Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/03/2017 01:00 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:04:02 PM Start
01:04:02 PM HB57 || HB59
01:07:03 PM Public Testimony: Anchorage
03:15:52 PM Public Testimony: Sitka, Petersburg, Delta Junction, Unalaska, Glennallen, Tok
05:02:31 PM Public Testimony: Off-nets
05:51:35 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+= HB 57 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
+= HB 59 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
Testimony Instructions:
1:00 - 3:00 PM - Anchorage
3:15 - 4:45 PM - Sitka, Petersburg, Delta
Junction, Unalaska, Glennallen & Tok
5:00 - 6:00 PM - Off Net sites
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
- Please arrive 15 min. prior to end of
allotted time or testimony will close early
- Select a spokesperson if you are part of a
group with the same message
- All Off Net callers must hang up immediately
after testifying to keep lines open
- Continue to access meeting through akleg.gov
- The hearing may be televised on Gavel to
Gavel, please check listings
- If you are an Off Net caller without an LIO,
only call during designated Off Net times on
3/3/17 & 3/4/17
- Call 465-4648 by 5:00 PM 3/1/17 - 3/4/17 to
obtain call-in number
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 3, 2017                                                                                            
                         1:04 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:04:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:04 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                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Sarah  Sledge, Executive  Director, Coalition  for Education                                                                    
Equity, Anchorage;  Patrick Reinhart, Governor's  Council on                                                                    
Disabilities  and  Special   Education,  Anchorage;  Mallory                                                                    
Hamilton, Self, Anchorage;  Michael O'Brien, Vice President,                                                                    
Fairbanks North  Star Borough School District  School Board,                                                                    
Fairbanks; Representative Dan Saddler.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Deena  Bishop,  Anchorage  School District,  Anchorage;  Tom                                                                    
Roth, Anchorage School District,  Eagle River; Jim Anderson,                                                                    
Anchorage  School  District,  Eagle  River;  Charles  McKee,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage;  Stephanie  Berglund,  Thread,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Margaret   Bauer,  Self,   Anchorage;  Jim   Fourtner,  OCS,                                                                    
Anchorage;  April  Stahl,  Self,  Anchorage;  Loreen  Davis,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage; Paul  D.  Kendall,  Self, Anchorage;  Bill                                                                    
Hauser, Self, Anchorage; Orin  Seybert, Self, Anchorage; Bob                                                                    
Weigle,  Self, Anchorage;  Andrew Hansen,  Rural CAP/Parents                                                                    
as Teachers, Anchorage; Cris  Eichenlaub, Self, Eagle River;                                                                    
Karel  Hauser,  Self,  Eagle   River;  Abbe  Hensley,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Mary Ann Krasselt,  Self, Anchorage; Carl Berger,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage;   Lindsey  Sam,  Self,   Anchorage;  Verne                                                                    
Boerner,  AK Native  Health Board,  Anchorage; Amy  Simpson,                                                                    
Self,  Eagle  River;  Brenda  Moore,  Alaska  Mental  Health                                                                    
Board,  Anchorage;  Doug  White, Access  Alaska,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Denmer   Wells,   Self,   Anchorage;  David   Boyle,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Joan Diamond, Self,  Anchorage; Jody Tow, Finance                                                                    
Director, Petersburg  Borough, Petersburg; John  Dull, Self,                                                                    
Sitka;  John  Jay  Sweeny,  Chief  Financial  Administrative                                                                    
Officer,  City and  Borough of  Sitka,  Sitka; Mary  Wegner,                                                                    
Superintendent,  Sitka   School  District,   Sitka;  Richard                                                                    
Probert, Self,  Tok; Deb Harbison, Parent  Educator, Parents                                                                    
as Teachers, Tok; Hannah  Bengston, Parent Educator, Parents                                                                    
as   Teachers,  Glennallen;   Dennis  Charley,   Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers,   Glennallen;   Lisa  Nicolai,   Gakona   Village,                                                                    
Glennallen;  Kurt  Schmidt,   Self,  Delta  Junction;  Sarah                                                                    
Holmgrain,  Member,  Petersburg  School  Board,  Petersburg;                                                                    
Mark Curran, Self, Delta Junction;  Mark Vink, Bering Strait                                                                    
School  District,  Unalakleet;  Tammy  Dodd,  Bering  Strait                                                                    
School   District,  Unalakleet;   Ethan  Berkowitz,   Mayor,                                                                    
Anchorage,  Anchorage; Pamela  Samash,  Self, Nenana;  Marna                                                                    
Sanford,  Self,  Fairbanks;  Natasha  Singh,  Tanana  Chiefs                                                                    
Conference,  Fairbanks;  Mrs.   Denny  Kay  Weathers,  Self,                                                                    
Prince  William Sound;  Paul  Verhagen,  Self, Nenana;  Kara                                                                    
Thrasher-Livingston,   Self,   Anchorage;   Marilyn   Andon,                                                                    
Behavioral  Health   Director,  Tanana   Chiefs  Conference,                                                                    
Fairbanks;  James  Squyres,   Self,  Rural  Deltana;  Pamela                                                                    
Goode,  Self,  Rural  Deltana; Brad  Ryan,  Interim  Borough                                                                    
Manager, City  of Haines, Haines; Angela  Hill, Self, Sitka;                                                                    
Deborah  Schnabel,  Haines   Chamber  of  Commerce,  Haines;                                                                    
Cynthia Lagoudakis, Vice  Mayor, Petersburg; Evelynn Trefon,                                                                    
Self, Vice Mayor of City Council, Newhalen.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
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 addressed the meeting agenda.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:04:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton discussed  the  meeting  agenda and  public                                                                    
testimony process.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: ANCHORAGE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  noted that  Representative Dan  Saddler was                                                                    
present.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:07:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  SLEDGE, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, COALITION  FOR EDUCATION                                                                    
EQUITY,   ANCHORAGE,  spoke   in  opposition   to  cuts   to                                                                    
education.    She referred  to  a  lawsuit her  organization                                                                    
participated in  with the  state [The  Moore case,  filed in                                                                    
2004,  challenged whether  Alaska's public  education system                                                                    
was  adequate under  the  Alaska  Constitution., [The  State                                                                    
agreed to settle  the eight-year case on  January 26, 2012].                                                                    
She  discussed  the  court  findings.  She  thought  further                                                                    
reductions  to the  education budget  were not  in the  best                                                                    
interest of a successful  education system. She thought such                                                                    
cuts  would  threaten  the ability  of  schools  to  provide                                                                    
instruction  and  standards,  as  well  as  the  ability  of                                                                    
Department of  Commerce, Community and  Economic Development                                                                    
to   provide  oversight.   She   spoke  in   support  of   a                                                                    
comprehensive  solution to  the  state's  budget crisis,  to                                                                    
include a  restructuring of the  Permanent Fund  earnings in                                                                    
combination with  other revenue  measures such as  an income                                                                    
tax. She  supported a  forward-funded education  system, and                                                                    
continued  support for  early childhood  education programs.                                                                    
She specified that  the coalition was in  support of funding                                                                    
for   the   highest   need  children   identified   in   the                                                                    
underperforming districts identified in  the Moore case, and                                                                    
specified an amount of $1.5 million for Pre-K grants.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:09:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton noted  that there  was a  provision in  the                                                                    
budget on  bond debt reimbursement. He  continued that there                                                                    
were other  proposals for  taking the  same amount  of money                                                                    
out  through the  Base Student  Allocation  (BSA). He  asked                                                                    
that testifiers  express any relative support  or opposition                                                                    
two one of the two proposals.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEENA  BISHOP,  ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL DISTRICT,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  against  the  proposed  cut  to                                                                    
school bond  debt reimbursement..  She relayed that  she was                                                                    
the  Anchorage  School   District  (ASD)  Superintendent  of                                                                    
Schools.  She   stated  that  the  taxpayers   of  Anchorage                                                                    
supported  schools,  and  that  the  municipality  gave  100                                                                    
percent  of  the  allowable contribution  in  the  statutory                                                                    
school  funding   formula.  She  spoke  on   behalf  of  the                                                                    
municipality in opposition to the  amendment proposed by Co-                                                                    
Chair   Seaton.    She   thought   shifting    the   state's                                                                    
responsibility  for former  bond debt  did not  decrease the                                                                    
budget,  but rather  shift the  costs to  some residents  of                                                                    
Alaska.  She   stated  that  the  $18.5   million  debt  the                                                                    
committee sent  to Anchorage would cost  property owners $53                                                                    
per  $100,000 in  assessed value  the  subsequent year.  She                                                                    
thought there  had been an  unequitable distribution  of the                                                                    
debt.  She  asked  the  committee  to  support  incorporated                                                                    
boroughs and cities equitably.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  ROTH,  ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  EAGLE  RIVER  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  against the  proposed cut  to school                                                                    
bond debt  reimbursement. He relayed  that he was  the chief                                                                    
operating  officer  of  the Anchorage  School  District.  He                                                                    
highlighted the  aging infrastructure  in ASD.  He mentioned                                                                    
the  national standard  for school  preventative maintenance                                                                    
and school repairs. He discussed  the importance of bonds in                                                                    
school funding. He referred to the ASD bond proposal.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:14:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM ANDERSON,  ANCHORAGE SCHOOL  DISTRICT, EAGLE  RIVER (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in opposition  to the proposed cut to                                                                    
school bond debt  reimbursement. He relayed that  he was the                                                                    
chief financial officer  for ASD. He spoke to  the impact of                                                                    
the  proposed amendment  to HB  57 which  would shift  $18.5                                                                    
million  requirement  from  the  state to  the  borough.  He                                                                    
discussed  an   ASD  budget  shortfall.  He   applauded  the                                                                    
committee for  restoring full funding to  the transportation                                                                    
fund. He  discussed wage increases  for school  bus drivers,                                                                    
and the resultant budget impact.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:16:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES   MCKEE,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  about the  government.   He recommended  that the                                                                    
committee bring back the state  constitution. He referred to                                                                    
Alaska statutes.  He discussed state agencies.  He discussed                                                                    
voter registration.  He discussed the Alaska  Permanent Fund                                                                    
Corporation (APFC). He discussed  legality and statehood. He                                                                    
mentioned the Alaska Bar Association.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:20:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE BERGLUND, THREAD,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  opposition to cuts  in education. She  stated that                                                                    
she  was the  chief executive  officer for  Thread, Alaska's                                                                    
childcare  resource and  referral network.  She thanked  the                                                                    
committee  for supporting  early childhood  programs in  the                                                                    
Department of  Education and  Early Development  budget. She                                                                    
highlighted  that  Pre-K,  Parents  as  Teachers,  and  Best                                                                    
Beginnings  programs  provided  critical services  to  young                                                                    
children  and  families  that   helped  support  a  stronger                                                                    
foundation  for the  future of  the state.  She thanked  the                                                                    
committee for  diversifying revenue in order  to reduce cuts                                                                    
to the state's most vulnerable population.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:21:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET  BAUER,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of education funding.  She shared that                                                                    
she was  the chair  of the  Alaska Early  Childhood Advocacy                                                                    
Group.  She  thanked  the  committee for  the  work  on  the                                                                    
budget,  and  expressed  appreciation for  the  full  funded                                                                    
early  care  and  learning  programs  as  mentioned  by  the                                                                    
previous testifier.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:21:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM FOURTNER, OCS, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of funding  for the  Office of  Children's Services                                                                    
(OCS). He  stated that  he had volunteer  as a  chaplain for                                                                    
OCS. He  understood that there was  pending legislation that                                                                    
would  add  positions to  OCS.  He  discussed caseloads  and                                                                    
staffing at  OCS and the  challenge that was  presented when                                                                    
staff was decreased.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:22:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
APRIL   STAHL,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of funding  for OCS. She  relayed that                                                                    
she had worked for OCS, but  was not testifying on behalf of                                                                    
the  agency.  She discussed  abuse  and  neglect in  Alaskan                                                                    
communities. She discussed the  challenge of working for the                                                                    
safety and  welfare of Alaskan  children while  missing time                                                                    
with  her  own family.  She  emphasized  the dedication  and                                                                    
competence of  OCS staff, and  the need for more  staff. She                                                                    
supported funding for first responders.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:25:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LOREEN   DAVIS,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  favor  the   Permanent  Fund  Protection  Act                                                                    
(PFPA).  She discussed  economic  volatility. She  discussed                                                                    
taxes and  opposed deep cuts.  She discussed  the importance                                                                    
of  services.  She  spoke   against  regressive  taxes,  and                                                                    
supported  an  income  tax.  She   asked  the  committee  to                                                                    
consider a  draw on  the Earnings  Reserve Account  (ERA) as                                                                    
outlined in the PFPA.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:27:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  D.  KENDALL,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified about accountability in  the political process. He                                                                    
stated  he  had  no  conflicts  of  interest.  He  discussed                                                                    
corruption.  He thought  testifiers should  be compelled  to                                                                    
divulge  conflicts  of  interest.   He  did  not  think  the                                                                    
legislature was prepared  for what was to  come. He remarked                                                                    
on the short time individuals were allotted for testimony.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL HAUSER, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support of education funding  from early childhood education                                                                    
through the university level. He  thought that enough budget                                                                    
cuts had been made, with the exception of oil tax credits.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:31:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ORIN  SEYBERT, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee to  pass HB 115. He had  spoken to individuals                                                                    
who were willing  to help bridge the fiscal  gap. He thought                                                                    
it  was  important  for  the   state  to  divest  itself  of                                                                    
dependence on  only one source  of revenue. He  supported an                                                                    
income  tax.  He discussed  out  of  state employees  taking                                                                    
money  outside  the  state. He  referred  to  Department  of                                                                    
Revenue and thought  it would have the  ability to reinstate                                                                    
the state  income tax  easily and  efficiently. He  spoke in                                                                    
support  of using  the earnings  reserves, and  mentioned SB                                                                    
70.  He  testified against  cuts  to  education funding.  He                                                                    
mentioned a school head tax.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:33:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton encouraged testifiers  to confine remarks to                                                                    
HB 57 and HB 59.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BOB WEIGLE, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  support  of  cuts  to  OCS.  He  claimed  that  OCS  had                                                                    
falsified its  caseload. He suggested that  the numbers were                                                                    
subjective. He  discussed mandatory reporting.  He discussed                                                                    
reporting  in  OCS,  and  was  concerned  about  a  lack  of                                                                    
integrity. He  discussed corruption. He discussed  a meeting                                                                    
with Vice-Chair  Gara. He mentioned  Representative Charisse                                                                    
Millett  and  testimony  about corruption.  He  thought  OCS                                                                    
should be  required to  demonstrate positive  results before                                                                    
getting funding.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:37:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW  HANSEN,  RURAL  CAP/PARENTS AS  TEACHERS,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in  support of  early childhood                                                                    
education. He thanked the committee  for funding the Parents                                                                    
as Teachers  program, Best  Beginnings, Pre-K  programs, and                                                                    
Head Start  programs across the  state. He relayed  that his                                                                    
spouse was a kindergarten teacher.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:39:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRIS  EICHENLAUB, SELF,  EAGLE  RIVER (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in opposition  to using  the Permanent  Fund earnings                                                                    
reserves.  He  discussed  the  administration  under  former                                                                    
Governor Tony  Knowles, when  the price of  oil was  low. He                                                                    
referred to a proposal that  included giving $25,000 to each                                                                    
resident.  He  discussed   resident's  dependence  upon  the                                                                    
Permanent   Fund  Dividend   (PFD).   He   thought  it   was                                                                    
disingenuous  to  say  that the  Permanent  Fund  was  being                                                                    
preserved  when it  was being  drawn from  to pay  for state                                                                    
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:41:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREL HAUSER, SELF, EAGLE  RIVER (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of using  the Permanent Fund  earnings reserves,                                                                    
and a  state income tax.  She did not support  further cuts.                                                                    
She  supported  funding for  education  at  all levels.  She                                                                    
supported  funding  for  public  safety  and  mental  health                                                                    
services.  She  was  opposed to  resource  development  that                                                                    
adversely affected water quality  and wildlife. She spoke in                                                                    
support of maintaining the state's infrastructure.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:42:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBE  HENSLEY, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of  early   childhood  education.  She  thanked                                                                    
members for the transparency  during the budget process. She                                                                    
thanked the committee for the  intent language in the budget                                                                    
pertaining to early learning  coordination in the Department                                                                    
of  Education and  Early Development  (DEED). She  supported                                                                    
funding   for  Parents   as  Teachers,   Head  Start,   Best                                                                    
Beginnings, and the Pre-K grant program.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  ANN KRASSELT,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support  of  using  the  earnings  reserves.  She                                                                    
thought  the money  should be  paid back  within a  specific                                                                    
time  frame  and  with  interest.   As  an  alternative  she                                                                    
suggested a balloon payment to Alaskan residents.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:45:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL BERGER, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of funding  for education  and senior  services. He                                                                    
discussed the personal benefits  of legislators and believed                                                                    
that  elected representatives  should  lead  by example.  He                                                                    
referred to  legislators receiving  extra funds.  He thought                                                                    
it was  important for legislators  to be part of  the effort                                                                    
in  reducing  spending.  He discussed  per  diem  and  state                                                                    
travel as examples.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:47:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSEY SAM, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of funding  for mental  health and  human services.                                                                    
She relayed that  she worked for Cook  Inlet Tribal Council;                                                                    
which  served   Alaska  Natives,   a  population   that  was                                                                    
disproportionately affected by  mental health and behavioral                                                                    
health  issues. She  asserted that  mental health  and human                                                                    
services personnel  were concerned  with funding,  and urged                                                                    
members to  consider the needs rather  than considering only                                                                    
reelection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:49:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERNE  BOERNER,  AK  NATIVE  HEALTH  BOARD,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke   in  opposition  of  cuts   to  the                                                                    
Department of Health and Social  6Services that might impact                                                                    
Medicaid expansion and Medicaid  programs. She asserted that                                                                    
cutting Medicaid eligibility or  services would not save the                                                                    
state  money  nor  help  the   economy.  She  discussed  the                                                                    
efficacy of  Medicaid services.  She discussed  the possible                                                                    
savings and  better outcomes with preventative  health care,                                                                    
and pointed out the  contribution by the Federal government.                                                                    
She mentioned  tooth decay  as an  example of  a preventable                                                                    
cause of  morbidity and mortality  that could be  treated at                                                                    
an earlier stage  to save money. She  discussed the possible                                                                    
effects of  reductions in  pharmacy services.  She supported                                                                    
stable funding for behavioral health.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:51:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY  SIMPSON,   SELF,  EAGLE  RIVER   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
supported  funding  for  early childhood  programs  such  as                                                                    
Parents as  Teachers, Best Beginnings,  and Head  Start. She                                                                    
relayed  that she  was an  early  intervention provider  and                                                                    
director of an early  intervention program in Anchorage. She                                                                    
thanked  the committee  for  maintaining  funding for  early                                                                    
childhood  programs. She  supported a  state income  tax and                                                                    
other  revenue measures.  She thought  that further  cuts to                                                                    
education,  social services,  and mental  health would  only                                                                    
degrade  the  state's  infrastructure  and  have  long  term                                                                    
consequences.  She felt  that out  of  state workers  should                                                                    
also pay for infrastructure.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:53:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  MOORE, ALASKA  MENTAL HEALTH  BOARD, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support  of funding for  home and                                                                    
community-based  services. She  encouraged the  committee to                                                                    
look at  a diverse revenue stream  as part of a  fiscal plan                                                                    
to  help   maintain  state  services.  She   described  that                                                                    
community-based   services   included  mental   health   and                                                                    
substance abuse  treatment, healthcare,  housing assistance,                                                                    
assisted  living, family  care  giver  and natural  support,                                                                    
case management, education and  training for providers, peer                                                                    
support,   and  transportation   and  senior   support.  She                                                                    
discussed   the  value   of  preventative   care,  and   the                                                                    
importance   of  home   and   community-based  services   in                                                                    
preventing  the need  for acute  care. She  stated that  she                                                                    
served on  the board  for the Alaska  Psychiatric Institute.                                                                    
She  discussed  a lack  of  follow-up  services after  acute                                                                    
care, which created a high rate of re-admission.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:56:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WHITE,  ACCESS ALASKA, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of funding  for seniors  and people  with                                                                    
disabilities. He thanked the  committee for maintaining most                                                                    
of the  appropriations from the governor's  proposed budget,                                                                    
particularly community-based  programs. He spoke  in support                                                                    
of   increased   revenue   measures.  He   highlighted   the                                                                    
community-based care services  provided jobs and contributed                                                                    
to  the  local  economy.   He  mentioned  important  support                                                                    
services  such as  mental health  services, substance  abuse                                                                    
treatment   services,  health   care,  housing   assistance,                                                                    
assisted living, in-family  caregiver, case management, care                                                                    
provider training, and senior  support. He noted that people                                                                    
with disabilities were more likely  to lead productive lives                                                                    
with appropriate support,  and would be less  likely to need                                                                    
more  acute  care.  He  supported a  fiscal  plan  based  on                                                                    
diverse revenue sources.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:59:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK  REINHART, GOVERNOR'S  COUNCIL  ON DISABILITIES  AND                                                                    
SPECIAL EDUCATION,  ANCHORAGE, spoke  in support  of funding                                                                    
for  home and  community-based services.  He noted  that the                                                                    
governor's council  had taken a position  that revenues were                                                                    
needed  to balance  the budget.  He thought  there had  been                                                                    
enough  cuts  to  home   and  community-based  services.  He                                                                    
discussed   the  cut   that   would   be  replaced   through                                                                    
refinancing some items through Medicaid programs.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  stated that  the  committee  would take  a                                                                    
break until 2:30 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:01:47 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:34:15 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DENMER   WELLS,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of  education  funding.  He  thought                                                                    
discussing the deficit in terms  of percentages implied that                                                                    
there was  a fundamental revenue problem.  He encouraged the                                                                    
committee to  fully fund education.  He spoke  in opposition                                                                    
to using the earnings  reserves, specifically to cutting the                                                                    
PFD.  He   thought  cutting  the  PFD   was  regressive.  He                                                                    
supported an income tax. He did not support a sales tax.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:38:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID BOYLE, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
opposition  to using  the Permanent  Fund earnings  reserves                                                                    
and against cuts to the PFD.  He spoke in support of further                                                                    
budget  cuts.  He  supported  cuts   to  education  and  the                                                                    
Department  of  Transportation  and  Public  Facilities.  He                                                                    
supported  cuts   to  the  Alaska   Performance  Scholarship                                                                    
program  and   the  Power  Cost  Equalization   program.  He                                                                    
discussed funding for non-profits.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOAN  DIAMOND, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in favor  of restructuring the Permanent  Fund. She referred                                                                    
to  the  income tax  and  education  tax that  was  formerly                                                                    
enacted  in the  state. She  spoke in  support of  an income                                                                    
tax.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:42:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MALLORY HAMILTON,  SELF, ANCHORAGE, testified in  support of                                                                    
funding for disabilities services.  She relayed that she had                                                                    
a child with significant  disabilities. She spoke in support                                                                    
of additional revenue measures.  She emphasized the need for                                                                    
bills  to get  through  committee  to go  to  the House  and                                                                    
Senate floor.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:44:18 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:46:04 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  stated that as  there was no one  signed up                                                                    
to testify, the committee would break until 3:15 p.m.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:46:41 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:15:29 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC  TESTIMONY:   SITKA,  PETERSBURG,   DELTA  JUNCTION,                                                                  
UNALASKA, GLENNALLEN, TOK                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JODY TOW,  FINANCE DIRECTOR, PETERSBURG  BOROUGH, PETERSBURG                                                                    
(via teleconference),  opposed the proposed decrease  to the                                                                    
school bond  debt reimbursement.  She stressed  that passing                                                                    
major  expenses to  municipalities was  not a  solution. She                                                                    
provided  detail  on  how  the  expenses  would  impact  the                                                                    
community's  taxpayers. She  indicated  that property  taxes                                                                    
would increase by $90 for  every $100,000 of assessed value.                                                                    
She discussed  that the  bonds had been  issued to  help pay                                                                    
for  school major  maintenance,  the aquatic  center, and  a                                                                    
vocational  education building  expansion. She  believed the                                                                    
passage of  the amendment  would negatively  influence voter                                                                    
approval of any future  ballot propositions for construction                                                                    
projects. She thanked the committee for its time.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton clarified  that it  was 50  percent of  the                                                                    
Unrestricted General Funds; it was  really 42 percent of the                                                                    
bond debt reimbursement.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Tow replied  it equated  to approximately  $240,000 for                                                                    
Petersburg.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:18:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN DULL, SELF, SITKA (via  teleconference), believed HB 57                                                                    
was  a  good  bill,  but he  thought  additional  cuts  were                                                                    
necessary.  He   mentioned  that   the  Senate   was  making                                                                    
additional  cuts  without  having  to  tax  the  people.  He                                                                    
thought cutting  to the  bone was  appropriate. He  spoke in                                                                    
support of  additional reductions  to the  education budget.                                                                    
He  did  not  believe utilizing  the  Constitutional  Budget                                                                    
Reserve  (CBR) to  fill  the remaining  budget  gap was  the                                                                    
right solution.  He thought  a $6.6  billion budget  was way                                                                    
too high.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:19:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  JAY SWEENY,  CHIEF  FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATIVE  OFFICER,                                                                    
CITY  AND  BOROUGH  OF SITKA,  SITKA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
strongly urged members to vote no  on HB 57. He relayed that                                                                    
the city had  been able to absorb a cut  to school bond debt                                                                    
reimbursement the prior year;  however, it could not sustain                                                                    
a long-term reduction. The city  did not have the ability to                                                                    
increase  property  or  sales  taxes  without  a  vote.  The                                                                    
reduction would mean a cut  of approximately $750,000 to the                                                                    
city's budget. He  asked members to consider  the impacts of                                                                    
transferring  debt to  the  municipalities.  He thanked  the                                                                    
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:21:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  WEGNER, SUPERINTENDENT,  SITKA SCHOOL  DISTRICT, SITKA                                                                    
(via  teleconference),   supported  public   education.  She                                                                    
thanked  the committee  for prioritizing  funding for  early                                                                    
learning and K-12 education. She  spoke to the many benefits                                                                    
that  came with  the  funding levels  for  education in  the                                                                    
budget.  She mentioned  that the  flat funding  would affect                                                                    
the level of service due  to increased health care costs for                                                                    
employees.  She  spoke in  opposition  of  the reduction  in                                                                    
school bond debt reimbursement.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  relayed that the bill  represented a single                                                                    
budget for FY 18, not a long-term change.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:24:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD PROBERT,  SELF, TOK  (via teleconference),  spoke of                                                                    
problems he  had with Adult  Public Assistance.  He provided                                                                    
detailed information about  his personal financial troubles.                                                                    
He spoke  to inequities  surrounding the welfare  system. He                                                                    
wanted to  see cuts  made to individuals  committing welfare                                                                    
fraud. He advocated for funding for seniors.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:26:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEB  HARBISON, PARENT  EDUCATOR,  PARENTS  AS TEACHERS,  TOK                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in   support  of  Parents  As                                                                    
Teachers  and   supported  funding  for  the   program.  She                                                                    
provided information about the  program. She was speaking on                                                                    
behalf   of  parents   in   her   community.  She   provided                                                                    
information  about the  merits of  the program.  She thanked                                                                    
the  committee  for  funding  the  program  previously.  She                                                                    
thanked the committee for the opportunity to testify.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  indicated that the committee  would take an                                                                    
"At  ease"  until  4:00  PM,  as there  was  no  one  online                                                                    
currently.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:28:52 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:03:11 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HANNAH  BENGSTON,  PARENT  EDUCATOR,  PARENTS  AS  TEACHERS,                                                                    
GLENNALLEN  (via   teleconference),  spoke  in   support  of                                                                    
funding   for  Parents   as  Teacher.   She  provided   some                                                                    
information  about  what  she did  to  support  parents  and                                                                    
families. She thanked the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  thanked Ms. Bengston for  her commitment to                                                                    
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS  CHARLEY,   PARENTS  AS  TEACHERS,   GLENNALLEN  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke   in  support  of  the   Parents  As                                                                    
Teachers program  and urged members to  support the program.                                                                    
He  shared how  the program  had benefitted  his family.  He                                                                    
mentioned some  of the benefits  of the program.  He thought                                                                    
the program brought people confidence and encouragement.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:07:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA    NICOLAI,    GAKONA    VILLAGE,    GLENNALLEN    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  urged members  to  support  the Office  of                                                                    
Child  Services.  She  provided a  professional  story.  She                                                                    
relayed   Gakona  had   one   caseworker  covering   several                                                                    
communities. She urged the committee  to provide funding for                                                                    
additional caseworkers. She thanked  members for hearing her                                                                    
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  relayed  that the  committee  was  hearing                                                                    
testimony   of  people   for  the   communities  of   Sitka,                                                                    
Petersburg, Delta  Junction, Unalaska, Glennallen,  and Tok.                                                                    
The  committee   would  be   taking  testimony   from  these                                                                    
communities until  4:45 PM. The  cutoff time to sign  up was                                                                    
4:30 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:10:14 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:31:38 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KURT  SCHMIDT, SELF,  DELTA  JUNCTION (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in opposition  to HB  57. He  thought the  budget was                                                                    
excessive  and was  a  sure way  to  bankruptcy. He  thought                                                                    
additional reductions  were in order. He  mentioned being in                                                                    
favor of Senator  Dunleavy's bill to put the use  of the PFD                                                                    
to a  vote of the  people. He  believed that taking  the PFD                                                                    
was  a  crime.  He   suggested  that  legislators  were  not                                                                    
representing  the people.  He urged  moving  the capital  to                                                                    
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:34:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH   HOLMGRAIN,   MEMBER,    PETERSBURG   SCHOOL   BOARD,                                                                    
PETERSBURG (via  teleconference), spoke in favor  of funding                                                                    
public  education. She  opposed the  amendment that  reduced                                                                    
the school  bond debt reimbursement.  The amendment  was not                                                                    
the solution  to resolving the state's  fiscal problems. She                                                                    
shared that the previous year  the borough had lost $117,000                                                                    
from its  school bond  reimbursement. She  communicated that                                                                    
the  borough had  worked  creatively and  had  been able  to                                                                    
absorb  the  loss;  however, the  amendment  would  hit  the                                                                    
borough and  the school in  the gut. She explained  that the                                                                    
borough may  have to increase  taxes or cut services  if the                                                                    
amendment  passed.  Voters  had  approved  the  bonds  years                                                                    
earlier with  the understanding the community  would receive                                                                    
agreed reimbursement from the state.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:36:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  CURRAN,  SELF,  DELTA JUNCTION  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
opposed using  Permanent Fund monies to  fund government. He                                                                    
believed  former Governor  Jay  Hammond  had considered  the                                                                    
Permanent  Fund  the  people's money.  He  thought  the  PFD                                                                    
fueled the economy.  He thought it was criminal  to take the                                                                    
PFD  away  from  the  people   of  Alaska.  He  thanked  the                                                                    
committee for hearing his testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:38:03 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:38:16 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton   indicated  that  the  meeting   would  be                                                                    
recessed until 5:00 p.m.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:38:32 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:02:26 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: OFF-NETS                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:02:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  O'BRIEN,  VICE   PRESIDENT,  FAIRBANKS  NORTH  STAR                                                                    
BOROUGH SCHOOL  DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD,  FAIRBANKS, testified                                                                    
in support of education funding.  He shared that in the past                                                                    
several years the  district had made strategic  cuts; it had                                                                    
utilized a  strategic plan for  guidance to  ensure students                                                                    
continued to succeed. He was  opposed to any additional cuts                                                                    
of  any  form  to  education   (e.g.  to  the  Base  Student                                                                    
Allocation (BSA)  or bond  debt reimbursement).  He believed                                                                    
the bond  debt reimbursement cut was  inequitable across the                                                                    
state.  He provided  examples. He  elaborated on  the impact                                                                    
the  cut would  have on  Fairbanks. If  any cuts  were made,                                                                    
they should  be made  equitably. He spoke  to transportation                                                                    
costs  for the  school  district and  provided detail  about                                                                    
contracts. The  district was looking  at a  very significant                                                                    
hole in its budget.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton   clarified  that  the  remainder   of  the                                                                    
governor's  budget  would fill  the  $6.5  million in  pupil                                                                    
transportation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz asked  how Mr.  O'Brien would  view an                                                                    
increase to  Public Employees' Retirement System  (PERS) and                                                                    
Teachers'   Retirement    System   (TRS)    obligations   in                                                                    
relationship to the other two options.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. O'Brien  was opposed to  the idea. He  communicated that                                                                    
$1  taken away  from the  classroom  was $1  taken away.  He                                                                    
particularly  opposed  the  elimination  of  the  bond  debt                                                                    
reimbursement due to the inequity across the state.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:07:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK VINK,  BERING STRAIT  SCHOOL DISTRICT,  UNALAKLEET (via                                                                    
teleconference),  thanked the  committee  for  its work  and                                                                    
recognized decisions on the budget  was not an easy task. He                                                                    
referred to a colleague who would testify.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAMMY DODD,  BERING STRAIT SCHOOL DISTRICT,  UNALAKLEET (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of the  proposed bill                                                                    
to  replace  or add  additional  funds  to the  state's  ECE                                                                    
[early childhood education] grants  that had been previously                                                                    
funded by the  Moore grant settlement. There  had been three                                                                    
cohort  years  that  had  gone   through  the  program.  She                                                                    
referred  to  a  study  showing that  children  in  the  ECE                                                                    
program were  outperforming non-ECE  students by  20 percent                                                                    
in letter  naming. She provided additional  detail about the                                                                    
program and its merits. She  noted she had provided the data                                                                    
to Co-Chair  Foster and Representative Ortiz's  offices. She                                                                    
spoke  to the  importance of  early childhood  education for                                                                    
students in the Bering Strait  School District. She spoke to                                                                    
costs for  the district. She  feared the ECE  programs would                                                                    
eventually lose out without additional funding.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ETHAN   BERKOWITZ,   MAYOR,    ANCHORAGE,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in opposition to the  elimination of                                                                    
the  bond debt  reimbursement. He  emphasized he  viewed the                                                                    
change not as  a budget cut, but as a  shift to taxpayers in                                                                    
Anchorage  that  would  cost   them  approximately  $53  per                                                                    
$100,000 in  assessed value. The  change would result  in an                                                                    
average tax  increase of $185  for Anchorage  homeowners. He                                                                    
stressed that  the reduction  was in  addition to  cuts made                                                                    
the previous year. He urged  the committee to reconsider the                                                                    
proposal. He asked members to  consider the moral obligation                                                                    
to honor bond debt reimbursement.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:13:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA SAMASH, SELF,  NENANA (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  of funding  for education.  She shared  that she                                                                    
had worked  as a school bus  driver in the past.  She wanted                                                                    
to see the  Democrats and Republicans work  together for the                                                                    
people  of Alaska.  She  stated  that the  CBR  had a  lower                                                                    
interest rate  and would not  take money from  the Permanent                                                                    
Fund  Dividend.  She did  not  support  taking the  PFD  and                                                                    
believed residents  could not  afford the  legislature's tax                                                                    
plan.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:15:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARNA SANFORD,  SELF, FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee to not make  any additional cuts. She believed                                                                    
individuals  in Alaska  would be  amazed to  find what  less                                                                    
government would  look like. She  thanked the  committee for                                                                    
its work.  She strongly supported Co-Chair  Seaton's work to                                                                    
restructure the PFD  and reform of oil and  gas tax credits.                                                                    
She spoke in  support of an amendment  offered by Vice-Chair                                                                    
Gara related to  additional social workers at  the Office of                                                                    
Children's Services (OCS). She  shared information about her                                                                    
prior work with the agency. She spoke to its merits.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:17:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NATASHA  SINGH,  TANANA  CHIEFS CONFERENCE,  FAIRBANKS  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  thanked the  committee for  its work.  She                                                                    
remarked  on the  difficulty of  cutting significantly  over                                                                    
recent years. She  did not support further  cuts. She stated                                                                    
that some of the cuts  were hurting Alaskans. The conference                                                                    
supported an  amendment offered  by Vice-Chair  Gara related                                                                    
to social workers for OCS.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:19:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MRS.  DENNY KAY  WEATHERS, SELF,  PRINCE WILLIAM  SOUND (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke against  the  budgets. She  believed                                                                    
Alaskans  had  created an  enormous  debt  by inflating  the                                                                    
budget. She did  not support the proposal to  block per diem                                                                    
cuts  to legislators.  She  cited  Co-Chair Seaton's  travel                                                                    
expenditures and believed his annual  per diem was more than                                                                    
what  many  Alaskans  earned. She  believed  government  was                                                                    
bloated.  She had  not seen  any real  cuts during  Co-Chair                                                                    
Seaton's 14 years with the  legislature. She believed it was                                                                    
time for steeper reductions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:23:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL VERHAGEN,  SELF, NENANA (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition  to  the  proposed budget.  He  did  not  support                                                                    
pulling  $4.2  billion  from  the  Permanent  Fund  earnings                                                                    
reserve  account to  pay for  "big" government.  He believed                                                                    
the legislative  minority had been  cut out of  the process.                                                                    
He stated that the new  majority had made minimal efforts to                                                                    
cut the  budget. He did  not support  cuts to the  bond debt                                                                    
reimbursement to  school districts.  He urged  the committee                                                                    
to consider  changing its strategy.  He asked  the committee                                                                    
to  look  at  Senator  Bert Stedman's  SB  21  proposal.  He                                                                    
supported cuts to the budget, not the people.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:25:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARA     THRASHER-LIVINGSTON,    SELF,     ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  thanked   the  committee   for  preserving                                                                    
community-based  services for  elders  and individuals  with                                                                    
disabilities. She  shared information about her  family. She                                                                    
discussed  individuals  providing  care for  elderly  family                                                                    
members, children,  and other.  She did not  support blanket                                                                    
cuts.  She explained  that cuts  without  other options  for                                                                    
people would  be devastating. She  discussed that  she spent                                                                    
her earned funds in Alaska.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:27:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARILYN  ANDON, BEHAVIORAL  HEALTH  DIRECTOR, TANANA  CHIEFS                                                                    
CONFERENCE,   FAIRBANKS  (via   teleconference),  spoke   in                                                                    
support   of  behavioral   health   treatment  grants.   The                                                                    
organization used the grants  to provide substance treatment                                                                    
and  mental health  services in  several communities  in the                                                                    
Interior, including  Fairbanks. She  asked the  committee to                                                                    
avoid further  cuts. She shared  that often  federal dollars                                                                    
had to be used to subsidize the programs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  SQUYRES, SELF,  RURAL  DELTANA (via  teleconference),                                                                    
believed the budget was still too  high. He did not like the                                                                    
idea  of  an  income  tax  or cuts  to  the  Permanent  Fund                                                                    
Dividend. He  believed government was  too big. He  spoke to                                                                    
the  state's  constitution.  He  asked  the  legislature  to                                                                    
correct its course.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA  GOODE,  SELF,  RURAL DELTANA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified against  the budgets. She associated  herself with                                                                    
remarks  made   by  an   earlier  testifier.   She  believed                                                                    
legislators had lost  their minds. She did  not support high                                                                    
levels of government spending. She  emphasized that once the                                                                    
funds were  gone they  would not be  recovered. She  did not                                                                    
support additional  taxes or  use of  the Permanent  Fund to                                                                    
fund government.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:31:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRAD RYAN,  INTERIM BOROUGH MANAGER, CITY  OF HAINES, HAINES                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  against  the  proposal to  cut                                                                    
school bond  debt reimbursement. He relayed  it would impact                                                                    
the  Haines Borough  by nearly  $450,000  in a  year with  a                                                                    
$500,000  deficit.   The  cut  would  directly   impact  the                                                                    
community,   schools,  and   services.  He   encouraged  the                                                                    
committee to  maintain the forester position  in Haines; the                                                                    
community had already lost its  state trooper and would like                                                                    
to maintain the forester. He  shared that one of the largest                                                                    
timber sales in  recent history was about to  take place and                                                                    
the community could use the forester's support.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:32:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANGELA  HILL,   SELF,  SITKA  (via   teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  cuts  to   pre-K.  She  worked  as   a  head  start                                                                    
administrator in  Sitka. She provided information  about the                                                                    
program.  She  spoke  to  working  with  programs  to  reach                                                                    
additional  young children.  She implored  the committee  to                                                                    
maintain funding.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:34:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH SCHNABEL,  HAINES CHAMBER  OF COMMERCE,  HAINES (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  against the  proposed cut  to school                                                                    
bond  debt  reimbursement.  She   explained  the  cut  would                                                                    
negatively  impact the  community. She  provided information                                                                    
about the  community's bonds. She  stated the  amendment was                                                                    
unfair  and   was  crippling  to  the   economic  growth  of                                                                    
communities.  She  urged  the committee  to  reconsider  and                                                                    
asked the  committee to reinstate a  state forester position                                                                    
in the region.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  clarified that the  bill would not  mean an                                                                    
ongoing change over decades; it impacted only 2018.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:37:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA    LAGOUDAKIS,   VICE    MAYOR,   PETERSBURG    (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified against cuts  to school bond debt                                                                    
reimbursement. She shared the  community had received almost                                                                    
$500,000 in  state funds of  the $748,000 needed to  pay its                                                                    
annual  bond  principal  and  interest.  She  detailed  that                                                                    
currently   debt  reimbursement   covered  three   completed                                                                    
projects  including  school  major maintenance,  an  aquatic                                                                    
center, and the expansion  of vocational education building.                                                                    
She specified  how the cut  would impact the  community. She                                                                    
relayed  the reimbursement  had already  been reduced  by 25                                                                    
percent in FY  17. The proposed 50 percent funding  in FY 18                                                                    
would mean almost  $250,000 in lost funding.  She stated the                                                                    
bill would  reduce future construction.  She stated  that in                                                                    
recent years  the legislature had special  sessions, lobbied                                                                    
for  controversial projects,  focused on  cutting government                                                                    
positions and  services, and  had sought  to shift  costs to                                                                    
municipalities.  She urged  the legislature  to address  oil                                                                    
subsidies  and  to  develop avenues  of  revenue  generation                                                                    
instead of relying on cutting state government.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:39:24 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:44:56 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  addressed the agenda for  the following day                                                                    
and noted one additional person was available to testify.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:46:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EVELYNN TREFON,  SELF, VICE MAYOR OF  CITY COUNCIL, NEWHALEN                                                                    
(via  teleconference), stressed  the  need  for new  revenue                                                                    
sources.  She  believed  revenue  sharing  needed  to  be  a                                                                    
reliable funding  source. She stressed  that the  city would                                                                    
be forced  to close its  doors without the funding.  She was                                                                    
in favor  of an  income tax.  She believed  it would  add an                                                                    
additional 50 to 60 jobs into  the economy. She was in favor                                                                    
of capping the  PFD at $1,000. She stated that  it needed to                                                                    
be set  at a measurable  rate and maintained.  She supported                                                                    
changes to  oil taxes. She  emphasized the state  should not                                                                    
be handing out  subsidies to oil companies.  She spoke about                                                                    
motor  fuel  costs.  She  did not  support  an  increase  to                                                                    
aviation fuel.  She spoke to  high costs in the  region. She                                                                    
underscored that more  budget cuts were not  the answer. She                                                                    
relayed that  Alaskans grandchildren would look  back on the                                                                    
moment in time  and either applaud the actions  taken by the                                                                    
legislature  or  would  wonder  what  legislators  had  been                                                                    
thinking.  She stressed  that  the can  could  no longer  be                                                                    
kicked down  the road. She supported  a comprehensive fiscal                                                                    
plan.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB  57  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  59  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:51:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 5:51 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 57 Opposition Documents 2.pdf HFIN 3/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 57
HB 57 Support Documents 2- 3.3.17.pdf HFIN 3/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 57