Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

03/06/2018 10:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
10:08:00 AM Start
10:08:44 AM HB285 || HB286
10:08:47 AM Amendments
12:04:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Note Time Change --
+= HB 286 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 285 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Amendments
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 6, 2018                                                                                            
                        10:08 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:08:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 10:08 a.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Carol Petraborg, Director of Administration Services,                                                                           
Department of Fish and Game.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Bruce Dale, Director of Wildlife Conservation, Department                                                                       
of Fish and Game.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
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.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
AMENDMENTS                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:08:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^AMENDMENTS                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:08:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton reviewed  the  agenda for  the meeting.  He                                                                    
reported that  in the previous  day the committee  had taken                                                                    
up 28 of 96 amendments  for the operating budget. He pointed                                                                    
to  two   new  documents   in  member  packets.   They  were                                                                    
replacement amendments for H DFG 18  and H HSS 18. They were                                                                    
also posted on the legislative website.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT Amendment H DFG 9                                                                          
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                       
     H DFG 9 - 4005: Building Materials                                                                                         
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17 Actuals $26.0 and FY19 Governor $227.2. A                                                                             
     decrease of $100.0 leaves $127.2 for building                                                                              
     materials.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson read the amendment (see above).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  reviewed the list  of people  available for                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  began  by providing  some  background                                                                    
information. He  reported that  in FY  18 the  Department of                                                                    
Fish  and Game  (DFG)  eliminated the  state facility  rents                                                                    
allocation and  reallocated $2,125,000  undesignated general                                                                    
funds   (UGF)  for   various  divisions.   The  amount   was                                                                    
transferred  from the  fish and  game state  facilities rent                                                                    
allocation   to   the   service  line   in   the   following                                                                    
allocations:   Commercial   Fisheries  Statewide   Fisheries                                                                    
Management   $1,025,000;  Wildlife   Conservation  $540,000;                                                                    
Sport  Fisheries  $560,00.  He believed  the  representative                                                                    
putting   the  amendments   forward   was  concerned   about                                                                    
increasing  certain  line  items.  However,  they  were  the                                                                    
result  of fund  shifts  that took  place  when a  statewide                                                                    
funding policy  was eliminated for DFG  statewide facilities                                                                    
rent that had been  distributed to different departments. He                                                                    
concluded that  the distribution  explained the  reasons for                                                                    
the increases  in funding. He  countered that they  were not                                                                    
actual increases  but transfers of money.  His same argument                                                                    
would apply to the amendments heard  the prior day: H DFG 5,                                                                    
H DFG 6,  H DFG 7, and H  DFG 8. It would also  apply to the                                                                    
amendments  that  would be  heard  in  the present  meeting:                                                                    
H DFG 9,  H DFG 10,  H DFG 11,  H DFG 12,  and H DFG  13. He                                                                    
hoped his information  helped to clarify the  reason for the                                                                    
increase in  funds. He encouraged the  department to provide                                                                    
additional details.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:13:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  PETRABORG,   DIRECTOR  OF   ADMINISTRATION  SERVICES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF FISH  AND GAME, explained that  the change was                                                                    
made  in order  have expenditures  reflected in  the correct                                                                    
division.  The   expenditures  used   to  be   reflected  in                                                                    
administrative  services. The  total amount  moved was  just                                                                    
over $2.5 million.  She reported that about  $1 million went                                                                    
to  the Division  of  Commercial  Fisheries. She  reiterated                                                                    
that  the purpose  of the  change  was to  have the  revenue                                                                    
reflected in the division for which it belonged.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson rebutted  that the  amount of  $1.025                                                                    
million could  be seen on  page 10  as a separate  line item                                                                    
and not reflected in her  amendments. However, she suggested                                                                    
that the  money was in  a different  part of the  budget for                                                                    
the Division  of Commercial Fisheries.  She agreed  that the                                                                    
money  had  been  distributed as  Representative  Ortiz  had                                                                    
indicated. However,  she argued that  the monies were  not a                                                                    
part  of   the  increases  within  the   division's  budget.                                                                    
Building materials were not affected  or other services that                                                                    
had  been discussed  in the  previous day.  Instead, it  was                                                                    
reflected separately as an increase in services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Petraborg  responded that it  was difficult to  see what                                                                    
revenues  would  be  used  for  the  projected  expenditures                                                                    
without comparing  expenditures to  revenues. It  would also                                                                    
be  difficult  to identify  line  item  transfers after  the                                                                    
fact. It was  difficult to address the  issue. She continued                                                                    
that what was not reflected  were line item transfers at the                                                                    
end of  the fiscal  year when  unexpected things  arose. She                                                                    
reported  that members  were looking  at low-level  details.                                                                    
Sometimes adjustments were made at  a higher level of detail                                                                    
not reflected in  the lower level accounts.  She surmised it                                                                    
would be  difficult to understand without  having a detailed                                                                    
understanding  of the  accounting system.  She relayed  that                                                                    
the  department was  very confident  that expenditures  were                                                                    
recorded  at a  high level  of accuracy.  She provided  some                                                                    
additional  details of  accounting  practices. She  reported                                                                    
that  the  department  did  several  transfers  between  the                                                                    
contractual  line   and  personal  services  line   in  both                                                                    
directions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  about   the  listing  under  Alaska                                                                    
Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) Region  Fisheries Management. He asked                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  a   clarifying  question  about  the                                                                    
building materials.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  responded that she was  talking about                                                                    
$1  million  in  rent  and the  $1  million  for  commercial                                                                    
fisheries  as   a  whole.  She   clarified  that   when  the                                                                    
department went to allocate rent,  the money went from state                                                                    
facilities to  commercial fisheries,  wildlife conservation,                                                                    
sport  fisheries, and  administrative  services. She  stated                                                                    
that for commercial  fisheries, the money went  into its own                                                                    
line.  It  did not  get  added  into  a certain  portion  of                                                                    
detail.  She   thought  what  she   was  hearing   from  the                                                                    
department  was  that it  had  the  option of  moving  funds                                                                    
around. She  was concerned that  when hundreds  of thousands                                                                    
of dollars were moved around,  it was difficult to determine                                                                    
what missed the mark. She  wondered how the state would know                                                                    
whether it  was spending  more money  in certain  areas than                                                                    
anticipated. She did not propose  reductions to FY 17 actual                                                                    
levels because  there were  too many  unknowns and  it would                                                                    
not be  fair to  the department. In  determining reductions,                                                                    
she ensured  that personnel would  not be affected.  She did                                                                    
not  touch   any  general  fund  matching   dollars  either.                                                                    
However,  she  was  concerned about  the  disparity  of  the                                                                    
numbers. She did  not believe rent would be  affected by her                                                                    
two proposed changes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:19:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz asked about  the concerns that inspired                                                                    
the maker to bring the  amendment forward. He wondered if it                                                                    
had  to  do with  a  lapse  in UGF  funding.  Representative                                                                    
Wilson did not  believe her concerns had to do  with a lapse                                                                    
in  funding. She  thought the  department spent  every penny                                                                    
the    legislature   appropriated.    Representative   Ortiz                                                                    
interjected that  the department  did not  spend all  of its                                                                    
appropriated funds. It gave back $17,800.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson had talked  to several accounts in the                                                                    
prior  24 hours  because  of having  concerns after  hearing                                                                    
from  the   Office  of  Management  and   Budget  about  the                                                                    
legislature getting  too far  down into  the details  of the                                                                    
budget. She  disagreed with the notion  that the legislature                                                                    
had  no  business delving  into  the  details. She  wondered                                                                    
about  the  necessary  level   of  accuracy  when  exploring                                                                    
details. She was told by  the accountants that when $100,000                                                                    
or  more  was  moved,  it  was  time  to  inquire  with  the                                                                    
department  as to  the reason  for moving  funds into  other                                                                    
areas. Her  message to the  departments was that  she wanted                                                                    
more accuracy within certain areas.  She suggested that when                                                                    
and  if the  legislature  imposed additional  taxes or  took                                                                    
from people's  dividends, she wanted  to be able  to explain                                                                    
to constituents why it was necessary  to do so. She had been                                                                    
told by  the chair that he  did not want to  see unallocated                                                                    
cuts. She thought it was necessary  to look at the detail in                                                                    
order  to  find  out  whether   money  was  being  reflected                                                                    
accurately.  She was  trying  to follow  the  wishes of  the                                                                    
chairman and to  find out where money had been  spent by the                                                                    
departments.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton conveyed  that it was not  his intention for                                                                    
her to  delve into a particular  line item. He did  not want                                                                    
unallocated cuts  across agencies or across  departments. He                                                                    
thought Representative  Wilson was  saying that in  2017 the                                                                    
department  did  not  build   a  building.  Rather,  it  did                                                                    
maintenance.  In  2019,  the department  allocated  $227,000                                                                    
rather  than  $26,000  because  it  wanted  to  construct  a                                                                    
building. Her  amendment would take away  building materials                                                                    
that were  needed to complete  construction. Her  reason for                                                                    
the  reduction was  because two  years prior  the department                                                                    
did not build  a building. He argued  that from year-to-year                                                                    
different things were done within  a department. He provided                                                                    
an  example.   He  was  trying  to   better  understand  her                                                                    
reasoning.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:25:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson indicated she did  not take all of the                                                                    
money. She reported  that the department did  not convey its                                                                    
intent to build a building, it  reported the money had to do                                                                    
with rent.  She left $127,000  in the line item.  She argued                                                                    
that for  each line  item in the  budget the  department had                                                                    
included the same amount of  money from year-to-year. At the                                                                    
end  of  the  year  the department  trued-up  accounts.  She                                                                    
wondered where the $227,000 amount  was derived. She had not                                                                    
heard there was a building in the works.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara commented that there  was a house fire going                                                                    
on in  each one  of the agencies  and people  were wondering                                                                    
what kind  of coffee they were  going to have in  the coffee                                                                    
shop. He conveyed that DFG's  budget had been reduced by $27                                                                    
million since 2013,  a 35 percent reduction.  He argued that                                                                    
the department  was trying  to decide  how it  could address                                                                    
its  needs most  efficiently.  The  departments wrote  their                                                                    
budget  1.5 years  prior to  the fiscal  year. He  continued                                                                    
that  any  business would  attempt  to  budget. However,  an                                                                    
agency might  have an increase  in insurance and  would need                                                                    
to cut  back in  another area.  The legislature  had allowed                                                                    
the agencies to operate in  a flexible way. He detailed that                                                                    
the  legislature  assigned  money to  an  appropriation  and                                                                    
within that  appropriation the department could  move things                                                                    
around. Vice-Chair  Gara compared a  rigid plan to  a Soviet                                                                    
Union 5-year  plan. He  argued that  a department  should be                                                                    
allowed to  run like  a business  with some  flexibility. He                                                                    
commented  that he  had not  heard about  the impact  of the                                                                    
amendment on  the department. The Yukon  Kuskokwim fisheries                                                                    
management allocation  was down $1.3 million  since 2015. He                                                                    
argued  that   the  departments   should  be   allowed  some                                                                    
elasticity.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:28:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt could  understand  the argument  that                                                                    
had been made if the  representative had only identified one                                                                    
drastic  difference  in  the   amount  being  requested.  He                                                                    
provided  an  example  of  needing   a  new  battery  for  a                                                                    
forklift. He conveyed that there  were several places in the                                                                    
department's  budget  where  there  was  substantially  less                                                                    
funding utilized  than was being requested.  However, it was                                                                    
not  a single  instance of  disparity from  one year  to the                                                                    
next.  He  thought  the   representative  had  identified  a                                                                    
systemic  challenge that  had to  be addressed.  He reported                                                                    
that  the reductions  on one  page  equaled $700,000,  which                                                                    
equated to  $1 of everyone's permanent  fund dividend (PFD).                                                                    
Co-Chair   Seaton  asked   if   Representative  Pruitt   was                                                                    
referring to Amendment H DFG 9.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt responded  that he  had to  reference                                                                    
more than  Amendment H  DFG 9  because the  conversation had                                                                    
gone beyond  just the  one amendment.  He was  talking about                                                                    
the  fundamental  reasons  for  why the  maker  offered  the                                                                    
amendment. She  had also offered  several amendments  on the                                                                    
same  page. He  thought the  committee was  talking about  a                                                                    
systemic issue.  He opined it  was important to look  at the                                                                    
department's  habit  of  asking  for more  than  needed.  He                                                                    
argued  that  the  representative  had  a  point.  He  urged                                                                    
members to listen to the information.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  responded that  the  point  would be  well                                                                    
taken   if  the   legislature  also   looked  at   requested                                                                    
appropriations that  had decreased adding money  back in. He                                                                    
stated  that the  amendments only  addressed increased  line                                                                    
items,  cutting them  in half,  rather than  also accounting                                                                    
for any  decreases. He  suggested looking  at both  sides of                                                                    
the  equation. He  relayed that  the point  raised by  Vice-                                                                    
Chair Gara  was that there  had been a  substantive downward                                                                    
utilization of  money in the  department. He  reiterated the                                                                    
importance of looking at both sides of the equation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:36:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt replied that  the committee had heard,                                                                    
in  multiple  cases,  there  was a  lapse.  He  thought  the                                                                    
committee should address lapsed  funds. He suggested looking                                                                    
at the  lapsed amounts. He relayed  that when he was  in the                                                                    
private  sector, his  budget had  to reflect  a balance.  He                                                                    
continued to  argue that departments  should be  looking for                                                                    
potential  savings.  He   suggested  offering  a  conceptual                                                                    
amendment to  change the numbers  to what the  chair thought                                                                    
they were. He  thought the public wanted  the legislature to                                                                    
recognize and control government  spending because the state                                                                    
did not have money.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:38:14 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:39:58 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  appreciated  Representative  Pruitt's                                                                    
comments.  However, fundamentally,  the issue  was that  the                                                                    
department had  seen significant  reductions since  2015. It                                                                    
had experienced  a 35  percent reduction  and was  forced to                                                                    
deal  with   them.  The  department  had   managed  Alaska's                                                                    
fisheries to the best of  its abilities and was known around                                                                    
the   world  for   its  success.   He  continued   that  the                                                                    
legislation  needed   to  allow   the  department   to  make                                                                    
appropriate  reductions using  their  expertise in  managing                                                                    
the department.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wrapped up  her argument. She asserted                                                                    
that  her  constituents  had  sent her  to  delve  into  the                                                                    
details. She believed in flexibility  but wondered about the                                                                    
appropriate amount of flexibility.  She continued to provide                                                                    
a recap of her argument in support of the amendment.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara,  Grenn, Guttenberg, Kawasaki,  Ortiz, Seaton,                                                                    
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DFG 9 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:46:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H DFG  10                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                       
     Westward Region Fisheries Management                                                                                       
     H DFG 10 - 3010: Equipment/Machinery                                                                                       
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals  $114.0  and   FY19  Governor  $389.3.  A                                                                    
     decrease of  $100.0 leaves $289.3 for  equipment rental                                                                    
     and   maintenance  services   and  equipment   operator                                                                    
     charges.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson presented the amendment (see above).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked if she had spoken with the department                                                                     
about the impacts of the amendment. Representative Wilson                                                                       
responded in the negative.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Pruitt                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz, Foster,                                                                      
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DFG 10 FAILED (4/7).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT Amendment H DFG 11                                                                         
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                       
     Westward Region Fisheries Management                                                                                       
     H DFG 11 - 3011: Other Service                                                                                             
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY 17 Actuals $943.6 and FY 19 Governor $1,578.7. A                                                                        
     decrement of $400.0 leaves $1,178.7 for printing,                                                                          
     copy, transportation and consulting services.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson read the amendment (see above).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  asked  if Representative  Wilson  had                                                                    
spoken   with   the    department   about   the   amendment.                                                                    
Representative Wilson responded, "No."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson commented that  the devil was in the                                                                    
details. He provided  an example as the  mayor of Fairbanks.                                                                    
He indicated  small savings added  up. Applying a  number of                                                                    
small savings  to the budget turned  the Fairbanks Borough's                                                                    
budget  around. He  agreed with  Representative Wilson  that                                                                    
looking  at  the  small  stuff   added  up  to  savings.  He                                                                    
reiterated  that   the  devil   was  in  the   details.  The                                                                    
legislature needed to be cognizant  of what it was doing and                                                                    
how it was increasing budget line items.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn liked  looking  into  the details.  He                                                                    
also thought  it was  important to know  the impacts  of the                                                                    
departments. He opined that not  knowing the impacts made it                                                                    
difficult to  understand whether the decrements  were sound.                                                                    
He wanted to hear more.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:51:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton   explained  that   legislators  were                                                                    
appropriators.    She    stated    that   it    was    their                                                                    
constitutionally  mandated  job  to produce  a  budget.  She                                                                    
continued  that  doing  a budget  required  looking  at  the                                                                    
details. She  pointed out that in  the particular allocation                                                                    
being discussed  there was an  increase from FY 17  in every                                                                    
funding  source.  She  did not  think  that  the  particular                                                                    
amendment would be detrimental to the department.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara suggested  having  a  discussion like  what                                                                    
Representative Thompson had  talked about where efficiencies                                                                    
could  be found  to make  a  department run  better at  less                                                                    
cost. As mayor, Representative Thompson  found a way for the                                                                    
police department to  work just as well at a  lower cost and                                                                    
knew  the impacts  of  the budget  changes.  He argued  that                                                                    
legislators were  not just  appropriators but  policy makers                                                                    
as well. He  liked the idea of working  with the departments                                                                    
on their  budgets. He  could not relate  to talking  about a                                                                    
number without understanding its impacts.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  thought everyone was right.  He would defer                                                                    
to the chair of the  DFG subcommittee and assumed the issues                                                                    
had  already  been  addressed.  He  would  be  opposing  the                                                                    
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson suggested that if her decrements were                                                                     
so devastating, the department should have responded to her                                                                     
inquiries. However, the department had been unresponsive.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Tilton, Wilson, Pruitt, Thompson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz, Seaton,                                                                      
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DFG 11 FAILED (4/7).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:56:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT Amendment H DFG 12 and                                                                     
H DFG 13 (copies on file):                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[H DFG 12]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                       
     Statewide Fisheries Management                                                                                             
     H DFG 12 - 3003: Information Technology                                                                                    
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals  $108.1  and   FY19  Governor  $413.2.  A                                                                    
     decrease  of  $200.0   leaves  $213.2  for  information                                                                    
     technology training and  consulting, software licensing                                                                    
     and maintenance.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[H DFG 13]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                       
     Statewide Fisheries Management                                                                                             
     H DFG 13 - 3011: Other Services                                                                                            
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals  $619.3  and FY19  Governor  $2,227.0.  A                                                                    
     decrease  of  $1,000.0  leaves $1,227.0  for  printing,                                                                    
     copy,    Transportation   and    Consulting   Services.                                                                    
     Environmental  conservation  and  economic  development                                                                    
     fees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson presented the amendment (see above).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt thought  that the  difference between                                                                    
what  was  utilized and  what  was  being requested  in  the                                                                    
budget was  over $1.9 million.  He argued that  $1.9 million                                                                    
was  worth exploring.  He explained  that the  maker of  the                                                                    
amendment was leaving in the  appropriation of $700,000 more                                                                    
than what  the department used  in the prior year.  He spoke                                                                    
of his experience  in balancing a budget.  He understood the                                                                    
question about  how a department would  operate. He reminded                                                                    
members that  legislators were the appropriators.  He argued                                                                    
that the  legislature was seating  its authority  to someone                                                                    
else. He  continued that  he could make  an argument  to his                                                                    
boss  about  funding,  but  ultimately   it  was  his  boss'                                                                    
decision. He  emphasized that the department  was asking for                                                                    
$1.9 million  more than the department  actually utilized in                                                                    
FY   17.  He   wondered  whether   the  legislature   should                                                                    
appropriate the full amount of  the department's request, or                                                                    
whether it should  manage it. He had not  heard any feedback                                                                    
from the  department that  the amendment  amount was  out of                                                                    
line. He urged support for the amendment.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton asked  if Representative  Wilson had  asked                                                                    
the  department about  the impacts  of  the particular  line                                                                    
item being  discussed. Representative Wilson had  not talked                                                                    
to the department. She concluded  that the department had an                                                                    
opportunity to respond but did not.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Wilson, Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton                                                                                      
OPPOSED:  Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz, Foster,                                                                    
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to  adopt Amendment H DFG 12 and  Amendment H DFG                                                                    
13 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:01:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment H DFG 14 and                                                                    
H DFG 15 (copies on file):                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[H DFG 14]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Sport Fisheries                                                                                                            
     H DFG 14 - 3011: Other Services                                                                                            
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals $2,093.2  and FY19  Governor $3,750.0.  A                                                                    
     decrease of  $100.0 leaves  $3,650.0 for  contracts and                                                                    
     cooperative agreement.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[H DFG 15]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Sport Fisheries                                                                                                            
     H DFG 15 - 4015: Parts and Supplies                                                                                        
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals  $142.6  and   FY19  Governor  $368.6.  A                                                                    
     decrease of $50.0 leaves $318.6  for parts and supplies                                                                    
     for repair and maintenance.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson presented  the amendments (see above).                                                                    
She argued that  with the passage of Amendment H  DFG 14 the                                                                    
deportment   would  still   be  given   over  $1.5   million                                                                    
additional  dollars  than  what  was  spent  in  FY 17.  She                                                                    
wondered who was in charge.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED:  Grenn, Guttenberg, Kawasaki,  Ortiz, Gara, Seaton,                                                                    
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to  adopt Amendment H DFG 14 and  Amendment H DFG                                                                    
15 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  H DFG  16                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Wildlife Conservation                                                                                                      
     H DFG 16 - 2000: In-State Employee Travel                                                                                  
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals  were  $522.7  and  the  FY19  Governor's                                                                    
     budget  request is  $980.1. A  decrement of  $50.0 will                                                                    
     result in a FY19 budget  request of $930.1 for In-State                                                                    
     Employee  Travel,   $407.4  more  than  FY   17  actual                                                                    
     expenditures.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson presented the amendment (see above).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt wanted  to hear  from the  department                                                                    
regarding the  amendments. He inquired about  a transferring                                                                    
of funds.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  encouraged someone  from the  department to                                                                    
respond.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:06:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  DALE, DIRECTOR  OF WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION, DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF  FISH AND  GAME  (via teleconference),  replied that  the                                                                    
difference  in the  actuals for  FY 17  and the  request for                                                                    
FY 19 was that  the request for FY 19 was  based on averages                                                                    
rather  than  the  FY  17 request.  He  explained  that  the                                                                    
division's  budget,  like  many  others,  was  significantly                                                                    
variable in  terms of how  funding was moved  around. Simple                                                                    
weather  changes  could  affect  hundreds  of  thousands  of                                                                    
dollars. A  couple of changes  within a couple of  weeks for                                                                    
things  such as  caribou surveys  happening over  the fiscal                                                                    
year change  could make drastic  changes in  in-state travel                                                                    
from one  year to the  next. He  argued that there  was only                                                                    
$100,000  UGF in  the total  travel amount.  A decrement  of                                                                    
$50,000  would drastically  reduce  travel  for things  that                                                                    
were  not eligible  for fish  and game  funds which  have to                                                                    
directly  benefit  hunter  and trapper  license  buyers.  He                                                                    
indicated  the funds  would be  used for  travel related  to                                                                    
endangered  species   act  response,   non-game  activities,                                                                    
regulations,  and law  enforcement.  Travel  related to  the                                                                    
examples  he provided  would not  be covered  with fish  and                                                                    
game funds.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson, Grenn                                                                               
OPPOSED:  Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Gara, Grenn, Foster,                                                                    
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DFG 16 FAILED (5/6).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  MOVED to  ADOPT  Amendment  H DFG  17                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Wildlife Conservation                                                                                                      
     H DFG  17 -  Add Positions  for the  Creation of  a New                                                                    
     Wildlife Access  Program and to Review  Wildlife Access                                                                    
     Projects Offered by Representative Ortiz                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Federal Pittman-Robertson (P/R)  Funds are derived from                                                                    
     an  11 percent  federal  excise tax  on sporting  arms,                                                                    
     ammunition,  and archery  equipment, and  a 10  percent                                                                    
     tax on handguns. These funds  are apportioned each year                                                                    
     to  the  states.  The  funding   was  to  be  used  for                                                                    
     restoration of  wild birds and mammals  and to acquire,                                                                    
     develop and  manage wildlife habitats,  hunter training                                                                    
     programs   and    the   development,    operation   and                                                                    
     maintenance of public shooting  ranges and for wildlife                                                                    
     access.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     An increase in the sale  of firearms and ammunition has                                                                    
     significantly   increased   the  amount   of   Pittman-                                                                    
     Robertson   funding  allocated   to  the   Division  of                                                                    
     Wildlife  in  Alaska's  Department of  Fish  and  Game.                                                                    
     Although  there  is  a 3:1  match,  given  the  state's                                                                    
     fiscal   situation,  meeting   this   match  has   been                                                                    
     challenging.  In fact,  the state  match shortfall  has                                                                    
     resulted in  Alaska reverting a  total of  $3.3 million                                                                    
     of  P/R funding  ($1.9 in  FY17 and  $1.4 in  FY18). If                                                                    
     other   sources  of   match  are   not  identified   or                                                                    
     appropriated,  another  $3.9  million  is  expected  to                                                                    
     revert on September 30, 2018 and $6 million in FY19.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The requested positions and funding  will allow for the                                                                    
     establishment  of a  statewide wildlife  access program                                                                    
     in  the   Division  of  Wildlife   Conservation.  These                                                                    
     positions  will work  with  the  Department of  Natural                                                                    
     Resources,   municipalities  and   other  entities   to                                                                    
     identify  wildlife  access  projects that  qualify  for                                                                    
     federal P/R  funding. Up  until now,  the focus  of the                                                                    
     department   has  been   on  Hunter   Access  programs.                                                                    
     Expanding the  scope of  projects to  "wildlife access"                                                                    
     projects allows for the following:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     --Flexibility  in the  types of  projects  that can  be                                                                    
     funded by federal P/R funds; and                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     --Additional   opportunities   for   obtaining   match.                                                                    
     Communities and non-profits may  be willing to leverage                                                                    
     their  funding to  obtain  federal  funds for  eligible                                                                    
     projects (such as trails or cabins).                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     UGF is  requested because  the funding  source provides                                                                    
     the maximum  flexibility for the types  of projects the                                                                    
     employees will be able to  pursue. Use of Fish and Game                                                                    
     funding  is limited  to projects  that benefit  hunters                                                                    
     and trappers.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  explained  that in  the  subcommittee                                                                    
process  there was  a substantial  discussion  about how  to                                                                    
better   leverage  and   access  newly   available  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson funds.  The conversation  was instigated  from the                                                                    
Member from  Big Lake. He thought  he had made a  good point                                                                    
in bringing up  the topic. In response, he  was offering the                                                                    
amendment. He read the amendment (see above).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:10:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  relayed that  the  Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
funds  were  created with  the  idea  of creating  a  better                                                                    
hunting  experience for  people  through habitat  management                                                                    
and hunter education.  The funds come through  the tax sales                                                                    
of guns and ammunition. She  argued that to expand the scope                                                                    
to wildlife  access could be  detrimental to  hunting, which                                                                    
was  the purpose  of the  funds. She  thought the  amendment                                                                    
might actually  violate the intent of  the Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
funding. She  iterated that  hunting was a  way of  life for                                                                    
Alaskans. She  did not  believe the  intention of  the funds                                                                    
were for  wildlife access.  She also did  not believe  a new                                                                    
position was necessary for communities to come forward.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   asked   for  comments   from   the                                                                    
department about the Pittman-Robertson  Funds. She wanted to                                                                    
make  sure  the funds  would  be  used correctly.  Mr.  Dale                                                                    
responded  that the  Pittman-Robertson  fund was  originally                                                                    
set up  to restore  wildlife across  the United  States. The                                                                    
funds  were  from   an  11  percent  excise   tax  on  guns,                                                                    
ammunition, and hunting equipment. The  use of the funds had                                                                    
to   be  broadly   related   to   wildlife,  with   specific                                                                    
exceptions.   The  funds   could  not   be  used   for:  law                                                                    
enforcement;  regulations; the  creation, dissemination,  or                                                                    
publication  of regulations;  or  compensation for  wildlife                                                                    
damage    management.   There    were   other    restrictive                                                                    
subcategories, but he had listed  the primary categories for                                                                    
which  the Pittman-Robertson  funds  could not  be used.  He                                                                    
responded to the question about  the requested position. The                                                                    
majority of the  duties of the position  would center around                                                                    
hunter  access projects.  However,  the  flexibility of  the                                                                    
position  would  enable  the  person  to  be  involved  with                                                                    
wildlife  projects such  as trail  projects. The  department                                                                    
had other  entities providing  matching funds  including the                                                                    
Mat-Su Borough.  The matching  funds allowed  the department                                                                    
greater flexibility to work with  communities on things that                                                                    
were only partially hunting related.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  asked if wildlife viewing  was specifically                                                                    
allowed. Mr. Dale responded positively.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  Mr. Dale  if he  could provide                                                                    
that information to her. She  had done research on an effort                                                                    
made  to  change  the  sideboards to  the  use  of  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson  funds to  include  wildlife  viewing and  trails.                                                                    
However,  she could  not find  anything that  confirmed that                                                                    
the  parameters  had changed.  Mr.  Dale  responded that  he                                                                    
would provide the information.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:15:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt was  under  the  impression that  the                                                                    
Pittman-Robertson  fund was  available for  wildlife access.                                                                    
He brought  up the  question as  to whether  the use  of the                                                                    
money  should be  expanded from  hunter  access to  wildlife                                                                    
access. He had  heard that the state had  returned money. He                                                                    
thought  the  money  was  funding   in  which  Alaskans  had                                                                    
participated  in   generating.  He  suggested   the  hunting                                                                    
community  had encouraged  the legislature  to increase  its                                                                    
tag and  license fees. He thought  it would be easy  to find                                                                    
projects identified to  help with hunter access.  One of the                                                                    
communities   that  had   advocated   for  additional   fees                                                                    
suggested shifting  from hunter  access to  wildlife access.                                                                    
He  thought if  the  legislature started  down  the path  of                                                                    
increasing  the parameters  to  include  wildlife access  it                                                                    
would  lead to  less of  an  emphasis on  hunter access.  He                                                                    
suggested the  issue was a  policy call. He was  hesitant to                                                                    
support the amendment based on  the potential shift in focus                                                                    
from hunter  access to wildlife  access. He opined  that the                                                                    
amendment   might  erode   the   original   intent  of   the                                                                    
legislation that  passed concerning an increase  in fees for                                                                    
tags and licenses.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:18:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki spoke  to  the  notion of  wildlife                                                                    
access. He reported  using access points just  west of Minto                                                                    
to view  wildlife and  to hunt ducks.  He thought  access to                                                                    
wildlife and  access to hunting  was really the  same thing.                                                                    
He asked about  the request of $41,000 GF  match through the                                                                    
fish and  game fund and $124,000  from the Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
fund. He  wondered if the state  could use Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
funds to hire a person to utilize the funds.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton clarified  that the funds were  not fish and                                                                    
wildlife funds. Rather, they were  general fund match funds.                                                                    
Fish  and wildlife  funds  could only  be  used for  certain                                                                    
portions  under  state  statute. There  were  more  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson  funds available  and more  communities interested                                                                    
in having projects. However, there  was no one to coordinate                                                                    
and  administer  the  grants.   The  amendment  created  the                                                                    
position.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki misspoke about  Fish and Game funds.                                                                    
His  question  was  whether  the   federal  money  from  the                                                                    
Pittman-Robertson  fund could  be used  to utilize  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson funds. Mr.  Dale replied that the match  had to be                                                                    
non-federal.   Representative  Kawasaki   asked  where   the                                                                    
federal receipts  were coming from. Mr.  Dale responded that                                                                    
the federal portion would be Pittman-Robertson funds.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  asked   if  the  Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
funds  could  be  used  with  the  state  match  to  request                                                                    
Pittman-Robertson funds  to be used  in the state.  Mr. Dale                                                                    
did not  understand the question.  Co-Chair Seaton  tried to                                                                    
clarify Representative Kawasaki's question.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  started over with his  question. He                                                                    
asked if Pittman Robertson funds  for the positions could be                                                                    
used to acquire more  Pittman-Robertson funds for the state.                                                                    
Mr.  Dale  responded  in  the  affirmative.  The  department                                                                    
already  had  a  project  statement   which  was  the  grant                                                                    
statement allowing  the use of  fish and game  funds matched                                                                    
to Pittman-Robertson  funds. The  position would  be looking                                                                    
for hunter access projects and helping to develop them.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg asked  a clarifying  question. He                                                                    
suggested the state  could use fish and game  fund monies to                                                                    
access Pittman-Robertson  funds but  only for  hunter access                                                                    
projects. However, if the state  used general funds or other                                                                    
funds, the  state could expand the  definition beyond hunter                                                                    
activities. He furthered that the  fish and game funds could                                                                    
only  be used  for hunter  projects. He  wondered if  he was                                                                    
correct. Mr. Dale responded, "That's correct."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton  explained that  in talking  with some                                                                    
of the state's outdoor organizations,  the concern had to do                                                                    
with access  and the potential  negative impact  on hunting.                                                                    
She  read  from a  bill  previously  enacted in  2005:  "The                                                                    
commissioner  has,  but  is  not  by  way  limited  to,  the                                                                    
following powers  and duties:  To promote  fishing, hunting,                                                                    
and trapping, and preserve the  heritage of fishing, hunting                                                                    
and trapping in the state."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:24:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  suggested that if the  concern was to                                                                    
get   additional  Pittman-Robertson   funds,  removing   the                                                                    
wildlife language might  solve the issue. He  thought it was                                                                    
a policy call. He believed  a tenuous discussion could ensue                                                                    
with the passage of the amendment.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  relayed that the  state had  been returning                                                                    
money  to  the  federal  government because  of  not  having                                                                    
sufficient monies in the fish  and game fund. The reason for                                                                    
expanding  to  wildlife  was  to  generate  needed  matching                                                                    
funds. The amendment  would allow the state to  put up match                                                                    
funding for the employees  who would be administering grants                                                                    
to bring  in matching  funds from municipalities  for hunter                                                                    
access or  wildlife viewing projects.  The question  was not                                                                    
whether the legislature could change the fund source.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  thought part  of  the  reason for  a                                                                    
change was to  have access to more projects.  He thought the                                                                    
department had  reported they were  looking for  more hunter                                                                    
access  projects.  He   recommended  removing  the  wildlife                                                                    
access  language. Otherwise,  he  thought there  would be  a                                                                    
larger debate regarding PR funds.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson commented that  the line item was to                                                                    
hire  a   couple  of  people   to  administer   grants  that                                                                    
communities would  apply for  and match.  He asked  if there                                                                    
were communities interested in  putting up matching funds to                                                                    
facilitate projects in their area.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:29:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz  understood  that the  department  was                                                                    
confident there  were different  communities that,  with the                                                                    
use  of  these  positions,   would  have  better  access  to                                                                    
opportunities. It  would provide the department  with better                                                                    
access to Pittman-Robertson funds.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  wanted to  make an  overall comment  on the                                                                    
budget.  He suggested  that the  legislature  was trying  to                                                                    
smartly  find  a  way  to leverage  federal  funds  to  make                                                                    
service  costs less  or was  trying to  replace state  funds                                                                    
with federal  funds wherever possible. He  argued that until                                                                    
the state  came up with a  fiscal plan, the smartest  way to                                                                    
fund  important  services was  to  try  to leverage  federal                                                                    
funds  where  possible.  He   supported  the  amendment.  He                                                                    
thought it would improve the quality of life in Alaska.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  pointed  out   that  UGF  was  being                                                                    
requested  because  the   funding  source  provided  maximum                                                                    
flexibility for  the types of  projects the  employees would                                                                    
be able  to pursue. If the  legislature was to use  fish and                                                                    
game funding it would be  limited to projects that benefited                                                                    
hunters and  trappers who were  the individuals  paying into                                                                    
the Pittman-Robertson  fund. She  suggested that it  was not                                                                    
that the state  did not have the fish and  game funding. The                                                                    
amendment indicated  that the reason the  department did not                                                                    
want  to use  the  fish  and game  funds  was  to have  more                                                                    
flexibility. She argued  that it was a policy  call in which                                                                    
the  state would  be using  general funds  in order  to have                                                                    
more  flexibility. The  state would  be  establishing a  new                                                                    
wildlife  access  program.  She  re-read a  portion  of  the                                                                    
amendment. She opined that it  was a change from hunting and                                                                    
trapping to  wildlife viewing  and trails.  It was  a policy                                                                    
call.  She thought  the amendment  reflected  more than  the                                                                    
operating  budget based  on its  language  and conveyed  her                                                                    
concerns with the language.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:34:55 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz appreciated  the concern  about moving                                                                    
the amendment then in some  way limiting hunting and fishing                                                                    
access.  However,  Mr. Dale  had  reported  that moving  the                                                                    
amendment would  enhance hunter access programs  and provide                                                                    
flexibility  for wildlife  viewing  and  access. He  relayed                                                                    
that in  his district  wildlife viewing and  wildlife access                                                                    
were critical components of the  tourist economy. He thought                                                                    
the amendment was a win-win amendment.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kawasaki, Ortiz, Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Seaton,                                                                     
Foster                                                                                                                          
OPPOSED: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DFG 17 PASSED (7/4).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:37:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton WITHDREW Amendment H DFG 18 (copy on file):                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Wildlife Conservation                                                                                                      
     H DFG 18 - Add  one-time increment to reduce the chance                                                                    
     of lapsing federal Pittman-Robertson funding in FY19                                                                       
     Offered by Representative Seaton                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Federal Pittman-Robertson (P/R)  Funds are derived from                                                                    
     an  11 percent  federal  excise tax  on sporting  arms,                                                                    
     ammunition,  and archery  equipment, and  a 10  percent                                                                    
     tax on handguns. These funds  are apportioned each year                                                                    
     to  the  states.   The  funding  is  to   be  used  for                                                                    
     restoration of  wild birds and mammals  and to acquire,                                                                    
     develop and  manage wildlife habitats,  hunter training                                                                    
     programs   and    the   development,    operation   and                                                                    
     maintenance of public shooting ranges.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     A  surge in  the sale  of firearms  and ammunition  has                                                                    
     significantly   increased   the  amount   of   Pittman-                                                                    
     Robertson   funding  allocated   to  the   Division  of                                                                    
     Wildlife  in  Alaska's  Department of  Fish  and  Game.                                                                    
     Although  there  is  a 3:1  match,  given  the  state's                                                                    
     fiscal   situation,  meeting   this   match  has   been                                                                    
     challenging.  In fact,  the state  match shortfall  has                                                                    
     resulted in  Alaska reverting a  total of  $3.3 million                                                                    
     of  P/R funding  ($1.9 in  FY17 and  $1.4 in  FY18). If                                                                    
     other   sources  of   match  are   not  identified   or                                                                    
     appropriated,  another  $3.9  million  is  expected  to                                                                    
     revert on  September 30, 2018,  and another  $6 million                                                                    
     in FY19.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  fund source  is the  rural development  initiative                                                                    
     fund.   The  fund   has  $3.3   million  in   cash,  45                                                                    
     outstanding loans,  projected loan demand of  $780.0 in                                                                    
     FY19, and a current loan  to asset ratio of 65 percent.                                                                    
     Appropriating $1  million from the fund  will result in                                                                    
     a loan to asset ratio of 69 percent.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This funding  will be used to  match available Pittman-                                                                    
     Robertson Funding in FY19.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton MOVED to ADOPT Amendment Replacement H DFG                                                                      
18 (copy on file):                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Wildlife Conservation                                                                                                      
     Replacement  H  DFG  18 -  Add  one-time  increment  to                                                                    
     reduce the chance  of lapsing federal Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
     funding in FY19, Section 1, IncOTI                                                                                         
     Offered by Co-Chair Seaton                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Line Items                                                                                                                 
     Personal Services: 0.0                                                                                                     
     Travel: 0.0                                                                                                                
     Services: 1,000.0                                                                                                          
     Commodities: 0.0                                                                                                           
     Capital Outlay: 0.0                                                                                                        
     Grants: 0.0                                                                                                                
     Miscellaneous: 0.0                                                                                                         
     1,000.0                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Positions                                                                                                                  
     Permanent Full-Time: 0                                                                                                     
     Permanent Part-Time: 0                                                                                                     
     Temporary: 0                                                                                                               
     Funding                                                                                                                    
     1223 Charter RLF 1,000.0                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Explanation                                                                                                                
     Federal Pittman-Robertson (P/R)  Funds are derived from                                                                    
     an  11 percent  federal  excise tax  on sporting  arms,                                                                    
     ammunition,  and archery  equipment, and  a 10  percent                                                                    
     tax on handguns. These funds  are apportioned each year                                                                    
     to  the  states.   The  funding  is  to   be  used  for                                                                    
     restoration of  wild birds and mammals  and to acquire,                                                                    
     develop and  manage wildlife habitats,  hunter training                                                                    
     programs   and    the   development,    operation   and                                                                    
     maintenance of public shooting ranges.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     A  surge in  the sale  of firearms  and ammunition  has                                                                    
     significantly   increased   the  amount   of   Pittman-                                                                    
     Robertson   funding  allocated   to  the   Division  of                                                                    
     Wildlife  in  Alaska's  Department of  Fish  and  Game.                                                                    
     Although  there  is  a 3:1  match,  given  the  state's                                                                    
     fiscal   situation,  meeting   this   match  has   been                                                                    
     challenging.  In fact,  the state  match shortfall  has                                                                    
     resulted in  Alaska reverting a  total of  $3.3 million                                                                    
     of  P/R funding  ($1.9 in  FY17 and  $1.4 in  FY18). If                                                                    
     other   sources  of   match  are   not  identified   or                                                                    
     appropriated,  another  $3.9  million  is  expected  to                                                                    
     revert on  September 30, 2018,  and another  $6 million                                                                    
     in FY19.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  fund source  is the  Commercial Charter  Fisheries                                                                    
     Revolving Loan Fund. The fund  has nearly $5 million in                                                                    
     cash, only  one $28.1 outstanding loan,  projected loan                                                                    
     demand of  just $45.0 per  year, and a current  loan to                                                                    
     asset ratio of 1 percent.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This funding  will be used to  match available Pittman-                                                                    
     Robertson Funding in FY19.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton read the amendment (see above).                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  how the  funds would  be spent                                                                    
within  DFG.  Co-Chair Seaton  responded  that  it would  be                                                                    
matching money for FY 19.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if Co-Chair Seaton  thought the                                                                    
money  would  be  for  grants  rather  than  personnel.  She                                                                    
wondered  where  the  general funds  would  come  from.  She                                                                    
mentioned  the  fund  having excess  dollars.  She  inquired                                                                    
about  the use  of funds  the  state would  have access  to.                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  responded that  the funds  were anticipated                                                                    
to  be 3  to 1  match funding  for grants  for one  year. He                                                                    
hoped  other  matching  money  could  be  found  from  other                                                                    
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:42:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  understood that  the amount  was seed                                                                    
money for  the amendment  that just passed.  Co-Chair Seaton                                                                    
responded in the negative. The  amendment would match 3 to 1                                                                    
federal Pittman-Robertson  funds for projects  identified by                                                                    
DFG.  In   the  future,   with  the  additional   staff,  he                                                                    
anticipated  the  monies  would   be  used  for  the  larger                                                                    
projects.  There was  a  need for  the  positions to  pursue                                                                    
larger projects.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if the  funds would be  used by                                                                    
DFG rather than boroughs  and non-profits. She suggested the                                                                    
money  would  be  utilized  for  shovel-ready  projects  the                                                                    
department  might  have that  qualified  for  the funds  for                                                                    
hunter  and wildlife  access. Co-Chair  Seaton relayed  that                                                                    
she was correct.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There  being NO  OBJECTION, Amendment  Replacement H  DFG 18                                                                    
was ADOPTED.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment H DFG 19 and                                                                    
H DFG 20 (copies on file):                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[H DFG 19]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Wildlife Conservation                                                                                                      
     H DFG 19 - 3011: Other Services                                                                                            
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals  were  $449.0  and  the  FY19  Governor's                                                                    
     budget request is $1,500.0. A  decrement of $100.0 will                                                                    
     result  in  a  FY19  budget  request  of  $1,400.0  for                                                                    
     wildlife  contracts   with  various   organizations  to                                                                    
     conduct wildlife management activities.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[H DFG 20]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Wildlife Conservation                                                                                                      
     H DFG 20 - 3011: Other Services                                                                                            
     Offered by Representative Wilson                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     FY17  Actuals were  $1,238.4  and  the FY19  Governor's                                                                    
     budget request  is $2500.0. A decrement  of $150.0 will                                                                    
     result  in  a  FY19  budget  request  of  $2,350.0  for                                                                    
    charters, $1,111.6 over FY 17 actual expenditures.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson read the amendments (see above).                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  asked which charters  would not be  able to                                                                    
be conducted.  Representative Wilson did not  know. However,                                                                    
the department asked for double the amount it had in FY 17.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz asked for  the department to comment on                                                                    
the impact of the amendment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dale  reported that much  of the funds were  not general                                                                    
funds.  The  general fund  would  only  be a  minority  fund                                                                    
source.  Most of  the funds  would  be fish  and game  fund,                                                                    
match  funding from  the  Pittman-Robertson  fund. He  added                                                                    
that  there  was  a  fair  amount  of  federal  non-Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson money which the department  used to contract other                                                                    
services.  He relayed  that with  the monies  available, the                                                                    
department contracted more-and-more to provide services.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:48:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   asked   how  many   charters   the                                                                    
department had  contracted in 2017. Mr.  Dale responded that                                                                    
the  majority of  the department's  wildlife  work was  done                                                                    
with  fish and  game fund  match  to federal  aid money  for                                                                    
things like  moose surveys,  caribou surveys,  deer surveys,                                                                    
and  all  the radio  tag  captures.  He indicated  that  the                                                                    
division's  core  mission  was  estimating  the  harvestable                                                                    
surplus of animals for hunters.  Much of the division's work                                                                    
was done by  air in Alaska. The department  used very little                                                                    
charter monies  for meetings. The  surveys were done  on the                                                                    
ground, but  frequently it took  air charters to get  to the                                                                    
locations.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  restated her question as  to how many                                                                    
charters the department had in  FY 17. Mr. Dale replied that                                                                    
he was trying to determine whether  it would be in the order                                                                    
of hundreds  or thousands. It  was at least  several hundred                                                                    
charters. He  suggested a charter  might be a  2-hour flight                                                                    
to locate an  animal. Another charter might be  5 Super Cubs                                                                    
flying for  5 days. Other times  it might be a  3 weeks trip                                                                    
with  2 fixed  wing aircraft  and  1 helicopter  to put  out                                                                    
radio collars from Bethel to Cold Bay.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked what  would cause  the division                                                                    
to  have twice  as many  trips in  FY 19  as in  FY 17.  She                                                                    
wondered if laws or regulations  had changed. She asked what                                                                    
caused it to  be double the amount. Mr.  Dale responded that                                                                    
favorable  weather  played  a   part.  He  added  that  with                                                                    
increasing fish  and game funds  the division had not  had a                                                                    
full  year of  increased  fees for  licenses  and tags.  The                                                                    
division had identified several  areas where there were gaps                                                                    
in   research  and   management   capabilities  within   the                                                                    
department in  different regions.  The division  had brought                                                                    
those  to  the House  and  the  Senate  when HB  137  passed                                                                    
[Legislation passed  in 2016 - Short  Title: Hunt/Fish/Trap:                                                                    
Fees; Licenses; Exemptions].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton asked about the  impact of cutting $250,000.                                                                    
He  asked if  $750,000 of  federal funds  from the  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson  fund was  an accurate  figure.  Mr. Dale  replied                                                                    
that  the  representative   was  approximately  correct.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that the  marine  mammal  division largely  used                                                                    
federal  funds  rather  than  Pittman-Robertson  funds.  The                                                                    
threatened, endangered, and  diversity programs used general                                                                    
funds or other  sources of match for a 2  to 1 match through                                                                    
the statewide  wildlife grants program, a  subaccount of the                                                                    
Pittman-Robertson fund.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz summarized that  if the amendment moved                                                                    
forward  it would  have a  net-negative  impact on  hunters'                                                                    
ability to access  wildlife. Mr. Dale responded  that he was                                                                    
correct.   The  division's   various   core  services   were                                                                    
collecting  information  like  population  sizes  and  vital                                                                    
rates to estimate harvestable surplus  for the Board of Fish                                                                    
to set seasons  and bag limits appropriate  for the resource                                                                    
capability.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:52:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  thought the  question that  needed to                                                                    
be  answered was  why there  was an  increase. He  suggested                                                                    
that if there  was a concern about losing  federal money and                                                                    
the general fund was too  much, the department might want to                                                                    
lay out  what the  year was  expected to  look like  in real                                                                    
terms.  He also  advised  that the  department recommend  GF                                                                    
reductions  that would  not affect  its  ability to  receive                                                                    
Pittman-Robertson funds. He provided  an example. He thought                                                                    
the   department   had   over-asked   and   should   provide                                                                    
suggestions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  asked if  Representative Pruitt  wanted Mr.                                                                    
Dale to  respond. Representative Pruitt replied  that anyone                                                                    
could  respond.  He  urged  there was  a  need  for  further                                                                    
discussion and input.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton thought  what the  department had  conveyed                                                                    
its justification for raising hunter  fees: to be able to do                                                                    
an analysis, under charters,  to improve wildlife management                                                                    
and to access more game  in Alaska. It had been constrictive                                                                    
without numbers. The department  reported they still had not                                                                    
received  enough  funding  for  the  necessary  charters  it                                                                    
needed. Also,  the department had  not experienced  the full                                                                    
impact of increased fees to  hire the charters. The charters                                                                    
were currently  in the budget  since fee monies  had started                                                                    
coming  in. He  continued to  elaborate that  the department                                                                    
had already  responded to Representative  Pruitt's question.                                                                    
He  noted that  the  department had  not  reached the  point                                                                    
where the increased fee receipts were fully implemented.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt   relayed  that,  in  terms   of  the                                                                    
wildlife contracts, the increase was  3 times the amount and                                                                    
the  charters  the  amount  had  doubled.  He  continued  to                                                                    
present his argument against the amendment.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton reminded  the representative  that the  UGF                                                                    
that  the  legislature  was  cutting  was  matched  with  75                                                                    
percent federal money. Therefore,  it was actually quadruple                                                                    
the  amount  being  cut. Representative  Pruitt  interjected                                                                    
that the state had received  a match before. Co-Chair Seaton                                                                    
disagreed.  Representative  Pruitt  disagreed.  He  did  not                                                                    
believe Representative  Wilson's question had  been answered                                                                    
properly.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:58:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Thompson  commented   that  with   the  two                                                                    
amendments which would eliminate  $250,000 the increase from                                                                    
FY 17  to FY 19  would be well  over $2 million.  He thought                                                                    
that if  the state removed  $250,000 out of the  request and                                                                    
leaving more than  a $2 million increase  to the department,                                                                    
it would  still be  able to  conduct all  of the  surveys it                                                                    
needed.  He argued  that the  $250,000  reduction would  not                                                                    
harm the department. He questioned  all of the increases and                                                                    
would  be voting  against  the  amendments. Co-Chair  Seaton                                                                    
responded that  the committee  would essentially  be cutting                                                                    
$1 million rather  than $250,000 from the  budget because it                                                                    
was a 3  to 1 match. If, the legislature  cut the UGF match,                                                                    
then it would be cutting $1 million from the budget.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Thompson  suggested   that  a   $2  million                                                                    
increase should bring  in $6 million more  dollars. He asked                                                                    
if the state would receive  $6 million additional dollars by                                                                    
increasing  the   budget  by   $2  million.  He   asked  for                                                                    
clarification.  Co-Chair Seaton  responded that  it was  not                                                                    
just a  UGF budget.  It included the  match funding.  If the                                                                    
match was removed the 3 to  1 federal match would be removed                                                                    
as well. The budget would be decreased by $2 million.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  relayed   a  basic   101  budgeting                                                                    
concept. She explained that there  was the general fund, the                                                                    
general  fund  match,  and the  general  fund  program.  She                                                                    
continued  that licensing  was  part  of designated  general                                                                    
funds. Increasing  fees would be  an increase  in designated                                                                    
general funds  rather than UGF.  The amendment  talked about                                                                    
decreasing UGF  rather than general  fund match.  There were                                                                    
also  general funds  being utilized  that were  not matching                                                                    
fund  dollars. She  wanted to  clarify  about the  different                                                                    
funds. The  fees the  department was going  to use  to match                                                                    
funds  was designated  general funds.  She reminded  members                                                                    
that  she  did  not  touch   the  match  monies  that  would                                                                    
otherwise  affect  the  Pittman-Robertson  funds.  She  just                                                                    
decreased  UGF in  these amendments.  She asked  members for                                                                    
their support.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED:  Ortiz, Gara, Grenn,  Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Foster,                                                                    
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to  adopt Amendment H DFG 19 and  Amendment H DFG                                                                    
20 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  reviewed  the  agenda  for  the  following                                                                    
meeting at 1:00 p.m.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB  286  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  287  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
12:04:19 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 12:04 p.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 286 OpBudget Public Test emails 3.5.18.pdf HFIN 3/6/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 286
HB 286 H HSS 18 Replacement.pdf HFIN 3/6/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 286
HB 286 H DGF 18 Replacement.pdf HFIN 3/6/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 286
HB 286 Gara 03.06 DSH letter of support.pdf HFIN 3/6/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 286