Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/22/2017 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 24 LIST U-47700 AS A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 24(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 48 ARCHITECTS,ENGINEERS,SURVEYORS: EXTEND BD TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 48 Out of Committee
+= HB 57 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 59 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Subcommittee Reports; Amendment Proposals as TELECONFERENCED
available
+ New Operating Budget Amendment System TELECONFERENCED
Presentation: by David Teal, Dir. Leg. Fin. Div.
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 22, 2017                                                                                          
                         1:34 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:34:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:34 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Sam  Kito   III,   Sponsor;  Kris   Curtis,                                                                    
Legislative Auditor,  Alaska Division of  Legislative Audit;                                                                    
Janey   Hovenden,   Director,  Division   of   Corporations,                                                                    
Business   and   Professional   Licensing,   Department   of                                                                    
Commerce,     Community     and    Economic     Development;                                                                    
Representative  Charisse  Millett,  Sponsor;  Grace  Abbott,                                                                    
Staff,   Representative   Charisse  Millett;   David   Teal,                                                                    
Director,  Legislative  Finance  Division.  Michele  Elfers,                                                                    
Landscape   Architect,   Engineering    and   Public   Works                                                                    
Department, City of Juneau.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Colin  Maynard, Board  of  Architects,  Engineers, and  Land                                                                    
Surveyors, Anchorage;  Rob Henderson,  Controlled Substances                                                                    
Advisory Committee, Department of Law; Captain Michael                                                                          
Duxbury, Alaska State Troopers, Department of Public                                                                            
Safety.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 24     LIST U-47700 AS A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB  24(FIN) was  REPORTED  out  of committee  as                                                                    
          amended with  a "do pass" recommendation  and with                                                                    
          five previously  published zero fiscal  notes: FN1                                                                    
          (COR),  FN2  (DHS),  FN3  (LAW),  FN4  (DPS),  FN5                                                                    
          (DPS).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 48     ARCHITECTS,ENGINEERS,SURVEYORS: EXTEND BD                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          HB 48  was REPORTED  out of  committee with  a "do                                                                    
          pass"  recommendation  and   with  one  previously                                                                    
          published fiscal note: FN1 (CED).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 57     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 57 was HEARD and  HELD in committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 59     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 59 was HEARD and  HELD in committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton discussed the meeting agenda.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 48                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the  composition of the State Board                                                                    
     of  Registration for  Architects,  Engineers, and  Land                                                                    
     Surveyors; extending the termination  date of the State                                                                    
     Board  of Registration  for Architects,  Engineers, and                                                                    
     Land Surveyors; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAM KITO  III,  SPONSOR, introduced  himself                                                                    
and offered a potential conflict  of interest. He noted that                                                                    
he was currently a licensed  civil engineer and his practice                                                                    
of  engineering  was  governed  by the  board  HB  48  would                                                                    
extend. The bill would extend  the sunset on the Architects,                                                                    
Engineers and Land Surveyors (AELS)  Board. He detailed that                                                                    
since 1998 there had been  a landscape architect position on                                                                    
the  board  as a  non-voting  member.  The bill  recommended                                                                    
extending the  board in accordance with  the recommendations                                                                    
by  the  Division  of  Legislative Audit  and  to  make  the                                                                    
temporary non-voting  position a permanent  voting position.                                                                    
The  change would  mean the  number of  board members  would                                                                    
increase from  10 to 11,  but it merely recognized  that the                                                                    
temporary non-voting  member would become a  permanent board                                                                    
member.  The bill  did not  remove any  other representation                                                                    
from the board and it added  a landscape architect as a full                                                                    
voting  member.   The  bill  would  enable   the  individual                                                                    
representing landscape  architects to fully engage  in their                                                                    
position and  participate as a  voting member on  the board.                                                                    
Currently   the   individual   reviewed   applications   for                                                                    
landscape  architecture  in  the state  and  was  performing                                                                    
duties as  a full board  member with the exception  of being                                                                    
able to  vote. He relayed  that the Division  of Legislative                                                                    
Audit  and  individuals  from the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                                    
Community  and Economic  Development (DCCED)  were available                                                                    
to address the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:38:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson  asked  if there  was  a  statutory                                                                    
requirement for the board to meet in person.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kito replied  as far as he knew  there was no                                                                    
statutory  requirement, but  he deferred  to the  department                                                                    
for  verification. There  were opportunities  for telephonic                                                                    
meetings; however, applications  were typically presented in                                                                    
paper form  and reviewed in  person. He detailed  that board                                                                    
members  broke up  by licensing  division  and reviewed  the                                                                    
applications  for  the  director. He  concluded  there  were                                                                    
reasons for having the meetings in person.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  looked  at  the  fiscal  note  and                                                                    
remarked  that adding  the 11th  member did  not change  any                                                                    
travel  and per  diem. He  asked for  verification that  the                                                                    
individual had already been allowed  to claim travel and per                                                                    
diem as a non-voting member.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kito  answered there  would be  no additional                                                                    
costs related to  the 11th member who  was already receiving                                                                    
financial  support for  travel  and per  diem.  There was  a                                                                    
recognition as  a sunset  that there would  be costs  to the                                                                    
board, but they were existing costs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki looked  at the  information in  the                                                                    
fiscal  note  from  Legislative  Audit  that  mentioned  the                                                                    
number of new registrations  of landscape architects existed                                                                    
over FY 13  to FY 15 -  he observed it looked  like only two                                                                    
or three.  He asked  how many licensed  landscape architects                                                                    
there were in Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kito replied there were about 50.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:40:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT, relayed  the  division  had conducted  a                                                                    
sunset  audit with  the purpose  of determining  whether the                                                                    
board  was  serving the  public's  interest  and whether  it                                                                    
should  be extended.  Overall, the  division had  determined                                                                    
that  the  board  was  serving   the  public's  interest  by                                                                    
effectively    registering   and    regulating   architects,                                                                    
engineers,  land surveyors,  and  landscape architects.  The                                                                    
division recommended the  maximum eight-year board extension                                                                    
allowable  in   statute.  The  division  did   not  have  an                                                                    
additional   recommendation.  She   noted  that   the  audit                                                                    
included  some  information  that  may  be  helpful  as  the                                                                    
committee considered  the bill.  She referred  to page  7 of                                                                    
the audit  and pointed out that  the board had a  deficit in                                                                    
the  end of  FY 13  of approximately  $260,000 and  fees had                                                                    
been increased. At the end of  FY 15 the board had a surplus                                                                    
of  over  $740,000   at  which  point  the   fees  had  been                                                                    
decreased.  A schedule  of the  fees was  on page  8 of  the                                                                    
audit.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Curtis continued  that the  audit also  addressed board                                                                    
composition.  A temporary,  non-voting  member position  had                                                                    
been created  in 1998  and authorized  in uncodified  law as                                                                    
temporary. The position did act  like a voting member in all                                                                    
regards except it  did not vote. The original  intent of the                                                                    
position was to assist the  board in drafting regulations in                                                                    
representing   the  landscape   architect  profession.   The                                                                    
division had interviewed seven board  members as part of the                                                                    
audit and  all had  been in support  of making  the position                                                                    
permanent.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton asked DCCED to address its fiscal note.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:43:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANEY   HOVENDEN,   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF   CORPORATIONS,                                                                    
BUSINESS   AND   PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,   DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                    
COMMERCE, COMMUNITY AND  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, she explained                                                                    
the  bill did  not ask  for any  additional funding  for the                                                                    
board.  The note  included  funding to  allow  the board  to                                                                    
continue functioning.  There was  $27,800 for one  staff and                                                                    
eleven members  to travel to  four board meetings  per year,                                                                    
$200  for advertising  and public  notice, $1,000  for board                                                                    
member training  and conference  fees, $500  for honorariums                                                                    
and  stipends for  board meetings,  and $100  for commission                                                                    
sales  for the  booking of  board meetings.  The items  were                                                                    
paid  for  with  receipt   supported  services  provided  by                                                                    
licensees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton OPENED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MICHELE ELFERS, LANDSCAPE  ARCHITECT, ENGINEERING AND PUBLIC                                                                    
WORKS DEPARTMENT,  CITY OF JUNEAU,  spoke in support  of the                                                                    
legislation. She  shared that she  was also a member  of the                                                                    
Alaska Professional  Design Council - the  group represented                                                                    
architects,  engineers, landscape  surveyors, and  landscape                                                                    
architects  through   member  organization   throughout  the                                                                    
state. The board supported the  bill including the extension                                                                    
of the sunset  and the creation of a  permanent voting board                                                                    
seat for landscape architects.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COLIN  MAYNARD, BOARD  OF  ARCHITECTS,  ENGINEERS, AND  LAND                                                                    
SURVEYORS,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  testified  in                                                                    
support  of the  bill. The  board unanimously  approved with                                                                    
the bill  in its  entirety. He  detailed that  the landscape                                                                    
architect  board   member  represented  the  board   at  the                                                                    
National  Organization of  Landscape Architect  Registration                                                                    
Boards  and  provided  an  essential   part  of  the  AELS's                                                                    
mission. He did  not believe the board was  required to meet                                                                    
face-to-face; however,  in the  past there had  been efforts                                                                    
to teleconference,  but there had been  situations when some                                                                    
members could not hear very  well. Additionally, it was very                                                                    
hard to do an application  review when two board members had                                                                    
to review  and discuss an  application. The board  had found                                                                    
it was much easier to meet in person.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  noted  Vice-Chair   Gara  had  joined  the                                                                    
meeting.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara addressed the fiscal  note from DCCED. There                                                                    
was a  $29,600 cost in  FY 18  extending through FY  23. The                                                                    
costs would be paid with designated general funds.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   MOVED  to  REPORT  HB   48  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB  48  was REPORTED  out  of  committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  one previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
note: FN1 (CED).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:49:44 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act classifying U-47700 as a schedule IA                                                                               
     controlled substance; and providing for an effective                                                                       
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHARISSE  MILLETT,  SPONSOR,  explained  the                                                                    
bill that had  come to her office via  the governor's office                                                                    
in the  fall. One  of the things  identified in  the ongoing                                                                    
opioid crisis facing  the state was that  the combination of                                                                    
opioids  and synthetic  additives  were  making the  problem                                                                    
even  more deadly.  She detailed  that  U47700, also  called                                                                    
Pink, was an  additive being cut into  heroin. She specified                                                                    
the drug was incredibly potent  and could be seven times the                                                                    
potency of  morphine. The  synthetic drug  was leading  to a                                                                    
new  realm of  danger  in the  ongoing  drug problem  facing                                                                    
communities. There was no medical use  for the drug - it had                                                                    
no medical  value. The drug  was easily made and  was easily                                                                    
obtained on  the internet. It  was not illegal to  order the                                                                    
drug  in  Alaska.  Law  enforcement was  seeing  a  rise  in                                                                    
overdoses with Pink added to  the substance individuals were                                                                    
overdosing on.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Millett   explained  that  the   bill  would                                                                    
classify Pink  as a  IA drug;  it was  already there  in the                                                                    
federal registry.  In the future  there were  numerous drugs                                                                    
that were  already being produced  that would at  some point                                                                    
need to be  put on the schedule. One of  the ideas generated                                                                    
from the  bill was  looking at  what the  federal government                                                                    
did when it had drugs that  had no medical reason or purpose                                                                    
- the federal  government had a regulatory  authority to put                                                                    
the drugs on  the federal registry. She suggested  it may be                                                                    
something  the  Alaska  Legislature should  consider.  Every                                                                    
time she spoke  to public safety [officials]  she was amazed                                                                    
at the ease  and drug process of changing  one ingredient in                                                                    
a synthetic drug that made  it legal. She believed the state                                                                    
would be  seeing much more  to come.  She noted it  had been                                                                    
witnessed  during the  Spice  [synthetic  drug] crisis.  She                                                                    
noted that the  suggestion would be difficult  to include in                                                                    
the current  bill. She believed Governor  Walker was looking                                                                    
for a  way of including  drugs on the  schedule by way  of a                                                                    
regulatory process. She cited  tramadol as another drug that                                                                    
had  been addressed  by  the  Controlled Substance  Advisory                                                                    
Committee.  She noted  there were  individuals available  to                                                                    
testify about the immediate danger  of Pink and about how it                                                                    
was impacting the state's communities and residents.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:56:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg   referred   to   Representative                                                                    
Millett's statement about the  ability to use the regulatory                                                                    
process [to put  synthetic drugs on a  register]. He thought                                                                    
the legislature  had passed something similar  several years                                                                    
earlier. He asked if it had been a different schedule.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Millett answered  that  the legislature  had                                                                    
passed  legislation  with  a controlled  substance  advisory                                                                    
committee that  reviewed drugs that  had no  medical purpose                                                                    
or were identified by public  safety. The advisory committee                                                                    
made  recommendations about  drugs to  put on  the schedule,                                                                    
which  was how  Pink and  tramadol had  been brought  to the                                                                    
legislature. She  did not know  of any other current  way of                                                                    
putting a drug on the schedule than via legislation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  remarked the  drug was  number 82                                                                    
on the list  and every time a molecule was  manipulated in a                                                                    
formula the  legislature had to  go through  the legislative                                                                    
process. He looked forward to  a time when the process could                                                                    
be done administratively.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Millett  agreed. She believed there  would be                                                                    
more drugs  of the same nature  - with no medical  purpose -                                                                    
introduced into the state's communities.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:58:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster joined the meeting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  asked  for  the  ramifications  of  making                                                                    
something a  schedule IA substance.  He asked if it  meant a                                                                    
drug  could  be  made  legal  if a  doctor  made  it  legal.                                                                    
Alternatively,  he wondered  if  the action  simply put  the                                                                    
drug on the criminal drug list.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Millett deferred  to the  Department of  Law                                                                    
(DOL).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara reiterated his question.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Millett  answered that possession would  be a                                                                    
misdemeanor, distribution of  less than one gram  would be a                                                                    
class C  felony, and distribution  exceeding one  gram would                                                                    
be a class B felony.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton listed testifiers available online.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  asked  for  ramifications  of  adding  the                                                                    
substance to the controlled substances list.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:01:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROB  HENDERSON,  CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES  ADVISORY  COMMITTEE,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF  LAW  (via teleconference),  replied  that  a                                                                    
schedule IA under  Alaska law was different  than a schedule                                                                    
I on  the federal  schedule. In Alaska  there were  drugs on                                                                    
the schedule IA  with a medical purpose,  but drugs included                                                                    
in the  schedule in Alaska  were considered so  dangerous or                                                                    
susceptible to abuse that the  committee ranked them as high                                                                    
as possible  on the  schedule. Generally speaking  they were                                                                    
talking  about the  criminal schedule  - in  Title 11  under                                                                    
possession  and distribution  and  also in  Title 28,  which                                                                    
included  driving  under  the   influence  of  a  controlled                                                                    
substance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  asked  for  verification  Mr.  Henderson's                                                                    
response  included all  ramifications of  putting a  drug on                                                                    
the [controlled  substances] list.  He surmised that  it may                                                                    
be possible  with some  of the  other drugs  on the  list to                                                                    
obtain  a   prescription  if  there  was   another  use.  He                                                                    
understood  no one  would be  receiving  a prescription  for                                                                    
Pink.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson answered  there  were  some other  controlled                                                                    
substances classified  as IA that  could be  prescribed. The                                                                    
other  implication would  be  things  like the  Prescription                                                                    
Drug  Monitoring Program  and  other  regulatory aspects  of                                                                    
prescription drugs.  However, the purpose of  including Pink                                                                    
on the  schedule would  be to  attach criminal  liability to                                                                    
its possession or distribution.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  stated that Pink was  illegal under federal                                                                    
law. He  asked if  local and state  law enforcement  was not                                                                    
currently  able to  arrest a  person for  the substance  and                                                                    
hand them over to the  federal authorities. He wondered what                                                                    
was currently allowed for state law enforcement.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson answered  that  local  law enforcement  would                                                                    
have the  ability to investigate  and refer charges  over to                                                                    
the  federal  government,  but  local  law  enforcement  was                                                                    
really just charged with enforcing  state law. The state law                                                                    
enforcement did work  collaboratively with federal partners,                                                                    
but the primary charge was to enforce federal [state] law.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:04:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara   asked  if   local  law   enforcement  was                                                                    
currently allowed  to arrest someone  for the  substance and                                                                    
to refer the individual over to federal authorities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson  replied  they  legally  could  if  they  had                                                                    
authorization from  or permission  from the  U.S. Attorney's                                                                    
Office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki   stated  that  the   DOL  attorney                                                                    
general had  sent a memorandum  dated February 1  [2017]. He                                                                    
was  unclear about  whether  a state  trooper  could stop  a                                                                    
person who  was distributing  the drug.  He stated  that the                                                                    
memo   specified  that   if  the   legislature  passed   the                                                                    
legislation and  designated the substance  as a  schedule IA                                                                    
in statute that Alaska would  allow state law enforcement to                                                                    
stop  distributors.  Without the  passage  of  the bill,  he                                                                    
asked whether  as state  trooper could  arrest a  person for                                                                    
distribution or possession.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  responded there  were state  troopers working                                                                    
collaboratively with  federal law enforcement and  were able                                                                    
to  make  arrests  for  violation   of  federal  drug  laws.                                                                    
However, the  typical Alaska State Trooper  was charged with                                                                    
enforcing   state  law.   Unless  something   represented  a                                                                    
violation of state law, the item  would not be a priority in                                                                    
an investigation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  asked   for  verification  that  a                                                                    
downtown patrol officer  in the City of Juneau  or a Village                                                                    
Public  Safety Officer  (VPSO) in  a rural  area could  take                                                                    
action without the passage of HB 24.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson answered  that the officer would  not have the                                                                    
ability  to take  action without  prior discussion  with the                                                                    
U.S.  Attorney's  Office.  He  explained  that  without  the                                                                    
discussion there  would be  no mechanism  in which  to enter                                                                    
the  arrest into  the federal  criminal  justice system.  He                                                                    
detailed that if  a local law enforcement  officer came into                                                                    
contact with  U47700 during normal  duties, an  arrest would                                                                    
not be made and it would  most likely be referred to federal                                                                    
law enforcement.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki believed  substances 72  through 81                                                                    
had been  passed since  he had been  in the  legislature. He                                                                    
remarked that  statute had  been passed  for Spice  and Bath                                                                    
Salts  [synthetic drugs].  He believed  there had  to be  an                                                                    
easier way to handle the  situation than always adding a new                                                                    
substance to a list. He supported a regulatory mechanism.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:09:27 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:11:01 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  1, 30-LS0260\A.1                                                                    
(Martin, 2/10/17) (copy on file):                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 28 - 29:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Delete all material and insert:                                                                                            
     "(82)   3,4-dichloro-N-[2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-                                                                    
     methylbenzamide, also known as U-47700.'                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Foster  explained   the  amendment   corrected  a                                                                    
spelling error to include a missing "z."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki WITHDREW  his OBJECTION. There being                                                                    
NO further OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  2, 30-LS0260\A.2                                                                    
(Martin, 2/17/17) (copy on file):                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "substance;":                                                                                    
     Insert "classifying tramadol  and related substances as                                                                    
     schedule IVA controlled substances;"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, following line 29:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
     1*  Sec. 2.  AS 11.71.170  is amended  by adding  a new                                                                    
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
     (g)   Schedule   IVA  includes,   unless   specifically                                                                    
     excepted  or unless  listed  in  another schedule,  any                                                                    
     material,  compound,  mixture,   or  preparation  which                                                                    
     contains  any quantity  of the  following substance  or                                                                    
     its  salts calculated  as the  free  anhydrous base  or                                                                    
     alkaloid:    2-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-    1   -(3    -                                                                    
     methoxyphenyl)cyclohexanol,  its   salts,  optical  and                                                                    
     geometric   isomers,  and   salts  of   these  isomers,                                                                    
     including tramadol."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  explained that  Amendment 2  would classify                                                                    
tramadol and related substances as schedule IVA substances.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GRACE  ABBOTT,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   CHARISSE  MILLETT,                                                                    
explained  that  the  amendment   followed  along  the  same                                                                    
recommendation  from  the   Controlled  Substances  Advisory                                                                    
Committee  along  with  scheduling  Pink as  a  schedule  IA                                                                    
controlled   substance.    The   advisory    committee   had                                                                    
recommended that tramadol be classified  as a IVA controlled                                                                    
substance.   The  amendment   would   follow  the   advisory                                                                    
committee's recommendation.  The amendment was  also aligned                                                                    
with the way  the federal schedule had read  since 2014. She                                                                    
relayed that  Mr. Henderson could elaborate  on the advisory                                                                    
committee's recommendation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki   asked  whether  tramadol   had  a                                                                    
medical  function. Additionally,  he queried  the difference                                                                    
between the schedule IA and IVA.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Abbott answered  that as the schedule went from  VI to I                                                                    
it became more  severe. Tramadol had a medical  purpose as a                                                                    
pain killer; the specific drug  could be used properly under                                                                    
a doctor's prescription. Under the  IVA schedule there would                                                                    
be consequences  for individuals selling the  drug illicitly                                                                    
or providing the drug to people under the age of 19.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked if the  only way to get the drug                                                                    
was through prescription. Ms. Abbott believed so.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson thought  it  was  already illegal  to                                                                    
sell a prescribed medication.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Abbott answered  that the question was  beyond her scope                                                                    
of  understanding,  but putting  the  drug  on the  schedule                                                                    
allowed for  certain consequences  for criminal  purposes as                                                                    
well as  providing it  to people  under the  age of  19. She                                                                    
deferred to Mr. Henderson for further explanation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:15:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson explained that it  was already against federal                                                                    
law,  but it  was  not  a violation  of  Alaska law  because                                                                    
tramadol  was not  classified as  a controlled  substance by                                                                    
the state. The amendment would align federal and state law.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  asked   if  she   could  sell   any                                                                    
prescriptions  for   profit  as   long  as  they   were  not                                                                    
classified as schedule I to VI.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  answered it depended on  the prescription and                                                                    
it  depended  on if  it  was  a controlled  substance  under                                                                    
federal  or state  law. There  were some  prescription drugs                                                                    
that would not fall under  Title 11. However, the department                                                                    
tried to make federal and state law consistent.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson believed  the  amendment changed  the                                                                    
bill.  She had  always  thought  it was  illegal  to sell  a                                                                    
prescription. She  asked for verification that  currently if                                                                    
she  sold  tramadol  received in  a  prescription  that  the                                                                    
Juneau Police could not arrest her.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson replied  that  if  Representative Wilson  was                                                                    
selling tramadol  at present,  it would  not currently  be a                                                                    
violation of state law.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wondered why  all of a sudden tramadol                                                                    
needed to be  added to the schedule. She asked  what it took                                                                    
to get  on the  schedule. She  asked what  particular issues                                                                    
had  taken  place that  warranted  putting  tramadol on  the                                                                    
list.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson answered  that tramadol  had been  around for                                                                    
some time  and it  had first  come to  the attention  of the                                                                    
advisory committee  approximately 18  months earlier  when a                                                                    
representative  from  western  Alaska  had  testified  about                                                                    
abuse occurring  with tramadol.  The advisory  committee had                                                                    
heard about  it again the past  fall when it had  received a                                                                    
letter  from the  Alaska Pharmacists  Association requesting                                                                    
the committee recommend the scheduling  of tramadol. In part                                                                    
the request  was due to  the inconsistency  existing between                                                                    
federal and  state law. He elaborated  that individuals were                                                                    
able to obtain tramadol legally  or illegally, but state law                                                                    
enforcement was unable to address the issue.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson thought  any drug  manufactured would                                                                    
automatically  fall under  schedule I  through VI  under the                                                                    
philosophy  that  it could  be  misused  or sold  for  other                                                                    
purposes.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:19:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson answered  it was  a policy  question for  the                                                                    
legislature. When  the advisory committee had  discussed the                                                                    
issue it  had recognized the current  scheduling process was                                                                    
not  as  nimble or  flexible  as  in  some other  states  or                                                                    
federal  government that  could regulate  drugs, which  were                                                                    
ratified or adopted by Congress.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asked if the amendment  would only classify                                                                    
tramadol as  a IVA drug.  He asked for verification  that it                                                                    
was not currently classified as a IVA drug.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  replied that he  did not  have a copy  of the                                                                    
amendment.  The testimony  and information  received by  the                                                                    
advisory  committee was  tramadol.  He noted  it would  make                                                                    
sense to include other related substances.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara shared that he  had broken his ribs the past                                                                    
year and had wanted the  lowest level pain killer the doctor                                                                    
could prescribe, but the doctor  had prescribed tramadol. He                                                                    
asked  if he  would  have committed  a crime  if  he gave  a                                                                    
person a tramadol.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson  replied it  was  a  difficult question  that                                                                    
implicated   several   different  criminal   statutes.   The                                                                    
distribution  of a  controlled substance,  depending on  the                                                                    
type,  was   a  crime.  There  were   various  justification                                                                    
defenses  that   would  relieve   the  person   of  criminal                                                                    
liability (e.g. for necessity).                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:22:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  spoke  to  Representative  Kawasaki's                                                                    
earlier question related to  the difference between schedule                                                                    
I and  IV drugs. He  referred to Ms. Abbott's  response that                                                                    
there was more severity [increasing  from schedule VI to I].                                                                    
He  asked  if Ms.  Abbott  was  speaking about  severity  of                                                                    
complications with the drug itself causing more danger.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Abbott answered  in the affirmative. The  danger and the                                                                    
severity of punishment increased  along with the schedule of                                                                    
the drug. She deferred to the department for more detail.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz  asked if in layman's  terms the U47700                                                                    
was less dangerous than tramadol.  Ms. Abbott clarified that                                                                    
U47700  was more  dangerous. She  explained that  schedule I                                                                    
was the most severe and schedule VI was the least severe.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  asked  if  adding a  drug  to  the                                                                    
schedule  would   change  any  prescription   authority  for                                                                    
prescribers.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson deferred  the question. He did  not believe it                                                                    
changed the prescription authority.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki  had   some   concern  about   the                                                                    
amendment coming in  so late. He knew tramadol  was a useful                                                                    
medication  that  he  believed   was  often  prescribed.  He                                                                    
recognized  the  substance  was   ripe  for  abuse,  but  he                                                                    
believed  adding it  to the  list of  schedule IV  drugs may                                                                    
complicate things in  the future. He requested  an answer to                                                                    
the question.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:25:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg heard DOL  say that at the federal                                                                    
level some organization  put a drug on its list  and at some                                                                    
point Congress approved or disapproved  to make it official.                                                                    
He  asked if  it  was  the process  Mr.  Henderson had  been                                                                    
referring to.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson answered  in the  affirmative. Under  federal                                                                    
law  the  Drug  Enforcement   Agency  (DEA)  had  regulatory                                                                    
authority; it could pass  emergency regulations and Congress                                                                    
had to  act within a specific  amount of time -  he believed                                                                    
it  was between  18 and  24  months. He  thought that  under                                                                    
federal  law   the  drug  would  fall   off  the  controlled                                                                    
substance schedule if Congress chose not to act.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  asked whether, during  the period                                                                    
where Congress  had yet to  take action one way  or another,                                                                    
there was any  difference in the ability to  enforce. He was                                                                    
trying  to come  up with  a way  to mimic  what the  federal                                                                    
government did to make the process faster.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson  answered  that the  advisory  committee  had                                                                    
discussed the  concept. He detailed that  the discussion had                                                                    
occurred  during   the  same   meeting  the   committee  had                                                                    
recommended  the  scheduling  of U47700  and  tramadol.  The                                                                    
advisory  committee  had   also  affirmatively  adopted  the                                                                    
recommendation  from  the  opioid taskforce,  which  was  to                                                                    
create  a  regulatory  body  to   address  the  issue  under                                                                    
discussion.  He believed  that with  a  clear delegation  of                                                                    
authority from  the legislature to  a regulatory  body would                                                                    
be feasible.  At that point  the emergency  regulation would                                                                    
have the full effect of the statute.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:27:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg asked if  there had been an actual                                                                    
recommendation  or  whether  the dialogue  had  taken  place                                                                    
without  any action.  He asked  if anything  in writing  had                                                                    
been   advanced  [by   the  advisory   committee]  to   help                                                                    
facilitate the action.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson  answered  it  had   only  been  a  committee                                                                    
dialogue;  it  had  been  the   first  opportunity  for  the                                                                    
advisory   committee   to   review  the   opioid   taskforce                                                                    
recommendation.  The concept  was being  actively considered                                                                    
by  the committee  and he  anticipated  the conversation  to                                                                    
continue during a meeting the following week.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster   WITHDREW  Amendment  2.  He   wanted  the                                                                    
original bill to  move forward. He noted they  could work on                                                                    
the tramadol component at a separate time.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Millett agreed  that  if  the committee  was                                                                    
uncomfortable  it was  fine to  take the  amendment off  the                                                                    
table.  She  remarked there  was  a  companion bill  in  the                                                                    
Senate,  which  would have  a  bit  longer  to look  at  the                                                                    
tramadol  component. She  believed  U47700 needed  immediate                                                                    
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked about the public danger of tramadol.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Millett   answered  that   the   Controlled                                                                    
Substance  Abuse  Advisory  Committee was  seeing  a  higher                                                                    
propensity for  individuals to abuse tramadol.  She referred                                                                    
to  designer drugs  that came  about occasionally  and abuse                                                                    
that occurred  with the quantity  of tramadol. She  noted it                                                                    
was  possible   to  overdose   on  tramadol.   The  advisory                                                                    
committee had  seen a  higher usage  in street  terms rather                                                                    
than as a prescription. When  someone was buying 50 tramadol                                                                    
and taking, smoking,  or adding the drug  to something else,                                                                    
the  substance  became   dangerous.  There  were  substances                                                                    
already on  the schedule such  as codeine and  morphine that                                                                    
they  were  trying  to   combat.  Individuals  were  finding                                                                    
ingenious ways to  combine drugs and illicit  a higher high.                                                                    
She did  not believe the  advisory committee took  putting a                                                                    
drug on the schedule very lightly.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:32:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara stated the underlying  bill made sense as it                                                                    
addressed  a  drug  with no  beneficial  use;  however,  the                                                                    
doctor who had treated him when  he had broken ribs had told                                                                    
him tramadol was  the least of the  serious prescriptions he                                                                    
could  prescribe. He  asked Representative  Millett to  keep                                                                    
the committee apprised of the tramadol situation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Millett  replied that  she would  provide all                                                                    
of  the information  she received  related to  tramadol. She                                                                    
believed it was important to look  at the other drugs on the                                                                    
schedule in  order to  see what had  been included  over the                                                                    
years.  She   reiterated  that   people  were   creative  in                                                                    
concocting things  for a  high. She  imagined they  could be                                                                    
discussing mouthwash in the future.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara   addressed  the  five   fiscal  previously                                                                    
published  zero   fiscal  notes   from  the   Department  of                                                                    
Corrections; the  Department of Health and  Social Services;                                                                    
the  Department of  Law; the  Department  of Public  Safety,                                                                    
Division  of Alaska  State Troopers;  and the  Department of                                                                    
Public Safety, Division of Statewide Support.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  remarked on the zero  fiscal notes.                                                                    
He surmised  that if a  drug was  added to the  schedule and                                                                    
the intent  was to  see prosecutions  and arrests  of people                                                                    
distributing the  drug, he did  not believe it  was possible                                                                    
for the  notes to have  zero impact.  He stated at  best the                                                                    
cost was indeterminate.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson concurred,  especially pertaining  to                                                                    
fiscal  note  1  from  the Department  of  Corrections.  She                                                                    
stated her understanding that the  bill would make the crime                                                                    
a felony, which  would mean someone would end  up in prison.                                                                    
She referenced the  daily prison cost of  $149.62. She asked                                                                    
how many potential  people had to be locked up  to result in                                                                    
a  fiscal note.  She  asked how  many  potential arrests  it                                                                    
would take for  the Department of Public Safety  to submit a                                                                    
fiscal impact note.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:36:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN MICHAEL  DUXBURY, ALASKA STATE  TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF  PUBLIC SAFETY  (via teleconference),  answered that  the                                                                    
current  issue termed  by  many as  the  opioid problem  was                                                                    
actually  a multi-drug  use problem.  He explained  that the                                                                    
reason  the  department  had  asked   for  the  drug  to  be                                                                    
scheduled was  it is very  similar to other  scheduled drugs                                                                    
often  prescribed  including  oxycontin and  oxycodone.  The                                                                    
goal was to reduce the ability  of people to abuse the drugs                                                                    
or send them  through the mail. Currently the  drug could be                                                                    
purchased online even though it  was a prescription drug. He                                                                    
explained that submitting the zero  fiscal note was not with                                                                    
an  intention of  deceiving anyone,  it  reflected that  the                                                                    
department  saw the  drug in  conjunction  with other  drugs                                                                    
being  shipped  throughout  the state.  The  department  was                                                                    
looking for the scheduling to take  place in order to have a                                                                    
deterrence and to reduce the amount of bad choices.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:39:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson thanked  Mr. Duxbury  for making  her                                                                    
point.  She referred  to one  of two  things taking  place -                                                                    
people were selling  a variety of drugs,  which meant adding                                                                    
the  drug  would  not  change  the  number  of  arrests  the                                                                    
department  was  making;  however,   she  had  a  hard  time                                                                    
believing the  troopers would not  be making more  arrests -                                                                    
she was  not saying  it was  a bad thing.  She spoke  to the                                                                    
prosecution  work done  by  the Department  of  Law and  the                                                                    
Department  of  Corrections.  She   asked  if  the  co-chair                                                                    
reviewed the  fiscal notes and  could send them back  to the                                                                    
departments to  say they did  not make sense. She  believe a                                                                    
zero fiscal  note sent the  wrong message. She  would prefer                                                                    
to see an indeterminate note versus a zero note.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:40:50 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:13 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   TEAL,   DIRECTOR,  LEGISLATIVE   FINANCE   DIVISION,                                                                    
addressed  the  confusion over  the  zero  fiscal notes.  He                                                                    
believed  members  were  looking  at  the  fiscal  notes  as                                                                    
information,  which they  were,  but they  were primarily  a                                                                    
request for  funding. The department in  its explanation was                                                                    
saying there  would be costs, but  because it was a  part of                                                                    
the  department's  current  duties  it  was  not  requesting                                                                    
additional  funds   to  enforce  the  particular   drug.  He                                                                    
clarified it  did not mean there  was no cost, it  meant the                                                                    
department  did not  want money  added to  its budget  to do                                                                    
work it  was already doing,  which was enforcing  drug abuse                                                                    
in general.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked for verification  the committee                                                                    
could take the  fiscal note to heart and  that the following                                                                    
year  when  the  department  came back  needing  more  money                                                                    
because  they arrested  people  and put  them  in jail,  the                                                                    
committee  could  remind  the  department it  had  lost  the                                                                    
opportunity to put the money in the fiscal note.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Teal  confirmed that  the  committee  could remind  the                                                                    
department of  that. He continued that  the department would                                                                    
have actually lost  the opportunity to put the  funding in a                                                                    
fiscal  note;  however, that  did  not  mean the  department                                                                    
could  not  submit  an  increment   following  year  due  to                                                                    
unexpected  additional costs.  There may  be increments  for                                                                    
the issue, but the department  did not know that at present;                                                                    
therefore, in  the first year,  it was not making  a request                                                                    
through the fiscal note process.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked how many arrests  had been made                                                                    
under the  federal law for  the specific drug.  [Note: there                                                                    
was no reply.]                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:46:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara stated that he  was done with receiving zero                                                                    
fiscal notes when  things cost money. He  expounded that the                                                                    
district  attorney's  office  was declining  more  and  more                                                                    
prosecutions  and letting  more and  more criminals  go free                                                                    
due to  a lack  of prosecutors. He  remarked that  for years                                                                    
the public  and others had  stressed cutting the  budget. He                                                                    
reasoned that at  some point it was not  possible to pretend                                                                    
it  was  prudent  to  continue  cutting  the  public  safety                                                                    
budget. He stated  that when the department  came forward in                                                                    
the  future notifying  the legislature  it  needed an  extra                                                                    
$200,000  for prosecutors,  he would  not  be supportive  of                                                                    
continuing  to cut  the budget.  He stated  the ramification                                                                    
would  be a  deficiency in  the number  of prosecutors.  The                                                                    
bill  would improve  the ability  to arrest  people for  the                                                                    
drug,  but it  would mean  other prosecutions  would not  go                                                                    
forward.  He  did  not  believe   it  was  possible  to  cut                                                                    
everything  and make  the problems  disappear.  He would  be                                                                    
receptive if  the department asked for  more prosecutors the                                                                    
following year.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt  believed   it   was  important   to                                                                    
recognize   the   bill   did   not  create   a   whole   new                                                                    
classification  of  drugs.  He   surmised  the  state  would                                                                    
probably have  dealt with individuals  in some  capacity for                                                                    
possession of  the drug  under discussion  or for  a similar                                                                    
drug. He  did not  want to say  it would be  a wash,  but he                                                                    
thought the  issue under discussion was  probably not really                                                                    
a  relevant  point.  He  continued the  person  may  end  up                                                                    
costing the  state money in  the first  place in one  way or                                                                    
another. When  a person had  reached the point of  doing the                                                                    
drug under  the bill they  had done other drugs  before. The                                                                    
substance was  nasty and the  state would deal with  them in                                                                    
some  capacity. He  believed the  committee  just needed  to                                                                    
pass the bill out of committee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:49:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  relayed that he  had served as a  member on                                                                    
the  statewide  opioid  taskforce  over the  past  year.  He                                                                    
shared that  the problem was  significant. The  question was                                                                    
whether not putting  a drug on the schedule  meant the state                                                                    
was allowing  its distribution and increasing  the number of                                                                    
individuals  who became  addicted.  He  elaborated that  the                                                                    
number of individuals addicted to  opioids would increase if                                                                    
the state allowed addictive substances  to carry no criminal                                                                    
offense. He believed they should  consider the bill may save                                                                    
some  addictions  from  taking  place  in  the  first  place                                                                    
because  the drugs  would  not be  legal.  It was  currently                                                                    
legal to distribute the drug.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  MOVED to  REPORT CSHB 24(FIN)  out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  OBJECTED.   She  stated   the  drug                                                                    
[U47700]  was one  of the  few drugs  that fell  in its  own                                                                    
category. She agreed the drug  was bad and should not exist.                                                                    
However,   she  emphasized   the  importance   of  receiving                                                                    
"honest" fiscal notes. She acknowledged  that the drug under                                                                    
consideration  may not  change  costs,  but she  underscored                                                                    
that the  committee is the  finance committee and  it needed                                                                    
to  know whether  a department  would need  to come  back to                                                                    
request  funds in  the future.  She spoke  to the  committee                                                                    
discussion about  adding additional  drugs to  the schedule.                                                                    
She explained that codeine had  been readily available until                                                                    
people started misusing it. She  shared that in the past one                                                                    
of her children  had been afflicted with  asthma and codeine                                                                    
had been the only thing  that worked. She explained that the                                                                    
drug  had eventually  been unavailable  because some  people                                                                    
were  not  using  the  product for  its  intended  use.  She                                                                    
underscored that  it was unrealistic to  think putting drugs                                                                    
on a list would prevent people  from using drugs in a manner                                                                    
they should not.  There were certain drugs  like U47700 that                                                                    
were "no  brainers," but  she believed  it was  necessary to                                                                    
recognize  that it  was  not possible  to  stop people  from                                                                    
misusing  every substance.  She wanted  to send  the message                                                                    
that  in order  to  take  a close  look  at  the budget  the                                                                    
committee  wanted to  receive  realistic  fiscal notes.  She                                                                    
WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton made  a clarifying  remark  related to  the                                                                    
motion to move the bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further  OBJECTION, CSHB 24(FIN) was REPORTED                                                                    
out of committee as amended  with a "do pass" recommendation                                                                    
and with  five previously  published zero fiscal  notes: FN1                                                                    
(COR), FN2 (DHS), FN3 (LAW), FN4 (DPS), FN5 (DPS).                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:54:04 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:56:37 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 57                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;   repealing    appropriations;   making                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations and  reappropriations, and                                                                    
     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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 59                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:56:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton indicated  that it was an  opportune time to                                                                    
discuss the new amendment procedures.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:57:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  TEAL, DIRECTOR,  LEGISLATIVE FINANCE  DIVISION (LFD),                                                                    
expressed  his intent  to discuss  the new  budget amendment                                                                    
system. He  believed the process  for legislators  and staff                                                                    
was very  similar to the  old system. He explained  that the                                                                    
old process  had worked but  it had been cumbersome,  due to                                                                    
technical or  structural errors that occurred.  For example,                                                                    
errors included the misnaming of  the agency, allocation, or                                                                    
appropriation;  removing money  that  did not  exist; and  a                                                                    
lack in  line item detail.  He furthered that it  forced LFD                                                                    
to  do a  lot of  guessing about  what the  amendment really                                                                    
meant  and what  was supposed  to  be done  with the  money.                                                                    
Additionally,  under  the old  system  the  co-chair had  to                                                                    
track amendments in a spreadsheet  because due to duplicates                                                                    
and other.  As amendments were  passed LFD had to  rekey the                                                                    
amendments  into the  budget system.  He explained  that the                                                                    
process  had  required  entering  the  same  data  at  three                                                                    
different  times.   He  added  that  often   times  proposed                                                                    
language  had not  gone through  Legislative Legal  Services                                                                    
and did not meet its  standards. The division had decided in                                                                    
the past  there was something wrong  with the inefficiencies                                                                    
and had been beginning to prepare a new amendment system.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Teal addressed  the new  amendment system.  He detailed                                                                    
that the system  offered drop down menus on  the LFD website                                                                    
to help avoid  technical problems. A new  amendment could be                                                                    
easily added by finance committee members only.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:01:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Teal walked  the committee  through an  explanation and                                                                    
used  the Department  of Revenue  (DOR) as  an example.  The                                                                    
system would  help users avoid technical  errors. He relayed                                                                    
that  once an  amendment  was entered  correctly the  author                                                                    
could edit,  delete, and attach  any PDF backup  including a                                                                    
Legislative Legal  Services language amendment. It  was also                                                                    
possible to share the material  with others. He compared the                                                                    
system   to   CAPSIS   [Capital   Project   Submission   and                                                                    
Information   System].  The   amendment  author   could  let                                                                    
Legislative   Finance  Division   view  the   material.  The                                                                    
division  would help  the  author  with transaction  titles,                                                                    
catch  errors,  edit  the explanation  if  desired,  and  so                                                                    
forth.  Theoretically the  process  would  result in  better                                                                    
amendments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki asked if  the amendment author would                                                                    
continue to  have access to  edit the amendment once  it was                                                                    
submitted in the system to the finance committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Teal answered  that LFD  could view  the amendment  and                                                                    
edit it if requested by  a finance member's office. The goal                                                                    
was to have errors fixed  prior to sending the amendments to                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:06:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton asked if an  amendment could be changed once                                                                    
it had been shared with other committee members.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Teal answered that the  amendment could be changed after                                                                    
it had been sent for viewing  by LFD, but once the amendment                                                                    
had been  submitted it  could not  be changed.  He explained                                                                    
that it would  prevent the potential for an  amendment to be                                                                    
edited while LFD was loading it.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  for  verification  that  amendments                                                                    
could be  shared with other  committee members  before being                                                                    
submitted.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Teal replied that the  amendments could be shared at any                                                                    
time  and  cosponsors  could  be  added.  That  process  was                                                                    
between legislators' offices and was not viewed by LFD.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked about looking at  positions but                                                                    
not PCNs  [position control numbers]  that were  funded with                                                                    
half  general  funds  and  half   federal  funds.  With  the                                                                    
assumption  that federal  funds could  probably be  put into                                                                    
other positions  still in  the department,  she asked  if it                                                                    
was possible to  pay the salary with all  general funds. She                                                                    
remarked that  the department would most  likely determine a                                                                    
way  to  utilize  the   federal  funds.  Alternatively,  she                                                                    
wondered if it had to match the positions.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Teal answered  that an  amendment  did not  have to  be                                                                    
matched.  For  example,  there was  a  governor's  amendment                                                                    
asking for  new positions.  It was  possible to  reverse the                                                                    
whole thing  or choose  up to ten  different fund  codes. He                                                                    
detailed that it  was possible to use general  funds but not                                                                    
the federal  funds. The maker  of the amendment  could chose                                                                    
whatever option they wanted.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  assumed the best  way to do  it would                                                                    
be  include   information  in  the  explanation   about  the                                                                    
rationale for the change.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Teal answered  in the affirmative. The goal  was to have                                                                    
an explanation  that headed off questions  in the committee.                                                                    
Theoretically it would save time in committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:09:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton thought  it was  important  for members  to                                                                    
understand how the process worked.  He described the process                                                                    
the committee would use to  develop the operating budget. He                                                                    
read from a prepared statement:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Subcommittees  are in  the process  of closing  out and                                                                    
     forwarding  their  recommendations  to  House  Finance.                                                                    
     When   each   department's   subcommittee   report   is                                                                    
     scheduled in  the House Finance the  subcommittee chair                                                                    
     will   describe  the   subcommittee's  recommendations.                                                                    
     Then,  if amendments  were  recommended, House  Finance                                                                    
     will  take up  those amendments  using the  Legislative                                                                    
     Finance  amendment report  instead  of  the packets  of                                                                    
     amendments  that were  used  in  prior sessions.  House                                                                    
     Finance will  also see  the statutory  changes proposed                                                                    
     by  the subcommittee  chairs.  Those statutory  changes                                                                    
     are listed  and briefly  explained in  the subcommittee                                                                    
     narrative  reports  and  each subcommittee  chair  will                                                                    
     need to submit their  statutory recommendations to each                                                                    
     affected policy  committee. We're not voting  on those,                                                                    
     those   are   recommendations   that  come   from   the                                                                    
     subcommittee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     In  certain   circumstances  there  will   be  language                                                                    
     amendments  that  I will  propose  in  addition to  the                                                                    
     subcommittee  recommended amendments.  Those will  come                                                                    
     with  each department.  As Mr.  Teal mentioned,  I will                                                                    
     have  two   additional  amendments  proposed   for  the                                                                    
     Department  of Revenue  that we  will take  up tomorrow                                                                    
     and they're included in  the Legislative Finance report                                                                    
     that you  have in  the file and  you should  have three                                                                    
     files  on your  desk. After  we go  through all  of the                                                                    
     subcommittee reports  I will  also bring  forward other                                                                    
     language amendments for the  statewide items. That will                                                                    
     be at the end of the  process. I just want to reiterate                                                                    
     what  Mr.  Teal  has  said  in how  this  is  going  to                                                                    
     progress. Then we will have  a new committee substitute                                                                    
     drafted at  that point -  this is after  we incorporate                                                                    
     the subcommittee proposals  and the language amendments                                                                    
     that  will   generate  the   CS.  Once   the  committee                                                                    
     substitute is before us, we  will take public testimony                                                                    
     on  those amendments.  After public  testimony we  will                                                                    
     then  take  up  round two  amendments.  Any  additional                                                                    
     budget   amendments   from  House   Finance   Committee                                                                    
     members. Those amendments will need to be submitted                                                                        
     via the new operating budget amendment system.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  referred  to the  DOR  and  observed                                                                    
there were  amendments. She did  not see any  amendments for                                                                    
the Department of Military and  Veterans Affairs (DMVA). She                                                                    
asked  for verification  that  if members  did  not see  any                                                                    
amendments, someone would give  the subcommittee report, but                                                                    
there would be no accompanying amendments.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  noted there were  two amendments  [for DOR]                                                                    
that would be generated in the new system.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Teal  showed the LFD  website (on the  projector screen)                                                                    
related to  subcommittee reports. The items  would be posted                                                                    
as subcommittees  closed out  as they  were reported  out of                                                                    
committee.   He  pointed   out   that   the  Department   of                                                                    
Administration,  Department   of  Commerce,   Community  and                                                                    
Economic Development, Office of  the Governor, DMVA, and DOR                                                                    
had all closed out thus  far. Once a department subcommittee                                                                    
closed   out  LFD   would  post   the  transaction   detail,                                                                    
narrative, and amendment packets. He  used DOR as an example                                                                    
and   pointed  to   the  two   amendments   passed  out   of                                                                    
subcommittee  (one related  to mental  health and  the other                                                                    
related  to   the  Tax  Division).   Subcommittee  amendment                                                                    
packets would also be included  on the website. He looked at                                                                    
the  transaction report  for DOR  and  explained that  there                                                                    
were now  four amendments -  one of the  amendments involved                                                                    
language.   He  explained   that  one   of  the   additional                                                                    
amendments  would  move  paternity testing  money  from  the                                                                    
language section  of the bill  to Section 1.  The amendments                                                                    
would  be   voted  on  by   the  full   committee.  Attached                                                                    
supporting documents  would be the actual  Legislative Legal                                                                    
Services amendment.  Any other backup would  be attached and                                                                    
would be  in members'  packets. The  system gave  the public                                                                    
and all legislators  the ability to look  at amendments well                                                                    
in advance before they were  taken up during the meeting. He                                                                    
explained  that  the  new system  should  rectify  the  past                                                                    
problem  where amendments  that  members had  not seen  were                                                                    
printed right before a meeting.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked about DMVA.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton noted members should  have the DMVA material                                                                    
in their packets.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson surmised that  unlike the DOR example,                                                                    
members  would  not see  amendments  written  for DMVA.  She                                                                    
believed the information shown on  the website reflected the                                                                    
amendment  instead. She  explained  that  the DOR  amendment                                                                    
looked more like a format the committee was used to seeing.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Teal answered in the  affirmative. He explained that the                                                                    
website  was showing  the amendments  that  were exactly  as                                                                    
passed  out  by  the  subcommittee  because  there  were  no                                                                    
language amendments. The subcommittees  had purview over the                                                                    
numbers section of the bill.  He elaborated that DOR had two                                                                    
separate  amendments  because  language  was  involved.  The                                                                    
website showed  what had  been done  with the  decrement and                                                                    
the transaction  type was "wordage,"  which meant  there was                                                                    
intent  added  by  the  committee.  Members  would  have  an                                                                    
opportunity to see the information early and vote on it.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson thought it  would be difficult for the                                                                    
public to  understand. She referred  to DOR and  noted there                                                                    
were two  different types  of papers  [in the  packets]. She                                                                    
asked  for verification  that the  amendments the  committee                                                                    
was  used to  seeing  pertained only  to  the language,  but                                                                    
amendments related to the numbers  section would appear like                                                                    
the ones they had just seen for DMVA.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Teal  answered that  the "L" in  front of  the amendment                                                                    
number was  a signal there  was backup material.  The backup                                                                    
or supporting documentation would  be the amendment prepared                                                                    
by  Legislative   Legal  Services.  The  trouble   with  the                                                                    
amendment on the  screen (shown as a  typical amendment with                                                                    
page references  from Legislative  Legal Services)  was that                                                                    
most  people including  finance  committee  members, had  no                                                                    
idea what  the page references  meant. Much of  the language                                                                    
was conforming  and the amendment  did not specify  what the                                                                    
change  did.  The  action  of  the  amendment  was  actually                                                                    
described in the new system.  The DOR amendment he looked at                                                                    
moved the cost recovery  for paternity testing from language                                                                    
to Section  1. Hopefully  it would  be easier  for committee                                                                    
members and the public to understand amendments.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:19:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  believed that  in  the  past the  language                                                                    
section changes all appeared in  a CS only. He detailed that                                                                    
amendments had  not been seen  by other finance  members and                                                                    
the  public.  The   new  system  would  bring   all  of  the                                                                    
amendments in front of the committee individually.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  appreciated  what  the  chairs  were                                                                    
trying to do. She wanted to  ensure they were not looking at                                                                    
two different types of amendments.  She did not want to miss                                                                    
anything. She thanked the chair for his latitude.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  explained the labeling contingency  for the                                                                    
amendments.  The  "L"  in  front   of  an  amendment  number                                                                    
indicated the  amendment was a  language amendment  from the                                                                    
subcommittee chair of the  operating budget. Amendments with                                                                    
no  "L" came  from the  numbers section,  which would  be in                                                                    
subcommittee reports.  He furthered  that instead  of having                                                                    
the  language changes  presented at  the  end in  a CS,  any                                                                    
language amendments  would be included in  members' packets.                                                                    
He  added that  statewide amendments  would be  wrapped into                                                                    
the language  section at the  end and would all  come before                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Thompson  referred   to  the   subcommittee                                                                    
reports'  narrative, which  included recommendations  that a                                                                    
standing committee  change statutes  for a  particular item.                                                                    
He  observed there  were quite  a  few listed.  He asked  if                                                                    
members were allowed to object to the items in the process.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  explained  that the  recommendations  came                                                                    
forward  from  the  subcommittee   chair.  If  a  legislator                                                                    
disagreed they  could offer a  preferred format in  the form                                                                    
of  a bill.  He clarified  that the  committee would  not be                                                                    
debating  the   recommendations  by  the   subcommittee.  If                                                                    
someone  disagreed they  could communicate  to the  standing                                                                    
committee  chair or  to members  and the  standing committee                                                                    
may  not go  forward  with the  recommendation. Every  House                                                                    
member  had  the opportunity  to  have  the input  into  all                                                                    
committees  and  on  the House  floor.  A  legislator  could                                                                    
always  propose  a  statutory   amendment  in  the  form  of                                                                    
legislation.  The  goal  was  to  consolidate  and  look  at                                                                    
budgetary  impacts  and  make  recommendations  to  standing                                                                    
committees  to clean  up statutes  and get  rid of  indirect                                                                    
expenditures.   The  recommendations   would   be  made   by                                                                    
subcommittee chairs directly to  the standing committee. The                                                                    
information  would  get  reported,  but  the  House  Finance                                                                    
Committee  would not  discuss  and vote  on  the items  that                                                                    
would come forward as subcommittee recommendations.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 57 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 59 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:24:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton announced that it was Mr. Teal's birthday.                                                                      
The co-chairs presented Mr. Teal with a present.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton addressed the schedule for the meeting the                                                                      
following day.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:26 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB024 Supporting Document-Support Letters CSAC 2.2.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Support Letters ABADA 2.2.17.PDF HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Support Letter AKDOL 2.1.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Support Letter AK HSS 2.2.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-News Release DEA.Gov 2.2.17.PDF HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Article WSJ 2.2.17.PDF HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB 24 Sponsor Statement 2.2.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Article CBS News 2.2.17.PDF HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Article Drugs.com 2.2.17.PDF HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 24
HB048 Sponsor Statement 02.15.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 48
HB048 Supporting Documents - letters of support 02.15.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 48
HB048 Supporting Document - Sunset Audit 02.15.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 48
HB048 Sponsor Statement 02.15.17.pdf HFIN 2/22/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 48