Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/16/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 284 APPROP: CAPITAL BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 285 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 286 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 321 APPROP: SUPPLEMENTAL OP.; FUND; AMENDING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Budget Amendments by: TELECONFERENCED
- Pat Pitney, Director, OMB, Office of the
Governor
- Neil Steininger, Chief Budget Analyst, OMB
+= HB 176 GROUND EMER. MEDICAL TRANSPORT PAYMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 16, 2018                                                                                          
                         1:33 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:33 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Pat  Pitney,  Director,  Office of  Management  and  Budget,                                                                    
Office  of  the  Governor;  Neil  Steininger,  Chief  Budget                                                                    
Analyst,  Office of  Management  and Budget,  Office of  the                                                                    
Governor;  Representative  Adam  Wool,  Sponsor;  Rob  Earl,                                                                    
Staff,  Representative  Adam  Wool; Rich  Etheridge,  Juneau                                                                    
Fire  Chief,  Juneau   Fire  Department;  Kathie  Wasserman,                                                                    
Executive Director, Alaska Municipal League.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Scott  Clough, Alaska  Fire Chiefs,  Portland, Oregon;  Bill                                                                    
Howell,   Bethel  Fire   Department,  Bethel;   Jim  Styers,                                                                    
Fairbanks Fire  Chief, Fairbanks; Alex Boyd,  Anchorage Fire                                                                    
Department, Anchorage;  Margaret Brodie, Director  of Health                                                                    
Care Services, Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 176    GROUND EMER. MEDICAL TRANSPORT PAYMENTS                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HB 176 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 284    APPROP: CAPITAL BUDGET                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 284 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 285    APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 285 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 286    APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 286 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 321    APPROP: SUPPLEMENTAL OP.; FUND; AMENDING                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HB 321 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 284                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations,       supplemental      appropriations,                                                                    
     reappropriations,  and   other  appropriations;  making                                                                    
     appropriations to  capitalize funds; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 285                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 286                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;  making   supplemental  appropriations;                                                                    
     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. 321                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  supplemental appropriations  and other                                                                    
     appropriations; making  an appropriation  to capitalize                                                                    
     a fund;  amending appropriations; and providing  for an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:34:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT PITNEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET,                                                                          
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, introduced herself.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NEIL STEININGER, CHIEF BUDGET  ANALYST, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT                                                                    
AND BUDGET, OFFICE OF THE  GOVERNOR, reviewed the details of                                                                    
the handout, "FY2019  Amendments to HB 286/ SB 144  / HB 284                                                                    
/ SB 142 / HB 321 / SB 168" (copy on file):                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Line 2:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     CHIP Reauthorization                                                                                                       
     The   United   States    Congress   re-authorized   the                                                                    
     Children's  Health  Insurance  Program (CHIP)  and  the                                                                    
     reauthorization  was signed  into  law  on January  25,                                                                    
     2018. CHIP  reauthorization maintains the  88% enhanced                                                                    
     federal match  rate through  federal fiscal  year 2019,                                                                    
     starting in federal fiscal year  2020 the enhance match                                                                    
     rate  will be  stepped  down over  two  years until  it                                                                    
     reaches 65% in federal fiscal year 2021.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 5:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Reapprop for  Newtok - Mertarvik  Community Development                                                                    
     - NTE $960,000                                                                                                             
     The  Newtok Village  Council is  coordinating with  the                                                                    
     Denali  Commission to  bring  critical  housing to  the                                                                    
     community  of   Mertarvik.  This  project   will  match                                                                    
     federal  Denali Commission  funds of  $3.84 million  to                                                                    
     refurbish, ship,  and install 13 barracks  available on                                                                    
     Joint  Base  Elmendorf-Richardson   to  Mertarvik.  The                                                                    
     barracks will  be converted into 4-  bedroom residences                                                                    
     and  will add  to the  current housing  stock of  eight                                                                    
     existing homes in Mertarvik.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Line 6:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Reapprop for Enhanced Rural Safety - Est $899,711                                                                          
     This  provides additional  funding  to  respond to  the                                                                    
     rural  public safety  crisis and  continues to  advance                                                                    
     the  goals of  the State's  Public Safety  Action Plan.                                                                    
     The  Governor is  working with  the Departments  of Law                                                                    
     and Public  Safety, as well  as institutions  and rural                                                                    
     leadership  most directly  involved  and affected,  and                                                                    
     will seek  innovative solutions to rural  public safety                                                                    
     needs.  The  funding  is requested  in  the  Governor's                                                                    
     Office  to denote  the priority  of solving  this issue                                                                    
     but also allows distribution  to the department that is                                                                    
     most able  to address  the specific issue.  Law, Labor,                                                                    
     Public Safety, and  Commerce could each play  a part in                                                                    
     addressing these pressing needs.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if  the funds  were out  of the                                                                    
general funds (GF).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Steininger  responded  that they  were  reappropriation                                                                    
dollars from the GF for a capital project.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  wondered asked the  original location                                                                    
of the reappropriated funds.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger  replied that it  was a  reappropriation from                                                                    
the Susitna-Watana project.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Steininger  relayed  that   those  were  the  total  of                                                                    
negative $7 million in GF through the supplemental request.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asked for clarification, and  surmised that                                                                    
they were amendments to the 2019 budget.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger continued with the amendments:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 10:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Align   Information  Service   Fund  Receipts   Replace                                                                    
     interagency  receipts  with Information  Service  Fund.                                                                    
     This is a  technical adjustment to align  the Office of                                                                    
     Information  Technology's (OIT)  budget  with the  most                                                                    
     appropriate fund source.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 11:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  one  new  Research Analyst  I/II/III  flex  (Range                                                                    
     13/16/18) position  will serve  as a liaison  to school                                                                    
     districts   by  providing   technical  assistance   and                                                                    
     support   for  the   additional  data   that  will   be                                                                    
     collected.   In  addition, this  position will  provide                                                                    
     more  longitudinal  and   comparability  data  analysis                                                                    
     using existing  and new datasets.   This  position will                                                                    
     work  across   divisions  within  the   department  and                                                                    
     increase the reporting capacity  of the data management                                                                    
     team.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Line 12:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Add General Fund Program  Receipt Authorization for the                                                                    
     Mt. Edgecumbe Aquatic Center In  order for the state to                                                                    
     accept entrance fees, and other  event fees, at the new                                                                    
     Mt.  Edgecumbe  High   School  (MEHS)  Aquatic  Center,                                                                    
     general  fund  program  receipt  (GF/PR)  authorization                                                                    
     must be  added to the MEHS  Facility Maintenance budget                                                                    
     structure.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson looked  at line  10, and  queried the                                                                    
total  money  in  the Information  Service  Fund.  She  also                                                                    
queried the age of the fund.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney replied  that the  fund  was set  up around  the                                                                    
prior information  technology organization, so the  fund may                                                                    
have been around for 15 years.  She shared that there was an                                                                    
oversight  of  having  interagency  receipt  authority.  She                                                                    
remarked  that the  Information Services  Fund was  the same                                                                    
type of  money, but  from an  accounting change,  there were                                                                    
statutory rules  that focused on the  information technology                                                                    
needs.  She  remarked that  it  was  a technical  accounting                                                                    
change, because there was an  inadvertent use of interagency                                                                    
receipts.  She  shared  that  the   number  was  the  annual                                                                    
anticipated operating cost.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson queried the total in the fund.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:41:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger continued with the amendments:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 13:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Establish Children's Services Safety Officer                                                                               
     The primary duties of the  Safety Officer would include                                                                    
     safety   policy  development,   workplace  inspections,                                                                    
     accident   investigations,   training   and   coaching,                                                                    
     regulatory  compliance,  safety   data  management  and                                                                    
     reporting, and workspace modification.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Line 14:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Security Guards for Kenai  and Fairbanks Recent threats                                                                    
     and incidents has led to  a growing concern for workers                                                                    
     safety. Security guards will  be used to prevent crime,                                                                    
     maintain  security, assist  clients and  employees, and                                                                    
     lead safety meetings and drills.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  wanted   to  better  understand  the                                                                    
structure of funding.  He wondered if $129  was required for                                                                    
matching.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Steininger  replied  that   the  Office  of  Children's                                                                    
Services (OCS) had cost allocation  plans. He shared that it                                                                    
was  not a  direct matching  requirement. He  explained that                                                                    
the collection of federal revenue  was more dependent on the                                                                    
types  of children  in  care, and  the  types of  activities                                                                    
performed by the case workers and employees.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt asked about  the number of people that                                                                    
would be hired.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger responded  that there would be  one person in                                                                    
the  Safety Officer  position; and  the  security guards  in                                                                    
Kenai and  Fairbanks would be contracted  through a security                                                                    
firm.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  wondered   whether  the  $72,000  of                                                                    
federal funds would be lost, should there be no GF funds.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Steininger  replied that  they  would  not be  able  to                                                                    
collect the federal funds with the general funds.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wondered how  much authority was given                                                                    
for the  federal funds.  She surmised  that, because  of the                                                                    
complicated calculation, the state  may not lose the federal                                                                    
funding. She stressed that there  was a maximum available to                                                                    
each state, and Alaska may almost be at that maximum.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney replied that five  years prior, there were not as                                                                    
many  qualified families  under the  4E. She  explained that                                                                    
the program had a much  higher federal rate. She stated that                                                                    
the request  balanced it to  what was eligible to  fund, and                                                                    
the balance  of the  state and  federal funds.  She remarked                                                                    
that the  federal funds were  increasing over  time, because                                                                    
there was  more eligibility in  the 4E area versus  those in                                                                    
the GF.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson felt  that it was about  the number of                                                                    
people  enrolled in  the  program, and  not  about how  many                                                                    
positions were hired.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney  agreed.  She  stated that  the  request  was  a                                                                    
balance of  funding that  would allow  the contract  for the                                                                    
individuals, given the other commitments in that operation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara understood  that it  was not  federal money                                                                    
that would be  taken from other use. He felt  that there was                                                                    
room  for additional  federal funds,  as the  positions were                                                                    
added.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton wondered  whether it  was a  maintenance of                                                                    
effort   amount,  rather   than  a   direct  federal   match                                                                    
percentage.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney responded in the  negative, and explained that it                                                                    
was the amount covered in the contract amount.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger continued with the amendments:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 15:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     New Positions to Address Increased Caseloads                                                                               
     During  FY2013  the  average monthly  caseload  for  an                                                                    
     eligibility   technician  was   569  while   FY2017  is                                                                    
     estimated  at  676.  This  is   an  increase  of  18.80                                                                    
     percent. 41 additional positions would allow the                                                                           
     division to reduce the average monthly caseload per                                                                        
     technician and address the growing backlog.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  wondered  whether  the  request  was                                                                    
within the  same department  that removed  public assistance                                                                    
to fund other workers.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Steininger replied  that  the  adult public  assistance                                                                    
program  was within  the Division  of Public  Assistance. He                                                                    
explained that  the request was for  Public Assistance field                                                                    
services, which  were people who determined  eligibility for                                                                    
programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and other similar programs.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  shared  that  there were  nearly  a  dozen                                                                    
public   assistance   programs   that  the   workers   would                                                                    
administer. He surmised that the  request was related to the                                                                    
federally  funded  or   partially  federally  funded  public                                                                    
assistance backlog.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger replied in the affirmative.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt felt  that the  goal was  to have  an                                                                    
influx of people  to eliminate the backlog. He  felt that 41                                                                    
positions was  more than what  would be needed in  the long-                                                                    
term.  He wondered  whether  the intent  was  to reduce  the                                                                    
numbers, or whether 41 was expected in perpetuity.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney responded that there was  a period of time as the                                                                    
backlog grew, when the Alaska  Mental Health Trust Authority                                                                    
(AMHTA)  filled several  positions on  a temporary  basis to                                                                    
help address  the backlog.  She stated  that there  was more                                                                    
progress than  the current  situation. She  anticipated that                                                                    
the positions  would be needed  in the short-term,  of three                                                                    
to five  years. She  furthered that,  if there  were systems                                                                    
and simplifications  of processes,  there would be  room for                                                                    
savings.  She did  not anticipate  that the  positions would                                                                    
only be one or two years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:54:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt asked  how  the  total numbers  would                                                                    
change  in   terms  of  percentages.  He   wondered  if  the                                                                    
department had any openings in the department.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney answered  that the  department  had openings  at                                                                    
present, with 6 to 7  percent increase. The vacancy rate was                                                                    
higher  than   expected.  The  department  needed   to  hire                                                                    
vacancies and filling the 41 positions.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg thought  it  was  great that  the                                                                    
department was  getting back to  adequate numbers   He asked                                                                    
if the  department was  doing anything  else to  ensure they                                                                    
stay a long time.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney  did  not  have   specifics  on  the  particular                                                                    
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton  asked about the  considerations taken                                                                    
up in the subcommittee process.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney  replied that  any additions  in the  budget were                                                                    
scrutinized at a tedious level.  She stressed that there had                                                                    
been several reviews of the department.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:00:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Gara   stated   that  the   department   wanted                                                                    
additional  positions. He  stated  that  the department  had                                                                    
lower  paying employees  work overtime,  which led  to a  40                                                                    
percent burnout rate within the first year.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger continued:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Line 16:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Geospatial Council                                                                                                  
     The  Alaska Geospatial  Council  has been  funded by  a                                                                    
     capital project  that will exhaust  all funds  by March                                                                    
     2019.  This  allows the  council  and  its services  to                                                                    
     continue through the end  of FY2019.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney added that the last capital project started at                                                                       
the end  of 2015.  She explained that  the council  began in                                                                    
the early  2000s to bring the  department mapping resources,                                                                    
needs,  and priorities  under  one  statewide umbrella.  She                                                                    
stated that the  request put it through the  next year, with                                                                    
anticipation that it would continue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg queried the purpose.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney answered  that there were 3 to 4  main costs. She                                                                    
explained that there was a  contract with a mapping provider                                                                    
that  leverages  money  from  the  federal  government.  She                                                                    
stated that it was about $400 thousand spent on an annual                                                                       
basis                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger relayed that the total of operating                                                                              
amendments was $2.652 million in UGF; $2.334 million in                                                                         
federal funds; and $250,000 in DGF.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger continued with the amendments:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 19:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     FY2019 Transfer Balance of the  Mining Loan Fund No new                                                                    
     loans have  been made from  the mining loan  fund since                                                                    
     1986  and no  appropriations  have been  made from  the                                                                    
     fund since FY2004.   As such, the balance  of this fund                                                                    
    is available to be transferred to the general fund.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Line 20:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     FY2019  Transfer  Balance  of  the  Alternative  Energy                                                                    
     Conservation  Revolving  Loan  Fund No  new  loans  are                                                                    
     being  made from  the  alternative energy  conservation                                                                    
     revolving  loan fund  and no  appropriations have  been                                                                    
     made from the  fund since FY2004. As  such, the balance                                                                    
     of  this fund  is available  to be  transferred to  the                                                                    
     general fund.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Line 21:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     FY2019 Transfer  Balance of  the Investment  Loss Trust                                                                    
     Fund (Shows  as Revenue) The balance  of the investment                                                                    
     loss trust  fund (AS  27.09.010) as  of June  30, 2019,                                                                    
     estimated  to be  $2,298,862,  is  appropriated to  the                                                                    
     general fund.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Line 22:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     FY2019  Transfer Investment  Earnings on  Bond Proceeds                                                                    
     of the  Northern Tobacco Securitization Corp  (Shows as                                                                    
     Revenue) The amount of investment  earnings on the bond                                                                    
     proceeds   of  the   Northern  Tobacco   Securitization                                                                    
     Corporation  as  of  June 30,  2019,  estimated  to  be                                                                    
     $231,773, is appropriated to the general fund.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Line 23:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     FY2019  Transfer  Balance   of  The  Municipal  Capital                                                                    
     Project  Matching Grant  Fund  (Shows  as Revenue)  The                                                                    
     balance  of  the  Municipal  Capital  Project  Matching                                                                    
     Grant  Fund  (AS  37.06.010)  as   of  June  30,  2019,                                                                    
     estimated  to  be  $253,500,  is  appropriated  to  the                                                                    
     general fund.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Line 24:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     FY2019   Transfer   Balance   of   The   Unincorporated                                                                    
     Community  Capital Project  Matching Grant  Fund (Shows                                                                    
     as   Revenue)  The   balance   of  the   Unincorporated                                                                    
     Community  Capital  Project  Matching  Grant  Fund  (AS                                                                    
     37.06.020)  as  of  June  30,  2019,  estimated  to  be                                                                    
     $646,200, is appropriated to the general fund.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt wondered whether all of the items                                                                         
were sunsetting.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney  replied that  the  only  program that  was  not                                                                    
sunsetting was  the Norther Tobacco Securitization;  and the                                                                    
Investment  Loss  trust fund.  She  stated  that those  were                                                                    
funds that were available to be deposited.;                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Pruitt    acknowledged   the    work    of                                                                    
Representative Tilton.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:09:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steininger continued with the amendments:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 28:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Fairbanks  PM2.5 Nonattainment  Area Voluntary  Heating                                                                    
     Device Change Out Program                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This  project  continues  a  voluntary  heating  device                                                                    
     change-out  program  for  residents  in  the  Fairbanks                                                                    
     North  Star Borough's  fine particulate  matter (PM2.5)                                                                    
     serious  nonattainment area.  The program  is aimed  at                                                                    
     minimizing particulate  matter emissions  and improving                                                                    
     air  quality  in  the  Borough.  The  Borough  has  the                                                                    
     highest  recorded  levels  of   PM2.5  in  the  nation.                                                                    
     Federal  grant funds  have been  applied  for from  EPA                                                                    
     through the Targeted Air Shed Program.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Line 29:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Seismic Data Collection                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Recent federal government actions  opened the 1002 area                                                                    
     of the  Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)  to oil                                                                    
     and   gas   leasing,   exploration   and   development.                                                                    
     Availability of  seismic data will improve  interest in                                                                    
     exploring for  oil and gas  within the 1002  area. This                                                                    
     funding allows the state to  work with other interested                                                                    
     parties  to provide  seismic  data  which will  enhance                                                                    
     state  revenue from  lease sales  and decrease  time to                                                                    
     drilling and production.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 30:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     National  Petroleum  Reserve   -  Alaska  Impact  Grant                                                                    
     Program  This request  amends  the original  Governor's                                                                    
     FY2019  capital budget  request  by adding  $10,233,376                                                                    
     for a  new requested total of  $11,611,722. This change                                                                    
     is due  to updated revenue estimates  for FY2019, which                                                                    
     results in  FY2019 National Petroleum Reserve  - Alaska                                                                    
     (NPR-A) recommended awards  to communities being higher                                                                    
     than the  estimate provided in the  original Governor's                                                                    
     FY2019  capital  request.  The NPR-A  program  provides                                                                    
     grants  to   communities  for  public   facilities  and                                                                    
     services.  Priority  is   given  to  those  communities                                                                    
     directly  or  severely  impacted   by  the  leases  and                                                                    
     development of  oil and gas  within the  NPR-A. Funding                                                                    
     comes from  the federal  government as  a share  of the                                                                    
     funds received on leases issued within NPR-A.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Line 31:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     North Slope Borough - Monitoring  Waterfowl in the NPR-                                                                    
     A This  request amends  the original  Governor's FY2019                                                                    
     capital  budget  request  by  adding  allocation  level                                                                    
     funding  of  $337,550.00. This  change  is  due to  the                                                                    
     timing  of approval  of  individual National  Petroleum                                                                    
     Reserve   Alaska grants.  This project provides support                                                                    
     to  the  North  Slope Borough  Department  of  Wildlife                                                                    
     Management  to monitor  population trends  in waterfowl                                                                    
     that will build upon a  study that has been ongoing for                                                                    
     over fifteen years. This grant  will fund labor, fringe                                                                    
     benefits,  contractual,  materials, supplies,  freight,                                                                    
     travel, and 25% administration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Line 32:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     North Slope Borough - Area-Wide  Air Quality Study This                                                                    
     request amends  the original Governor's  FY2019 capital                                                                    
     budget request  by adding  allocation level  funding of                                                                    
     $1,187,500.  This  change  is  due  to  the  timing  of                                                                    
     approval  of individual  National  Petroleum Reserve                                                                       
     Alaska  grants.  The  purpose of  this  project  is  to                                                                    
     collect base  line data  on air  quality in  areas that                                                                    
     are currently  not developed by  oil and  gas industry.                                                                    
     This   grant   will   fund  labor,   fringe   benefits,                                                                    
     contractual,  material,   supplies,  travel,   and  25%                                                                    
     administration.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Line 33:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     North  Slope Borough  - Monitoring  Nearshore Fish  and                                                                    
     their  Habitats in  the NPRA  This  request amends  the                                                                    
     original  Governor's FY2019  capital budget  request by                                                                    
     adding  allocation  level  funding  of  $562,500.  This                                                                    
     change is due  to the timing of  approval of individual                                                                    
     National  Petroleum  Reserve      Alaska  grants.  This                                                                    
     project  provides support  to the  North Slope  Borough                                                                    
     Department  of  Wildlife  Management (DWM)  to  conduct                                                                    
     studies  on  the  abundance  and  health  of  nearshore                                                                    
     fisheries  in  the NPR-A  region.  DWM  will work  with                                                                    
     local subsistence fisherman  and collect samples across                                                                    
     lagoon and  nearshore subsistence waters to  assess the                                                                    
     abundance and  distribution of fishes  and characterize                                                                    
     their biological and physical habitat.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Line 34:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City  of   Nuiqsut  -   Youth  Center   Operations  and                                                                    
     Maintenance   This   request    amends   the   original                                                                    
     Governor's  FY2019  capital  budget request  by  adding                                                                    
     allocation level  funding of  $267,826. This  change is                                                                    
     due to  the timing  of approval of  individual National                                                                    
     Petroleum Reserve    Alaska grants. This  project is to                                                                    
     continue  operations  and   maintenance  of  the  youth                                                                    
     center.  Grant funds  are requested  for labor,  fringe                                                                    
     benefits,  supplies,   freight,  maintenance,  repairs,                                                                    
     fuel  oil, communications,  utilities, cultural  camps,                                                                    
     and special events.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Line 35:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City  of  Nuiqsut  - Local  Government  Operations  and                                                                    
     Maintenance   This   request    amends   the   original                                                                    
     Governor's  FY2019  capital  budget request  by  adding                                                                    
     allocation level  funding of  $949,203. This  change is                                                                    
     due to  the timing  of approval of  individual National                                                                    
     Petroleum Reserve    Alaska  grants. This  project will                                                                    
     provide   continued   funding  for   local   government                                                                    
     operations  and maintenance  for the  city of  Nuiqsut.                                                                    
     Grant funds  are requested for labor,  fringe benefits,                                                                    
     office   equipment   purchase,   materials,   supplies,                                                                    
     travel,  maintenance,  communications, utilities,  fuel                                                                    
     oil, and insurance.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Line 36:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City of Wainwright - Youth  Program This request amends                                                                    
     the original  Governor's FY2019 capital  budget request                                                                    
     by adding  allocation level  funding of  $289,272. This                                                                    
     change is due  to the timing of  approval of individual                                                                    
     National  Petroleum  Reserve      Alaska  grants.  This                                                                    
     project will continue the  Youth Program established in                                                                    
     2005, which  provides a safe and  drug-free environment                                                                    
     with adult  supervision for youth ages  6-18 years old.                                                                    
     Grant funds  will be used  for labor,  fringe benefits,                                                                    
     insurance,    contractual     services,    recreational                                                                    
     materials,  supplies,   utilities,  communication,  and                                                                    
     building maintenance and repairs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Line 37:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City of  Wainwright - Local Government  Operations This                                                                    
     request amends  the original Governor's  FY2019 capital                                                                    
     budget request  by adding  allocation level  funding of                                                                    
     $499,251. This change is due  to the timing of approval                                                                    
     of  individual  National  Petroleum  Reserve     Alaska                                                                    
     grants.   This   project   is  to   provide   continued                                                                    
     operations  and maintenance  necessary to  successfully                                                                    
     operate  the  local  government  of  Wainwright.  Grant                                                                    
     funds   will  go   towards   labor,  fringe   benefits,                                                                    
     insurance,   contractual    services,   communications,                                                                    
     utilities,    travel,    materials,    supplies,    and                                                                    
     maintenance and repairs.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 38:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     North Slope  Borough - Monitoring Fish  in the Colville                                                                    
     River  for Presence  of Water  Mold (Saprolegnia)  This                                                                    
     request amends  the original Governor's  FY2019 capital                                                                    
     budget request  by adding  allocation level  funding of                                                                    
     $187,500. This change is due  to the timing of approval                                                                    
     of  individual  National  Petroleum  Reserve     Alaska                                                                    
     grants.  This  project  will monitor  broad  whitefish,                                                                    
     especially for presence of mold,  on the Colville River                                                                    
     by  recording catch  from subsistence  caught specimens                                                                    
     and   deploy   real-time   data  loggers   to   monitor                                                                    
     temperature on  the river in six  locations from break-                                                                    
     up to October.  Grant funds will pay  for labor, fringe                                                                    
     benefits,  contractual  services, materials,  supplies,                                                                    
     freight, travel, and 25% administration.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 39:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City  of  Atqasuk  - Local  Government  Operations  and                                                                    
     Youth   Program  This   request  amends   the  original                                                                    
     Governor's  FY2019  capital  budget request  by  adding                                                                    
     allocation level  funding of  $393,061. This  change is                                                                    
     due to  the timing  of approval of  individual National                                                                    
     Petroleum Reserve    Alaska grants. This  project is to                                                                    
     supplement   the  operations   and  maintenance   costs                                                                    
     necessary to successfully  operate the local government                                                                    
     of   Atqasuk   and   provide  continued   services   to                                                                    
     residents,  including the  Youth  Program. Grant  funds                                                                    
     will  pay   for  labor,  fringe   benefits,  insurance,                                                                    
     professional      services,     travel,      utilities,                                                                    
     communications,  maintenance  and  repairs,  materials,                                                                    
     and supplies.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Line 40:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City  of Nuiqsut  -  Kisik  Center Maintenance  Project                                                                    
     This  request  amends  the original  Governor's  FY2019                                                                    
     capital  budget  request  by  adding  allocation  level                                                                    
     funding of $192,035.  This change is due  to the timing                                                                    
     of approval of individual  National Petroleum Reserve                                                                      
     Alaska  grants.  This  project will  repair  the  Kisik                                                                    
     Community Center  HVAC system, as well  as fund general                                                                    
     maintenance  to   the  facility  such   as  electrical,                                                                    
     plumbing, and mechanical. Grant  funds will be used for                                                                    
     contractual services and building materials.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Line 41:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City  of   Anaktuvuk  Pass   -  Local   Operations  and                                                                    
     Community  Center  Upgrades  This  request  amends  the                                                                    
     original  Governor's FY2019  capital budget  request by                                                                    
     adding  allocation level  funding of  $571,535.44. This                                                                    
     change is due  to the timing of  approval of individual                                                                    
     National  Petroleum  Reserve      Alaska  grants.  This                                                                    
     project  is  to  support  the  general  operations  and                                                                    
     renovation activities  of the  city of  Anaktuvuk Pass,                                                                    
     enabling  the city  to continue  to build  capacity for                                                                    
     effective  and  efficient local  government  operations                                                                    
     during a period of increased  NPR-A related oil and gas                                                                    
     development.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Line 42:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     North Slope  Borough -  Community Winter  Access Trails                                                                    
     (CWAT)  This  request  amends the  original  Governor's                                                                    
     FY2019  capital  budget  request by  adding  allocation                                                                    
     level funding of $3,576,798. This  change is due to the                                                                    
     timing  of approval  of  individual National  Petroleum                                                                    
     Reserve    Alaska grants. This project  is to establish                                                                    
     the North  Slope Borough Winter Access  Trails, develop                                                                    
     permits, agreements, protocol  with regulatory agencies                                                                    
     and  industrial   users  that  will  allow   for  local                                                                    
     community   use.  Grants   funds   are  requested   for                                                                    
     contractual  services,  equipment purchase,  materials,                                                                    
     supplies,   freight,   travel,  contingency   and   25%                                                                    
     administration.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Line 43:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City of Utqiagvik  - Repair of the  City of Utqiagvik's                                                                    
     Shop Subfloor  and BCI Support This  request amends the                                                                    
     original  Governor's FY2019  capital budget  request by                                                                    
     adding  allocation  level  funding  of  $160,000.  This                                                                    
     change is due  to the timing of  approval of individual                                                                    
     National  Petroleum  Reserve      Alaska  grants.  This                                                                    
     project is to replace the  old shop floor by installing                                                                    
     BCI  support  and  all  new  subfloors  at  the  city's                                                                    
     maintenance  shop.   Grant  funds  are   requested  for                                                                    
     contractual   services,    materials,   supplies,   and                                                                    
     freight.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Line 44:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City of  Utqiagvik -  Local Government  Operations This                                                                    
     request amends  the original Governor's  FY2019 capital                                                                    
     budget request  by adding  allocation level  funding of                                                                    
     $1,890,000.  This  change  is  due  to  the  timing  of                                                                    
     approval  of individual  National  Petroleum Reserve                                                                       
     Alaska grants.  This project is to  continue operations                                                                    
     including    city    council,   administration    cost,                                                                    
     maintenance department,  business licensing, Department                                                                    
     of   Motor  Vehicles,   taxicab  regulation   services,                                                                    
     alcohol     registration     services,     concessions,                                                                    
    scholarship expenses, and recreational activities.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Line 45:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City of Utqiagvik  - Purchase of New  John Deere Loader                                                                    
     This  request  amends  the original  Governor's  FY2019                                                                    
     capital  budget  request  by  adding  allocation  level                                                                    
     funding of $400,000.  This change is due  to the timing                                                                    
     of approval of individual  National Petroleum Reserve                                                                      
     Alaska grants. This project will  be used to purchase a                                                                    
     loader.  Grant   funds  are  requested   for  equipment                                                                    
     purchase and freight.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Line 46:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     City of Utqiagvik  - Purchase of New  Tent for Existing                                                                    
     Hockey  Facility  This   request  amends  the  original                                                                    
     Governor's  FY2019  capital  budget request  by  adding                                                                    
     allocation level  funding of  $147,690. This  change is                                                                    
     due to  the timing  of approval of  individual National                                                                    
     Petroleum Reserve    Alaska grants. This  project is to                                                                    
     purchase  a  tent  cover for  the  hockey  and  curling                                                                    
     facility.  Grant  funds  are  requested  for  material,                                                                    
     supplies, and freight.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  about  line  28. She  wondered                                                                    
whether the $4  million would allow the borough  to look for                                                                    
the  grant,  or whether  there  was  another grant  for  the                                                                    
changeout program of $4 million awaiting an appropriation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney responded that it was not in hand but was                                                                            
eminent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked whether it had the same                                                                             
restrictions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pitney agreed to provide that information.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton asked that                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB  284  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  285  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  286  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  321  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:14:18 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 176                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to medical assistance reimbursement                                                                       
     for ground emergency medical transportation services;                                                                      
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:14:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ADAM WOOL,  SPONSOR,  explained  HB 176.  He                                                                    
stated  that the  bill allowed  reimbursement to  local fire                                                                    
departments  and emergency  medical  transport providers  to                                                                    
get  more  fully  reimbursed when  transporting  a  Medicaid                                                                    
payment.   He   stated    that,   currently,   the   maximum                                                                    
reimbursement  was  $400  for an  ambulance  ride,  but  the                                                                    
service cost  more than $400  to the departments.  He stated                                                                    
that  it allowed  for the  Department of  Health and  Social                                                                    
Services (DHSS) to apply for  reimbursement from the federal                                                                    
government.  He  explained  that  many  states  had  similar                                                                    
allowments. He  noted that currently, the  response services                                                                    
were only compensated  a fraction of the cost,  so this bill                                                                    
allowed for 50 percent more of the funding.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson queried  more  information about  the                                                                    
numbers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  replied  that  $600  was  mission.  He                                                                    
stated that  the provider would  send in $300 to  the state;                                                                    
the  state would  apply and  receive $600  from the  federal                                                                    
government; and  $600 would be  returned to  the department,                                                                    
with a net of $300.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  who was  paying for  the other                                                                    
$400.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool responded  that Medicaid  paid for  the                                                                    
$400. He  stated that typically  Medicaid was paid  for with                                                                    
50 percent  from the state  and 50 percent from  the federal                                                                    
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  surmised that $1000 would  be charged                                                                    
for the ambulance. The first  $400 would come from the state                                                                    
Medicaid program. She  stated that, once the  other $600 was                                                                    
sent, the  state would  pay an  additional $300  and another                                                                    
$300 from  the federal government. She  wondered whether the                                                                    
$600 totally came from the federal government.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool replied that  the entire $600 would come                                                                    
from   the  federal   government.  He   deferred  to   other                                                                    
testifiers for more information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:20:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROB EARL,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE ADAM WOOL,  returned to the                                                                    
example of the  $1000 ambulance ride. He  explained that the                                                                    
first $400 would  be paid through state  Medicaid, which was                                                                    
funded  divided  in  half  between  the  state  and  federal                                                                    
government.  He  stated that  there  would  be a  $600  non-                                                                    
reimbursed  cost, so  the provider  would submit  their non-                                                                    
federal match of $300 to  DHSS. He explained that DHSS would                                                                    
then  receive $300  from the  federal government,  and would                                                                    
return  the  entire $600  to  the  provider. Therefore,  the                                                                    
provider would net $300.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  wondered   about  the   20  percent                                                                    
administrative fee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Earl responded  that the administrative fee  could be up                                                                    
to 20 percent of the entire transport cost.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  wondered whether there was  a cap, so                                                                    
the department could not go higher than 20 percent.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Earl replied that there  was a state plan amendment that                                                                    
DHSS would  apply for federal  Medicaid. He stated  that, at                                                                    
that  state, the  20 percent  was able  to be  added to  the                                                                    
provider's  costs.  Then they  could  apply  for the  larger                                                                    
reimbursement.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg felt  that the example "low-balled                                                                    
the  cost."  He  queried  a  maximum  allowable  amount  for                                                                    
reimbursement.  He  wondered whether  there  was  a need  to                                                                    
include medivac air transport.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  reported that they would  be adding air                                                                    
and water transport  to the bill. He stated  that Alaska had                                                                    
many  remote areas.  He did  not  believe that  there was  a                                                                    
maximum  allowable reimbursement,  because the  transport of                                                                    
longer hauls was expensive.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:25:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara supported  the concept of the  bill. He felt                                                                    
that the fiscal  note showed that of the  $21 million annual                                                                    
cost to the state, $11  million would come directly from the                                                                    
federal government and  the other $10 million  would be some                                                                    
form of statutory designated receipts.  He queried the state                                                                    
cost of the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  responded that the $21  million was not                                                                    
a cost,  rather it was  a net gain  to the state.  He stated                                                                    
that  $11  million  of  that   gain  was  from  the  federal                                                                    
government, and $10 million was from the providers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  asked for a  bubble flow chart.  He thought                                                                    
it would make it easier to  follow the numbers. He asked for                                                                    
an example to be included.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool agreed to provide that information.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn  wondered  whether there  would  be  a                                                                    
change in percentage depending on a cost change.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool believed  there  was no  change in  the                                                                    
percentage based on cost of service.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  wondered whether there was  a general                                                                    
fund expenditure.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool responded  affirmatively. He indicated a                                                                    
person  to manage  the program  would  be paid  for with  GF                                                                    
dollars.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  remarked  that  the  Anchorage  Fire                                                                    
Department  would  send  the  state  $300,  which  would  be                                                                    
submitted  to  the federal  government,  and  the full  $600                                                                    
would be returned  to the fire department.  He surmised that                                                                    
the concept was that the  fire department would receive $300                                                                    
from  the federal  government. He  wondered why  the federal                                                                    
government would want to participate in the program.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  replied that  the example  was correct.                                                                    
He  stated that  there  was something  in  federal law  that                                                                    
required the federal government to make those payments.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  wondered  whether the  other  states                                                                    
required  the local  community to  go through  the state  to                                                                    
access the  federal money;  or would the  state take  on the                                                                    
role to  request all. He  queried the number of  states that                                                                    
had the program, and how the models compared to the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  replied that  California,  Washington,                                                                    
Montana, Nevada, Texas, and Florida  had similar programs in                                                                    
place.  He  furthered  that Oregon,  Nebraska,  Kansas,  and                                                                    
Illinoi had pending programs. He  deferred to Mr. Clough for                                                                    
more states' information.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:32:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  CLOUGH, ALASKA  FIRE  CHIEFS,  PORTLAND, OREGON  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  stressed that  the program  was not  a new                                                                    
program. He shared  that it was an  entitlement program that                                                                    
was part of  Title 19 of the Social Security  Act. He stated                                                                    
that every state  participated in the program  in some form.                                                                    
He  shared that  the concept  was  in effect  in Alaska.  He                                                                    
remarked  that there  was no  limit to  the program,  in the                                                                    
reimbursement  section. He  stated  that  as an  entitlement                                                                    
program, it was  a cost-based program. He  shared that other                                                                    
Medicaid programs had an upper  payment limit (UTL), but the                                                                    
UTL was tied to cost in  this program. He used California as                                                                    
an example, and remarked that  the cost per transport in the                                                                    
larger  cities were  approximately $500  to $600.  He stated                                                                    
that,  conversely, there  were  remote  areas in  California                                                                    
that saw  transport costs of  $4000 to $5000 on  the federal                                                                    
program.  He stressed  that  the  cap was  the  cost of  the                                                                    
transport  service.  He  noted   that  the  program  was  an                                                                    
opportunity  for  the  local  government  to  share  in  the                                                                    
federal government's  Medicaid program.  He shared  that, if                                                                    
an  agency  had  a  $1000  cost  of  transport,  they  would                                                                    
currently receive  Medicaid funds  from the state  for $400.                                                                    
He furthered that  there was an uncompensated  cost of $600.                                                                    
He  shared  that,  instead of  the  state  participating  in                                                                    
federal financial  participation, local government  would be                                                                    
allowed  to participate  in federal  financial participation                                                                    
at  the  same rate.  He  remarked  that  50 percent  of  the                                                                    
uncompensated  cost  was  the   non-federal  share  was  the                                                                    
partnership  of   the  fire   department  and   the  federal                                                                    
government.  He stated  that  the  federal government  would                                                                    
match the 50 percent.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:37:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Clough  shared that  the program  was voluntary  and the                                                                    
individual  local   government  providers  were   asking  to                                                                    
participate. Therefore,  there could  not be  an expenditure                                                                    
to the  state. He shared that  the state may need  to hire a                                                                    
full-time equivalent  (FTE) employee for  program oversight,                                                                    
but  the  cost  of  that  hire  must  be  paid  for  by  the                                                                    
participating parties.  He stressed  that there  would never                                                                    
be  exposure   to  the  GF.   He  agreed  to   provide  some                                                                    
illustrations to  help describe the 20  percent. He stressed                                                                    
that  the state  had  the  right to  charge  a  fee for  the                                                                    
services, because  the program  was voluntary.  He explained                                                                    
that the fee was arbitrary as  it related to the cost of the                                                                    
charge.  He  stated  that Indiana  charged  27  percent  and                                                                    
California  charged  20  percent.  He  stated  that  the  20                                                                    
percent  fee  was  a  cost  associated  with  the  ambulance                                                                    
transport.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:41:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICH ETHERIDGE,  JUNEAU FIRE CHIEF, JUNEAU  FIRE DEPARTMENT,                                                                    
stressed that fire departments across  the state were seeing                                                                    
unprecedented calls for service  and decreasing revenues. He                                                                    
stressed that the call volume  in the Juneau Fire Department                                                                    
increased 16 percent  the year prior, and the  year prior it                                                                    
increased 14 percent. He furthered  that the call volume had                                                                    
already increased 10  percent from the year  prior, so there                                                                    
was no expectation of flattening  the call volume. He shared                                                                    
that the bill would help to  make up the debt portion of the                                                                    
budget.  He remarked  that he  estimated  that Juneau  would                                                                    
receive approximately  $500,000, which  was enough  money to                                                                    
put another ambulance into service.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton queried  the percentage  of Medicaid  runs,                                                                    
compared to the total.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Etheridge   responded    that   Medicaid   runs   were                                                                    
approximately 25  percent of the  call volume.  He furthered                                                                    
that  smaller communities  with larger  Medicaid population,                                                                    
the  Medicaid runs  could be  80  percent or  90 percent  of                                                                    
their  call   volume.  He  shared   that  the   Juneau  Fire                                                                    
Department saw  approximately 5000  incidents per  year, and                                                                    
80 percent of those 5000 incidents were medical calls.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OPENED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KATHIE  WASSERMAN,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  MUNICIPAL                                                                    
LEAGUE, spoke in support of  the bill. She stressed that the                                                                    
bill allowed  for the municipalities to  access needed funds                                                                    
through  other  avenues.  She  shared  that  the  money  was                                                                    
revenue neutral, so there would be no cost to the state.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara shared  that he did not  recall receiving an                                                                    
email from  his community  on their stance  on the  bill. He                                                                    
noted  that each  communities' tax  caps were  different. He                                                                    
wondered whether  the bill  would raise  the revenue  to the                                                                    
municipality, if Anchorage were to leverage $3 million.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wasserman answered that she  thought it most communities                                                                    
would put the money in their  general fund, and then pass it                                                                    
to the fire department to cover those costs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara stressed  that he  was a  cosponsor of  the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  felt that the bill  would be positive                                                                    
for every community. She assumed  that the City of Anchorage                                                                    
would apply  the money  to their  general fund,  because the                                                                    
city  "took  care  of  their  police  departments  and  fire                                                                    
stations."  She  stated  that  it  was  different  than  the                                                                    
Fairbanks  North  Star  Borough, because  there  were  "fire                                                                    
service  areas."   She  wondered  whether  there   was  that                                                                    
distinction in the bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wasserman replied that  each community would participate                                                                    
differently in the program.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:50:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL   HOWELL,   BETHEL   FIRE   DEPARTMENT,   BETHEL   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  the legislation.                                                                    
He  stated  that   the  bill  would  match   what  the  fire                                                                    
department had  as its discretionary budget.  The department                                                                    
had  a  conservative  estimate  of  a  cost  of  $1,200  per                                                                    
ambulance  run, and  they were  losing  money annually  from                                                                    
Medicaid runs.  He remarked that the  Bethel Fire Department                                                                    
provided  an important  public service  and were  looking at                                                                    
ways  to provide  training and  keep the  service going.  He                                                                    
asked the committee to pass the legislation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:53:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM   STYERS,   FAIRBANKS   FIRE   CHIEF,   FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  favor of  the bill.  He detailed                                                                    
that the  bill would impact  the city and its  citizens. The                                                                    
state's budget  situation was  trickling down  and impacting                                                                    
municipalities. He was fully supportive of the bill.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:55:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEX  BOYD,   ANCHORAGE  FIRE  DEPARTMENT,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in support  of the bill. He announced                                                                    
that the Anchorage  Fire Department was seeing  a 38 percent                                                                    
increase  in transports.  He  stated  that, currently,  they                                                                    
were  answering  28  thousand  transports  in  the  City  of                                                                    
Anchorage. The  costs were  going up  while the  support was                                                                    
going down.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  asked if  Mr.  Boyd  saw any  impact                                                                    
based on the tax cap.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Boyd responded  that  he was  unfamiliar  with how  the                                                                    
collection of the  funds would impact the tax  cap, but felt                                                                    
that there may potential to  relieve the tax encumbrances by                                                                    
alleviating some of the potential bond propositions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  had not  heard this  information from                                                                    
anyone  in the  community. He  did not  want to  unknowingly                                                                    
cause any other challenges.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:58:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster asked  that amendments  be turned  into his                                                                    
office by the following Tuesday.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  if Ms.  Brodie  was  available  for                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton   wondered  whether  the   program  treated                                                                    
regular  Medicaid patients  and Medicaid  expansion patients                                                                    
in the same manner.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET   BRODIE,  DIRECTOR   OF   HEALTH  CARE   SERVICES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT    OF   HEALTH    AND   SOCIAL    SERVICES   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  responded that  the patients  were treated                                                                    
the  same.  She furthered  that  the  department received  a                                                                    
higher federal match for the Medicaid expansion population.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton wondered  whether there  would be  a higher                                                                    
match for the Medicaid expansion client in the program.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brodie  replied that there would  not be a charge  of 50                                                                    
percent  regardless of  the client.  She  stated that  there                                                                    
would be an examination of  the claims, and then there would                                                                    
be an appropriate match request.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  queried  the   percentage  for  the  match                                                                    
portion  for  the  transport   for  the  Medicaid  expansion                                                                    
patients.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Brodie responded  that the  department would  apply the                                                                    
same match requirements as the original claim paid out.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg wondered how  the bill would apply                                                                    
across  the  state,  because of  the  different  systems  of                                                                    
emergency medical transport.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brodie replied that it  would be anyone who provided the                                                                    
match  for  the unpaid  share.  She  stressed that  all  the                                                                    
entities already  enrolled in the Medicaid  program, and met                                                                    
all the other requirements.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg indicated  that  the concern  was                                                                    
the tax cap for various  communities. He surmised that there                                                                    
would not  be a detrimental  effect of every  entity, should                                                                    
they not file for the program.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brodie agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara noted  that the only state cost  was for the                                                                    
administrative position, which would be reimbursed by fees.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brodie relayed  that there were no  state funds, because                                                                    
the match would be provided through the fees.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara indicated  there  had  been some  testimony                                                                    
that the  fee could be  capped at  a lower amount.  He noted                                                                    
that the  department would not  charge more than  was needed                                                                    
for the position.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brodie replied  in the affirmative. She  stated that the                                                                    
department would only charge the  amount of the costs, which                                                                    
were currently 0.28 percent.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson understood that the  bill did up to 20                                                                    
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brodie responded, "That's correct."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB  176  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  relayed  the   agenda  for  the  following                                                                    
meeting on Monday, February 19, 2018.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
3:06:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:06 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DHSS Review WDR-HB176-2-6-18.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB176 Sponsor Statement 2.13.18.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB176 Additional Documents - HB 176 GEMT Summary 2.13.18.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB176 Supporting Documents - LTRs of Support 2.13.18.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
Combined_Budget_Amendments_Detail_Backup_2-13-18.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284 HB 286
HB 286 HB 284 FY2019 Combined Amendment Summary and Detail.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 286 HB 284 FY2018_Supplemental_Summary_Feb_13.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 286
HB 286 HB 284 FY2019_Amendment_Summary_Feb_13.pdf HFIN 2/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 286