mandated   safety                                                                    
improvements. She communicated  that without capital funding                                                                    
Hope  would serve  fewer Alaskans.  She referred  to a  2009                                                                    
Legislative Research Services Report  which indicated a cost                                                                    
savings of $10  thousand per recipient between  the home and                                                                    
community-based  waiver  and  nursing homes.  She  concluded                                                                    
that  the  home  or  community-based  waiver  was  the  most                                                                    
fiscally responsible choice and  encouraged the committee to                                                                    
offer its support.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:16:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK KAUCIC, WASILLA SOIL  AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT,                                                                    
WASILLA   (via   teleconference),   spoke   on   behalf   of                                                                    
conservation throughout Alaska  and particularly Wasilla. He                                                                    
provided   a   brief   background   regarding   conservation                                                                    
districts.  Conservation was  manifested  in Alaska  through                                                                    
the  Alaska  Association   for  the  Conservation  Districts                                                                    
(AACD),  formed  in  1947.  He  relayed  that  without  base                                                                    
funding  the Wasilla  Soil and  Water Conservation  District                                                                    
would be out of  business or significantly diminished; AACD,                                                                    
as  the  blanket organization  in  Alaska,  had submitted  a                                                                    
capital request that would be  distributed across the state.                                                                    
At the  district level, Wasilla Soil  and Water Conservation                                                                    
had made its  capital request that would be  applied to four                                                                    
specific projects which he detailed.  He asked the committee                                                                    
to support conservation in Alaska  and thanked the committee                                                                    
for its time.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:18:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER    WILLIAMS,    CITY    OF   BETHEL,    BETHEL    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  favor  of  the municipal  harbor                                                                    
facilities grant. He reviewed  the requirements of the grant                                                                    
and  encouraged members  to fund  the grant  program at  the                                                                    
current level. He thanked the committee for its time.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:20:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  AKELKOK,  BRISTOL   BAY  HOUSING  AUTHORITY  (BBHA),                                                                    
DILLINGHAM  (via  teleconference),  urged the  committee  to                                                                    
provide  any  amount  of  funding  for  the  Alaska  Finance                                                                    
Housing   Corporation   Supplemental   Housing   Development                                                                    
Program.  She relayed  that the  supplemental housing  grant                                                                    
leveraged 80  percent more funding from  the U.S. Department                                                                    
of  Housing and  Urban  Development (HUD).  She stated  that                                                                    
without  the supplemental  grant,  BBHA would  no longer  be                                                                    
able to build 5 houses per  year. A village may have to wait                                                                    
30 years  for a new  home versus  15 years. She  stated that                                                                    
BBHA  would be  losing  experienced and  trained crews  with                                                                    
expertise  in building  energy  efficient  homes. She  urged                                                                    
members  to  consider  restoring  any  line  items  for  any                                                                    
amounts for the Alaska Housing Supplemental Grant.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:22:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  TENNYSON, BRISTOL  BAY HOUSING  AUTHORITY, DILLINGHAM                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in favor of  the Alaska Housing                                                                    
Finance Corporation (AHFC)  Weatherization Grant Program. He                                                                    
communicated that  in 2008  the budget  for the  program had                                                                    
been  $4 million,  which had  been utilized  for 100  homes.                                                                    
Presently the budget was $1.4  million, which would cover 43                                                                    
homes.  The weatherization  targeted  senior  citizens on  a                                                                    
fixed income. He detailed that  energy bills were cut almost                                                                    
in   half.  He   elaborated  that   weatherization  targeted                                                                    
children  under   six  years   old  to  protect   them  from                                                                    
respiratory  problems that  were caused  by black  mold. The                                                                    
program    provided   jobs    for   plumbers,    carpenters,                                                                    
electricians,  and laborers  in the  Bristol Bay  region. He                                                                    
implored the committee to support funding for the program.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:24:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JASON    STORTER,     RILKE    SCHULE,     ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for  the                                                                    
charter  school Rilke  Schule. He  was gravely  concerned by                                                                    
the direction  the budget had  taken regarding  the school's                                                                    
finances. He relayed that if  funds were not restored to the                                                                    
capital budget  the school  was headed in  a crash  and burn                                                                    
direction. He  elaborated that the school  had contractually                                                                    
obligated itself using funds designated  to the program from                                                                    
the previous legislative session.  He provided detail on the                                                                    
school.  He  asked  if the  legislature  realized  that  the                                                                    
school operated on one-third  less than Alaska's traditional                                                                    
schools,  while   outperforming  nearly  all  of   them.  He                                                                    
stressed  that the  school's 480  students were  counting on                                                                    
the legislature to do what was right to save their school.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MARIAH    STORTER,    RILKE     SCHULE,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in favor  of the restoration of funds                                                                    
to  Rilke  Schule.  She  stated  that  the  removal  of  the                                                                    
school's allocated state  funds from the prior  year had put                                                                    
it in  a position  of failure. She  underscored that  as the                                                                    
largest  charter school,  it already  operated  on a  budget                                                                    
that  was significantly  lower than  that of  other schools.                                                                    
She  expected  the state  to  adequately  fund the  program,                                                                    
which outperformed on less. She  urged the committee to save                                                                    
the program.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:27:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANEEN    WILKINS,    RILKE     SCHULE,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  support  of  the restoration  of                                                                    
funds to Rilke Schule. She  communicated that the removal of                                                                    
funds  designated the  prior year  had put  the school  in a                                                                    
crisis.  She reasoned  that other  programs the  legislature                                                                    
could cut involved capable adults  who could understand what                                                                    
was being  taken. She  stressed that  children did  not have                                                                    
the  same   ability;  children  would  not   understand  why                                                                    
suddenly they  did not have  the tools or the  people needed                                                                    
to  succeed  at  school  and  in  life.  She  reasoned  that                                                                    
children were expected  to grow and learn on  a daily basis;                                                                    
adults were supposed to set an example on responsibility.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:29:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MITZI  BARKER,  RURAL  CAP,  CHUGIAK  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  favor of the Low  Income Weatherization Assistance                                                                    
Program.  She detailed  that the  program  warmed homes  and                                                                    
decreased fuel costs for  low income Alaskans. Additionally,                                                                    
the program provided  economic benefits in the  form of jobs                                                                    
and orders  for materials  and freight services.  She stated                                                                    
that rural  Alaskans commonly paid approximately  50 percent                                                                    
of their  income for heating  fuel. She elaborated  that the                                                                    
program saved  rural families more  than $2,300  annually on                                                                    
fuel.  She   reasoned  that  the  investment   continued  to                                                                    
generate  high  returns  year  after  year.  She  asked  the                                                                    
committee  to consider  decreasing the  proposed 76  percent                                                                    
cut to 27 percent, which  would provide the program with $20                                                                    
million.  She urged  the committee  members  to support  the                                                                    
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL   NEIMEYER,   FEDERAL  CO-CHAIR,   DENALI   COMMISSION,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in  favor  of  the                                                                    
Denali  Commission   federal/state  partnership   grant.  He                                                                    
relayed  that a  $3  million grant  had  been authorized  in                                                                    
2011.  He  shared  that   there  were  still  administrative                                                                    
barriers   in  transporting   the  state   funding  to   the                                                                    
commission related  in indemnification agreement  issues. He                                                                    
elaborated that  a workaround  had been  developed in  FY 14                                                                    
and $1.64  million had  been provided  for a  power project.                                                                    
The  commission had  identified  a power  project for  cost-                                                                    
share match,  but there were  currently issues  being worked                                                                    
on.  He stated  that the  proposed action  of cutting  $1.36                                                                    
million would delay  construction by a minimum  of one year.                                                                    
He relayed that he would be  in Juneau the following day and                                                                    
hope to  speak to  members personally about  reinstating the                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:33:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  DUANE,  ASSOCIATION   OF  ALASKA  HOUSING  AUTHORITIES,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  shared that the Association                                                                    
of  Alaska  Housing  Authorities consisted  of  14  regional                                                                    
housing authorities.  He detailed that the  authorities were                                                                    
conduits for  significant federal  and state funds  and were                                                                    
the  primary providers  of affordable  housing in  rural and                                                                    
urban  Alaska. He  spoke in  support  of the  Weatherization                                                                    
Program  and  the  Supplemental  Housing  Development  Grant                                                                    
Program   funded   through   the  Alaska   Housing   Finance                                                                    
Corporation  (AHFC).  He  believed both  programs  warranted                                                                    
state  investment  even  in difficult  budgetary  times.  He                                                                    
relayed that  both programs served  beneficiaries throughout                                                                    
the  state  and  provided  short and  long-term  returns  on                                                                    
investment.  He shared  statistics  related  to high  energy                                                                    
costs  and inadequate  ventilation in  homes throughout  the                                                                    
state. He stated that approximately  18,000 units would have                                                                    
been weatherized  by March 2016, which  saved Alaskans close                                                                    
to $50  million annually.  He relayed that  the Supplemental                                                                    
Housing  Development Grant  Program  provided  a 20  percent                                                                    
match to  federal HUD funds  for energy  efficiency measures                                                                    
and  other  critical  infrastructure  needs.  He  urged  the                                                                    
committee to support the programs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIN  WILSON, DEPUTY  DIRECTOR, ALEUTIAN  HOUSING AUTHORITY,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke in favor  of the AHFC                                                                    
Supplemental  Housing  Development  Grant  Program  and  the                                                                    
Weatherization Program.  She detailed that  the supplemental                                                                    
housing program  had been developed in  1980. She elaborated                                                                    
that   the  program   had   been   incredibly  valuable   in                                                                    
supplementing  and leveraging  federal,  state, and  private                                                                    
resources; it provided development  gap funding that enabled                                                                    
projects  to move  forward. She  stressed  that without  the                                                                    
funding   the   program    and   services   would   decrease                                                                    
significantly. She  emphasized that rural  communities would                                                                    
be  particularly  hard  hit.    She  communicated  that  the                                                                    
supplemental grant  program provided a 20  percent match for                                                                    
the total  development cost for energy  efficiency and other                                                                    
necessary   infrastructure   costs   (e.g.   water,   sewer,                                                                    
electrical  distribution,  and  access roads).  She  relayed                                                                    
that the program  had a federal/state funding ratio  of 5 to                                                                    
1. She  relayed that  the program  created hundreds  of jobs                                                                    
and resulted  in millions of  dollars in  new infrastructure                                                                    
and  construction  related  purchases.   She  spoke  to  the                                                                    
governor's  support  of  modest   capital  funding  for  the                                                                    
program.  She shared  that  the  Weatherization Program  had                                                                    
enabled  her  organization   to  provide  energy  efficiency                                                                    
upgrades  to  280  homes  in the  region.  She  referred  to                                                                    
reductions in the use of diesel fuel and increased savings.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:39:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ULF ASPLUND,  PARENT, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  favor of  funding  for Rilke  Schule,  a public  charter                                                                    
school.  He relayed  that the  school was  the only  charter                                                                    
school without  its own facility.  He communicated  that the                                                                    
removal of  funding from the  prior year had put  the school                                                                    
into a  crisis situation. He discussed  that the legislature                                                                    
had removed  the money after  the school had entered  into a                                                                    
contractually obligated lease for  a new school. He stressed                                                                    
that it was  a substantial problem for the  480 students who                                                                    
may not  have a school  in the  upcoming fall. He  urged the                                                                    
legislature to  do the right  thing to make  things possible                                                                    
for the students.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:40:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GABE LAYMAN,  COOK INLET  HOUSING AUTHORITY,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged support  for the Supplemental Housing                                                                    
Grant Program  administered through  AHFC. He  reported that                                                                    
the  program   was  designed   to  encourage   safe,  energy                                                                    
efficient housing  throughout the state. He  relayed that by                                                                    
statute the  program could fund  no more than 20  percent of                                                                    
the  costs for  any housing  project. He  reported that  for                                                                    
every state  dollar funded up  to nine dollars  was matched.                                                                    
He  added  that housing  in  Alaska  used three  times  more                                                                    
energy per square  foot than the national  average; the high                                                                    
cost  of energy  combined with  high consumption  had put  a                                                                    
financial squeeze  on families  and the state.  He specified                                                                    
that families in  Interior Alaska paid an  average of $8,000                                                                    
annually  for energy  costs. He  discussed that  the program                                                                    
played a  critical role in  ensuring that the  housing built                                                                    
and rehabilitated in rural Alaska  was energy efficient. The                                                                    
program  mandated  compliance  with AHFC's  building  energy                                                                    
efficiency standard. The program helped  to fund some of the                                                                    
costs  of energy  efficient design  and construction,  which                                                                    
reduced long-term  dependency on state-funded  programs such                                                                    
as  Power  Cost  Equalization  and  the  Heating  Assistance                                                                    
Program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:42:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDAN  WILKINS,  STUDENT,  RILKE  SCHULE,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in favor  of funding for Rilke Schule                                                                    
charter  school  [he provided  a  statement  in German].  He                                                                    
implored the  committee to save  his school. He  shared that                                                                    
he loved his school and loved speaking German.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:44:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTINA    GWYN,     RILKE    SCHULE,     ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged support for  the Rilke Schule charter                                                                    
school. She  associated herself with support  for the school                                                                    
expressed by previous testifiers.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:44:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID DOBLER, RILKE  SCHULE, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of  full funding  for  education and  for                                                                    
Rilke  Schule.  He  believed  the  state's  most  importance                                                                    
resource was  its children and  that their education  was of                                                                    
the  utmost importance.  He urged  the committee  to support                                                                    
funding for the school.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:45:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TONJA  RAMBOW,  HOPE  COMMUNITY  RESOURCES,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), asked  the committee  to support  a minimum                                                                    
of $125,000  for Hope Community Resources.  She relayed that                                                                    
the  requested  funds  reduced  the  capital  and  operating                                                                    
budget; without  the Hope residences  the budget  would rise                                                                    
to pay  for more expensive institutional  care. She detailed                                                                    
that  the request  served the  neediest Alaskans;  residents                                                                    
were disabled  and were entitled  to Medicaid  services. She                                                                    
elaborated  that  the  state was  directly  responsible  for                                                                    
costs  the requested  funding addressed.  She reasoned  that                                                                    
choosing to  serve Alaskans with disabilities  increased the                                                                    
demand  for safe,  supportive,  and cost-effective  housing.                                                                    
She  added that  the  state licensing  process required  the                                                                    
upgrades    to   facilities.    The   organization    raised                                                                    
approximately  $2  million per  year  to  help pay  for  the                                                                    
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:46:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KJERSTI   VON   WICHMAN,   RILKE  SCHULE,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged  support for  funding to  assist with                                                                    
lease  obligations for  the school.  She  detailed that  the                                                                    
school had entered  a 20-year lease with  a local contractor                                                                    
based  on funding  granted by  the legislature  the previous                                                                    
session. Rilke  Schule was a  charter school and  funds were                                                                    
used towards  the cost of  the facilities. She  implored the                                                                    
committee to  not pull the  rug from underneath  the school.                                                                    
She asked for a restoration of funds in the capital budget.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:47:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CORRIE   DAVIS,  HOPE   COMMUNITY  RESOURCES,   KODIAK  (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged  the committee  to support  a minimum                                                                    
of $361,000  for Hope Community  Resources. The  funds would                                                                    
pay for  upgrades to state-licensed residences  for disabled                                                                    
Alaskans  that  the  state  had  ordered  Hope  to  make  in                                                                    
addition to other life and  safety improvements. She relayed                                                                    
that the capital funding would  reduce the state's operating                                                                    
budget.  She stressed  that  the  organization needed  state                                                                    
funds   to  comply   with   state   and  federal   licensing                                                                    
requirements.  She elaborated  that  without capital  budget                                                                    
funding Hope  would serve fewer Alaskans  with disabilities;                                                                    
some of the individuals would  then require much more costly                                                                    
institutional care.  She underscored that the  cost increase                                                                    
would be immediate if the residences closed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:48:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BART  MEYER,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  BARANOF  ISLAND  HOUSING                                                                    
AUTHORITY,  SITKA (via  teleconference), spoke  in favor  of                                                                    
the  Supplemental Housing  Grant Program  and Weatherization                                                                    
Program administered by  AHFC. He was concerned  that at the                                                                    
proposed funding level it was  likely that the program would                                                                    
be restructured  and any services  coming to Sitka  would be                                                                    
on a  rotational basis from  year to  year (it had  been the                                                                    
system in  the past). He  emphasized that the merits  of the                                                                    
Weatherization program  was real; it served  primarily lower                                                                    
income  individuals. He  supported the  $20 million  funding                                                                    
level. He  communicated that the Supplemental  Housing Grant                                                                    
Program  was used  in Sitka  primarily for  new development.                                                                    
The housing  authority used  the program as  a match  to its                                                                    
federal funding  sources; it was  used on  every development                                                                    
project.  He emphasized  that the  program was  critical and                                                                    
requested funding at the $5 million level.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:51:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REGGIE  JOULE,  MAYOR,  NORTHWEST ARCTIC  BOROUGH,  KOTZEBUE                                                                    
(via teleconference),  relayed that a few  years back former                                                                    
Governor   Sean  Parnell   had  included   a  $2.5   million                                                                    
appropriation in the  capital budget for the  planning of an                                                                    
evacuation  route  out  of  Kivalina   for  the  purpose  of                                                                    
providing safety to the community;  the amount was part of a                                                                    
larger request for $5.7 million.  He expounded that Governor                                                                    
Walker  had included  $2.5 million  in the  original capital                                                                    
budget to  round out  the request  to complete  the planning                                                                    
process  of the  road. He  stressed that  the people  of the                                                                    
Northwest Arctic  region were working  hard to  locate other                                                                    
funding sources.  He relayed that the  community of Kivalina                                                                    
was working to finalize  its application for IRT assistance.                                                                    
He  urged   the  reinstatement  of  $2.7   million  for  the                                                                    
evacuation road planning.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:54:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  CRAVALHO,  NANA  REGIONAL  CORPORATION,  KOTZEBUE                                                                    
(via teleconference), thanked the  committee for its efforts                                                                    
to  fund  the Kivalina  school  and  urged support  for  the                                                                    
evacuation road  to the new  school site. She  detailed that                                                                    
the  new school  would  alleviate significant  overcrowding.                                                                    
Additionally,  the new  school  would provide  a safe  haven                                                                    
from dangerous winter storms that  continued to threaten the                                                                    
community annually.  She relayed that regional  partners had                                                                    
worked  with the  community and  other agencies  to evacuate                                                                    
the  community   three  times  in   the  past   five  years;                                                                    
evacuation was  only possible by  boat or airplane.  The new                                                                    
school would provide a more  accessible site. She encouraged                                                                    
the  committee  to  include  the  governor's  proposed  $2.5                                                                    
million for the evacuation road and the school.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:56:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL    ALOWA,   MANIILAQ    ASSOCIATION,   KOTZEBUE    (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged  support of funding  for construction                                                                    
of  the new  Kivalina  school. He  stated  that without  the                                                                    
funding  to  replace  the current  40-year  old  dilapidated                                                                    
building the  legislature would  be condemning  the children                                                                    
in Kivalina  from receiving  a quality  education in  a safe                                                                    
and healthy  environment. He  reminded the  legislature that                                                                    
public school funding was a constitutional requirement.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:57:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAMANTHA  MITZ-GENTZ,  DIRECT   SERVICE  ADVOCATE,  STANDING                                                                    
TOGETHER  AGAINST  RAPE,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  against the  elimination  of funding  for the  Alaska                                                                    
Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault  Intervention Program.                                                                    
She stated  that the  funds were  necessary for  the ongoing                                                                    
support on  domestic violence  and sexual  assault survivors                                                                    
in Alaska.  As an advocate at  STAR she had seen  the tragic                                                                    
repercussions that interpersonal violence  has on a person's                                                                    
life.  She relayed  that the  financial support  provided by                                                                    
the state worked to alleviate  the burden. She stressed that                                                                    
the program was necessary to  ensure the safety and progress                                                                    
for  survivors  in  the  state.  She  provided  examples  of                                                                    
domestic   violence  and   sexual   assault  that   impacted                                                                    
individuals. She  disputed the  claim that there  were other                                                                    
funding sources  that would  make up for  the loss  of state                                                                    
funds.   She  provided   information   about  her   personal                                                                    
experience searching for funds in  the past. She shared that                                                                    
the Violent Crimes Compensation  Board was not applicable to                                                                    
the  majority   of  STAR  clients;  the   program  required,                                                                    
according   to  law   enforcement,   likelihood  or   actual                                                                    
prosecution and  guilty verdict. She urged  the committee to                                                                    
reinstate the funding.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:00:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ETTA KUZAKIN,  PRESIDENT, TRIBAL COUNCIL OF  KING COVE, KING                                                                    
COVE  (via   teleconference),  spoke   in  support   of  the                                                                    
Weatherization  Program administered  by the  Alaska Housing                                                                    
Finance  Corporation.  She  stated   that  the  program  was                                                                    
amazing. She detailed that 61  homes had been weatherized in                                                                    
King Cove since  the program's inception. Many  of the homes                                                                    
had received  new energy  efficient heating  systems, doors,                                                                    
windows,   improved  ventilation,   and  air   sealing.  She                                                                    
highlighted improved  health and  safety resulting  from the                                                                    
upgrades. Additionally,  she spoke to the  importance of the                                                                    
Supplemental  Housing   Development  Grant   Program,  which                                                                    
provided  a  20 percent  match  to  federal HUD  funds.  She                                                                    
communicated that the program  had strong support from AHFC,                                                                    
the Walker  Administration, and many legislators.  She urged                                                                    
the legislature to  support the modest level  of funding for                                                                    
the programs.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:02:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK   BERNS,  MAYOR,   OLD  HARBOR   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of  funds for  the Old  Harbor Airport                                                                    
safety  and  expansion  project.   He  elaborated  that  the                                                                    
project would  extend the current  airfield from  2,700 feet                                                                    
to  4,700 feet  and  would provide  side  slopes for  safety                                                                    
purposes.  The community  used a  private-public partnership                                                                    
to advance the  project; it had secured  federal and private                                                                    
contributions  totaling   above  $9  million.   The  largest                                                                    
portion  of  the federal  match  had  been the  construction                                                                    
support from the Innovative  Readiness Training program; the                                                                    
program provided training  opportunities for service members                                                                    
and  units  to  prepare  them  for  wartime  missions  while                                                                    
supporting  the needs  of underserved  communities. All  but                                                                    
40,000 cubic yards  of material had been moved  to the site.                                                                    
He relayed that  the project had not  received state funding                                                                    
the prior year;  $4 million would complete  the drilling and                                                                    
blasting  for the  project and  a  minimum appropriation  of                                                                    
$2.5 million in  FY 16 would provide  sufficient funding for                                                                    
construction   oversight,  monitoring,   and  drilling   and                                                                    
blasting.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:05:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN WINTERS,  DIRECTOR, PUBLIC  UTILITIES, CITY  OF UNALASKA                                                                    
(via   teleconference),   testified    in   support   of   a                                                                    
reappropriation of $1.5  million Unalaska geothermal project                                                                    
to  the   Unalaska  fuel  conservation  project.   The  fuel                                                                    
conservation  project  consisted   of  pyramid  water  plant                                                                    
inline  microturbines and  the  installation  of the  fourth                                                                    
ElectraTherm  waste heat  recovery unit.  The total  cost of                                                                    
the projects was $1.7 million.  The community had no problem                                                                    
funding  the remainder  of the  project.  The project  would                                                                    
save the community 57,000 gallons of fuel per year.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:07:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY CARLO, CHIEF  OPERATIONS OFFICER, INTERIOR REGIONAL                                                                    
HOUSING AUTHORITY, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support   of   the   Alaska  Housing   Finance   Corporation                                                                    
Weatherization  Program. She  shared that  Interior Regional                                                                    
Housing  Authority served  31 tribes.  She relayed  that gas                                                                    
was  $10 per  gallon  in the  community.  She detailed  that                                                                    
clients received  energy efficient heating  systems; clients                                                                    
need  for fuel  deliveries  decreased and  wood for  heating                                                                    
lasted longer. She discussed that  the organization was able                                                                    
to train  residents in communities under  the Weatherization                                                                    
Program.  She communicated  that there  were still  homes in                                                                    
the   Interior  and   statewide   that  were   in  need   of                                                                    
weatherization   upgrades.   For   example,   weatherization                                                                    
upgrades had been made in  Arctic Village where gas cost $10                                                                    
per gallon.  She requested the  reinstatement of  funding at                                                                    
the $20  million level. Additionally,  she spoke  in support                                                                    
of the AHFC Supplemental Housing Development Grant Program.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:09:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL GILL,  SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  for  funding of  the  engineering  building at  the                                                                    
University  of Alaska  Fairbanks (UAF).  He stated  that $31                                                                    
million was  the cost  of the  entire building;  $10 million                                                                    
was  needed to  fund the  coming year.  He believed  that if                                                                    
construction  was  frozen  it would  cost  more  to  restart                                                                    
construction  in  the  future.  He noted  that  the  current                                                                    
building  was  lacking space.  He  relayed  that the  Alaska                                                                    
Center   for    Unmanned   Aircraft    Systems   Integration                                                                    
organization was located across town  from UAF due to a lack                                                                    
of space. He  continued that new technology  kept coming in,                                                                    
but the  university continued to  use the old  technology as                                                                    
well.  He   encouraged  funding  for  the   new  engineering                                                                    
building at UAF.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:11:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACK  HEBERT, CEO,  COLD  CLIMATE  HOUSING RESEARCH  CENTER,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke  in support of funding                                                                    
for  the Cold  Climate Housing  Research Center.  The center                                                                    
developed  programs,  techniques, and  technologies  working                                                                    
with housing authorities and AHFC  to reduce energy costs by                                                                    
as much  as 80 percent and  to reduce the cost  of buildings                                                                    
by  as much  as 50  percent. The  center was  facing a  very                                                                    
difficult  situation financially;  it  was looking  at a  66                                                                    
percent  decrease  in funds  from  the  state. He  mentioned                                                                    
federal  and  private  fund sources.  The  center  had  been                                                                    
recognized by  the Federal Emergency Management  Agency as a                                                                    
leader in the effort in  cold climate housing. The reduction                                                                    
from $1.5  million to $500,000  would be devastating  to the                                                                    
organization.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:13:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT   BELL,   VICE    CHANCELLOR,   FACILITIES   SERVICES,                                                                    
UNIVERSITY    OF    ALASKA   FAIRBANKS,    FAIRBANKS    (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of funds  for the UAF                                                                    
engineering  building.   The  project  had   been  allocated                                                                    
approximately $70 million thus far,  which would be spent by                                                                    
August  2015.  He  relayed  that  the  building  would  look                                                                    
beautiful from the  outside, but would have  no usable space                                                                    
on the inside.  He supported a request for  $10 million that                                                                    
would  enable  classrooms  to be  finished  and  other.  The                                                                    
number of  enrollees in the engineering  program had doubled                                                                    
in the past 10 years; the  program was really serving a need                                                                    
in the state. He spoke  to building infrastructure in Alaska                                                                    
that served the entire state.  He reiterated his request for                                                                    
$10 million.  He spoke  in support of  funding for  the Cold                                                                    
Climate Housing Research Center.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUNO   GRUNAU,   SELF,  FAIRBANKS   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  restored funding  to $1  million for  the Cold                                                                    
Climate Housing  Research Center. He recalled  that about 10                                                                    
years  earlier  the housing  authority  on  the North  Slope                                                                    
built a duplex in Anaktuvuk  Pass that had cost $750,000. He                                                                    
opined that  rural Alaska  was sunk if  the cost  of housing                                                                    
was that  high. He shared  that in 2009 the  research center                                                                    
had met a  goal to build a 1,000 square  foot home for about                                                                    
$200,000; the  home used  about one-sixth  the energy  of an                                                                    
average home  in the  area. He  stressed that  Alaska needed                                                                    
the   organization.  He   relayed   that   since  2009   the                                                                    
organization  had  played  a   powerful  role  in  providing                                                                    
critical  energy saving  guidance  to homeowners,  builders,                                                                    
housing  authorities, AHFC,  and legislators.  Additionally,                                                                    
the  center had  worked with  emergency services  to provide                                                                    
relief to  disaster communities. He  shared that due  to the                                                                    
work  by the  organization home  owners could  make informed                                                                    
choices   about  cost-effective   upgrades.  He   asked  the                                                                    
committee  to restore  funding  to  the governor's  proposed                                                                    
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:18:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM DUSHKIN SR., ALEUTIAN  HOUSING AUTHORITY, SAND POINT                                                                    
(via  teleconference), testified  in support  of the  Alaska                                                                    
Housing  Finance  Corporation   Weatherization  Program.  He                                                                    
spoke  to  the benefits  the  program  had provided  to  the                                                                    
community. He  shared that 51  homes had been taken  care of                                                                    
in the  community; he was  currently on the list  for future                                                                    
improvements. He emphasized that  the work represented money                                                                    
well spent  and cut  down on  fuel costs  by 40  percent. He                                                                    
relayed  that the  reduction in  heating  costs had  benefit                                                                    
people statewide. He  stated that the AHFC program  had a 20                                                                    
percent federal match.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:21:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ANN  MARIE  O'BRIEN, SUPERINTENDENT,  NORTHWEST  ARCTIC                                                                    
BOROUGH  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  KOTZEBUE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of the  school  access  and  village                                                                    
evacuation road  from the community  of Kivalina.  She noted                                                                    
that Kivalina  was the last  on the  list of schools  in the                                                                    
Kasayulie settlement.  She thanked  the legislature  for its                                                                    
efforts  towards the  construction  of the  new school.  She                                                                    
relayed that  the Kivalina school  site was  approximately 8                                                                    
miles from  the community, which  was far away  from erosion                                                                    
problems. She  provided information about the  elected site.                                                                    
She  asked the  committee to  consider that  the school  was                                                                    
operating at  220 percent capacity; there  were 132 children                                                                    
attending school in Kivalina.  She thanked the committee for                                                                    
its consideration.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  BRIDGES,   ALASKA  MOBILITY  COALITION,   JUNEAU  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  statewide public                                                                    
and community  transportation funding.  He relayed  that the                                                                    
Senate Finance  Committee had  decreased the  increment from                                                                    
$1  million down  to $750,000.  The increment  was extremely                                                                    
important and  covered communities throughout the  state. He                                                                    
detailed  that the  Alaska Mobility  Coalition had  over 150                                                                    
members; he reasoned  that the money was not  a handout, but                                                                    
a hand up.  He shared that the money had  a federal match of                                                                    
20 percent  to 50 percent  and higher. He  communicated that                                                                    
the Juneau  transit system received  over $130,000  from the                                                                    
increment;  it also  was used  as a  dialysis transportation                                                                    
system. He  discussed that  transit represented  support for                                                                    
economies. He  spoke to  the role  of transit  in supporting                                                                    
hospitals and  medical services. The money  was administered                                                                    
through   the  Department   of  Transportation   and  Public                                                                    
Facilities.  He  encouraged  the committee  to  support  the                                                                    
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:26:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTOPHER CONSTANT, FAIRVIEW  COMMUNITY COUNCIL, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), testified  against a  reappropriation                                                                    
of  funds  from  the   Alaska  Housing  Finance  Corporation                                                                    
parking  lot  near  the Gamble  Street  Gateway  Element  in                                                                    
Anchorage. He explained that the  project was very important                                                                    
to the  community and to  the roadway through  Anchorage. He                                                                    
spoke to  time consuming challenges;  one of the  issues was                                                                    
that  the gateway  element  incurred  into the  right-of-way                                                                    
onto  the  federal  highway; therefore,  the  Department  of                                                                    
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities had  been  concerned                                                                    
that safety  factors would block  the project.  He explained                                                                    
that  the  council had  worked  with  DOT and  had  received                                                                    
permission  from  the  Federal  Highway  Authority  for  the                                                                    
project to  move forward. He  stressed that the  project had                                                                    
begun  moving into  construction when  he had  been notified                                                                    
that  the funds  were  targeted for  reappropriation by  the                                                                    
municipality.  He  elaborated   that  the  municipality  had                                                                    
communicated to  the Department  of Commerce,  Community and                                                                    
Economic Development  that it  would like  to see  the funds                                                                    
continue on the  project. He relayed that  the project could                                                                    
be constructed  within the upcoming  four to six  months. He                                                                    
asked for a one-year  extension; there was $77,000 remaining                                                                    
in the project.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  asked  Mr. Constant  to  provide  the                                                                    
project name.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Constant  responded that  the  project  was called  the                                                                    
Gamble Street Gateway Element. He  stressed that the project                                                                    
was very  important to the road  system; it would put  a cap                                                                    
on major upgrades that had  happened in the past five years.                                                                    
He reiterated that the project was close to completion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:28:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  ANDERSON, MUNICIPALITY  OF  ANCHORAGE, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
HEALTH AND  HUMAN SERVICES, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of funding  for  the Alaska  Domestic                                                                    
Violence and Sexual Assault  Intervention Program. She asked                                                                    
the  committee  to consider  an  increment  for $850,000  to                                                                    
continue to  fund the program  that partnered  with agencies                                                                    
including  STAR,  AWAIC,  Victims for  Justice,  the  Alaska                                                                    
Police  Department, and  the municipal  prosecutor's office.                                                                    
She discussed that  the program gave a  message to offenders                                                                    
that  the state  took sexual  assault and  domestic violence                                                                    
seriously. She relayed  that one out of two  women in Alaska                                                                    
reported  being  sexually  assaulted   or  a  victim  of  an                                                                    
intimate   domestic  violence   interaction.  She   provided                                                                    
further   statistics.   The    funds   supported   providing                                                                    
assistance to  women and  children and  getting them  into a                                                                    
safe and  secure place. The program  provided an opportunity                                                                    
for rental  assistance. She shared  that the  program served                                                                    
38 communities in the state.  The program was unique and had                                                                    
existed  since  2002;  administrators had  been  looking  at                                                                    
expanding and had applied for  additional federal funds. She                                                                    
emphasized that partners matched  state funds by 54 percent.                                                                    
She urged the committee to continue funding the program.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARILYN HOUSER, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against cuts to  education funding. She was  sickened by the                                                                    
decisions of  the current legislature  to make deep  cuts to                                                                    
education,  but to  find an  additional $20  million for  an                                                                    
unpopular  and  unneeded  road  for  access  to  Anchorage's                                                                    
northern  district.   She  emphasized   that  nine   or  ten                                                                    
Anchorage  community councils  opposed  construction of  the                                                                    
road. She was not surprised  that many people had lost faith                                                                    
in the democratic process when  so many voices were ignored.                                                                    
She urged the committee to  reappropriate the $20 million in                                                                    
general  fund  money  from the  road  project  to  education                                                                    
funding for  Anchorage. She stressed that  children were the                                                                    
state's future and most important resource.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:32:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RAY  OAKLEY, PARENT,  INDIAN (via  teleconference), referred                                                                    
to testimony by a 12  year-old boy who provided testimony in                                                                    
support of  the Rilke  Schule charter  school in  German and                                                                    
English. He testified in support  of funds for education. He                                                                    
shared that Rilke  Schule was growing; it  currently had 450                                                                    
students  and was  on track  for 500  students. He  stressed                                                                    
that  the bane  of charter  schools was  facilities; charter                                                                    
schools  had  the  same  student  funding  as  other  public                                                                    
schools, but they additionally paid  for rent. He elaborated                                                                    
that the  school had outgrown  its current building  and had                                                                    
undertaken  the construction  of a  modest new  building. He                                                                    
explained that  the depended  on the  funds promised  by the                                                                    
legislature  the  prior  year;  construction  was  currently                                                                    
underway.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:35:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KJERSTIN LASTUFKA,  PARENT, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support  of  education  funding.  She  asked  the                                                                    
committee to  keep funds  from HB  278 intact.  She stressed                                                                    
that  for the  Rilke Schule  charter school  the cuts  would                                                                    
mean  that 480  students plus  teachers and  staff could  be                                                                    
without a school. She detailed  that the school had outgrown                                                                    
its current  leased facility two  years earlier.  She shared                                                                    
that  in  the  current  year 57  fourth  graders  and  three                                                                    
teachers were  housed in a  separate facility due to  a lack                                                                    
of  space. She  explained that  in December  the school  had                                                                    
entered  into  a legal  agreement  to  construct a  facility                                                                    
large  enough   to  house  the  entire   student  body.  She                                                                    
emphasized that  the project  had begun;  the land  had been                                                                    
cleared  and  work  had  started.   She  stressed  that  the                                                                    
prefabricated building was due to  arrive in May in order to                                                                    
open  in the  fall.  She  stated that  the  school needed  a                                                                    
minimum of $250,000 to keep  the project alive. She implored                                                                    
the committee to leave education funding intact.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEAN   BALL,  PRINCIPAL,   RILKE   SCHULE,  ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support of education  funding. He                                                                    
spoke  to  the  accolades  received by  the  school  from  a                                                                    
multitude of sources. He was  concerned that the program may                                                                    
be in jeopardy. He communicated  that the school had entered                                                                    
into a lease to build  a facility that would accommodate all                                                                    
of its students. He relayed  that the school's current lease                                                                    
was  up  and the  Anchorage  School  District did  not  have                                                                    
facilities  available for  the school.  He highlighted  that                                                                    
construction was currently underway;  $250,000 was needed to                                                                    
continue.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:38:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARRIE  LONGORIA,   VICTIMS  FOR  JUSTICE,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   funding  for                                                                    
Victims  for  Justice.  She   detailed  that  the  nonprofit                                                                    
organization  had  supported  surviving  family  members  of                                                                    
homicide  for over  30 years.  The organization  also served                                                                    
and advocated for  victims of other crimes  such as assault,                                                                    
robbery,  arson, kidnapping,  bullying,  and drunk  driving.                                                                    
She   asked  for   reinstatement  of   $850,000  under   the                                                                    
Department  of   Public  Safety  for  the   Alaska  Domestic                                                                    
Violence  and  Sexual   Assault  Intervention  Program.  The                                                                    
program  had proved  effective in  coordinative partnerships                                                                    
that  emphasize  public  safety.  She  elaborated  that  the                                                                    
program  provided emergency  funds  to  assist families  and                                                                    
individuals  throughout the  state; the  money was  used for                                                                    
urgent    necessities    such    as    housing,    security,                                                                    
transportation,   and  relocation.   The  program   partners                                                                    
included Victims  for Justice,  the Anchorage  Department of                                                                    
Health  and  Human  Services, the  Department  of  Law,  the                                                                    
Anchorage  Police  Department,   Standing  Together  Against                                                                    
Rape, and  Abused Women's Aid  in Crisis. She  stressed that                                                                    
Victims for Justice  had assisted 167 victims  of crime from                                                                    
September 1,  2014 through March  30, 2015.  A reinstatement                                                                    
of  the  funds  would   enable  the  important  services  to                                                                    
continue.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:40:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTOPHER  DYKE,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support  of  Rilke   Schule  charter  school.  He                                                                    
associated  himself with  testimony  provided  by his  Rilke                                                                    
colleagues  throughout   the  meeting.   He  spoke   to  the                                                                    
transformational  potential of  charter  school programs  he                                                                    
had  seen  in the  past  year.  He had  experienced  parents                                                                    
dedicating  countless   hours  towards  making   the  school                                                                    
community  better.  He  spoke  to  the  new  facility  under                                                                    
construction  and  relayed that  the  efforts  had not  been                                                                    
without  oversight  by key  members  such  as the  Anchorage                                                                    
School Board and  other. He stated that  the school's budget                                                                    
depended on  funds provided under  HB 278 from  the previous                                                                    
session; the loss  of the funds made  the school vulnerable.                                                                    
He  requested a  reinstatement of  two annual  increments of                                                                    
$250,000 for  the current and  subsequent year.  He stressed                                                                    
that $250,000 was critical to open the school in the fall.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER    BRANDORFF,    RILKE    SCHULE,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support of funds  for the charter                                                                    
school's   building  project   that   was  currently   under                                                                    
construction. He remarked that  he was fiscally conservative                                                                    
and  owned a  small business.  He  was aware  of the  budget                                                                    
issue in Alaska,  but disagreed with the  proposed remedy to                                                                    
cut  school  funding. He  was  concerned  that Rilke  Schule                                                                    
would fail  based on a  lack of  funding from the  state. He                                                                    
believed including  education in  the cuts was  an oversight                                                                    
and  deserved further  consideration. He  could not  believe                                                                    
that  balancing  the  state's   budget  at  the  expense  of                                                                    
students was  the right thing  to do. He hoped  that through                                                                    
education in  the future the current  students could prevent                                                                    
situations like the one at hand.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:43:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY  DAVIES, DATA  ANALYST, ALASKA  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  AND                                                                    
SEXUAL   ASSAULT   INTERVENTION  PROGRAM,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in support  of funding for the Alaska                                                                    
Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault  Intervention Program.                                                                    
She commented  that everyone was  aware that  Alaska's rates                                                                    
of domestic  violence, sexual assault, and  child abuse were                                                                    
epidemic. She stressed that the  program was the only one in                                                                    
Alaska that  provided offender accountability  and increased                                                                    
victims'  safety.  She  spoke   to  the  program's  success;                                                                    
recidivism  had  declined over  50  percent  since 2006  and                                                                    
arrests  for violations  of  bail  conditions had  increased                                                                    
over  481   percent.  Additionally,  compliance   with  bail                                                                    
conditions  had increased  over  100  percent. She  detailed                                                                    
that  currently  the   program  only  addressed  misdemeanor                                                                    
domestic violence  offences throughout the  state (primarily                                                                    
in   Anchorage);  however,   the   reduced  recidivism   and                                                                    
incarceration had saved the state  over $2 million per year.                                                                    
She  relayed  that  the  program  had  applied  for  federal                                                                    
funding  to  increase  its scope  and  impact  by  including                                                                    
felony cases,  which would further increase  cost savings to                                                                    
the state.  She supported parents  from the Rilke  Schule as                                                                    
well; she believed children were  the state's most important                                                                    
resource. She spoke in support  of education and a reduction                                                                    
in violence.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:46:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VANESSA WISE, RILKE  SCHULE, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of funding  for the  charter school.  She                                                                    
agreed  that the  state needed  to balance  its budget,  but                                                                    
also believed it was important  to honor commitments made in                                                                    
HB  278. She  stressed that  losing funding  for the  school                                                                    
building would be devastating. She  opined that investing in                                                                    
the state's  children should  be a  priority. She  urged the                                                                    
committee to maintain funding.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACK   WALKER,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
requested   funding  to   complete   the  UAF   engineering,                                                                    
learning, and  innovation facility.  He shared  that details                                                                    
on  the  project were  located  in  the academic  facilities                                                                    
section of  the University of Alaska  capital budget request                                                                    
under the title engineering  building completion. He relayed                                                                    
that  the facility  was two-thirds  complete.  He urged  the                                                                    
committee to approve funding to complete the project.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:48:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN   CLEMENZ,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of funds  for  the  UAF  engineering                                                                    
facility.   He  stressed   that  Alaska   needed  engineers;                                                                    
students who graduate  in Alaska tend to stay  in Alaska. He                                                                    
detailed that  in order to  attract talented  engineers, the                                                                    
state needed  the appropriate programs,  infrastructure, and                                                                    
facilities. He  communicated that the facility  was close to                                                                    
completion.  He requested  funds for  the completion  of the                                                                    
project.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:49:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES   KURTH,  PARENT,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of  funding  for  Rilke  Schule.  He                                                                    
explained that  the emersion school  was half in  German and                                                                    
half in English.  He reported that the  school's test scores                                                                    
were  great and  that  the  school did  less  with more.  He                                                                    
relayed  that the  school had  become  so popular  it had  a                                                                    
lottery  process for  enrollment. He  stressed the  creative                                                                    
nature of  the school. He requested  funds totaling $250,000                                                                    
for building  construction. He reasoned that  there would be                                                                    
a big  problem in Anchorage  if the 450 students  lost their                                                                    
school and had to be  incorporated into the Anchorage School                                                                    
District.  He underscored  that  the lack  of funding  could                                                                    
cripple  the school  and impacted  its current  construction                                                                    
project. The funding  was needed for the  school to continue                                                                    
to thrive. He implored the  committee to provide the funding                                                                    
for Rilke Schule.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONI  SCHARFENBERG, FAIRBANKS  SOIL  AND WATER  CONSERVATION                                                                    
DISTRICT, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference), spoke  in support                                                                    
of  funds to  work towards  the eradication  of the  aquatic                                                                    
invasive species elodea in  Interior Alaska. She highlighted                                                                    
the  state mandate  to eradicate  the invasive  species. The                                                                    
Fairbanks Soil and Water  Conservation District had received                                                                    
$400,000 towards  eradication. Currently, the  Department of                                                                    
Natural  Resources  was  working   to  eradicate  elodea  in                                                                    
Anchorage  lakes. She  explained  that  Interior Alaska  had                                                                    
first discovered  the invasive  plant in  2010 and  had been                                                                    
compiling  piecemeal funding  towards  control (with  little                                                                    
success  at  eradication).  The elodea  infestation  in  the                                                                    
Chena Slough,  Chena Lakes,  and Chena  River posed  a grave                                                                    
threat  to  the  state fisheries  economy  and  recreational                                                                    
activities. The invasive traveled  by float plane, boat, and                                                                    
trailers to  other bodies  of water.  She stressed  that the                                                                    
more time that  went by, the harder it would  be to control.                                                                    
She  stated  that  there was  federal  and  private  funding                                                                    
available if there was state  match. She asked the committee                                                                    
to  consider  the  consequences of  no  funding  for  elodea                                                                    
eradication. Additionally, she asked  for funding for Alaska                                                                    
Soil and Water Conservation Districts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:54:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  WILEMAN,  PARENT,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of   the  restoration  of  education                                                                    
funding  for the  charter school  Rilke Schule.  He stressed                                                                    
that  education, social  services,  and infrastructure  were                                                                    
all extremely  important. He urged the  committee to restore                                                                    
the $250,000 that had been  removed from the budget. He drew                                                                    
the  committee's  attention  to  the  number  of  people  in                                                                    
support  of the  school and  the wide  footprint the  school                                                                    
had.  He   thanked  the  committee   for  its   service.  He                                                                    
underscored that  the school and  community had  worked very                                                                    
hard  to be  good  stewards. He  stressed  that the  school,                                                                    
parents,  and others  were counting  on  the legislature  to                                                                    
provide the funding. He urged the committee's support.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:55:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MOLLY  RETTIG, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of the Cold  Climate Housing Research Center. She                                                                    
detailed that the  funding had been reduced  from $1 million                                                                    
in the  governor's proposed budget  to $500,000.  She shared                                                                    
that the house  she lived in used a wall  system designed by                                                                    
the center.  She relayed  that it would  not be  possible to                                                                    
use the innovative designs without  the center. She believed                                                                    
energy efficiency was one of  the best investments the state                                                                    
could make. She  reasoned that spending $1  million per year                                                                    
on  research was  a good  deal when  the research  helped to                                                                    
save tens of  millions of dollars annually.  She stated that                                                                    
she and other Alaskans were  saving thousands of dollars per                                                                    
year  on energy  bills. She  detailed that  prototype houses                                                                    
across  the state  were reducing  energy costs  by up  to 80                                                                    
percent.  She discussed  further attributes  of the  center.                                                                    
She emphasized  that cutting  funding so  dramatically would                                                                    
hurt Alaska homeowners.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:57:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL   BLAIR,   MAYOR,  WHITTIER   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in   support  of  funding  for   the  design  and                                                                    
engineering stage  of six launch  ramps and a  150-foot boat                                                                    
harbor located  at the  head of  Passage Canal.  The project                                                                    
was funded 90  percent by federal dollars;  a $300,000 state                                                                    
contribution  would  be matched  by  $3  million in  federal                                                                    
funds. He  detailed that the construction  of the breakwater                                                                    
and turning basin was also  funded at the 90 percent federal                                                                    
level. He  discussed that construction  of the  launch ramps                                                                    
would improve  recreational access  to Prince  William Sound                                                                    
for  the Southcentral  boaters, would  reduce congestion  at                                                                    
the  ferry terminal,  increase tunnel  traffic, and  provide                                                                    
much  needed  capital   improvement  to  Whittier's  limited                                                                    
infrastructure base.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:58:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSE  GALVIN,  GREAT  ALASKA   SCHOOLS,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of funding  for education.  She  shared that  there                                                                    
were   schools   statewide   that  were   doing   wonderful,                                                                    
innovative  things.  She  believed   it  would  behoove  the                                                                    
committee to  provide funding to  education. She  pointed to                                                                    
hands  on learning  and  all  kinds of  ways  to bring  good                                                                    
choices  to  parents.  She understood  that  Alaska  was  in                                                                    
difficult  fiscal  times. She  urged  the  committee to  put                                                                    
education  first  because  without  it when  the  state  was                                                                    
really struggling  it would  not have the  mind set  and the                                                                    
brain  power   to  innovatively   solve  the   problem.  She                                                                    
emphasized that there were great  things happening in public                                                                    
education that were very important.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:00:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEENA  MITCHELL,  GREAT  ALASKA SCHOOLS,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  education funding. She stressed  that there were                                                                    
many  great  schools  statewide that  were  doing  wonderful                                                                    
work. She emphasized that it  made no economic sense to take                                                                    
money from  education. She encouraged the  committee to take                                                                    
$32  million to  put it  back in  the education  system. She                                                                    
stressed  that   every  dollar  spent  was   an  investment.                                                                    
Additionally,  she  spoke  in   support  of  early  learning                                                                    
programs. She  underscored that  children only  went through                                                                    
school  once;  there  was  no   do  over.  She  thanked  the                                                                    
committee for its time.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:02:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROLYN  RAMSEY,   CITIZENS  FOR   RESPONSIBLE  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  testified   against  the                                                                    
northern  access   to  Bragaw   Street  did   not  represent                                                                    
responsible  development.  The  organization asked  for  the                                                                    
funding to be  repealed and returned to the  general fund to                                                                    
assist  the  state  in its  current  financial  crisis.  The                                                                    
previous  year  former  Governor  Parnell  had  proposed  an                                                                    
unallocated cut  to the university system  of $14.9 million.                                                                    
She detailed that  the cut was from  the university's bottom                                                                    
line  and was  made to  give $14.9  million of  right-of-way                                                                    
land  to the  northern access  road. She  stated that  as of                                                                    
February the road had decreased  to a two-lane road with $20                                                                    
million from the legislature and  the $14.9 million from the                                                                    
university.  She  continued  to  speak  against  the  costly                                                                    
project. She  spoke to increased  traffic that  would result                                                                    
in the area due to the  project. She stressed that the state                                                                    
had much  better uses for $35  million than to build  a road                                                                    
that was less than one mile long.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:05:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN    ANDERSON,    RILKE     SCHULE,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  funding  for  Rilke                                                                    
Schule.  He  stated  that  the  quality  school  options  in                                                                    
Anchorage  were a  major  benefit to  living  in Alaska.  He                                                                    
relayed  that charter  schools like  Rilke  continued to  be                                                                    
responsible   stewards   of    funds   they   received.   He                                                                    
communicated  that  Rilke   needed  financial  stability  to                                                                    
enable   long-term  financial   planning   of  its   capital                                                                    
projects.  The  charter  school   needed  $250,000  for  the                                                                    
construction of its new facility.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:05:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHANTAL WALSH,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of  funding   for  the  university  engineering                                                                    
building  in   Fairbanks.  She  spoke  in   support  of  the                                                                    
University engineering programs  in Fairbanks and Anchorage.                                                                    
She stated  that in  the last decade  the programs  had more                                                                    
than doubled the number  of graduating engineering students.                                                                    
The  state  had allocated  capital  funds  to build  on  the                                                                    
Anchorage  and Fairbanks  campuses. She  requested funds  to                                                                    
complete  the engineering  building on  the UAF  campus. She                                                                    
stressed  that  the  $10 million  request  was  critical  to                                                                    
nourish the continued growth  and innovation the engineering                                                                    
program offered to Alaska's future.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  TURETES, FACILITIES  DIRECTOR,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA                                                                    
ANCHORAGE,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),  asked for  the                                                                    
restoration of  a minimum  of $8  million in  the governor's                                                                    
proposed  budget for  deferred maintenance  and renewal  for                                                                    
the  university. He  detailed  that the  funding helped  the                                                                    
university  to maintain  and renew  existing facilities.  He                                                                    
asked the committee fund the  increment of $8 million to $10                                                                    
million for  the UAF engineering building;  the building was                                                                    
currently   under  construction.   He   spoke  to   deferred                                                                    
maintenance funding that allowed  the university to plan and                                                                    
accomplish work in a deliberate  manner. He spoke to various                                                                    
improvements. Without the funding  the university was unable                                                                    
to conduct  the deep infrastructure renewal  and repair work                                                                    
(e.g.  roof replacements,  boilers,  and  other). He  stated                                                                    
that  an absence  of the  funds would  bring the  university                                                                    
back  10 to  12 years  when  many building  systems had  not                                                                    
functioned  properly.  He relayed  that  there  was still  a                                                                    
large backlog  of maintenance needs. He  asked for continued                                                                    
support.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB  26  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  discussed the schedule for  the following                                                                    
day.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:11:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 26 Emailed Testimony.pdf HFIN 4/14/2015 6:00:00 PM
SB 26
SB 26 Additional Testimony.pdf HFIN 4/14/2015 6:00:00 PM
SB 26
SB 26 Additional Testimony.pdf.2.pdf HFIN 4/14/2015 6:00:00 PM
SB 26