Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/09/2017 09:30 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:34:08 AM Start
09:34:08 AM HB57 || HB59
09:34:59 AM Amendments: All Remaining
11:24:18 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued from 3/8/17 1:30 pm Meeting --
+= HB 57 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 59 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Amendments
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 9, 2017                                                                                            
                         9:34 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:34:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 9:34 a.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lora Reinbold; Representative Justin Parish.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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 agenda for the morning.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
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. 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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:34:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^AMENDMENTS: ALL REMAINING                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:34:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton informed members that the meeting would be                                                                      
about two hours. The committee would continue addressing                                                                        
amendments during the scheduled afternoon meeting.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT Amendment H DOL 3                                                                          
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Commissioner and Administrative Services                                                                                   
     Commissioner's Office                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     H  DOL 3  -  Delete  1 of  2  Special Assistant  to  the                                                                   
     Commissioner positions                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Delete 1 of 2 Special Assistants to the Commissioner.                                                                      
     The work can be reallocated to the remaining 4                                                                             
     personnel.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson read  from  the amendment  description                                                                   
[see above].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster spoke  to his  objection.  He indicated  the                                                                   
department  had   already  cut   three  positions   from  the                                                                   
commissioner's  office   including  a  deputy   commissioner.                                                                   
There   were   only   five   positions   remaining   in   the                                                                   
commissioner's  office. He asserted  that further  cuts would                                                                   
negatively impact  the commissioner's ability  to effectively                                                                   
manage and  provide support to  the department. He  would not                                                                   
be supporting the amendment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson relayed that  she thought her  cut was                                                                   
a  pertinent  place to  start  and  wanted to  be  consistent                                                                   
throughout all of the departments.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Kawasaki, Ortiz, Gara, Grenn, Seaton, Foster                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 3 FAILED (4/6).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton noted  that Vice-Chair  Gara had joined  the                                                                   
meeting.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:37:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  DOL  4                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Workforce Investment Board                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 4 - Delete "Other Services"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Tilton                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Delete "Other Services - Authority for expenses yet to                                                                     
     be determined" as outlined in the Governor's                                                                               
     departmental budget detail.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton explained  that  the amendment  sought                                                                   
to  remove $58  thousand  from the  services  line under  the                                                                   
workforce  investment board.  In the  detail of the  services                                                                   
it stated,  "Other Services -  Authority for expenses  yet to                                                                   
be determined."  She did not  agree with funding  things that                                                                   
were unknown.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  spoke  to  his   objection.  The  amendment                                                                   
deleted  inter-agency receipts,  which  the Alaska  Workforce                                                                   
Investment Board  (AWIB) collected  for doing work  for other                                                                   
state  agencies.   Removing  the   funding  would   not  only                                                                   
hamstring  AWIB,  it  would  also  hamstring  the  requesting                                                                   
agencies.  As  the  chair  of the  Department  of  Labor  and                                                                   
Workforce  Development (DOL)  subcommittee, he  would  not be                                                                   
supporting the amendment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson argued  that the  legislature had  the                                                                   
right   to   know   where  money   was   being   spent.   The                                                                   
appropriation  allowed the department  to utilize  funding at                                                                   
its discretion.  She thought  it was  the legislature's  duty                                                                   
to know how the funds were being used.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  commented that  inter-agency  receipts  and                                                                   
contingency  monies were  generally  in budgets  in order  to                                                                   
function throughout  the year. He anticipated  that the funds                                                                   
would be  helpful in avoiding  the department having  to come                                                                   
back to the legislature for a supplemental budget request.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  agreed with  her  colleague that  the                                                                   
legislature should  be aware of  what was happening  with the                                                                   
state budget.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Grenn                                                                               
OPPOSED: Ortiz, Gara, Kawasaki, Foster, Seaton                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 4 FAILED (5/5).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:40:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  DOL  5                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Workers' Compensation                                                                                                      
     Fishermen's Fund                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 5 - Delete "other services" included in the                                                                          
     Governor's departmental budget detail.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Tilton                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Deletes "Other Services Other services for purposes                                                                        
     yet to be determined" as outlined in the Governor's                                                                        
     departmental budget detail.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton explained  that  in the  FY 16  actual                                                                   
budget  no money  was appropriated  for purposes  "yet to  be                                                                   
determined"  in the Worker's  Compensation Fishermen's  Fund.                                                                   
Currently,  there was  $115 thousand  reflected  in the  same                                                                   
line item. She sought to remove the amount from the budget.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster spoke  to his  objection.  He reported  that                                                                   
the amendment would  reduce the funds that  were dedicated in                                                                   
statute  specifically  for helping  disabled  fishermen.  Any                                                                   
foreseen  expenditure   would  go  towards   fulfilling  that                                                                   
purpose. He would not be supporting the amendment.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson  remarked that over the  past several                                                                   
years the  legislature had attempted  to reduce  spending. He                                                                   
suggested  that  the  current   amendment  and  the  previous                                                                   
amendment  sought to eliminate  slush  funds. He argued  that                                                                   
the state  could not afford  slush funds within  departments.                                                                   
He would be supporting the amendment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  added that the  Fishermen's Fund was  one of                                                                   
the  few dedicated  funds allowed  and  carried forward  from                                                                   
before the adoption  of the state's constitution.  He thought                                                                   
it  was  not  a  good  idea  to  limit  the  monies  used  to                                                                   
compensate  fishermen injured  at sea.  He would be  opposing                                                                   
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Tilton   appreciated   Co-Chair    Seaton's                                                                   
comments about  the fund being  used to take care  of injured                                                                   
fishermen.  However, she did  not agree  with the  request of                                                                   
$115 thousand  since the  FY 16 actual  amount was  zero. She                                                                   
thought the  request was  a slush  fund solicitation  and was                                                                   
requesting it be removed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Ortiz                                                                               
OPPOSED: Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Seaton, Foster,                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 5 FAILED (5/6).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:44:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  DOL  6                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Labor Standards and Safety                                                                                                 
     Wage and Hour Administration                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 6 - Eliminate the Wage and Hour Administration.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Pruitt                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment eliminates all funding for The Wage and                                                                     
     Hour Administration.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt explained  that the  state's Wage  and                                                                   
Hour  Administration was  a duplicative  service. He  thought                                                                   
that  since  the  federal  government   already  offered  the                                                                   
service,  duplication  was unnecessary  on  the  part of  the                                                                   
state.  He  advocated  that  the   state  allow  the  federal                                                                   
government to  enforce the  law and to  do its job.  He noted                                                                   
hearing  negative  feedback  from   the  public  about  their                                                                   
experiences  with the  agency.  He urged  members to  support                                                                   
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  spoke to his  objection. He argued  that the                                                                   
Wage  and  Hour Administration  was  critical  to  protecting                                                                   
Alaskan  Workers. The  administration  ensured legal  working                                                                   
conditions  in Alaska.  In  FY 16,  the  agency collected  $1                                                                   
million  in  wages  owed to  Alaskan  workers.  Although  the                                                                   
administration  cost about  $2.4 million,  it collected  over                                                                   
$2.5 million  in public construction  project filing  fees in                                                                   
the  previous year,  which  was  deposited into  the  general                                                                   
fund  (GF).  He  thought  cutting   the  program  would  hurt                                                                   
Alaskan workers. He would not be supporting the amendment.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  agreed with Co-Chair  Foster; however,                                                                   
the question  was about a  duplication of services.  She felt                                                                   
that  if  the   federal  government  already   performed  the                                                                   
duties,  the  state  did not  need  to  do  so as  well.  She                                                                   
wondered if the recovered monies were given to the state.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  noted that DOL  was a department  running on                                                                   
a shoestring.  It had faced  budget reductions of  35 percent                                                                   
since 2015. The  commissioner had stated that  the department                                                                   
was  strapped to  do the  work that  was needed.  He did  not                                                                   
agree with  the notion that  the service was  duplicative. He                                                                   
argued  that the  federal government  would  not enforce  the                                                                   
state  wage, which  was different  from that  of the  federal                                                                   
government.  Alaska also  had different  wage and hour  rules                                                                   
from  the  federal  government.   In  addition,  the  federal                                                                   
government did not  enforce state wage and  hour laws. Unless                                                                   
there was  an inquiry  as to whether  the federal  government                                                                   
would  increase  its staff  to  enforce  what the  state  was                                                                   
doing, there was no duplication.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg mentioned  that during  his tenure                                                                   
as a  legislator he  had never  heard of  a movement  to take                                                                   
away  state  primacy. The  state  had  always fought  to  put                                                                   
Alaska's mark on  programs doing things in a  better way than                                                                   
the  federal  government.  He  would  be  supportive  if  the                                                                   
federal government  would protect Alaska's interest  in a way                                                                   
that  was  acceptable  to  the   people  of  Alaska  and  the                                                                   
legislature.  He   wondered  what   would  be  lost   if  the                                                                   
amendment  passed.  He  thought  the  answer  was,  "No."  He                                                                   
believed the agency  protected wages and workers.  He thought                                                                   
that  passing  the amendment  would  be  more than  a  budget                                                                   
comment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  noted that  the  Division of  Labor's                                                                   
website  listed  the minimum  wage  and highlighted  that  in                                                                   
cases  where  employees  were  subject to  both  federal  and                                                                   
state  minimum wages,  they were  entitled to  the higher  of                                                                   
the  two.  The  division  helped to  enforce  state  law.  He                                                                   
agreed  that there  had been  periods where  the state  asked                                                                   
for  primacy. More  recently, he  had heard  that because  of                                                                   
savings  the state  would have  to figure  out other ways  of                                                                   
doing things. The  crux was that the legislature  has decided                                                                   
it  did  not  want  to  have  difficult  conversations  about                                                                   
education and health  care. The committee had  added money to                                                                   
the budget in the previous day.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  redirected Representative  Pruitt's comments                                                                   
to the amendment under consideration.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt continued  that the legislature  would                                                                   
have to  look at other places  for the federal  government to                                                                   
assist  the state.  He addressed  the question  asked by  the                                                                   
representative  from North  Pole.  He wanted  to  know if  he                                                                   
understood the question  correctly about the salaries  or the                                                                   
money that went to individuals.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  redirected Representative Pruitt  to wrap up                                                                   
his comments regarding the amendment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt   thought  looking   at   duplicative                                                                   
services  and   the  federal   government's  role   had  been                                                                   
highlighted over the previous few days.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Pruitt                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara,  Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Foster,                                                                   
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 6 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:54:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt WITHDREW  Amendment H  DOL 7  (copy on                                                                   
file).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  DOL  8                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Occupational Safety and Health                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 8 - Eliminate the Occupational Safety and Health                                                                     
     section                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Pruitt                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This   amendment   eliminates   all  funding   for   the                                                                   
     Occupational Safety and Health Section.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  conveyed  that  the  reason  for  the                                                                   
amendment had to  do with a duplication of  services that the                                                                   
federal  government already  provided.  He  read a  statement                                                                   
from  the website  of  the Division  of  Labor Standards  and                                                                   
Safety  within   the  Department   of  Labor  and   Workforce                                                                   
Development:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  Occupational  Safety  and Health  Section  aims  to                                                                   
     protect  Alaska workers  from  industrial accidents  and                                                                   
     job-related  illness through  the  enforcement of  state                                                                   
     and  federal standards,  and by  training employers  and                                                                   
     employees to  follow safe and healthful  work practices.                                                                   
     The  section  also  administers  certification  programs                                                                   
     for   asbestos   abatement,  hazardous   painting,   and                                                                   
     explosives  handlers   to  assure  this   work  is  done                                                                   
     safely.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt   then  read  a  statement   from  the                                                                   
Occupational   Safety   and  Health   Administration   (OSHA)                                                                   
website:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Congress  created  the Occupational  Safety  and  Health                                                                   
     Administration  (OSHA)  to  assure  safe  and  healthful                                                                   
     working  conditions   for  working  men   and  women  by                                                                   
     setting  and   enforcing  standards  and   by  providing                                                                   
     training, outreach, education and assistance.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The  OSH Act covers  most private  sector employers  and                                                                   
     their  workers,  in  addition   to  some  public  sector                                                                   
     employers  and  workers in  the  50 states  and  certain                                                                   
     territories and jurisdictions under federal authority.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt   asserted   that   the   state   was                                                                   
duplicating services  at a time  when it did not  have money.                                                                   
He added that  most of the funding was pass  through dollars.                                                                   
He  thought  there  should  be  federal  money  available  to                                                                   
assist   in  enforcing   safety  measures.   The  state   was                                                                   
essentially  a grant  administrator. He  believed there  were                                                                   
other departments  available to ensure the safety  of Alaskan                                                                   
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  spoke to  his objection.  He agreed  with an                                                                   
earlier  statement  by  Vice-Chair  Gara that  Alaska  was  a                                                                   
unique  place  and  had  its own  laws.  He  understood  that                                                                   
Alaska had  to follow federal law  but also had its  own laws                                                                   
to  follow. He  also  agreed with  Representative  Guttenberg                                                                   
that  he did  not want  Alaska  to give  up  its primacy.  He                                                                   
opined that  the Occupational  Safety and Health  section was                                                                   
critical  to protecting  Alaska's  workers  by ensuring  safe                                                                   
working  conditions.  He  noted  that over  the  previous  10                                                                   
years the program  had been effective. The  rate of workplace                                                                   
lost  worktime incidents  had  decreased by  50 percent.  The                                                                   
program  was  federally  required.   If  the  state  did  not                                                                   
administer  it,  the federal  government  would.  He felt  it                                                                   
would be a  disservice to Alaskan workers and  businesses. He                                                                   
opined  that Alaskans  understood  Alaska much  more so  than                                                                   
the  federal  government.  He  would not  be  supporting  the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson relayed a  rule of primacy:  the state                                                                   
could only  be more  stringent than  the federal  government.                                                                   
She felt that  by continuing the program the  state was doing                                                                   
the  federal  government's  dirty  work. The  state  had  the                                                                   
option  of  being  stricter,  but if  the  amendment  was  in                                                                   
place, the  state might  have fewer  restrictions. The  state                                                                   
would  potentially be  out of  compliance with  the law.  She                                                                   
mentioned  the   state  would  potentially  benefit   if  the                                                                   
responsibility shifted  to the federal government.  She would                                                                   
be supporting the amendment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  stated that the agency  ensured that                                                                   
workers had  safety and health  in the workplace.  He thought                                                                   
there  was a  mischaracterization  made at  the beginning  of                                                                   
the   bill   hearing   was  that   Alaska   was   the   grant                                                                   
administrator.  He clarified that  the state was  the grantee                                                                   
receiving  funds  from  the  federal  government,  the  grant                                                                   
administrator. The  state was seeing to it  that occupational                                                                   
safety and health  existed within Alaska's workforce.  He did                                                                   
not  want to  see  the  division eliminated  without  further                                                                   
protections for workers.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara responded  to the  idea of  one member  that                                                                   
the  state should  not be  stricter  in protecting  workplace                                                                   
safety.  He had  represented people  that  had been  injured,                                                                   
almost killed, and  killed doing their jobs  properly. He had                                                                   
no  problem  with  the  state  strictly  enforcing  workplace                                                                   
safety standards.  He supposed  the legislature  had  an easy                                                                   
job.  He provided  several  examples of  dangerous  workplace                                                                   
environments.  He   thought  everyone  should   respect  that                                                                   
people with  more dangerous  jobs deserved  a safe  workplace                                                                   
so they could go home alive.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  was a retired  construction worker                                                                   
and  spent most  of his  time  outside. If  the program  were                                                                   
eliminated, Alaska  would have  the same standards  as Texas.                                                                   
He  spoke to  the  state's commitment  to  health and  safety                                                                   
standards  in  all professions.  He  did  not think  it  made                                                                   
sense to walk away from providing the service.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt   provided  his  final   comments.  He                                                                   
agreed with  the previous speaker  that if the state  did not                                                                   
provide  the  service,  the  federal   government  would.  He                                                                   
reiterated that no  one was saying Alaska workers  should not                                                                   
be safe.  He explained that  OSHA assured safe  and healthful                                                                   
working  conditions. There  was already  an agency  available                                                                   
to  handle  occupational safety  if  the  state did  not.  He                                                                   
emphasized that  the legislature would  have to look  at cuts                                                                   
like  the  one  he  was proposing  or  at  others.  He  asked                                                                   
members for their support of the amendment.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Tilton, Wilson, Pruitt, Thompson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara,  Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Seaton,                                                                   
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 8 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:03:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  DOL  9                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Safety Advisory Council                                                                                             
     Labor Standards and Safety                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 9 - Eliminate the Alaska Safety Advisory Council                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Pruitt                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment eliminates all funding for the Alaska                                                                       
     Safety Advisory Council.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt   explained    that   the   amendment                                                                   
eliminated  a council  funded by  the state.  One of the  key                                                                   
responsibilities  of the  council  was to  provide an  annual                                                                   
governor's safety  and health conference. He  wondered if the                                                                   
state  was  going  to  continue   to  fund  every  board  and                                                                   
commission  or consider whether  the state  had too  many. He                                                                   
believed that  a conversation  about potentially  merging the                                                                   
council into something  else was necessary. He  remarked that                                                                   
many  of the  commissioners were  serving  on several  boards                                                                   
and committees  taking time away  from their  regular duties.                                                                   
He  also  suggested the  14  members  representing  industry,                                                                   
labor,   the   public,   and  federal,   state,   and   local                                                                   
governments play  a larger role  by contributing.  He thought                                                                   
the duties  of the council should  be placed in the  hands of                                                                   
the  private  sector.   He  asked  members  to   support  the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster spoke  to his  objection.  He reported  that                                                                   
the  Alaska Safety  Advisory Council  was  100 percent  self-                                                                   
supporting   through  the   revenue   it  generated   through                                                                   
sponsorships and  by collecting attendance  fees. Eliminating                                                                   
the council would  not save the state any money  nor would it                                                                   
help  with  the  state's fiscal  concerns.  In  addition,  he                                                                   
noted  that  the  department was  looking  to  privatize  the                                                                   
council. He would not be supporting the amendment.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt summarized  that although the  council                                                                   
was  collecting monies  and paying  for  the conference,  the                                                                   
state  had  people doing  the  work.  He  thought it  was  an                                                                   
appropriate  time  to  let  the  private  sector  manage  the                                                                   
council.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Wilson, Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara,  Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Foster,                                                                   
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 9 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:07:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  MOVED to  ADOPT  Amendment  H DOL  10                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Employment and Training Services                                                                                           
     Workforce Services                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 10 - Delete "other services" included in the                                                                         
     Governor's departmental budget detail                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Tilton                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Delete "Other Services Other services for purposes yet                                                                     
     to be determined" as outlined in the Governor's                                                                            
     departmental budget detail.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  explained  the  amendment  sought  to                                                                   
remove $704  thousand from workforce services.  The amendment                                                                   
stated, "Other services  for purposes yet to  be determined."                                                                   
She  reported that  FY  16 actuals  reflected  a zero  dollar                                                                   
amount.  The request was  $938 thousand,  almost $1  million.                                                                   
The amendment  would leave  $233 thousand  in the  line item,                                                                   
which she believed was too much without specifying its use.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster spoke  to his objection.  He explained  that                                                                   
the  component was  comprised  of multiple  funding  sources.                                                                   
The amendment  only deleted  the interagency receipts,  which                                                                   
were collected  for doing work  for other state  agencies. He                                                                   
suggested  that  restricting  that  authority  inhibited  the                                                                   
workforce  services  as  well   as  the  agencies  requesting                                                                   
services.  He  added  that the  funds  covered  unanticipated                                                                   
costs not reflected  in previous year expenses.  For example,                                                                   
in  FY 17  the department  received  one-time  funds to  make                                                                   
upgrades  to  the  online  job  bank  program  known  as  the                                                                   
ALEXsys  System.  The  funding   would  help  to  cover  such                                                                   
unforeseen expenses. He would be opposing the amendment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  suggested that if the increment  was a                                                                   
one-time amount  from FY 17 to  FY 18, she thought  it should                                                                   
be  removed.  In  addition, she  commented  that  the  inter-                                                                   
agency receipts  came from general funds. The  state referred                                                                   
to  the funds  as  inter-agency  receipts because  they  come                                                                   
from  another department.  She noted  that she  had not  seen                                                                   
the use  of the phrase  "other services  for purposes  yet to                                                                   
be  determined" outside  of DOT.  She brought  up a  previous                                                                   
discussion regarding  an appropriation of $25  million within                                                                   
the  Department  of  Health  and   Social  Services  and  the                                                                   
possibility  of moving  the funding.  She was  happy to  know                                                                   
that at  least the legislature  would know where  the funding                                                                   
was going. She  thought that if the legislature  did not want                                                                   
to hamstring  the departments,  the terminology  would appear                                                                   
for all of the departments.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton concluded  that the  amount was  close                                                                   
to  $1   million.  She  thought   it  was  prudent   for  the                                                                   
legislature to know where the money would be spent.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Grenn, Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                               
OPPOSED: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz, Foster, Seaton                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 10 FAILED (5/6).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  recognized Representative Lora  Reinbold and                                                                   
Representative Justin Parish in the audience.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:11:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  MOVED to  ADOPT  Amendment  H DOL  11                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Workforce Development                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 11 - Alaska Construction Academy                                                                                     
     Offered by Representative Pruitt                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This decrease was the original intent of the                                                                               
     legislature and realigns the scheduled reductions to                                                                       
     this program.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt   explained    that   the   amendment                                                                   
paralleled  what  the  governor  originally  offered  in  the                                                                   
budget: $600  thousand less  than what  was currently  in the                                                                   
budget.  The  governor  was  following   the  intent  of  the                                                                   
legislature  from  previous  budgets.   The  legislature  had                                                                   
added  $600 thousand  back  into  the budget.  The  amendment                                                                   
decreased  the amount  to the  governor's  budget number.  He                                                                   
asked members for their support.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster spoke  to his objection. He  admitted that it                                                                   
was true that  in a previous legislature intent  language was                                                                   
added  that would  phase  out  funding for  the  construction                                                                   
academies. He relayed  that private industry had  not stepped                                                                   
in  to fill  the  funding need  for the  Alaska  construction                                                                   
academies,  as the  legislature  had hoped.  At present,  the                                                                   
state was  faced with  deciding whether  to continue  to fund                                                                   
them.  He indicated  that the  subcommittee did  not want  to                                                                   
see the  academies go  away and  wanted to continue  training                                                                   
Alaskans. He would be opposing the amendment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked  the maker of the amendment  to clarify                                                                   
what  training would  disappear  with the  amendment. In  the                                                                   
previous   amendment,  there   was  an   argument  that   the                                                                   
reduction  was  state  funding,  but  in  actuality,  it  was                                                                   
outside  federal grant  funding. Applying  for federal  grant                                                                   
funding would  not cost  the state  money. He requested  that                                                                   
legislators offering  amendments include the impact  that the                                                                   
amendments would have on the corresponding service.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt   responded  to   Vice-Chair   Gara's                                                                   
comments  indicating he  had  never simply  read  any of  his                                                                   
amendments. He  explained the  appropriation was  an addition                                                                   
to  the budget.  He agreed  that  previously the  legislature                                                                   
had  looked to  the private  sector  to play  a larger  role.                                                                   
However, he posed  the question as to why  the private sector                                                                   
would  play a  larger role,  when the  legislature added  the                                                                   
funds  back   into  the  budget.   He  reiterated   that  the                                                                   
appropriation was  an increase to  the budget. He  was trying                                                                   
to hold  the line  on the  budget. He  added that  the public                                                                   
sector  was not going  to participate  if  the state did  not                                                                   
push.  He thought  that if the  legislature  did not push  on                                                                   
many accounts,  certain  things would  not happen within  the                                                                   
private sector.  He suggested  that the legislature  continue                                                                   
asking the  private sector to  participate. He  asked members                                                                   
for their support.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Grenn, Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                               
OPPOSED: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz, Seaton, Foster                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 11 FAILED (5/6).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:16:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  MOVED to  ADOPT  Amendment  H DOL  12                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Vocational Technical Center                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     H DOL 12 - Delete "other services" included in the                                                                         
     Governor's departmental budget detail                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Tilton                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Deletes "Other Services Other services for purposes                                                                        
     yet to be determined".                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton explained the  amendment. There  was a                                                                   
line item  for other  services with  no actual spending.  The                                                                   
amount of  the line item was  $411 thousand GF. There  was no                                                                   
detail  for the  appropriation.  She believed  the line  item                                                                   
created a slush fund and sought to remove the funding.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster spoke  to his objection.  He explained  that                                                                   
the  monies went  towards unforeseen  expenses not  reflected                                                                   
in  previous   year  expenses.  The  authority   allowed  the                                                                   
department    to    avoid   interrupting    services    while                                                                   
compensating  for  unforeseen  expenses.  The  component  was                                                                   
comprised  of multiple  funding  sources,  but the  amendment                                                                   
only  deleted UGF.  Essentially,  it created  an  unallocated                                                                   
reduction  of UGF for  the department.  One example  was snow                                                                   
removal  when Alaska  had a  heavy  snow year.  He could  not                                                                   
support the amendment.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson commented  that the  amendment  had to                                                                   
do with  Alaska' Institute of  Technology (AVTEC),  which had                                                                   
been in  existence  for a long  time. She  thought AVTEC  had                                                                   
been  removing  snow for  a  significant  time as  well.  She                                                                   
indicated that  moving UGF and  leaving other funds  in place                                                                   
left a contingency  fund available. She had  a difficult time                                                                   
believing  AVTEC needed such  a large  reserve. She  asked if                                                                   
there was  a process in place  to account for the  funds. She                                                                   
reiterated that AVTEC  had been in existence for  a long time                                                                   
and had an idea of needed contingency monies.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton   reiterated  that  AVETEC   was  very                                                                   
familiar with things  such as snow removal  or related items.                                                                   
She thought  $400 thousand in  anticipated costs in  a budget                                                                   
that AVTEC  had been  budgeting  for a long  time was  large.                                                                   
She  affirmed   that  it   was  the   legislature's   job  to                                                                   
appropriate  funds and  to know  where those  funds would  be                                                                   
spent.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:   Ortiz, Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                             
OPPOSED:    Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Gara, Grenn, Foster,                                                                          
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOL 12 FAILED (5/6).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:20:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn MOVED to ADOPT Amendment H LAW 3 and H                                                                     
Law 5 (copy on file):                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
H LAW 3:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Criminal Division                                                                                                          
     Third Judicial District: Anchorage                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 3 - Money for two prosecutors and associated                                                                         
     personal services for Anchorage                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Grenn                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The Department  of Law has  seen a significant  decrease                                                                   
     in  its ability  to  prosecute  crime since  2013;  many                                                                   
     good  cases are being  turned away.  The funds  added by                                                                   
     this  amendment will  be used to  fill existing,  vacant                                                                   
     positions.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
H LAW 5:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Criminal Division                                                                                                          
     Fourth Judicial District                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 5 - Money for one prosecutor and associated                                                                          
     personal services in Bethel.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Grenn                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The  Department   of  Law  has  testified   that  it  is                                                                   
     declining to  prosecute cases due to lack  of resources.                                                                   
     The funds added  by this amendment will be  used to fill                                                                   
     an existing, vacant position.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn explained  that Amendment  H LAW  3 and                                                                   
Amendment  H LAW  5 sought  to  do similar  things. He  would                                                                   
speak to both amendments at once.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  if Representative  Grenn  wanted  to                                                                   
move Amendment H LAW 5 as well.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn  MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment H LAW  5 (See                                                                   
above).                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  clarified  that   Amendment  H  LAW  3  and                                                                   
Amendment  H LAW  5 were  before the  committee because  they                                                                   
were tied to each other.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn  indicated that during  the subcommittee                                                                   
process the Department  of Law had reported having  to cut 22                                                                   
prosecutors  and  19  support  staff in  the  previous  three                                                                   
years.  In  the  same  period,   the  department  had  had  a                                                                   
decrease in  almost 7000 prosecutions  even though  crime had                                                                   
not decreased  to  the same extent.  In fact,  in both  urban                                                                   
and rural  areas statistically  crime had increased.  Outside                                                                   
of  the budget  crisis, crime  was  the number  one issue  he                                                                   
heard  about  from  constituents.  His  constituency  thought                                                                   
crime needed to  be addressed in Anchorage.  The misdemeanors                                                                   
and felonies  that the  department failed  to prosecute  were                                                                   
cases  in  which  evidence was  available  to  prosecute  but                                                                   
where  the department  did  not have  the  resources to  take                                                                   
legal  action.  The  amendments  were  acknowledgements  that                                                                   
reductions  had cut  to the bone  and were  not working.  The                                                                   
amendments  added two  prosecutors  in Anchorage  and one  in                                                                   
Bethel.  He reported  that  Bethel,  in particular,  faced  a                                                                   
larger  squeeze.  The community  faced  some  of the  highest                                                                   
domestic  violence and  sexual assault  rates in the  nation.                                                                   
The amendment  added one prosecutor  in the region  to assist                                                                   
with  crime at  a trying  time.  He asked  members for  their                                                                   
support.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson spoke  to his  objection. He  agreed                                                                   
that the state  likely needed additional  prosecutors because                                                                   
of growing caseloads, but he could not agree to spend more.                                                                     
He suggested  that  if the legislature  was  going to  add to                                                                   
the budget there  should be a reduction elsewhere.  There had                                                                   
been plenty  of opportunity  over the  previous several  days                                                                   
to  make  cuts  that  would  offset  the  addition  of  three                                                                   
positions. However,  reductions had not been made.  He opined                                                                   
that  the  state could  not  afford  to  add to  the  budget.                                                                   
Without   reductions  to   compensate   for  the   additional                                                                   
spending, he would be a "no" vote on the amendments.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara   commented  on  Representative   Thompson's                                                                   
remarks  about  other  ways  to  cut the  budget.  He  had  a                                                                   
problem  with some  of the  amendments such  as the  previous                                                                   
one  discussed. The  fund that  was  referred to  as a  slush                                                                   
fund was actually money used to fund job training.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  remarked  that  Vice-Chair  Gara  was                                                                   
speaking  on  an   amendment  that  the  committee   was  not                                                                   
currently addressing.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  continued  that   the  amendments  did  not                                                                   
reflect what  was going  on. The  previous amendment  did not                                                                   
pertain  to  a  slush  fund. He  was  not  confident  in  the                                                                   
accuracy  of  the  amendments.  In  terms  of  the  need  for                                                                   
prosecutors,  he  did  not  feel   there  was  a  choice.  He                                                                   
reported  having sat on  the Department  of Law  subcommittee                                                                   
the  previous  year   and  was  shocked  to   find  out  that                                                                   
prosecutors  were  turning  away more  criminals  because  of                                                                   
lack  of staff.  He proposed  that  legislators either  adopt                                                                   
the amendments  or accept  the fact  that criminals  would be                                                                   
let go without  being prosecuted. He added  that the decision                                                                   
to adopt  amendments  was not  the only choice  to make.  The                                                                   
legislature could  adopt a fiscal  plan that would  allow the                                                                   
state   to  afford   more  persecutors   and  avoid   letting                                                                   
criminals back on the street.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  agreed that  there  was a  legitimate                                                                   
need  for prosecutors.  However,  the  problem  was that  the                                                                   
state did  not have money.  He had not  heard of  any offsets                                                                   
in the  budget to  ensure that  the budget  did not  increase                                                                   
overall. He responded  to Vice-Chair Gara's comments  about a                                                                   
fiscal plan solving  the problem. He suggested  that adopting                                                                   
a fiscal  plan did not mean  the state should  begin spending                                                                   
more. He  asserted that  no matter what  the state  needed to                                                                   
get its house  in order. He thought a  long-term conversation                                                                   
was  necessary  about  controlling  the size  and  growth  of                                                                   
government.  He furthered that  the state  should not  add to                                                                   
the  budget  currently.  He  believed  the  state  should  be                                                                   
looking   at   government  expenditures.   He   agreed   that                                                                   
additional prosecutors  were needed. However, he  did not see                                                                   
a  corresponding  offset.  He  could  not  just  add  to  the                                                                   
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  remarked that legislators  had spent a                                                                   
significant amount  of time vetting SB 91  [Crime Bill passed                                                                   
in 2016] which  had not gone into effect completely.  She did                                                                   
not know how  things would change in Alaska  communities. She                                                                   
thought it  might be  possible to  move prosecutors  from one                                                                   
area  to the  next. The  state could  change the  way it  did                                                                   
business.  She  thought  it  was   jumping  the  gun  to  add                                                                   
prosecutor   positions   back    into   the   budget   before                                                                   
implementing all of the pieces of the crime bill.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz  argued that the conversation  had to be                                                                   
about  cost  containment  and  the basic  level  of  services                                                                   
government  should provide.  He  thought  that public  safety                                                                   
was  a basic  service.  There was  an  agreement that  public                                                                   
safety was  a baseline in  terms of government  services. The                                                                   
Department  of Law had  been reduced  20 percent since  2015.                                                                   
He thought  there had  been cost  containment. He  emphasized                                                                   
the  need  for  prosecutors  to  help  enforce  the  law  and                                                                   
promote public safety.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn explained  that the  numbers he  talked                                                                   
about began  in 2013 before the  passage of SB 21  [SB 91] or                                                                   
anything  else that  had changed  in  the past  6 months.  He                                                                   
reported  that   the  department  had  missed   out  on  7000                                                                   
prosecutions. He  thought it was a scary number  when raising                                                                   
a  family,  living, working,  and  playing  in the  State  of                                                                   
Alaska.  There   were  criminals  in  the  state   not  being                                                                   
prosecuted.  The amendments  were  acknowledgements that  the                                                                   
criminal division  of the  department had  been cut  too far.                                                                   
He believed  the amendments would  help to keep  Alaska safe.                                                                   
He asked for the support of members.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara requested an "at ease."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:31:17 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:31:59 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kawasaki, Ortiz, Gara, Grenn, Seaton, Foster                                                                          
OPPOSED: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg was absent from the vote.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to ADOPT  Amendment H LAW 3 and Amendment  H Law 5                                                                   
PASSED (6/4).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton indicated  that  the committee  would  stand                                                                   
"at ease" for five minutes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:32:52 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:39:05 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  LAW  4                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Criminal Division                                                                                                          
     Third Judicial District: Anchorage                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 4 - Closure of Dillingham Office.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This  amendment  closes  the  Dillingham  office.  Grand                                                                   
     juries are  held in Anchorage requiring  frequent travel                                                                   
     cost   for  staff  and   witnesses.  Additionally,   the                                                                   
     Dillingham  office   is  supervised  by   the  Anchorage                                                                   
     District Attorney's office.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson read  from  the amendment  description                                                                   
[see above].  She added  that the closure  of the  office was                                                                   
recommended  the   previous  year  by  the   department.  The                                                                   
explanation  provided by  the department  made sense  because                                                                   
it  was  based   on  the  numbers.  She  reported   that  the                                                                   
department had suggested  there could be a  savings resulting                                                                   
from  the  efficiencies  of  technology  and  being  able  to                                                                   
provide the services through technological means.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn spoke  to his  objection. He  confirmed                                                                   
that   Representative    Wilson   was   correct    that   the                                                                   
appropriation  had  been  eliminated  in  House  Finance  and                                                                   
restored during  conference committee.  Since that  time, the                                                                   
Department  of  Law  had focused  on  making  the  Dillingham                                                                   
office  very  strong  and  a   part  of  the  community.  The                                                                   
District Attorney's  Office knew the community  and had built                                                                   
trust  over   time  leading   to  better   results  for   the                                                                   
community. Closing  the office would  undo the great  work of                                                                   
the  department  to make  the  Dillingham office  strong.  He                                                                   
thought  the  removal  of  the presence  would  be  an  added                                                                   
burden to the Anchorage office. He opposed the amendment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Thompson   admitted  the   former   Attorney                                                                   
General had  recommended closing  the Dillingham  office, but                                                                   
the appropriation  was put back in the budget.  He noted that                                                                   
the position worked  more from the Anchorage  office than the                                                                   
Dillingham   office.  The   travel   costs  associated   with                                                                   
commuting back and  forth was very expensive.  The office was                                                                   
supervised  out of the  Anchorage office.  He suggested  that                                                                   
closing the office  would result in potential  savings to the                                                                   
state.  He noted  grand  juries were  held  in Anchorage  and                                                                   
there was  no reason  to continue  spending additional  money                                                                   
for travel. He would be voting in favor of the amendment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  agreed with the previous  speaker. The                                                                   
legislature  had consistently  asked departments  to come  up                                                                   
with savings.  He thought  the amendment  would be  a savings                                                                   
to  the  state rather  than  a  slight  to the  community  of                                                                   
Dillingham.  He  added  that   the  service  could  still  be                                                                   
provided from  the Anchorage office.  Therefore, he  would be                                                                   
supporting the amendment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  heard  from  the  subcommittee  chair                                                                   
that  the department  was  making  the office  in  Dillingham                                                                   
strong. The position  was still coming from  Anchorage rather                                                                   
than  Dillingham.  Treatment  would  still  be  available  to                                                                   
residents of  the community.  She referred to  Representative                                                                   
Grenn's comments  about the office in Dillingham  doing great                                                                   
work. However,  she had not  heard of anything  changing from                                                                   
the previous  to the  current year. She  was aware  the state                                                                   
had continued to  fund the position in a higher  fashion than                                                                   
what  could   be  done   otherwise.  She   argued  that   the                                                                   
legislature  needed  to support  the  cuts suggested  by  the                                                                   
department.  Otherwise,  she   wondered  why  the  department                                                                   
would  do the  work to  provide  recommended reductions.  She                                                                   
asked members for their support.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Kawasaki                                                                            
OPPOSED: Ortiz, Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Foster, Seaton                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H LAW 4 FAILED (5/6).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:45:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  LAW  6                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Civil Division                                                                                                             
     Legislation/Regulations                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 6 - Delete one attorney position.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment deletes one attorney position funded in                                                                     
     this allocation requiring the agency to redistribute                                                                       
    any remaining obligated duties to remaining staff.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson explained  that the amendment  deleted                                                                   
one  attorney from  the Civil  Division  for legislation  and                                                                   
regulations and returned $175,500 to GF.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn  spoke  to his  objection.  There  were                                                                   
only three attorneys  in the division responsible  for making                                                                   
sure  regulations  were consistent  with  state  law and  the                                                                   
constitution.   The    office   was   the    administration's                                                                   
equivalent to  the legislature's Legislative  Legal Division.                                                                   
He thought the  reduction would inhibit  the administration's                                                                   
ability  to create  correct  regulations  and could  increase                                                                   
future  litigation costs.  He  would be  a "no"  vote on  the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  and  Representative  Wilson  had  a  common                                                                   
interest in  getting children  back with families  as quickly                                                                   
as  possible. He  maintained that  by  deleting the  position                                                                   
the  workload  would  be  spread to  other  people  who  were                                                                   
already working  in sections  of the  Department of  Law that                                                                   
had  been cut.  One of  the places  that had  been badly  cut                                                                   
were attorneys that  represent parents. If the  attorneys did                                                                   
not show  up on time  then the parents  would not show  up on                                                                   
time  to try  to get  their  children back  in  an Office  of                                                                   
Children   Services  (OCS)   case.  He   believed  that   the                                                                   
amendment  distributed  the  workload   to  people  who  were                                                                   
already affected  from cuts in  their department.  He thought                                                                   
the amendment would be costly impacting someone else.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  pointed out that the  previous speaker                                                                   
had  indicated the  legislature  was duplicating  Legislative                                                                   
Legal  Services.  She  did  not   believe  a  separate  legal                                                                   
service  was   needed  for  the  administration.   She  asked                                                                   
members for their support.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara,  Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Seaton,                                                                   
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H LAW 6 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:48:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton  MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment H LAW  7 and                                                                   
Amendment H LAW 8 together (copy on file):                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
H LAW 7:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Civil Division: Natural Resources                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 7 - Decrease to services for Civil Division -                                                                        
     Natural Resources                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Tilton                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The  Governor's  request  includes  the  restoration  of                                                                   
     one-time  funding  (previously   in  the  Oil,  Gas  and                                                                   
     Mining   allocation)    for   representation    of   the                                                                   
     Department  of Revenue  and  Natural Resources  disputes                                                                   
     relating  to the  collection of  oil and  gas taxes  and                                                                   
     royalties.  Taxes   ($1,184.0)  and   Royalty  Reopeners                                                                   
     ($941.0)  will be  handled in  the department's  Natural                                                                   
     Resources allocation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In a time  of fiscal crisis, it is not  prudent that the                                                                   
     State increase the budget.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
H LAW 8:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
    Civil Division: Regulatory Affairs Public Advocacy                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 8 - Decrease in professional services                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representatives: Tilton, Wilson                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     As  the department  adapts and  refines case  management                                                                   
     under  the  organizational  structure  begun in  FY  17,                                                                   
     some  work  will be  brought  in house  while  contracts                                                                   
     with  outside  counsel  and  consultant  experts  having                                                                   
     expertise  in specialized  oil,  gas  and mining  issues                                                                   
     will continue to be used as necessary.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In  a  time of  fiscal  crisis,  it  is not  prudent  to                                                                   
     increase expenditures.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton did not  believe there was  anyone who                                                                   
would disagree that  there were times the  legislature needed                                                                   
to  seek  outside  counsel.  The   proposed  decreases  would                                                                   
eliminate the  restorations of  one-time funding.  She opined                                                                   
that  one-time   funding  was  limited  to  a   single  time.                                                                   
Otherwise, the  funding should be  included in the  budget as                                                                   
a regular line item.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   clarified  that  there   was  no                                                                   
objection to combining the two amendments.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Seaton  saw   no   objection   to  combining   the                                                                   
amendments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn  spoke to  his objection.  He  reported                                                                   
that the  funding was provided  to the department  every year                                                                   
in anticipation  of their outside  counsel and  expert needs.                                                                   
Since 1982,  the funding  had resulted in  over 8  billion in                                                                   
collections  owed   to  the  state.   He  relayed   that  the                                                                   
department  did not always  use the  funding. The  money that                                                                   
they  did  not  use  went  back   into  the  GF.  During  the                                                                   
subcommittee  process,  the committee  heard  about what  the                                                                   
department was  doing in the current  year and its  plans for                                                                   
the  following  year.  In  the prior  year,  there  had  been                                                                   
approximately  $72 million  in royalty  cases handled  by the                                                                   
civil division.  He also noted  that there was a  recovery of                                                                   
$234 million  in a tariff  case regarding Regulatory  Affairs                                                                   
and Public  Advocacy (RAPA). The  funding obviously  paid for                                                                   
itself.  He  did  not  think   the  state  could  afford  the                                                                   
proposed reduction especially during a fiscal crisis.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  relayed that this section of  the department                                                                   
made  money  for the  state.  They  went  after oil  and  gas                                                                   
companies  that  underpaid  their  taxes  and  royalties.  He                                                                   
spoke of  having worked at the  Department of Law  noting its                                                                   
internally  strong  workforce.  However, the  department  had                                                                   
been losing  staff and  experienced attorneys  due to  budget                                                                   
cuts and had  been doing more contracting.  He explained that                                                                   
budget reductions  were not always  free. He opined  that the                                                                   
department  would have to  contract out  more cases  if there                                                                   
were additional cuts to the department.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson wondered  if the  intended use  of the                                                                   
one-time  increment had  been  fulfilled. She  wondered if  a                                                                   
case  had  been   delayed.  She  remarked  that   a  one-time                                                                   
increment  was typically  inserted  into  the budget  because                                                                   
the  department was  requesting  funding  for special  cases.                                                                   
She asked if  anything had been reported from  the department                                                                   
about incomplete  cases. She  thought the legislature  should                                                                   
carefully  examine  one-time  increment  requests.  She  also                                                                   
urged  members  to  be very  careful  about  increasing  base                                                                   
funding slated for very specific reasons.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  suggested  that in  talking  with                                                                   
the Department  of Natural  Resources  they would initiate  a                                                                   
Reimbursable  Services  Agreement  (RSA) with  Department  of                                                                   
Law  to  provide  the  service.   He  noted  having  advanced                                                                   
something  similar  in  the DNR  subcommittee.  However,  the                                                                   
committee  had objected.  It was argued  that the  Department                                                                   
of Law was the  division that did the work  for DNR; standing                                                                   
up for  the state's  rights including  collecting back  taxes                                                                   
and royalties.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson clarified that  he was  addressing H                                                                   
Law 8. He had  been under the impression that  the Regulatory                                                                   
Affairs  Public  Advocacy  section  was  the  public  utility                                                                   
watchdog making  sure to save  the public monies  by ensuring                                                                   
that  utilities were  not overcharging  ratepayers. He  spoke                                                                   
of its  importance in Fairbanks  because of the high  cost of                                                                   
energy  there.  He  asked  the  maker  of  the  amendment  to                                                                   
clarify H LAW 8 in wrap-up.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  asked the  maker  of the  amendment                                                                   
about  money  being placed  into  the  oil, gas,  and  mining                                                                   
allocations  and  mining,  land,  and  water  allocations  in                                                                   
order to  sue the  federal government.  The current  governor                                                                   
had  relayed  his  intent  to   pursue  litigation  when  the                                                                   
state's  natural resources  were  being  stopped or  hindered                                                                   
from being utilized.  He wanted to make sure  the legislature                                                                   
did  not negatively  impact  the  state's ability  to  pursue                                                                   
utilizing its public  lands more soundly. He  asked the maker                                                                   
to respond to his comments in wrap-up.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  appreciated  the discussion  and  the                                                                   
questions  that had been  asked. She  thought members  agreed                                                                   
that there was  a need for expertise. The question  had to do                                                                   
with the funding  request being a one-time  increment. As the                                                                   
representative to  the right of  her had said,  the increment                                                                   
was provided  for every year in  the budget. However,  it was                                                                   
not  provided  for, as  the  legislature  was asking  to  put                                                                   
something in that had been a one-time increment.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton   WITHDREW  Amendment  H   LAW  7  and                                                                   
Amendment H LAW 8.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:56:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  LAW  9                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Administration and Support                                                                                                 
     Office of the Attorney General                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     H LAW 9 - Delete a Special Assistant position.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This  amendment  deletes the  Special  Assistant to  the                                                                   
     Commissioner   position    requiring   the   agency   to                                                                   
     redistribute   any   remaining   obligated   duties   to                                                                   
     existing staff.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson explained  the  amendment deleted  the                                                                   
special assistant  position, which  she had proposed  for all                                                                   
of  the agencies.  The amendment  would  place $175,500  back                                                                   
into the GF.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn spoke  to his  objection. He  explained                                                                   
that the  special assistant  played a  unique role  inside of                                                                   
the department. They  did not have to be a lawyer  but had to                                                                   
have a high  degree of knowledge about legal  operations. The                                                                   
person in  the position managed  the technology  exclusive to                                                                   
the  Department  of  Law  such as  case  management.  If  the                                                                   
special  assistant  position  was deleted  the  duties  would                                                                   
have  to be  taken on  by a  lawyer given  the knowledge  the                                                                   
position  required of  the legal  world.  The deletion  would                                                                   
place an  undue burden  on lawyers  already overburdened.  He                                                                   
would be a "no vote" on the amendment.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson commented  that the special  assistant                                                                   
was not a lawyer  in the Office of the Attorney  General. She                                                                   
disagreed  with the  argument  that a  lawyer  would have  to                                                                   
assume  the   duties  of  the   position.  She   thought  the                                                                   
department could  find someone else  in-house to do  the job.                                                                   
She remarked that  sometimes the special assistants  take off                                                                   
vacation time  or furlough  days and  the questions  were not                                                                   
being  answered and  brought  back to  the  legislature by  a                                                                   
non-lawyer. She asked members for their support.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Pruitt                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara,  Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Foster,                                                                   
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt H LAW 9 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton   directed  members   to  page  70   of  the                                                                   
amendments  to address  the amendments  to the Department  of                                                                   
Military and Veterans Affairs.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:59:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  MVA  4                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                                             
     Local Emergency Planning Committee                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     H MVA 4 - Deletes Sub-Recipient                                                                                            
     Pass-Through   Grants   to  local   emergency   planning                                                                   
     committees.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This  amendment deletes  all  funding for  Sub-Recipient                                                                   
     Pass-Through   Grants   to  local   emergency   planning                                                                   
     committees  for  hazard emergency  operations  planning,                                                                   
     training,    exercise,    and   outreach    preparedness                                                                   
     education.  These functions  are  the responsibility  of                                                                   
     local  communities  and  the  cost  of  performing  them                                                                   
     should not be borne by the state.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson explained  the amendment. She  thought                                                                   
it  was worth  having  the  conversation  as to  whether  the                                                                   
service  could be  provided by  local governments  or by  the                                                                   
grant  recipients. She  read from  the amendment  description                                                                   
[see above].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  spoke to his objection.  He reported                                                                   
having  a  robust  conversation  about  the  Local  Emergency                                                                   
Planning  Committee  (LEPS) during  the  budget  subcommittee                                                                   
discussions.  At  the  time,   the  committee  saw  the  $300                                                                   
thousand   decrement   as   simple   and   easy.   What   the                                                                   
subcommittee found  was that there was a real  public purpose                                                                   
to  having   it.  Local  governments   were  able   to  share                                                                   
information  along with  a  small administration  fee  within                                                                   
state government.  The rest of  the money was  passed through                                                                   
to  local communities  -  from  Anchorage to  the  Aleutians,                                                                   
from  Copper   River  to  Ketchikan.   There  were   over  20                                                                   
organized  LEPS,   each  having  a  role  in   responding  to                                                                   
emergencies.  There  were  either  federal  declared  natural                                                                   
disasters or  state declared  natural disaster.  He furthered                                                                   
that  the  LEPS  were  very  important  in  terms  of  having                                                                   
coordinating  responses so local  communities could  take the                                                                   
lead role  unless the  threat or hazard  became so  large the                                                                   
state had to get involved.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson understood  that  reductions were  not                                                                   
easy to  make. However, it came  down to discussing  what the                                                                   
state   was   required   to   do.   She   wondered   if   the                                                                   
responsibility  fell on the  state or  on the local  entities                                                                   
utilizing the grants.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Tilton, Wilson, Pruitt                                                                                                
OPPOSED:  Grenn,   Guttenberg,  Kawasaki,   Ortiz,  Thompson,                                                                   
Seaton, Foster                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara was absent from the vote.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H MVA 4 FAILED (3/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:04:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  MVA  5                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                                             
     National Guard Military Headquarters                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     H MVA 5 - Position deletion to decrease state spending                                                                     
     and encourage operational efficiencies.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment deletes one of two Division Director                                                                        
     positions located at the Joint Base Elmendorf-                                                                             
     Richardson   location   in   order   to   reduce   state                                                                   
     expenditures.  The  Department  is  encouraged  to  seek                                                                   
     efficiencies    in   delivering   programs    that   the                                                                   
     Department is responsible for administering.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson read  from  the amendment  description                                                                   
[see above].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  spoke to his objection.  He reported                                                                   
that the  reduction would  have an  impact on the  Department                                                                   
of  Military  and  Veterans Affairs'  (DMVA)  ability  to  do                                                                   
outreach with members  of the armed services  and the state's                                                                   
veterans. The  small department had already  encountered more                                                                   
than 31.5  percent in reductions  over the previous  3 years.                                                                   
The  department was  increasingly  important,  as Alaska  had                                                                   
over  73 thousand  veterans and  115  thousand dependents  in                                                                   
the  state. The  numbers and  percentages continued  growing.                                                                   
Although the  reduction seemed  simple, without  the critical                                                                   
director-level, day-to-day  oversight the  organization could                                                                   
quickly   find  itself   exposed  to   challenges  for   non-                                                                   
compliance with  federal rules.  He argued that  removing one                                                                   
position   did  not  necessarily   create  efficiencies   but                                                                   
rather,  at  best,  introduced  difficulties  in  an  already                                                                   
stretched   department.  The   Department  of  Military   and                                                                   
Veterans  Affairs,  while  having   been  cut,  has  done  an                                                                   
excellent  job with  military outreach.  Alaska had  recently                                                                   
won an  award from  the federal  government for its  outreach                                                                   
efforts. He  noted that  the Alaska  program model  only cost                                                                   
the state $100  thousand whereas Utah's model  cost them $3.5                                                                   
million.  He  thought  it  was  money  well  spent  and  that                                                                   
further  cuts to  the department  would harm  and hamper  the                                                                   
ability to reach out to veterans.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson was  unsure how  cutting the  position                                                                   
would  make the  state non-compliant  with  federal law.  She                                                                   
argued  that  the  state  already   had  organizations  doing                                                                   
outreach   to  veterans   and   that  the   position  was   a                                                                   
duplication of services.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Wilson, Pruitt, Tilton                                                                                                
OPPOSED:   Gara,   Grenn,   Guttenberg,    Kawasaki,   Ortiz,                                                                   
Thompson, Foster, Seaton                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H MVA 5 FAILED (3/8).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:07:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H  DNR  2                                                                   
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Administration & Support Services                                                                                          
     Commissioner's Office                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     H DNR 2 - Deletion of a Special Assistant to the                                                                           
     Commissioner                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Deletion of the Special Assistant to the Commissioner.                                                                     
     The work can be reallocated to the remaining 8                                                                             
     personnel.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson read  from  the amendment  description                                                                   
[see above]. She indicated she was trying to be consistent.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg  spoke   to  his  objection.   He                                                                   
conveyed  there   were  three   special  assistants   in  the                                                                   
commissioner's  office. One  spent 3  to 5  months in  Juneau                                                                   
for  session. The  other two  worked  on considerable  things                                                                   
that  mattered to  the state.  He explained  that there  were                                                                   
over  30  oil  and gas  royalty  orders  repealed  that  were                                                                   
stacked  up  in  the commissioner's  office  and  equated  to                                                                   
approximately $35  million in  royalty payments if  the state                                                                   
prevailed.  However,   the  state   could  not   collect  the                                                                   
royalties until  the repeals were  concluded. He  argued that                                                                   
eliminating  one of  the assistants  would  slow the  process                                                                   
down. He  continued that  the Division  of Mining,  Land, and                                                                   
Water  had about  80 outstanding  appeals  that went  through                                                                   
the  commissioner's   office.   The  Department  of   Natural                                                                   
Resources'  special assistants  provided support around  some                                                                   
of the most  significant issues facing Alaska.  He elaborated                                                                   
that  arctic energy,  arctic  policy, LNG,  and  oil and  gas                                                                   
appeals  were   areas  with   significant  issues   in  which                                                                   
millions  of dollars  were  at  stake. There  used  to be  an                                                                   
entire   office    of   staff   assigned    to   governmental                                                                   
coordination. However,  currently only one  special assistant                                                                   
handled those duties.  The legislature had asked  many things                                                                   
of the department  including disposing of the  Mount McKinley                                                                   
Meat  and Sausage  plant,  handling all  oil  and gas  taxes,                                                                   
managing material  sale leases, dealing  with authorizations,                                                                   
and   overseeing    the   day-to-day   operations    of   the                                                                   
commissioner's  office.  The   special  assistants  were  the                                                                   
people  the legislature  went  to  with requests.  They  were                                                                   
responsible for  responding to  the needs of  the legislature                                                                   
along  with  all  of  the  other  responsibilities  they  had                                                                   
within  their department.  He  would  not be  supporting  the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   argued  that  the   amendment  would                                                                   
reduce only one  of three special assistants.  The Department                                                                   
of Natural Resources  was the only department  that had three                                                                   
special  assistants  to  the   commissioner.  Two  assistants                                                                   
would  still   be  employed.   She  argued  that   a  special                                                                   
assistant was not necessary for the department to have in                                                                       
Juneau during session. She asked for member support.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz, Foster,                                                                      
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DNR 2 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:11:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz MOVED to ADOPT Amendment H DNR 3 (copy                                                                     
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Fire Suppression, Land & Water Resources                                                                                   
     Forest Management & Development                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     H DNR 3 - Haines State Forest, Timber & Mining Access                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Ortiz                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The part-time  Forester II  position in Haines  supports                                                                   
     timber  sales, firefighting,  and  all other  activities                                                                   
     in and  near the Haines State  Forest (HSF). The  HSF is                                                                   
     the  longest  established   state  forest  in  Southeast                                                                   
     Alaska, and  Southeast Alaska  timber sales make  up 75%                                                                   
     of  statewide  timber sales.  It  is important  to  note                                                                   
     that  while supporting  timber  related activities,  the                                                                   
     same activities  support other valuable  industries such                                                                   
     as   providing    road   access   to    the   developing                                                                   
     Constantine-Palmer mine.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Funding  the position ensures  that recent  timber sales                                                                   
     have   sufficient  on-site   oversight,  maintains   the                                                                   
     area's  firefighting  posture, and  ensures  there is  a                                                                   
     position  to  deal  with   forest  road  issues  as  the                                                                   
     Constantine-Palmer  mine moves  from exploration  toward                                                                   
     production.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  explained that  the  amendment was  an                                                                   
addition to  the budget. He  hoped members could  all support                                                                   
the addition, which  acknowledged that Alaska  was a resource                                                                   
development  state. He  suggested  that  it was  particularly                                                                   
important to remember  that the addition came in  the wake of                                                                   
DNR  being cut  by 32  percent from  2015. He  read from  the                                                                   
amendment   description  [see   above].  He  indicated   that                                                                   
businesses  that  depended  on  state  timber  sales  in  the                                                                   
Haines  State  Forest  (HSF) would  be  severely  limited  in                                                                   
their ability  to obtain wood  supply without the  passage of                                                                   
the amendment  under consideration. The Division  of Forestry                                                                   
personnel in  the Haines office  completed timber  sales work                                                                   
on  behalf  of   the  Mental  Health  and   University  Trust                                                                   
programs  generating  revenues  for  their  respective  trust                                                                   
programs and was  an efficient use of staff  to meet forestry                                                                   
management  needs for  different  state  agencies. The  state                                                                   
forests  are renewable  resources and  Alaska's future  would                                                                   
depend  on  the  development of  both  renewable  and  finite                                                                   
natural  resources.  Recreational  activities  of  all  types                                                                   
including  motorized   and  human   powered  would   be  more                                                                   
difficult  to undertake  on  state lands  due  to the  closed                                                                   
road  systems  that would  occur  if  the amendment  did  not                                                                   
pass.  He supposed  that while  the state  needed to  contain                                                                   
its  costs, sometimes  the state's  reductions  went too  far                                                                   
and ended  up being  counter-productive  to the overall  good                                                                   
of the economy. He thanked members.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson  spoke to his objection.  He wondered                                                                   
about  an  offset to  the  proposed  addition. He  could  not                                                                   
support  the amendment  because it increased  the budget.  He                                                                   
remarked  that  there  had  been  several  additions  to  the                                                                   
budget  without reducing  spending in  other areas.  Although                                                                   
the  amendment had  the potential  to make  the state  money,                                                                   
without an offset he could not support it.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked why  the  Alaska Mental  Health                                                                   
Trust Authority  was not contributing  funding. She  asked if                                                                   
someone  was  being  paid  $102  thousand  for  a  part  time                                                                   
position.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  thought it was very possible  that the                                                                   
position  was   needed.  He  had   been  the  chair   of  the                                                                   
subcommittee in  the previous  2 years and recalled  reducing                                                                   
the  position. He  explained that  at  the time  there was  a                                                                   
concern  about restricting  support to  an industry  that was                                                                   
not as robust  as it had been  in the past. He  admitted that                                                                   
it   was  possible   the   circumstances   had  changed.   In                                                                   
committee,  a fee for  service concept  had been  considered.                                                                   
He  expressed   his  excitement  about  the   possibility  of                                                                   
another mine in  Haines similar to Greens Creek.  He wondered                                                                   
if the mine  should play a  role in funding the  position. He                                                                   
pointed out that  no offsets had been offered for  any of the                                                                   
amendments.  He  thought  it  was a  good  idea  to  approach                                                                   
industry  about contributing.  Restoring  the position  could                                                                   
be  the right  thing  to do  if  the state  had  money or  if                                                                   
industry provided some support.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  relayed  that  the  position  was                                                                   
full time.  The funding for the  position was still  in place                                                                   
through  the end of  the year.  The funding  request was  for                                                                   
the following  year. The  position accomplished  many things.                                                                   
In terms of the  mine, the state did not receive  any benefit                                                                   
until  it reached  production.  Regarding  timber sales,  the                                                                   
position  was necessary  to complete some  of the  regulatory                                                                   
work  associated  with  previous  sales. The  person  in  the                                                                   
position was also  doing things to facilitate  further timber                                                                   
sales. He  thought a forester was  needed in a town  that was                                                                   
largely  resource  driven. He  thought  that  without one  it                                                                   
would  be a  decrement to  both mining  activity and  ongoing                                                                   
and future  timber sales.  He did not  want delays  or stalls                                                                   
by not having the position in place.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  thought the question was fair  regarding the                                                                   
offsets  to  pay  for  the  position.  He  relayed  that  the                                                                   
legislature  had cut DNR  funding by  58 percent since  2015.                                                                   
He thought that  that percentage accounted for  an offset. He                                                                   
noted  that  the  other  offsets  included  $600  million  in                                                                   
budget cuts  to agency  operations since  2015. He  furthered                                                                   
that other  offsets included  $65 million  to $67  million of                                                                   
agency operation  cuts in the current budget  compared to the                                                                   
previous  year   and  about  $100  million  in   budget  cuts                                                                   
compared to the  cuts passed by the legislature  in the prior                                                                   
year before  the governor's vetoes.  He thought  "offset" was                                                                   
code  for whether  the legislature  had cut  the budget.  The                                                                   
current  and   previous  years'  budgets  were   reduced.  He                                                                   
reported  that there  had been  $3.3 billion  in budget  cuts                                                                   
since 2013.  He did not believe  that cutting people  was the                                                                   
only  way  to  run  state  government.   He  reiterated  that                                                                   
offsets had  been made  in the form  of agency reductions  of                                                                   
more than 50 percent.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  indicated  the  previous  speaker  had                                                                   
said  many of  the things  he had  planned to  say. He  added                                                                   
that the  amendment promoted economic  opportunity at  a time                                                                   
when   the  state   was   seeing   a  decline   in   economic                                                                   
opportunity.  He commented  that when  legislators worked  in                                                                   
Juneau were living  in the Tongass National Forest.  It was a                                                                   
national   forest  because   over  90   percent  of   it  was                                                                   
controlled by  the federal  government. The state  controlled                                                                   
very little  land. However,  the state  was offering  the few                                                                   
available  timber sales to  provide access  to timber  and to                                                                   
provide  jobs for  those  in the  industry.  He urged  member                                                                   
support.  The  amendment  was  in  the  spirit  of  promoting                                                                   
economic opportunity.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Grenn,  Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Gara, Seaton,                                                                   
Foster                                                                                                                          
OPPOSED: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DNR 3 PASSED (7/4).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  57   was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  59   was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  indicated  that   the  committee  would  be                                                                   
taking  up  amendments  beginning   with  the  Department  of                                                                   
Public Safety at the 1:30 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:24:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 11:24 a.m.                                                                                         

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