Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

05/08/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
02:08:07 PM Start
02:08:51 PM HB284
02:24:22 PM Public Testimony
05:10:11 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
-- Delayed to 2:00 pm --
+= HB 284 APPROP: CAPITAL BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                        May 8, 2018                                                                                             
                         2:08 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 2:08 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Paul  Labolle,  Staff,  Representative  Neal  Foster;  Julia                                                                    
Caufield,  Self, Juneau;  Alison Kulas,  Executive Director,                                                                    
Alaska Mental  Health Board,  Advisory board  on Alcoholism,                                                                    
Juneau; Don  Habeger, Community Coordinator,  Juneau Reentry                                                                    
Coalition, Juneau;  Richard Benville,  Mayor, City  of Nome,                                                                    
Nome; Aliza  Kazmi, Self,  Juneau; Chris  Dimond, Carpenters                                                                    
Union and Building Trades, Juneau;  Jeff Rogers, Division of                                                                    
Administrative   Services,   Department   of   Environmental                                                                    
Conservation; Kristin Ryan,   Director,   Spill   Prevention                                                                    
and  Response,  Department  of  Environmental  Conservation;                                                                    
Jeff Rogers, Director,  Division of Administrative Services,                                                                    
Department  of   Environmental  Conservation;   Pat  Pitney,                                                                    
Director,  Office of  Management and  Budget, Office  of the                                                                    
Governor;   Representative  Justin   Parish;  Representative                                                                    
Chuck Kopp.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Brett  Carlson,  Coldfoot  Camp, Coldfoot;  Lisa  Vonbargen,                                                                    
Borough  Manager, City  and Borough  of Wrangell,  Wrangell;                                                                    
Deborah Hansen,  Pike's Waterfront Lodge,  Fairbanks; Janeen                                                                    
Hutchins,  Alaska  Wildland   Adventures,  Girdwood;  Vivian                                                                    
Mork,   Tlingit   Nation,   Sitka;  Brett   Woodbury,   B.W.                                                                    
Enterprises,  Wrangell; Jamie  Roberts, self,  Wrangell; Kim                                                                    
Wickman, Wrangell  Cooperative Association,  Wrangell; Ester                                                                    
Ashton,  Wrangell Cooperative  Association, Wrangell;  Angie                                                                    
Flickinger, self,  Wrangell; Polly-Beth Odom,  Daybreak Inc,                                                                    
Mat-Su; Kate  Finn, Self,  Homer; Caroline  Venuti, Kachemak                                                                    
Bay  Campus of  UAA,  Homer; Kyan  Reeve, Transit  Director,                                                                    
Ketchikan; Sarah Leonard,  President, Alaska Travel Industry                                                                    
Association,  Anchorage;   Kory  Eberhardt,   Alaska  Travel                                                                    
Industry  Association,  Fairbanks;   Doreen  Lorenz,  Chair,                                                                    
Friends of Jesse Lee Home,  Anchorage; Tiffany Hall, Recover                                                                    
Alaska,  Anchorage; Colleen  Dushkin, Association  of Alaska                                                                    
Housing  Authorities,   Anchorage;  Chris   Kolerok,  Bering                                                                    
Straits Regional  Housing, Nome; Serene  Rose O'Hara-Jollie,                                                                    
Self, Fairbanks;  Michael Fernandez,  Williwaw Neighborhood,                                                                    
Wasilla;  Brenda  Moore,  Chair, Advisory  Board  to  Mental                                                                    
Health  Trust,  Anchorage;  Gerald Hope,  The  Ride,  Public                                                                    
Transit,   Sitka;  Jay   Bechtol,  South   Peninsula  Health                                                                    
Services,   Homer;   Jessica   Cler,   Planned   Parenthood,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Besse  Odom,  Self,  Anchorage;  Jan  Wrentmore,                                                                    
Chair, Skagway  Marine Access Commission,  Skagway; Fernando                                                                    
Salvador, Alaska Coalition,  Anchorage; George Pierce, Self,                                                                    
Kasilof; Allison  Lee, Alaska Association for  Personal Care                                                                    
Support, Fairbanks;  Jim Jager, Director,  External Affairs,                                                                    
Port of Alaska, Anchorage.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 284    APPROP: CAPITAL BUDGET                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 284 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  reviewed  the   agenda  for  the  day.  He                                                                    
indicated  the  committee  would  be  adopting  a  committee                                                                    
substitute and taking public testimony for HB 284.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 284                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations,       supplemental      appropriations,                                                                    
     reappropriations,  and   other  appropriations;  making                                                                    
     appropriations to  capitalize funds; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:08:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  explained to the public  that the committee                                                                    
substitute reflected the  changes made by the  Senate in the                                                                    
amendment  process. The  committee  last heard  the bill  on                                                                    
April 30,  2018. He  indicated that  his staff  would review                                                                    
the changes from the previous work draft, version D.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Seaton   MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed   committee                                                                    
substitute  for  HB  284   (FIN),  Work  Draft  30-GH2565\J,                                                                    
(Martin, 5/7/18).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster invited Mr. Labolle to the table.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:10:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL LABOLLE,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE NEAL  FOSTER, explained                                                                    
that the first change the  Senate made was adding $2 million                                                                    
for  the Alaska  Travel  Industry  Association for  tourism,                                                                    
marketing, and  development. The  governor had asked  for $3                                                                    
million. The change  could be found on page 3,  line 18. The                                                                    
next  change  was  an  addition  of  $2.5  million  for  the                                                                    
Wrangell junkyard  contaminated site  clean-up. It  could be                                                                    
found  on page  4, line  31.  He noted  that the  governor's                                                                    
original request was for $5 million.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster reported that he  understood the funding for                                                                    
the  Wrangell site  clean-up was  an all-or-nothing  funding                                                                    
request.  It   was  not  recommended   to  do   the  project                                                                    
partially.  He   asked  if  he  was   correct.  Mr.  Labolle                                                                    
responded  in the  affirmative according  to  the Office  of                                                                    
Management and Budget (OMB).                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson noted that  $15 million had been spent                                                                    
on the  project. She  wondered why that  money could  not be                                                                    
used  to  move the  contamination  off  of the  island.  Mr.                                                                    
Labolle did not understand the representative's question.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  repeated her question.  She indicated                                                                    
that $15 million from the  clean-up money had been allocated                                                                    
for  the  junkyard  in Wrangell.  She  understood  that  the                                                                    
additional  $5 million  being requested  could not  be taken                                                                    
from the clean-up  fund and wondered why.  She also wondered                                                                    
why there  was not a  site on  Wrangell. She asked  what was                                                                    
preventing the additional $5 million  from coming out of the                                                                    
clean-up fund rather than the general fund.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Labolle  understood that  since  the  project would  be                                                                    
removing materials  from the island  it would not  fit under                                                                    
the  appropriation  originally  granted. The  amount  of  $5                                                                    
million  was  the  additional amount  needed  to  barge  the                                                                    
materials off the island. Originally,  a local site had been                                                                    
chosen,  but  residents   opposed  having  the  contaminated                                                                    
material left on the island.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked if  Wrangell had contributed any                                                                    
matching funds.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  hoped   the  Department  of  Environmental                                                                    
Conservation (DEC)  would be  able to  clarify the  need for                                                                    
the $5 million appropriation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:13:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Labolle  reviewed the change on  page 7, line 33  in the                                                                    
amount  of $750,000  to the  Department of  Revenue for  due                                                                    
diligence  on  the  Alaska  Liquified  Natural  Gas  (AKLNG)                                                                    
project. It was  a part of the  governor's original request.                                                                    
Another addition was  on page 8, line 29  for the Department                                                                    
of Natural Resources  for due diligence on  AKLNG. He turned                                                                    
to  page 9,  line 23  for  money for  weatherization in  the                                                                    
amount of  $6 million.  The addition  was a  correction. The                                                                    
governor  had  requested  $10  million  in  his  contingency                                                                    
budget.  However,  the senate  funded  only  $6 million;  $3                                                                    
million in  general funds and  $3 million in  federal funds.                                                                    
The change  was originally  intended to  be in  the previous                                                                    
committee substitute  by the  Senate but did  not end  up in                                                                    
the bill. He continued to the  change on page 17, line 10 in                                                                    
the  amount of  $75,000 within  the Department  of Commerce,                                                                    
Community  and   Economic  Development  for   Community  and                                                                    
Neighborhood Watch. The next change  was on page 17, line 14                                                                    
for a  financial review and  analysis of the City  of Nenana                                                                    
for $60,000.  He continued  to the next  change on  page 17,                                                                    
line   20   for   $250,000   for   the   Alaska   Healthcare                                                                    
Transformation  Project.  It  was   the  next  step  in  the                                                                    
healthcare  authority  feasibility   study.  Another  change                                                                    
could be found on page 17,  line 25 for $500,000 to the City                                                                    
of  Anchorage  for  the Hillcrest  subdivision  clean  water                                                                    
improvements.  It  was  to   address  a  contaminated  water                                                                    
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked why  the clean-up money could be                                                                    
used for  this particular  project but  not on  the Wrangell                                                                    
junkyard project. Mr. Labolle would  have to get back to the                                                                    
committee with an answer.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson commented  that  when  the bill  came                                                                    
from the other body there  was no back-up materials provided                                                                    
explaining the changes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster asked if Mr.  Labolle had any updates on the                                                                    
backup  material. Mr.  Labolle had  back-up material  in the                                                                    
form of a Total Project  Snapshot (TPS) report that he could                                                                    
provide  to members.  Representative  Wilson replied,  "That                                                                    
would be great. Thank you."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Labolle relayed the next change  on page 17, line 28 for                                                                    
$2  million for  the Anchorage  Police Department  for crime                                                                    
prevention  response  and equipment.  Representative  Wilson                                                                    
asked,  "So,  why  Anchorage?" Mr.  Labolle  responded  that                                                                    
there was no back-up available on the project.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson suggested  the allocation  be changed                                                                    
to a  statewide expenditure. Co-Chair Foster  believed there                                                                    
was another allocation  of $2 million later in  the bill. He                                                                    
reiterated that  the committee  was reviewing  the additions                                                                    
made  to  the  capital  budget by  the  Senate  through  the                                                                    
amendment process.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:17:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Labolle  continued to the  addition on page 18,  line 11                                                                    
of  $2  million  to  the  Alaska  State  Troopers  with  the                                                                    
Department of  Public Safety  for crime  prevention response                                                                    
and equipment. It was a statewide appropriation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  wanted  to  find out  why  one  city                                                                    
police was  receiving $2  million and  the other  $2 million                                                                    
was being shared statewide. She  supposed she would wait for                                                                    
the back-up.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Labolle continued  that the  next change  was back-stop                                                                    
language  for the  Department of  Transportation and  Public                                                                    
Facilities  appropriation for  a  federal  highway match  on                                                                    
page 35, line 10. The  legislature had similar language from                                                                    
the previous year's capital budget projects. It stated:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     "If the reappropriations used in this section fall                                                                         
     short of the calculation, then it will be back stopped                                                                     
     with general funds."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Labolle reported the next change  on page 37, line 3 was                                                                    
a reappropriation  of about  $1 million  from the  Jesse Lee                                                                    
Home  to   the  City  of   Seward  for  site   clean-up  and                                                                    
remediation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked if  the  money  would help  in                                                                    
tearing the historic  building down versus giving  it to the                                                                    
Jesse Lee  Home to preserve  it. Mr. Labolle  indicated that                                                                    
the money  was not for the  Jesse Lee Home but  for the City                                                                    
of Seward  to mitigate asbestos  by tearing down  a building                                                                    
that  would otherwise  collapse and  become a  public safety                                                                    
hazard.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  wanted assurance that the  city would                                                                    
be  using   it  for  its   intended  purpose.  It   was  her                                                                    
understanding that the  city would be using it  to tear down                                                                    
the Jesse Lee Home in  its entirety. She indicated that many                                                                    
historic buildings were  going away and once  they were torn                                                                    
down,  the  action  could  not   be  reversed.  Mr.  Labolle                                                                    
understood  Representative   Wilson's  question   more  than                                                                    
earlier  regarding the  money sitting  somewhere then  going                                                                    
somewhere  else.  He explained  that  there  was $1  million                                                                    
allocated for the Jesse Lee  Home. The grant was lapsing. In                                                                    
the previous version  of the Senate bill, they  had used the                                                                    
money for a  federal highway match. In  the current version,                                                                    
the money was being reappropriated to the city.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:21:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson spoke to  the importance of preserving                                                                    
the history of  Alaska. She wanted to make sure  that if the                                                                    
legislature  was going  to  give the  money  to a  different                                                                    
entity,  the entity  would be  honest about  what they  were                                                                    
going to  do with  it. She  thought it  would be  prudent in                                                                    
this  instance  to ask  for  a  letter  of intent  from  the                                                                    
community.  Mr. Labolle  offered that  he had  a TPS  report                                                                    
available on  the reappropriation  that he could  share with                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Labolle  indicated  that   there  were  some  technical                                                                    
corrections  for  reappropriations.  The Senate  found  that                                                                    
there  were insufficient  funds in  the previous  version of                                                                    
the  bill. The  Senate increased  the federal  highway match                                                                    
and  decreased the  amounts reappropriated  in the  language                                                                    
section totaling  about $850,000. He asked  if the committee                                                                    
wanted him  to go  through the reappropriation  clean-ups or                                                                    
skip  over them.  Co-Chair Foster  indicated  he could  skip                                                                    
that detail.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Labolle  continued  to   coding  changes  in  statewide                                                                    
appropriations.   There  were   four  coding   changes:  The                                                                    
Community Resources  went from statewide to  Districts 7-31;                                                                    
Klutina  Road  went  from statewide  to  House  District  6;                                                                    
Municipal Harbor Facility Grant  Fund went from statewide to                                                                    
District 35;  and the Newtok relocation  went from statewide                                                                    
to District 38.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  announced  that  the  committee  would  be                                                                    
hearing public testimony on the Capital Budget.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton wanted  to clarify  that the  committee was                                                                    
reviewing version J.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO OBJECTION,  committee substitute for  HB 284                                                                    
Work Draft 30-GH2565\J, (Martin, 5/7/18) was ADOPTED.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:24:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster   reviewed  the   time  limit   for  public                                                                    
testimony. The  public would be  allowed to sign-up  to give                                                                    
public testimony until 3:30 PM.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:25:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIA CAUFIELD,  SELF, JUNEAU, asked  members to  remove the                                                                    
funding for  the University of Alaska  Anchorage (UAA) Long-                                                                    
Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)  study from the FY 19                                                                    
capital budget. She was a  full supporter of Alaskans having                                                                    
access  to  whatever birth  control  method  they were  most                                                                    
comfortable   with.   She  believed   quality   reproductive                                                                    
healthcare  should be  affordable and  easily accessible  to                                                                    
all people. She thought the  LARC study was unethical and an                                                                    
attempt  to  control women's  bodies  through  the guise  of                                                                    
providing  care. The  study  would  result in  contraceptive                                                                    
coercion  that would  primarily effect  already-marginalized                                                                    
women in Alaska. Alaska was  facing a health crisis, but the                                                                    
funding for the  LARC study would do nothing  to address the                                                                    
problem. Long-Acting Reversible  Contraception was already a                                                                    
proven and  effective form of  birth control.  She suggested                                                                    
the money currently allocated for  the study could be put to                                                                    
better   use  through   substance  use   disorder  treatment                                                                    
programs and  Medicaid services.  She thanked  the committee                                                                    
for hearing her testimony.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:27:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRETT    CARLSON,     COLDFOOT    CAMP,     COLDFOOT    (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke about his  business operation and the                                                                    
importance of supporting the  tourism industry. He discussed                                                                    
the positive affect  of marketing on tourism.  He noted that                                                                    
marketing was the only lever  that Alaskans had collectively                                                                    
to increase the  growth curve of the travel  industry in the                                                                    
state.  He argued  that the  travel  industry allowed  small                                                                    
businesses such as  his own to sit at the  economic table at                                                                    
the  ownership level.  He opined  that it  was critical  for                                                                    
small  businesses  in  Alaska to  pull  together  to  market                                                                    
Alaska. He  noted that businesses invested  $18.7 million of                                                                    
the $100  million that the  travel industry provided  to the                                                                    
coffers  of  the  State of  Alaska.  Marketing  had  dropped                                                                    
considerably in  recent years. He  spoke of a  plan designed                                                                    
by  a   group  of   small  businesses  called   the  Tourism                                                                    
Improvement District (TID). The  plan had been introduced as                                                                    
legislation but had  not reached the finish  line. He sought                                                                    
support of  $3 million in the  capital budget to serve  as a                                                                    
band aide for marketing for the following year.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  thanked the testifier. He  asked if                                                                    
Mr.  Carlson was  aware  of the  amended  version having  $2                                                                    
million. He asked about the  $1 million reduction and how it                                                                    
would  affect the  industry. Mr.  Carlson responded  that an                                                                    
additional $1 million would make a significant difference.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster acknowledged  Representative Justin  Parish                                                                    
in the audience.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA  VONBARGEN,  BOROUGH  MANAGER,   CITY  AND  BOROUGH  OF                                                                    
WRANGELL, WRANGELL  (via teleconference), spoke in  favor of                                                                    
funding  the shipping  costs for  the contaminated  soil and                                                                    
other materials  in Wrangell. Two years  ago, the Department                                                                    
of  Environmental  Conservation  took on  the  challenge  of                                                                    
cleaning  up   what  should   have  been   an  Environmental                                                                    
Protection Agency  (EPA) super  fund site in  her community.                                                                    
Lead  contaminated  soil  from the  property  was  initially                                                                    
planned  for  shipment  off of  the  island.  Underestimated                                                                    
quantities  of contaminated  soil  ballooned  from 4,000  to                                                                    
more than 18,000 cubic yards.  The project budget was unable                                                                    
to  absorb  the  additional  costs  related  to  moving  the                                                                    
increased material  to an appropriate  disposal site  in the                                                                    
Lower-48.  The  Department   of  Environmental  Conservation                                                                    
formed  an  alternate  disposal  plan  on  Wrangell  Island.                                                                    
Unfortunately, the  determined location was an  area used by                                                                    
the local  tribe for generations for  hunting and gathering.                                                                    
Additionally,  the site  sat directly  adjacent to  the most                                                                    
widely  used  community  recreation  area,  Pats  Lake.  The                                                                    
concern was  that over time  the now treated  material could                                                                    
become bioavailable  entering into the eco  system. The city                                                                    
supported  the  governor's request  for  $5  million in  the                                                                    
capital budget  to fully fund  the project allowing  for the                                                                    
material to be moved off the island.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara thanked Ms.  Vonbargen's testimony. He asked                                                                    
what would  happen if the legislature  accepted the Senate's                                                                    
number  and  waited another  year  to  provide the  full  $5                                                                    
million. Ms.  Vonbargen responded  that the location  of the                                                                    
18,000 cubic  yards of material  was stabilized on  the site                                                                    
where the clean-up  took place. The site  was unsuitable for                                                                    
the material  to stay on because  of the slope of  the land.                                                                    
It far  exceeded what was  allowed by  regulatory standards.                                                                    
The material  had to be  moved to a different  location. The                                                                    
liner covering the  material was being damaged  from time to                                                                    
time from  wind and other things  and had to be  patched. It                                                                    
was  checked daily  by  contractors.  If additional  funding                                                                    
were to  come a year  later, the  material would have  to be                                                                    
restabilized  in  its  existing location.  Additional  funds                                                                    
from the  project budget would  have to be used  taking away                                                                    
from a final solution.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:35:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH  HANSEN,  PIKE'S  WATERFRONT LODGE,  FAIRBANKS  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke  in   favor   of  funding   tourism                                                                    
marketing  in the  amount  of $3  million.  She thought  the                                                                    
funding  would  make  a  huge   difference  in  the  tourism                                                                    
industry. She appreciated the legislature's efforts.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  requested that  Mr.  Labolle  come to  the                                                                    
table to discuss the changes to the Juneau Access Project.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Labolle  had skipped  over  the  Juneau Access  project                                                                    
during his  review of  the work  draft changes.  He conveyed                                                                    
that  the $21  million that  had been  appropriated for  the                                                                    
upper  Lynn Canal  improvements  was  reappropriated by  the                                                                    
Senate to the Juneau Access Road.  It could be found on page                                                                    
36, line 3.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asked if  the money  would be  spent within                                                                    
the year or  held in an account. Mr.  Labolle responded that                                                                    
the  amount  would  be  held  in an  account.  There  was  a                                                                    
significant amount  of work  to be  done before  the project                                                                    
could forward.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:38:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANEEN HUTCHINS,  ALASKA WILDLAND ADVENTURES,  GIRDWOOD (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in favor  of supporting  the tourism                                                                    
marketing program at the level  of $3 million. She suggested                                                                    
that $3  million was  the minimum needed  to do  anything of                                                                    
value  in the  marketplace. She  pointed to  the correlation                                                                    
between  her business'  success and  the level  of marketing                                                                    
dollars invested by the state.  Her business flourished most                                                                    
following when statewide spending  for the statewide tourism                                                                    
marketing  program  was  at  its  highest.  She  reported  a                                                                    
decline in trip  inquiries and website visits  for the first                                                                    
time in  years. She  also noted a  decline in  revenues even                                                                    
while  investing in  her own  marketing budget.  She thought                                                                    
her  decrease  in  revenue  was   directly  related  to  the                                                                    
severely reduced marketing programs  over the last couple of                                                                    
years.  She   thought  that  because   the  state   had  not                                                                    
reinvested  in tourism  marketing to  a greater  degree, the                                                                    
effects  were starting  to show.  She  reemphasized that  $3                                                                    
million was the minimum needed to do a good job.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:41:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIVIAN  MORK, TLINGIT  NATION,  SITKA (via  teleconference),                                                                    
urged funding  for the contaminated Byford  Junkyard site in                                                                    
Wrangell.  She provided  some information  about her  family                                                                    
lineage.  She   spoke  to  the  challenges   around  finding                                                                    
additional  contaminated  soil.  She was  heartbroken  about                                                                    
having to fight for funding  to remove the lead contaminated                                                                    
soil and urged the legislature to restore it.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:44:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRETT    WOODBURY,   B.W.    ENTERPRISES,   WRANGELL    (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in favor  of maintaining the level of                                                                    
funding for  dealing with contaminated soil  in Wrangell. He                                                                    
thought it was  unnecessary to ask for  additional money was                                                                    
unnecessary  because of  the available  designated site.  He                                                                    
thought  it  would  be  more cost  effective  to  store  the                                                                    
materials  at a  monofill site  rather than  transferring it                                                                    
off island. He spoke of  the positive aspects of leaving the                                                                    
materials on the  island. He suggested that  the end product                                                                    
would leave  the monofill area  in better condition  than at                                                                    
the  start  of  the  project. He  thought  it  was  fiscally                                                                    
irresponsible  to  spend the  money,  as  Wrangell had  more                                                                    
pressing funding needs. He provided  some examples. He urged                                                                    
members to vote "No" on the amendment.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:45:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMIE  ROBERTS, SELF,  WRANGELL (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in   favor   of   additional  funding   for   the   Wrangell                                                                    
contaminated  soil project.  She spoke  of the  recreational                                                                    
activities near the proposed monofill  site in the Pat Creek                                                                    
watershed.  The watershed  had substantial  reaches of  high                                                                    
quality fish habitat. She named  the various species of fish                                                                    
that  exist  in  the  watershed.  She  mentioned  the  close                                                                    
proximity  of  the  stream  reiterating  her  preference  of                                                                    
shipping  the materials  off-island.  She  asked members  to                                                                    
support the governor's request for  $5 million to assist the                                                                    
community  of Wrangell  in  removing  the lead  contaminated                                                                    
soil  from  the  island.  She   thanked  the  committee  for                                                                    
considering her testimony.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:47:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIM  WICKMAN,  WRANGELL  COOPERATIVE  ASSOCIATION,  WRANGELL                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in  support  of  adding  $2.5                                                                    
million  to  help  with   disposing  contaminated  soil  off                                                                    
Wrangell   Island.   She   mentioned   that   the   Wrangell                                                                    
Cooperative  Association conducted  a  survey pertaining  to                                                                    
the proposed Pat  Creek monofill, which she  wanted to share                                                                    
with  the committee.  She  relayed that  97  percent of  the                                                                    
people   surveyed  used   the   Pat   Creek  watershed   for                                                                    
recreating. She reported that 93  percent of people surveyed                                                                    
were  against the  location of  the Pat  Creek monofill;  85                                                                    
percent  felt  that  the   public  involvement  process  was                                                                    
inadequate;  and 93  percent did  not feel  informed through                                                                    
the  initial   planning  and  processing  phase.   Of  those                                                                    
surveyed, 65 percent were non-tribal  members and 35 percent                                                                    
were  tribal members.  The watershed  was  important to  the                                                                    
community  of   Wrangell.  She   asked  members   for  their                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:49:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ESTER  ASHTON,  WRANGELL COOPERATIVE  ASSOCIATION,  WRANGELL                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in favor of  additional funding                                                                    
for  the disposal  of contaminated  soil off  the island  of                                                                    
Wrangell.  She felt  that Byford  Junkyard was  a matter  of                                                                    
safety and human health. She  spoke of the lead contaminated                                                                    
soil and  its abundance  at the  location. She  relayed that                                                                    
EPA  funding  fell  through  and  DEC  took  over  in  2015.                                                                    
Sixty-two shipping containers  of contaminated material were                                                                    
transferred  off-island. The  community was  trying to  deal                                                                    
with the  remainder of contaminated material  equal to about                                                                    
2,000  dump truck  loads. She  spoke of  the dangers  of not                                                                    
removing the  soil and provided additional  detail about the                                                                    
monofill site. She appreciated the  governor's request of $5                                                                    
million to  assist in removing  the material off  the island                                                                    
and hoped the legislature would support her request.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked  who originally contaminated the                                                                    
land.  Ms. Ashton  responded that  the  land was  originally                                                                    
privately owned by  a family named Byford.  The property was                                                                    
foreclosed  on by  the  City and  Borough  of Wrangell.  The                                                                    
Department   of  Environmental   Conservation  came   in  to                                                                    
complete the clean-up.  Representative Wilson clarified that                                                                    
the  city owned  the  land currently.  Ms. Ashton  responded                                                                    
affirmatively.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:52:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANGIE  FLICKINGER,  SELF,   WRANGELL  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support of additional  funding for the transport of                                                                    
contaminated  soil off  the island  of  Wrangell. She  spoke                                                                    
about the negative  effects that could occur  by leaving the                                                                    
contaminated soil on the island.  She asked members to allow                                                                    
for $5 million for the project.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:54:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
POLLY-BETH ODOM, DAYBREAK  INC, MAT-SU (via teleconference),                                                                    
urged members  to support the  $18 million  4-year substance                                                                    
abuse disorder  grant program  that the  governor originally                                                                    
introduced and  included in his  public safety  action plan.                                                                    
She  provided details  about the  program  and its  benefits                                                                    
throughout  the state.  She also  implored the  committee to                                                                    
fully fund the  FY 19 Medicaid supplemental  request so that                                                                    
providers  like  herself  had  the  confidence  to  continue                                                                    
providing services over the following  month and a half. She                                                                    
had  three  more pay  cycles  to  meet  and faced  the  real                                                                    
possibility of having  to suspend staff and  services due to                                                                    
the Medicaid  shortfall. She  thanked committee  members for                                                                    
their time.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:56:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE FINN,  SELF, HOMER (via teleconference),  agreed with a                                                                    
previous  speaker about  removing  the funding  for the  UAA                                                                    
Long-Acting  Reversible  Contraception   study  for  several                                                                    
reasons.  She  spoke  about   the  differences  between  the                                                                    
language of  the bill  versus what the  people who  would be                                                                    
implementing  the program  indicated.  She recommended  that                                                                    
the bill  be vetted  in the  Judiciary Committee  because of                                                                    
potential litigation.  She also  argued that if  people were                                                                    
serious about  stopping substance abuse they  should not cut                                                                    
out $18 million of substance  abuse funding. She also opined                                                                    
that  if Medicaid  was going  to  be a  primary provider  of                                                                    
substance abuse services,  there was now a  reduction of $40                                                                    
million in  Medicaid funding. She thanked  the committee for                                                                    
hearing her testimony.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:59:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROLINE  VENUTI, KACHEMAK  BAY  CAMPUS OF  UAA, HOMER  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  requested that  $86 million  be reinstated                                                                    
for renovations and deferred  maintenance for the University                                                                    
of  Alaska. She  was aware  that the  money was  not in  the                                                                    
budget because it was contingent  on the Alaska Recovery Act                                                                    
passing.  She  argued   against  the  contingency  provision                                                                    
because of  the importance of  the state taking care  of its                                                                    
property. She  opined that  the University  of Alaska  was a                                                                    
state  gem,  but without  maintaining  the  campus it  would                                                                    
likely   lose  funding   and  students.   She  thanked   the                                                                    
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:00:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALISON  KULAS,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  MENTAL  HEALTH                                                                    
BOARD, ADVISORY  BOARD ON ALCOHOLISM, JUNEAU,  urged support                                                                    
as laid  out in  the governor's budget  of $18  million. She                                                                    
relayed  that her  agencies  were  statutorily charged  with                                                                    
advising the governor, the  legislature, and the departments                                                                    
on the  planning and coordinating  of the State  of Alaska's                                                                    
behavioral health services. She  provided a list of programs                                                                    
and services  the funds would  support over  multiple years.                                                                    
She noted  that the  Alaska Psychiatric Institute  (API) was                                                                    
in  a  state of  crisis  and  that funding  was  desperately                                                                    
needed.  She  advocated  that  the  governor's  supplemental                                                                    
funding request  in the  capital budget  of $3.1  million be                                                                    
supported. The  funding would allow 20  nursing positions to                                                                    
be filled  at API and  would increase salaries  for existing                                                                    
nurses.  She strongly  supported the  request. She  spoke of                                                                    
the  benefits of  additional funding.  She asserted  that if                                                                    
approved by  the federal  government, the  department's 1115                                                                    
Medicaid  Waiver Demonstration  Product would  take pressure                                                                    
off  of  API and  other  hospitals  in  Alaska -  a  lengthy                                                                    
process.  She believed  that interim  solutions were  needed                                                                    
during the  state's behavioral health crisis.  She asked for                                                                    
members' support.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara relayed that the  funds were proposed by the                                                                    
governor  in the  operating budget.  The funds  were limited                                                                    
for a  few years which  was why  the funds were  proposed in                                                                    
the  capital  budget. He  did  not  mean  for the  funds  to                                                                    
disappear.  He   relayed  that  the  Medicaid   funding  for                                                                    
behavioral  health  would  go towards  helping  people  with                                                                    
existing facilities.  The funds Ms. Kulas  was talking about                                                                    
would be used to expand  capacity which Medicaid funds could                                                                    
not be  used for.  He asked  if he  was accurate.  Ms. Kulas                                                                    
responded, "Correct."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:03:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON   HABEGER,   COMMUNITY   COORDINATOR,   JUNEAU   REENTRY                                                                    
COALITION, JUNEAU,  supported the $18  million appropriation                                                                    
in  the  governor's  version  of   the  capital  budget  for                                                                    
treating  substance   use  disorders.  The   Juneau  Reentry                                                                    
Coalition  was  committed  to  reducing  recidivism  in  the                                                                    
community.  He  believed  strongly that  community  supports                                                                    
were  necessary and  asked for  the committee's  support the                                                                    
$18 million for continued community treatment.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:05:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  BENVILLE, MAYOR,  CITY OF  NOME, NOME,  spoke about                                                                    
the location of Nome and  its proximity to the Arctic Ocean.                                                                    
He  noted  the  importance  of  building  infrastructure  to                                                                    
provide  accessibility  to the  Arctic  Ocean.  He had  just                                                                    
returned from  Norway and indicated that  the governments of                                                                    
Finland, Norway,  Sweden, and Russian were  prepared for the                                                                    
future.  He  emphasized  infrastructure  further  North  was                                                                    
necessary. He asked the committee  to place $1.6 million for                                                                    
the preliminary engineering and design  work for a port that                                                                    
would open  up the  Northwest Passage.  He stated  that Nome                                                                    
worked directly or indirectly with  53 ports. He thanked the                                                                    
committee  for its  time and  wanted to  keep Alaska  at the                                                                    
forefront of the world.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked if the  second part of the plan,                                                                    
which  he was  requesting  funding for,  allowed for  design                                                                    
paperwork  to  provide  to   other  entities  including  the                                                                    
federal government to build the  port. Mr. Benville answered                                                                    
in the  affirmative. He elaborated  that it would  give Nome                                                                    
the material to request and  get the port built. Previously,                                                                    
the  matching funds  allowed the  city to  have a  charrette                                                                    
with  several  entities  to explore  the  possibilities  and                                                                    
pitfalls  of the  project. The  Pre-Construction Engineering                                                                    
and Design (PED) would provide the ability to do the work.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if the  cost of the  port would                                                                    
be included. Mr.  Benville answered that the  costs would be                                                                    
discussed. He  indicated that the finished  project would be                                                                    
in  the hundreds  of millions.  There  were several  designs                                                                    
being  considered. He  stated that  the reality  was it  was                                                                    
happening. It  was about Western  Alaska and the  US; Alaska                                                                    
had more  than half the US  coastline. Representative Wilson                                                                    
thanked him.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara called  it an Alaska port  in Anchorage when                                                                    
they wanted money. He thought  they should call all ports in                                                                    
Alaska,  Alaska ports.  Mr. Benville  responded  as long  as                                                                    
Western Alaska was not forgotten, it was important.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:11:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KYAN    REEVE,    TRANSIT     DIRECTOR,    KETCHIKAN    (via                                                                    
teleconference), called  in support of public  and community                                                                    
transportation  and  the  appropriation of  $1  million  for                                                                    
transportation.  He stated  that a  state match  program had                                                                    
helped  communities throughout  the state  to bring  in many                                                                    
millions  of   federal  dollars.   He  noted   that  transit                                                                    
supported  the  mobility of  Alaskans  and  tourists to  the                                                                    
state. He reported that Ketchikan's  transit system had been                                                                    
ranked as one of the top  in the world for support of cruise                                                                    
visitors. The state match dollars  help with the delivery of                                                                    
transportation services  and kept Alaska competitive  in the                                                                    
global  tourism   market.  He  argued  that   transit  drove                                                                    
economic development  as well.  Most federal  transit grants                                                                    
required between 10  percent and 20 percent  local match. He                                                                    
encouraged members  to support  for Alaska's  transit system                                                                    
in the amount of $1 million.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH   LEONARD,    PRESIDENT,   ALASKA    TRAVEL   INDUSTRY                                                                    
ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  shared  that                                                                    
many  Alaska businesses  depended on  the tourism  industry.                                                                    
The industry generated over $4  billion in economic activity                                                                    
per  year to  Alaska  including $190  million  to state  and                                                                    
local budgets. The tourism industry  represented 1 in 8 jobs                                                                    
in  Alaska.  She  stressed  that  Alaska  needed  to  remain                                                                    
competitive  in  tourism.  She thanked  the  Senate  Finance                                                                    
Committee for  its increment of  $2 million.  She encouraged                                                                    
bringing the tourism marketing budget  up to $3 million. She                                                                    
claimed  that  at $2  million  Alaska  would remain  at  the                                                                    
bottom  of  national   destination  marketing  programs.  At                                                                    
$2 million the travel industry would  only be able to keep a                                                                    
consumer  website  going  and  do  minimal  media  outreach.                                                                    
Producing  printed  pieces such  as  the  official State  of                                                                    
Alaska  Vacation  Planner"  would   not  be  available.  She                                                                    
relayed  that with  the additional  $1 million  the vacation                                                                    
planner would likely  be able to be  produced. She advocated                                                                    
that the  money would  be a good  return on  investment. She                                                                    
thanked the committee members for their consideration.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:15:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KORY   EBERHARDT,   ALASKA  TRAVEL   INDUSTRY   ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke  in support of tourism                                                                    
funds in the  amount of $3 million.  The statewide marketing                                                                    
plan was important  to his family and  business. He provided                                                                    
details about  his company.  He was  concerned a  $2 million                                                                    
marketing budget would not be  competitive. He supported the                                                                    
development of  a statewide vacation planner.  He asked that                                                                    
the funding level be increased to $3 million.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  Mr. Eberhardt  to speak  about                                                                    
how  tourism had  come  together even  though  the state  no                                                                    
longer  gave as  much  funding  to the  industry  as it  had                                                                    
previously.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Eberhardt answered that coming  together had resulted in                                                                    
a large  growth in  the industry in  Fairbanks, particularly                                                                    
during the winter.  He believed it was the  direct result of                                                                    
the  larger marketing  budgets in  2012 and  2013. Fairbanks                                                                    
was  on  the map  for  summer  and  winter tourism.  He  was                                                                    
already seeing  a few alarm  signals. He reported  that last                                                                    
summer  was   flat.  However,  overall,  the   bed  tax  for                                                                    
Fairbanks  was  up  because of  winter  travel.  He  thought                                                                    
winter travel  would continue  to increase.  However, Alaska                                                                    
was competing directly with places  like Iceland and Norway.                                                                    
Alaska was  an international  destination. He  was concerned                                                                    
about  the  market and  not  having  funding to  generate  a                                                                    
winter guide like the previous  speaker mentioned. Two years                                                                    
prior the  marketing budget  was $1.5  million, and  for the                                                                    
first  time Alaska  did  not  have a  vacation  planner -  a                                                                    
printed material that the baby boomer depended on.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  thought he had  heard Ms. Leonard  say that                                                                    
the  ATIA  could  only  maintain their  website  with  a  $2                                                                    
million  budget.  Mr.  Eberhardt   answered  that  the  $1.5                                                                    
million would allow them to  keep a website running and some                                                                    
tours. The additional $500,000 would  still not be enough to                                                                    
produce a vacation planner. Printed  materials were a costly                                                                    
endeavor.  However,  people  had  one-to-relationships  with                                                                    
tourists they  sent materials to.  Every state in  the Lower                                                                    
48 had a vacation Plan.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:20:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN LORENZ,  CHAIR, FRIENDS OF JESSE  LEE HOME, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference), asked for  a transfer of the remaining                                                                    
grant fund  from the Department  of Commerce,  Community and                                                                    
Economic  Development  back  to the  Department  of  Natural                                                                    
Resources  where  the  project  started.  They  had  made  a                                                                    
request  in the  prior December  to the  DCCED Commissioner.                                                                    
However, recently, Commissioner Navarre  advised her that he                                                                    
had no authorization and that  the legislature would have to                                                                    
make the  transfer. The prior  appropriations had  been used                                                                    
to   stabilize  the   nearly  100-year-old   buildings.  The                                                                    
organization had  consulted with  the top  historic engineer                                                                    
in   the  nation.   She  provided   detail  about   finished                                                                    
buildings. She stressed  that none of the  buildings were in                                                                    
threat  of collapse.  All had  been stabilized  and remained                                                                    
solid. Renovation  costs were similar  to what was  spent to                                                                    
build  the  Dimond  Center  Hotel   in  Anchorage  17  years                                                                    
previously.  She supplied  additional information  about the                                                                    
project.  The organization  needed  the  remaining funds  to                                                                    
maintain  stabilization against  weather and  vandal and  to                                                                    
complete the requirement of its  purchase agreement with the                                                                    
City of Seward.  She mentioned a number  of the requirements                                                                    
in  the  contract. If  the  organization  did not  meet  the                                                                    
specified requirements,  the City  of Seward  would demolish                                                                    
the  building. She  continued to  provide information  about                                                                    
the project and reiterated her  support of the transfer. She                                                                    
did not want  the city to be able to  destroy the historical                                                                    
building.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:24:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIFFANY    HALL,    RECOVER     ALASKA,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  called   in  support  of   the  governor's                                                                    
request  for $18  million for  substance  use treatment  and                                                                    
community services. She  spoke of a study by  the state that                                                                    
showed  that  Alaskans were  dying  at  a higher  rate  than                                                                    
anywhere else  in the country. She  explained the importance                                                                    
of the  funding. She indicated  it was critical to  fund and                                                                    
expand Alaska 211 as a  call line to provide information and                                                                    
referrals.  In  the  first  year over  3400  calls  came  in                                                                    
regarding treatment. She also spoke  to the domino effect of                                                                    
substance abuse.  She noted that over  one-third of Alaska's                                                                    
households struggled with  alcohol. She provided information                                                                    
about the  economic costs  of alcohol.  She argued  that the                                                                    
funding would not  only help to reduce costs  in the future,                                                                    
but it would also save lives. She thanked the committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  thanked Ms.  Hall  for  her testimony.  He                                                                    
thought that  many of  the people  in the  behavioral health                                                                    
treatment community  assumed when  the funds  were available                                                                    
they  would be  in the  budget.  He urged  her to  encourage                                                                    
people at the conference to  let the House Finance Committee                                                                    
know how the funds would help.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:28:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COLLEEN DUSHKIN, ASSOCIATION  OF ALASKA HOUSING AUTHORITIES,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke  in favor  of funding                                                                    
the  supplemental  housing  development grant  program,  the                                                                    
senior housing  development program, and  the weatherization                                                                    
program. She  appreciated these  programs being  included in                                                                    
the  capital  budget.  She   provided  information  and  the                                                                    
benefits for each of these  programs. She requested that the                                                                    
state  allocated  funding  of   $4.5  million  to  keep  the                                                                    
weatherization program  at FY 18  levels in  anticipation of                                                                    
flat federal  funding. She  requested continued  support for                                                                    
all three programs. She thanked the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:30:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS KOLEROK,  BERING STRAITS  REGIONAL HOUSING,  NOME (via                                                                    
teleconference), relayed information  about the association.                                                                    
He spoke  in support of  the weatherization program  and the                                                                    
supplemental  housing development  grant program.  He argued                                                                    
that  both  programs  warranted  state  investment  even  in                                                                    
difficult budget  times. Both programs  served beneficiaries                                                                    
in every corner  of Alaska. He shared  some statistics about                                                                    
costs  for  heat  in  Alaska. Over  18,000  units  had  been                                                                    
weatherized saving  Alaskans close to $50  million annually.                                                                    
He continued  to supply  some weatherization  statistics. He                                                                    
urged  the  committee  to   fully  fund  the  weatherization                                                                    
program at $4.5 million.  He also supported the supplemental                                                                    
housing  development grant  program. He  provided additional                                                                    
details about the program. He  thanked the committee for the                                                                    
opportunity to testify.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SERENE    ROSE   O'HARA-JOLLIE,    SELF,   FAIRBANKS    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  urged  members   to  remove  the  $500,000                                                                    
supplemental   appropriation   for   the   UAA   long-acting                                                                    
reversible  contraception  (LARC)  study within  the  FY  19                                                                    
capital  budget.  She  had  some   deep  ethical  and  moral                                                                    
concerns  regarding the  study.  It was  already known  that                                                                    
LARC  prevented pregnancy.  There  was no  need  to use  tax                                                                    
payer  dollars for  further study.  She reported  that there                                                                    
was no provision in the  study guaranteeing the safe removal                                                                    
of  LARC which  would  potentially put  every  woman in  the                                                                    
study at risk. She relayed that  all LARCs had to be removed                                                                    
and there  was nothing  in the budget  that allowed  for it.                                                                    
She thought  the study  targeted vulnerable  communities and                                                                    
offered women  a false choice  under the guise of  care. She                                                                    
urged members  to remove the  funding of $5 million  for the                                                                    
dangerous study.  She noted a  number of  issues surrounding                                                                    
contraception. She urged members of  the House to remove the                                                                    
funding for the LARC study from the budget.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  FERNANDEZ,  WILLIWAW   NEIGHBORHOOD,  WASILLA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  funding  for  the                                                                    
Neighborhood Watch program. He read  a list of funding items                                                                    
in the capital  budget. He thought it would be  a failure on                                                                    
the part  of the  legislature to fund  $18 million  for drug                                                                    
addicts and  not fund Neighborhood  Watch made up  of people                                                                    
combating drug addicts from  steeling in their neighborhood.                                                                    
He  argued  that  SB  91  was a  large  contributor  to  the                                                                    
increased addiction cases in Alaska.  He thanked members for                                                                    
their time.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:37:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA MOORE, CHAIR, ADVISORY BOARD  TO MENTAL HEALTH TRUST,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  understood  the  previous                                                                    
testifier's  concern regarding  crime. However,  she relayed                                                                    
that  the $18  million  would benefit  people from  families                                                                    
that were  struggling to overcome  addictions. She  spoke of                                                                    
having  the  opportunity  to  participate  in  a  number  of                                                                    
community grass  roots operations coalitions.  She mentioned                                                                    
prison  reentry,   the  Alaska  Coalition  on   Housing  and                                                                    
Homeless, and  the Greater  Anchorage Area  Partnership, and                                                                    
the Anchorage  Suicide Prevention Coalition. She  pointed to                                                                    
the common thread in these  coalitions, which was working to                                                                    
increase  access  to  substance abuse  treatment.  She  also                                                                    
asked for  support for the hospital-based  behavioral health                                                                    
care  funding of  $18  million. She  asked  for funding  for                                                                    
additional nursing staff at API. She thanked the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:40:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GERALD   HOPE,  THE   RIDE,  PUBLIC   TRANSIT,  SITKA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  provided some  background information.  He                                                                    
requested an  additional $1 million for  the state community                                                                    
match  requested   in  the  governor's  budget   for  public                                                                    
transit. He advocated that the  public transit system went a                                                                    
long  way  in  getting   people  commuting.  He  appreciated                                                                    
member's listening to his testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:42:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAY  BECHTOL, SOUTH  PENINSULA HEALTH  SERVICES, HOMER  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  supported the  $18  million for  substance                                                                    
use  disorders.  He  also  wanted to  see  the  $45  million                                                                    
Medicaid short fall funded. He  could not imagine the effect                                                                    
without  the Medicaid  funding for  6  to 8  weeks. He  also                                                                    
urged funding  the matching funds  for API nurses.  He noted                                                                    
that  May  was Mental  Health  Awareness  Month, a  national                                                                    
month of recognition. He thanked members for any help.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA   CLER,    PLANNED   PARENTHOOD,    ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  urged members  to remove  funding for  the                                                                    
UAA  long-acting  Reversible contraceptive  study.  Although                                                                    
Planned  Parenthood  shared  the legislature's  interest  in                                                                    
improving  access to  healthcare for  women and  children in                                                                    
Alaska, and strongly supported efforts  to improve access to                                                                    
a  full range  of  birth control  methods, the  organization                                                                    
rejected any  efforts that coerced any  one particular birth                                                                    
control  method  because  it  was  cost  effective  or  more                                                                    
effective at preventing pregnancy.  She relayed that Planned                                                                    
Parenthood had been in contact  with supporters of the study                                                                    
through  the movement  of  its original  bill,  SB 198.  The                                                                    
study  proposal  prioritized  the provisions  of  LARC  over                                                                    
other  birth   control  measures  and  did   not  adequately                                                                    
safeguard the  reproductive autonomy of  study participants.                                                                    
It  included insuring  study participants  having access  to                                                                    
LARC removal  during and  after the  study. As  written, the                                                                    
study proposal  did not take  follow-up care  to discontinue                                                                    
use into  account and  the funding  allotted in  the capital                                                                    
budget proposal did not included  enough to put a process in                                                                    
place. On Demand  removal was mandatory and it  could not be                                                                    
assumed  that this  and other  concerns  would be  addressed                                                                    
later.  Birth  control  was  not  a  one-size-fits-all.  She                                                                    
argued that  steering women with substance  use disorders to                                                                    
LARC  over   other  methods   to  prevent   pregnancies  was                                                                    
contraceptive  coercion.  She  suggested  that  funding  the                                                                    
study would  perpetuate the nation's  long history  of birth                                                                    
control experiments  and marginalized  groups of  women. She                                                                    
urged  members  to  instead  fully  fund  critical  Medicaid                                                                    
services and substance use disorder treatment programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:46:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BESSE ODOM,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition of the long-acting  contraceptive study. She felt                                                                    
that  the  LARC study  looked  at  women  as lab  rats.  She                                                                    
thought the study focused solely  on the reproductive system                                                                    
of women dealing with substance  abuse disorders. She opined                                                                    
that the  proposed legislation simply failed  to address the                                                                    
issue  of  substance abuse  within  the  state. She  thought                                                                    
supplying  marginalized  and  vulnerable  women  with  long-                                                                    
acting contraceptives  was not  a long-term solution  to the                                                                    
state's overwhelming  statistics. She brought up  the notion                                                                    
of  coercion. She  urged  members not  to  support the  LARC                                                                    
study appropriation. She thanked the committee.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAN  WRENTMORE,  CHAIR,  SKAGWAY MARINE  ACCESS  COMMISSION,                                                                    
SKAGWAY (via  teleconference), reported  she was  a business                                                                    
owner  in Skagway.  She  offered her  support  to a  healthy                                                                    
marketing  budget  for  tourism. She  highlighted  page  36,                                                                    
lines 9-15.  she thought  there was  some redundancy  in the                                                                    
language.   She  reported   that  there   was  an   existing                                                                    
appropriation  of   $21  million   on  the  books   for  the                                                                    
enhancement  of  transportation  and infrastructure  in  the                                                                    
greater Lynn Canal  area. She believed that  Juneau was part                                                                    
of  the greater  Lynn Canal  area. There  was no  reason the                                                                    
money could  not be spent  on Juneau improvements.  She also                                                                    
thought  it was  important  that the  language stay  general                                                                    
because  there were  significant needs  in the  region. Both                                                                    
Haines  and Skagway  had transportation  related improvement                                                                    
needs. She mentioned the Skagway's  ferry float needed to be                                                                    
replaced,  as it  was over  30  years old.  She thought  the                                                                    
money would  sit in an account  for a long time  because the                                                                    
project was not  shovel ready. She thought  the money should                                                                    
remain for  shovel ready  projects. She  relayed information                                                                    
about a  project that  she thought  would never  happen. She                                                                    
thanked the committee for the opportunity to testify.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:53:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALIZA  KAZMI,  SELF, JUNEAU,  asked  members  to fully  fund                                                                    
community-based   substance  use   disorder  treatment   and                                                                    
Medicaid funding. She  asked members not to  support the UAA                                                                    
LARC study. She  relayed that she felt  informed about birth                                                                    
control because her  doctor informed her of  the choices she                                                                    
had. She  also noted  the previously stated  concerns around                                                                    
reproductive coercion  and removal on demand.  She expressed                                                                    
her her  concerns about access  to reproductive  health care                                                                    
and  about expanding  access to  substance abuse  treatment.                                                                    
She asked  members to invest  in critical  behavioral health                                                                    
and other pressing health needs. She thanked the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:56:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS DIMOND, CARPENTERS UNION  AND BUILDING TRADES, JUNEAU,                                                                    
spoke in  favor of  Juneau Access funding.  He spoke  to the                                                                    
advantage  of the  project regarding  the  labor force.  The                                                                    
project  would  employ workers  from  around  the state.  He                                                                    
reported that the  project was shovel ready.  The only thing                                                                    
holding up the project was  a record of decision. He relayed                                                                    
that 60  percent of District  34 and 54 percent  of District                                                                    
33 supported  the road. He  had been hearing about  the road                                                                    
for more than 40 years and  thought it was time to build it.                                                                    
He argued  that infrastructure projects made  Alaska strong.                                                                    
He urged members  to either leave the money where  it was or                                                                    
re-designate for the capital access project.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  commented that  she had  been waiting                                                                    
for gas for  40 years. She asked Mr. Dimond  if he was aware                                                                    
of the  number of  jobs the Lynn  Canal Project  would bring                                                                    
compared  to  the Juneau  Access  Road  Project. Mr.  Dimond                                                                    
responded that he was not aware  of a project slated for the                                                                    
upper Lynn Canal.  It was a potential  project. Whereas, the                                                                    
Juneau Access  Road Project was  ready to go and  would have                                                                    
500 jobs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  thought the project  was estimated to  be a                                                                    
$600  million  construction  project.  He  asked  about  the                                                                    
purpose of  the $21 million.  Mr. Dimond responded  that the                                                                    
$21  million  would  be  placed   in  the  account  with  an                                                                    
additional $21 million, and the  money would be matched with                                                                    
federal  dollars. As  soon  as the  record  of decision  was                                                                    
completed and signed off by  the governor, the project could                                                                    
begin.  The money  could  sit  in the  account  for about  9                                                                    
months then be put to use to contract the project out.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked  Mr. Dimond if he  thought the project                                                                    
would go without  legislative approval of the  funds for the                                                                    
project.  He was  wondering if  the  money would  sit in  an                                                                    
account  until  the  legislature  decided  to  fund  a  $600                                                                    
million road.  Mr. Dimond  responded that  his understanding                                                                    
was that the money sat in  the account until the project was                                                                    
signed-off.  He  noted  the  people  in  the  room  and  the                                                                    
governor needed to sign-off on the project.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton understood  that the project was  not on the                                                                    
State  Transportation Improvement  Project  (STIP) list  and                                                                    
that  funding  from  the federal  government  would  not  be                                                                    
available without being  on the STIP list.  Mr. Dimond could                                                                    
not answer the question.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:00:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF   ROGERS,   DIVISION    OF   ADMINISTRATIVE   SERVICES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT   OF   ENVIRONMENTAL   CONSERVATION,   introduced                                                                    
himself  and  indicated  he   was  available  for  questions                                                                    
regarding the Wrangell  project. Representative Wilson asked                                                                    
about the storage  site chosen in Wrangell.  She asked about                                                                    
the concerns of keeping the  site in Wrangell versus sending                                                                    
out the  contaminated soil. Mr.  Rodgers responded  that the                                                                    
site at  Pats Creek at  the rock quarry was  an ecologically                                                                    
and environmentally  sustainable site. It was  a viable site                                                                    
that  met  all  of   the  department's  requirements  for  a                                                                    
monofill of its  nature. Out of an abundance  of respect for                                                                    
local concerns,  including recreational and  subsistence use                                                                    
of  the area  around Pats  Creek, the  governor advanced  an                                                                    
amendment to ship the soil South.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  if  he could  use the  current                                                                    
clean-up  money,  $15  million,  if DEC  was  to  leave  the                                                                    
contaminated soil in Wrangell and  utilize the site that was                                                                    
designated.  Mr.  Rogers  responded  that  out  of  the  $14                                                                    
million  that was  currently authorized  for  the site,  the                                                                    
department  had spent  about $8.3  million  to-date. The  $5                                                                    
million  request  the  committee  was  addressing  currently                                                                    
would add to  money that was already  authorized but unspent                                                                    
to complete an off-island transfer.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  wondered about  the cost if  the soil                                                                    
were to remain  in Wrangell. She wondered  if the additional                                                                    
$5   million  would   be   needed.   Mr.  Rogers   responded                                                                    
affirmatively. He elaborated that  the $14 million currently                                                                    
authorized  from the  response fund  was enough  to complete                                                                    
the on-island storage option.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if  he was  aware of  any other                                                                    
junkyards that  belonged to a  municipality where  the state                                                                    
had  stepped in  with general  fund dollars  to do  clean-up                                                                    
versus the  municipality using their  own funds.  Mr. Rogers                                                                    
deferred  to Ms.  Kristin  Ryan.  Representative Wilson  was                                                                    
asking  because the  Fairbanks  North  Star Borough  decided                                                                    
that  they   would  also  take   back  a   property  through                                                                    
foreclosure and  found out it was  contaminated. The borough                                                                    
was able to  get some federal funding but also  used its own                                                                    
money. She was concerned about establishing a precedent.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:03:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN RYAN,  DIRECTOR,  SPILL   PREVENTION  AND  RESPONSE,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION, responded that it                                                                    
was unusual for the state to  step in and provide funding to                                                                    
address a  contamination issue. The threshold  was a serious                                                                    
and  imminent threat.  Often junkyards  did  not reach  that                                                                    
threshold.  They might  be an  eyesore and  might have  some                                                                    
minor  contamination issues.  However, they  do not  usually                                                                    
contain  the kind  of contaminants  that would  raise enough                                                                    
concerns  to  where DEC  felt  it  needed  to step  in.  One                                                                    
instance had occurred in Fairbanks  in the prior winter. The                                                                    
Department  of   Environmental  Conservation   utilized  the                                                                    
response  account to  clean up  a  privately held  junkyard.                                                                    
Ownership  was  not  necessarily something  DEC  considered.                                                                    
Risk and the  potential for a responsible party  to have the                                                                    
funds to address the issue were  factors. If a party did not                                                                    
have the  funds and  DEC was concerned  with the  risks, the                                                                    
department would step in. If  there was a viable responsible                                                                    
party,  the department  would often  expect them  to do  the                                                                    
clean-up.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   asked  if  money  from   the  spill                                                                    
response  fund was  used  rather  than undesignated  general                                                                    
funds. Ms. Ryan responded affirmatively.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked if there  was a mechanism for an                                                                    
entity, such  as a  city, to borrow  money from  DEC's fund.                                                                    
Ms. Ryan  was not  aware of any  other financing  options by                                                                    
DEC.  The  Department   of  Environmental  Conservation  had                                                                    
municipal  loans  provided  primarily for  water  and  sewer                                                                    
projects. Sometimes  landfills were  also allowed. It  was a                                                                    
zero-interest loan.  However, she was  not aware of  it ever                                                                    
being used in a situation like the one in Wrangell.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  commented that the  legislature would                                                                    
be setting a precedent, which  she was not comfortable with.                                                                    
She believed  that DEC  would not suggest  a site  unless it                                                                    
could be  contained. She understood the  community might not                                                                    
want the  contaminated soil to remain  in Wrangell. However,                                                                    
she  did  not agree  with  the  state  stepping in  with  $5                                                                    
million.  She thought  other entities  would  follow with  a                                                                    
similar  request. She  thought municipal  loans might  be an                                                                    
alternative option.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:06:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  needed to better understand  the $5 million                                                                    
request. He asked  what funds were proposed to  be used. Mr.                                                                    
Rodger explained that it was  the department's position that                                                                    
the response account  allowed the department to  work on the                                                                    
site in  an effort  to address the  immediate risk  to human                                                                    
health  and  the  environment. Having  identified  a  viable                                                                    
option  that met  all of  the  regulatory requirements,  the                                                                    
department saw  the amount  as a  limit of  the department's                                                                    
statutory authority from the response account.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara wondered  if Mr. Rogers was  saying that the                                                                    
response  account allowed  the  department to  do a  limited                                                                    
amount with  the waste, but  not ship  the waste to  a place                                                                    
where it was safe.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rodgers replied  that there  was a  presumption by  the                                                                    
department that it would choose  the lowest cost option that                                                                    
met environmental standards and  protected human health. The                                                                    
department would  certainly not  spend more  on a  site than                                                                    
was necessary to clean it up from the response account.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara wanted to look  at fund sources. He remarked                                                                    
that the  state was  struggling to stay  afloat financially.                                                                    
If it  would be proper to  use the response fund,  why would                                                                    
general  funds  be  used.  Mr.   Rodgers  relayed  that  the                                                                    
department did  not think it  was appropriate to  spend from                                                                    
the  response fund.  He clarified  that DEC  spent from  the                                                                    
response account without  appropriation. The department used                                                                    
the funds for  emergencies to address risks  to human health                                                                    
and the  environment. When the  department spent  money from                                                                    
the  account  the  legislature  was  notified.  It  was  the                                                                    
department's  position that  in all  cases it  would execute                                                                    
the  lowest cost  viable plan  that  addressed human  health                                                                    
risks  and   not  spend  more  than   that.  The  department                                                                    
supported the  governor's request because it  answered DEC's                                                                    
legitimate concerns  about public use of  the area. However,                                                                    
it was  not to  say that  the department  did not  think the                                                                    
Pats  Creek Rock  Quarry was  an environmentally  acceptable                                                                    
option.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:09:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara asked  Mr. Rodgers  to  review the  funding                                                                    
sources proposed  for use  and to  explain why  the response                                                                    
fund  could not  be  used. Mr.  Rodgers  responded that  the                                                                    
request  proposed  to  use  general  funds.  The  department                                                                    
thought  the  response fund  was  not  the preferred  source                                                                    
because  the response  fund was  there for  the lowest  cost                                                                    
method to  address an  environmental risk.  The department's                                                                    
position was that  the Pats Creek Rock  Quarry addressed the                                                                    
risk to environmental health and public health.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Gara  understood   that   the  department   was                                                                    
proposing not  to use the  quarry and proposing to  ship the                                                                    
soil  away.  He  also  understood it  was  the  department's                                                                    
preference  not to  use the  response  fund. However,  there                                                                    
were  competing  needs such  as  drug  and alcoholism  abuse                                                                    
prevention. Apart  from the  department's preference  not to                                                                    
use  the  response fund,  he  asked  if  Mr. Rogers  had  an                                                                    
opinion  whether it  was legal.  Mr. Rodgers  responded that                                                                    
"legal" was  in the  eye of the  beholder. He  reported that                                                                    
the department had developed an  opinion that further use of                                                                    
the response fund on the Wrangell site was not appropriate.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara rebutted  Mr. Rogers'  comment about  legal                                                                    
being in  the eye of  the beholder.  He asked if  the quarry                                                                    
site was a natural quarry. Ms.  Ryan indicated that it was a                                                                    
natural  quarry  that  the department  had  invested  in  to                                                                    
prepare the  site to  receive the rock  waste. She  added to                                                                    
the  previous discussion  that the  response  account was  a                                                                    
limited fund  and something the department  rarely used. The                                                                    
legislature  created  the fund  for  the  state to  have  an                                                                    
emergency source of  revenue to deal with a  large event. If                                                                    
the department were  to spend it all, the  funding would not                                                                    
be available  for its intended  purpose. She  understood the                                                                    
idea of it being a  competing resource. However, if the fund                                                                    
was utilized for  the $5 million, the fund  balance would be                                                                    
much lower.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara wanted a legal  opinion on whether the funds                                                                    
could  be used.  He  added that  "legal in  the  eye of  the                                                                    
beholder" did  not work for  him. He wondered why  the state                                                                    
had  started preparing  the site,  if  it was  not a  proper                                                                    
site.  He  asked  how  much money  had  already  been  spent                                                                    
preparing the site. Ms. Ryan  corrected Vice-Chair Gara. The                                                                    
Department of Environmental  Conservation thought Pats Creek                                                                    
was a fine  site and that either option  was equally viable.                                                                    
The department  was not  saying one  option was  better than                                                                    
the other.  The community had expressed  substantial concern                                                                    
that it  did not want the  waste rock on the  site initially                                                                    
pursued by the state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked how much  the state had already spent.                                                                    
He also wondered  why the department would spend  money on a                                                                    
site that it  later decided was a traditional  area. He also                                                                    
asked if people  were correct that the  site endangered fish                                                                    
habitat and water quality.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  asked Ms. Ryan  to take some time  to think                                                                    
about her response.  In the meantime, there  were three more                                                                    
people standing by to provide  their public testimony. There                                                                    
were other  members with questions,  and he did not  want to                                                                    
hold people waiting to testify.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FERNANDO   SALVADOR,   ALASKA  COALITION,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  favor  of  restoring funding  of                                                                    
$3 million for tourism marketing  dollars. He thought it was                                                                    
a reinvestment in Alaska small  business and in Alaskans. He                                                                    
reported that 1 in 8 jobs  in Alaska was tourism related. In                                                                    
order  to  stay  competitive  in the  global  market,  these                                                                    
marketing funds  were needed. The  marketing funds  had been                                                                    
slashed  significantly.   Until  those  businesses   in  the                                                                    
tourism  industry came  up with  a plan,  they continued  to                                                                    
need  help  to  make  Alaska  a  viable  competitive  global                                                                    
partner  in   tourism.  He   asked  members   to  reconsider                                                                    
increasing   the  funds   to  the   $3  million   level.  He                                                                    
appreciated members' time and consideration.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:15:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE PIERCE, SELF, KASILOF  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
favor of  further reducing the  budget. He urged  members to                                                                    
weed  out   fraud  and  waste.   He  encouraged   taxes  for                                                                    
corporations. He thought it was  important to tax fairly. He                                                                    
did  not  believe  the  state   could  afford  the  proposed                                                                    
spending.  He disagreed  with the  split  for the  Permanent                                                                    
Fund Dividend (PFD).  He did not believe new  taxes had been                                                                    
addressed properly. He concluded  by urging the committee to                                                                    
stop adding to the budget.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:18:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON LEE,  ALASKA ASSOCIATION FOR PERSONAL  CARE SUPPORT,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS (via teleconference),  advocated for full Medicaid                                                                    
funding and elder program funding.  She relayed that payment                                                                    
suspensions would  occur without fully funding  the Medicaid                                                                    
supplemental. She argued  that a lack of action  was not the                                                                    
way  to  deal with  things.  She  relayed information  about                                                                    
personal  care  services  and  urged  quick  action  by  the                                                                    
legislature.  As she  understood  it, the  remainder of  the                                                                    
Medicaid  supplemental funding  was not  in any  budget. She                                                                    
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:22:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster invited  Ms.  Ryan and  Mr.  Rogers to  the                                                                    
table.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asked about whether  fish habitat  or water                                                                    
quality  would be  in danger.  He  also asked  why the  site                                                                    
would have  been chosen with  the opposition  from community                                                                    
members. He wondered how much had already been invested.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Ryan  responded that  the  site  was selected  after  a                                                                    
substantial process  of investigating shipping  off-site and                                                                    
a  location  on  the  island.  The  site  was  selected  for                                                                    
environmental reasons. It was one  of the best places in the                                                                    
state  she had  ever  seen  for a  monofill.  The state  had                                                                    
complete control  of the environment  - complete  control of                                                                    
water infiltration  into the rock.  She reiterated  that the                                                                    
department   was  very   certain   the  site   was  a   safe                                                                    
alternative.  However,  it was  located  in  a location  the                                                                    
community had concerns  about. It was near a  lake less than                                                                    
a mile  away. The  community did  not feel  comfortable with                                                                    
the  location   even  though  DEC  did   from  a  scientific                                                                    
perspective. It  was not an  unusual situation for  DEC. She                                                                    
also  relayed that  the soil  had already  been treated  and                                                                    
there  was  no  further  risk  of  lead  leaching  out.  The                                                                    
department  had conducted  several  public  meetings in  the                                                                    
community, yet people continued to have concerns.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers reported  that DEC had spent $8.3  million on the                                                                    
site. The  department authorized  $13.9 million to  be spent                                                                    
on  the  project. There  was  roughly  $5.5 million  unspent                                                                    
authorization from  the response  account for the  site. The                                                                    
amount  of $5  million  in general  funds  requested by  the                                                                    
governor was  in addition to  the unspent $5.5  million. The                                                                    
response  account would  continue to  pay $5.5  million, and                                                                    
the department was asking for  $5 million in general funds -                                                                    
the  difference  between   finishing  an  on-island  storage                                                                    
option at Pats Creek and an off-island shipping option.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:26:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt asked,  since the  state had  already                                                                    
spent more than $8 million  and was currently addressing the                                                                    
community  concerns, why  the state  had  not addressed  the                                                                    
community concerns earlier before  $8 million was spent. Ms.                                                                    
Ryan  answered that  there had  been significant  dialog and                                                                    
over time the attitude changed.  She would not say there was                                                                    
not a  significant amount of  involvement, the  attitude had                                                                    
shifted as the project advanced.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  stated   his  understanding  of  the                                                                    
testimony  that the  site  was  fine, and  the  lead was  no                                                                    
longer an  issue. He  stressed that  the department  had not                                                                    
sold him on  the need for an additional  appropriation of $5                                                                    
million. He would  have to support the removal  of the funds                                                                    
if  the  department could  not  sell  the idea.  Mr.  Rogers                                                                    
answered there were very strong  feelings about the issue in                                                                    
Wrangell.  He  believed  the  site   at  Pats  Creek  to  be                                                                    
environmentally   viable.   However,   it   did   not   mean                                                                    
individuals wanted it in their  backyard. There was a higher                                                                    
cost option that the governor supported.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt stressed  that it went back  to the $8                                                                    
million that had  already been spent. He  was concerned that                                                                    
the  department did  not take  the  community feedback  into                                                                    
account. He  thought the  money had  been wasted.  The state                                                                    
did not have the money.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton indicated that  the department had testified                                                                    
where  it  was  in  the   process,  that  it  had  conducted                                                                    
community meetings, and that attitudes  in the community had                                                                    
changed.   He  urged   Representative  Pruitt   not  to   be                                                                    
accusatory.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:30:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ryan  clarified that the  money had not been  wasted. It                                                                    
was utilized for either option.  Some of the money was spent                                                                    
digging up  the rock and  treating it with  eco-bond, things                                                                    
that  would  have  happened  no   matter  which  option  was                                                                    
selected. She reiterated that the money was not wasted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton clarified that the  money that was spent was                                                                    
used for digging out and treating  the soil so that it could                                                                    
be disposed of anywhere. It  was not just preparing the rock                                                                    
quarry.  Ms. Ryan  responded in  the affirmative.  She noted                                                                    
that  a small  amount was  used to  prepare the  quarry. The                                                                    
remaining amount  of money that the  department was prepared                                                                    
to spend was to ship it to the rock quarry.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  did  not believe  the  question  was                                                                    
answered. He thought  the $8 million was the  amount it cost                                                                    
to prepare the quarry which  was the reason for his concern.                                                                    
If some of  the funding was used to process  the soil he did                                                                    
not  have  as  much   frustration.  He  would  appreciate  a                                                                    
separation.  Ms. Ryan  answered they  were happy  to provide                                                                    
the information.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz followed  up on Representative Pruitt's                                                                    
concerns.  He relayed  he had  been  to the  site where  the                                                                    
original   issue  had   occurred.  He   understood  that   a                                                                    
significant amount  of money  had been  spent on  digging up                                                                    
the site and  there continued to be maintenance  on the site                                                                    
before the final  removal of material. Ms.  Ryan answered in                                                                    
the  affirmative.  She  detailed  that  there  were  ongoing                                                                    
maintenance  costs. The  treated soil  was on  a very  steep                                                                    
slope. It had to be kept  covered to keep it from sloughing,                                                                    
which was one reason the  department was pushing to complete                                                                    
the project  in the current  year. There were  ongoing state                                                                    
costs to maintain the soil until a solution was decided.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz believed there  had been testing of the                                                                    
water at the  current site and thought there  had been water                                                                    
contamination found.  Ms. Ryan answered in  the affirmative.                                                                    
She  explained  that before  the  soil  was treated  it  had                                                                    
leached  lead across  the highway  into  shell fish  harvest                                                                    
areas. The department had spent  approximately $7 million in                                                                    
cleaning  up  the  site  and   treating  the  material.  The                                                                    
majority of  the money  spent so far  would have  been spent                                                                    
with either option.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:34:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  stated that the bottom  line was that                                                                    
DEC  could have  used the  entire  $14 million  to move  the                                                                    
material to  a safe site.  She suggested that the  issue was                                                                    
not about safety.  She opined that if the  community did not                                                                    
want it at the site, it  should have the option to locate it                                                                    
somewhere else.  However, she  thought the  community should                                                                    
be  responsible  for funding  the  balance  if it  wanted  a                                                                    
different option.  She did not  believe the issue  was about                                                                    
safety. She  thought the policy  call was whether  to follow                                                                    
DEC's  plan  at  the  lowest   possible  cost,  or  let  the                                                                    
community  choose   an  alternative   at  no  cost   to  the                                                                    
community.   She  referenced   backup   pertaining  to   the                                                                    
Hillcrest  Subdivision Water  District (copy  on file).  She                                                                    
surmised that  if the  state caused  a problem  to someone's                                                                    
drinking water,  she did not  know why the state  would only                                                                    
pay $500,000  of $2 million charging  each homeowner $25,000                                                                    
to participate in  a water program. She  brought up concerns                                                                    
about liability  issues. Ms. Ryan  was unfamiliar  with what                                                                    
the  representative  had  mentioned.  Representative  Wilson                                                                    
asked if the department could get back to the committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Seaton  thought   the  issue   fell  within   the                                                                    
jurisdiction of the Department  of Transportation and Public                                                                    
Facilities.  Representative Wilson  contended it  was a  DEC                                                                    
contamination  issue. The  Department of  Transportation and                                                                    
Public Facilities  might have  caused to  contamination. The                                                                    
issue had to  do with water. Co-Chair  Seaton commented that                                                                    
it was  drainage. Representative  Wilson argued that  if the                                                                    
wells  were  contaminated  because  of  something  DOT  did,                                                                    
someone at  DEC would have  had to determine the  wells were                                                                    
unsafe. She wanted someone to  get back to the committee and                                                                    
provided the name of the project.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  asked if  the Wrangell  situation pertained                                                                    
to  batteries or  mining waste.  Ms. Ryan  replied that  Mr.                                                                    
Byford was a  junkyard operator and broke  batteries up with                                                                    
a hammer;  it was the  worst lead contamination the  EPA had                                                                    
seen.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster REOPENED public testimony on HB 284.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:39:33 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster asked to hear  from Ms. Pitney regarding the                                                                    
Wrangell  issue.  He  wondered   about  the  possibility  of                                                                    
expanding the spend authority of  the Spill Response Fund by                                                                    
$5 million.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAT  PITNEY,  DIRECTOR,  OFFICE OF  MANAGEMENT  AND  BUDGET,                                                                    
OFFICE  OF THE  GOVERNOR,  answered that  DEC's concern  was                                                                    
respecting the  boundaries of the  spill response  fund. She                                                                    
asserted  that it  was a  privilege  to have  access to  the                                                                    
funds  without additional  appropriation. Since  the request                                                                    
went  beyond the  lowest cost  option, a  $5 million  direct                                                                    
appropriation  from  the  spill  response  fund  within  the                                                                    
budget would serve that need.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg thought  the answer  might be  to                                                                    
require  an  appropriation  bill  for any  cost  beyond  the                                                                    
lowest cost option.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  respected that  DEC did  not want  to spend                                                                    
money  out  of the  fund  beyond  what the  department  felt                                                                    
comfortable  with. He  wondered if  the department  would be                                                                    
satisfied with  intent language  that allowed  the spending.                                                                    
He wondered why an appropriation  was necessary when DEC was                                                                    
already authorized to access the fund.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney responded  that it  protected  the integrity  of                                                                    
DEC's honoring  of the legislation and  their accountability                                                                    
to the  fund source. It  was imperative that DEC  had access                                                                    
to  address  and  respond to  spills  immediately.  A  named                                                                    
appropriation  was stronger  than  intent  language and  DEC                                                                    
would be better protected. It was a policy call.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:46:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson heard  from DEC that the  fund did not                                                                    
have much  in it. She  asked if the administration  would be                                                                    
concerned opening  up the  door to what  could be  paid from                                                                    
the fund. She questioned how healthy the fund would remain.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pitney  answered  that  the fund  was  healthy  with  a                                                                    
balance  of approximately  $42 million.  The  fund would  be                                                                    
drawn  down   to  $37  million   plus  whatever   was  spent                                                                    
throughout a  year. The fund  was replenished with a  tax on                                                                    
oil and  a .95 cent  fuel surcharge.  There might be  a time                                                                    
when the fund could be over-used.  If that was the case, the                                                                    
legislature would be notified.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson was  concerned  about  being able  to                                                                    
hold the person liable for  the contamination. She relayed a                                                                    
circumstance  in  Fairbanks  where the  city  repossessed  a                                                                    
property and adopted the same  problem as the new owner. She                                                                    
thought that  once the precedent  was set with  the property                                                                    
[in  Wrangell], any  municipality with  a junkyard  would be                                                                    
able to argue their case to  DEC and point to the project as                                                                    
a precedent. She  also thought the legislature  was about to                                                                    
set a  precedent regarding additional  funding [to  move the                                                                    
contaminants off-island].  She suggested  that if  there had                                                                    
been no  place to  put the  contaminated material,  it would                                                                    
have been  a different  scenario. She  believed DEC  did its                                                                    
due  diligence. She  did not  want  everyone throughout  the                                                                    
state to think they could use whatever option, no matter                                                                        
the cost.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  JAGER,  DIRECTOR,  EXTERNAL AFFAIRS,  PORT  OF  ALASKA,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  $40                                                                    
million  for construction  funding  for the  Port of  Alaska                                                                    
modernization project  in the state capital  budget. He read                                                                    
from a prepared statement:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Port  of  Alaska  is a  publicly  owned  facility  that                                                                    
     handles  half  of  all   of  Alaska's  in-bound  marine                                                                    
     freight.  Almost 3.5  million  tons of  fuel and  cargo                                                                    
     passed across the Port of  Alaska's docks in 2017. Half                                                                    
     of the cargo  that moves through the  port is delivered                                                                    
     to   final  destinations   outside  of   Anchorage  and                                                                    
     directly benefits some 85 percent  of all Alaskans. The                                                                    
     port  originally opened  in 1961  and its  docks played                                                                    
     key roles in Alaska's  growth and economic development.                                                                    
     The   half-century-old   facility  has   exceeded   its                                                                    
     economic and structural design life  and is failing due                                                                    
     to corrosion  and obsolescence. The dock's  aging piles                                                                    
     have  lost  up  to  three-quarters  of  their  original                                                                    
     thickness   and  are   unlikely   to  survive   another                                                                    
     significant earthquake.  The existing docks  will start                                                                    
     closing due  to reduced  load capacity within  about 10                                                                    
     years  regardless  of  repairs or  anything  else.  For                                                                    
     these  reasons, the  Port of  Alaska is  moving forward                                                                    
     with a program  to replace its aging  docks before they                                                                    
     fail.  The  port  modernization  program  will  replace                                                                    
     aging  dock  and  relating  infrastructure  to  include                                                                    
     operational safety  and efficiency,  accommodate modern                                                                    
     shipping operations,  and improve resiliency  to enable                                                                    
     the  facility to  survive  extreme  seismic events  and                                                                    
     Cook Inlet's  harsh marine environment for  at least 75                                                                    
     years. The  dock replacement plan is  optimized to meet                                                                    
     Alaska's  cargo  handling   needs,  reduce  costs,  and                                                                    
     maintain  ongoing port  operations. Shore  construction                                                                    
     for the  first new dock  will start this  summer, 2018,                                                                    
     and  the overall  project construction  is expected  to                                                                    
     last  at least  8 years  and will  cost more  than $700                                                                    
     million depending  on final  project scope  and design.                                                                    
     All new  state and federal funds,  including funds from                                                                    
     the  state   capital  budget,  will  be   used  to  pay                                                                    
     construction  costs and  offset the  shipping fees  and                                                                    
     tariffs  that  would  otherwise   be  levied  to  repay                                                                    
     revenue  bonds that  will help  finance the  project. I                                                                    
     appreciate your  careful consideration and  support for                                                                    
     funding to replace the Port  of Alaska's aging docks to                                                                    
     benefit all of Alaska. Thank you.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  stated  that  the name,  Port  of  Alaska,                                                                    
resonated  with some  and bothered  others.  He pointed  out                                                                    
that the  port did not support  the entire state and  it was                                                                    
owned  by  the  City  of Anchorage.  He  reported  that  the                                                                    
project had  gone up to  a cost of  $1.2 billion and,  as of                                                                    
about a  year ago, was scaled  back to a cost  of about $350                                                                    
million. He  referenced the $750  million cost cited  by Mr.                                                                    
Jager. He asked for the cost of the project.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jager   was  not  certain  what   Vice-Chair  Gara  was                                                                    
referring to  when citing the  costs. He explained  that the                                                                    
project  costs  would  depend  on the  final  scope  of  the                                                                    
project  and  what was  included.  For  example, there  were                                                                    
costs associated  with repairs  which had  to be  done after                                                                    
the   failed   port   intermodal  expansion   project.   The                                                                    
approximate  costs   were  between  $200  million   to  $250                                                                    
million. It was possible those  costs would be paid from the                                                                    
MARAD [U.S.  Maritime Administration, a wing  of the federal                                                                    
Department  of  Transportation]   lawsuit.  The  total  cost                                                                    
depended on what was included in its scope.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  was  glad  to be  reminded  of  the  MARAD                                                                    
lawsuit.  He remembered  he had  been very  complimentary of                                                                    
the mayor for getting the  cost down to roughly $350 million                                                                    
plus the  settlement proceeds. He  asked if the  project was                                                                    
possibly larger.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jager answered  that the project was  larger because the                                                                    
design  had   progressed,  and  the  permitting   was  being                                                                    
finalized.  There were  portions  of the  project that  were                                                                    
more  expensive than  initially  anticipated. For  instance,                                                                    
the  Corp   of  Engineers   had  requested  that   the  port                                                                    
reposition  the  petroleum  and  cement  terminal  of  which                                                                    
shoreside  construction  was  anticipated to  begin  in  the                                                                    
upcoming  summer.   The  repositioning  would   involve  $18                                                                    
million to  $20 million worth of  transitional dredging that                                                                    
would  not have  been included  in the  budget the  previous                                                                    
summer. The price was a moving target.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:54:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara understood  that  currently the  discussion                                                                    
was about $40 million. However,  the cost of the project had                                                                    
been a moving  target. He recalled that  the project started                                                                    
out as  $175 million and went  up to $1.2 billion.  He asked                                                                    
what the $40 million would be used for.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jager  answered that  any funding  would go  towards the                                                                    
construction of  a new dock.  The port had enough  funds in-                                                                    
hand left  over from  the port intermodal  expansion project                                                                    
and  from operations  to cover  the  anticipated design  and                                                                    
permitting costs.  Additional money would need  to be raised                                                                    
to pay for  construction. The funding could  come from state                                                                    
or  federal  sources or  from  port  tariffs and  fees.  Any                                                                    
funding  the port  received from  state  or federal  sources                                                                    
would  be used  to offset  the tariffs  and fees  that would                                                                    
eventually  be added  to the  cost of  shipping and  paid by                                                                    
Alaskans getting cargo shipped across the port's docks.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara stated  there  had been  discussion in  the                                                                    
capitol  building  that  the longer  the  port  remained  in                                                                    
disrepair,  the  more expensive  the  repairs  would be.  He                                                                    
wanted  to clarify  that none  of the  $40 million  would be                                                                    
used for maintenance of the  port. He asked if repairs would                                                                    
be covered with other funds.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jager  answered  that the  money  spent  currently  for                                                                    
repairs,  such as  stabilizing the  port's dock  fenders and                                                                    
installing  pile  jackets,  was coming  out  of  operational                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:57:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg spoke  of  some  of the  cynicism                                                                    
about the  project and the  escalating costs, which  did not                                                                    
help the legislature.  It had been awhile since  he had seen                                                                    
the total cost of all aspects  of the project. He would like                                                                    
to  see   what  the  state   was  getting  and   the  future                                                                    
obligations of the project.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt wanted to  understand the scope of the                                                                    
project. The  port was substantial,  but the docks  held the                                                                    
greatest  concern  for him  because  of  challenges such  as                                                                    
seismic  issues.  He  mentioned  the potential  to  cut  off                                                                    
outside food sources  and other things. He asked  if the $40                                                                    
million would  go to shore  up the problems to  ensure there                                                                    
was not a cut in service.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jager answered  that the  $40 million  would help  fund                                                                    
construction for new  docks to replace the  aging docks that                                                                    
were currently failing  due to rust. The money  would not be                                                                    
used for new  tanks. All of the fuel tanks  on the port were                                                                    
privately  owned   and  operated.   They  were   not  public                                                                    
infrastructure. Instead,  they were infrastructure  that the                                                                    
dock leveraged and that leveraged the dock.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:00:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  asked if  the $700  million mentioned                                                                    
earlier was for the entire project or just the dock repair.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jager corrected  Representative Pruitt  indicating that                                                                    
the docks would not be  repaired; they would be replaced. He                                                                    
elaborated  that a  repair project  had  been ongoing  since                                                                    
2006 in which  steel jackets had been placed  over the piles                                                                    
to  reinforce  the corroded  piles.  The  port had  jacketed                                                                    
about half of  the piles on the dock. It  was a one-time fix                                                                    
that  lasted  about  15 years.  Based  on  calculations,  he                                                                    
expected the  docks to start  closing in about 10  years. It                                                                    
was  not possible  to re-jacket  a jacketed  pile. The  main                                                                    
difference between the  new and existing docks  was that the                                                                    
new docks  would be built  to modern seismic  standards, and                                                                    
they  would  be  built  to modern  shipping  standards.  The                                                                    
existing  docks started  opening up  in 1961  when container                                                                    
ships  and cargo  vessels  were  significantly smaller  than                                                                    
they were today.  For example, the new docks  would be about                                                                    
100 to 150  feet farther out into the ocean.  The port would                                                                    
have berths  that were 45 feet  deep instead of the  35 feet                                                                    
berths it had  currently to be able to  better handle modern                                                                    
ships. The  new docks would  be set up for  100-gauge cranes                                                                    
as  opposed to  38-gauge  cranes on  the  current docks.  He                                                                    
reiterated that  it was a  replacement project. It  would be                                                                    
replacing  docks that  had a  long-proven economic  history;                                                                    
the economics of the project worked.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  believed  Representative  Guttenberg                                                                    
was asking  about where the  repairs were; the  new portion,                                                                    
and the  business plan. She  assumed that $40  million would                                                                    
not address all of the problems at the Port of Anchorage.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jager answered that it did  not take care of most of the                                                                    
problems. The  money would  be used to  offset the  fees and                                                                    
tariffs that  would have to  be charged and  ultimately paid                                                                    
for by  Alaska residents via  the cargo crossing  the docks.                                                                    
If the  port did not  receive federal or state  funding, the                                                                    
port  would  move forward  with  the  project. However,  the                                                                    
project would  have to  be paid for  with revenue  from fees                                                                    
and  tariffs collected  for cargo  that  crossed the  port's                                                                    
docks and delivered to Alaskans.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked when  the fees and  tariffs had                                                                    
last  been  adjusted. Mr.  Jager  replied,  "We adjust  them                                                                    
annually."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked how  the port's fees and tariffs                                                                    
compared to other ports of  approximately the same size. Mr.                                                                    
Jager  responded it  depended  on who  a  person talked  to.                                                                    
Generally,  the  port's  fees were  comparable  or  slightly                                                                    
lower than many  other ports. Depending on  how much funding                                                                    
was obtained  from federal and state  government, the Port's                                                                    
fees  and  tariffs  would  likely be  above  average  for  a                                                                    
comparable port.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson stated  that, since  the project  was                                                                    
not in the current budget,  she wanted to see some paperwork                                                                    
on the potential fees and  tariffs. She wanted to know where                                                                    
the monies  would go and  the total  cost of the  project to                                                                    
better understand  it. Presently,  she was  more comfortable                                                                    
with the costs being covered with tariffs and fees.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  wanted to clarify  that the port  was going                                                                    
to  build  a  new  dock,  and  the  funds  that  were  being                                                                    
discussed  were not  going to  repairs and  stabilization of                                                                    
the  existing dock.  The monies  would  go to  the new  dock                                                                    
which was  going to be built  no matter what. If  funds were                                                                    
allocated,  they  would  reduce the  necessity  for  revenue                                                                    
bonds and  for tariffs  to cover the  new dock.  He wondered                                                                    
about reducing  tariffs to keep  the state at  lower tariffs                                                                    
than  other  ports.  He  asked   if  his  understanding  was                                                                    
correct.  Mr. Jager  answered that  the $40  million request                                                                    
would go  to construction  costs for the  new dock  (not for                                                                    
repair   or  maintenance).   The  money   would  result   in                                                                    
employment of construction workers.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:06:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton asked when the  construction of the new dock                                                                    
would  begin.  Mr.  Jager  answered it  would  be  a  phased                                                                    
project expected to take 8  years. One of the challenges was                                                                    
to be able to maintain  port operations during construction.                                                                    
The  initial  shoreside work  would  begin  in the  upcoming                                                                    
summer [2018].  Traditional dredging  for the  new petroleum                                                                    
and  cement  terminal  would take  place  in  the  following                                                                    
summer [2019],  and pile driving  would occur in  the summer                                                                    
of 2019.  The petroleum and  cement terminal, the  first new                                                                    
dock  of  the project,  would  be  constructed and  finished                                                                    
during the summer of 2020.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asked if  the project would  be able  to go                                                                    
forward  in a  similar way  if the  legislature appropriated                                                                    
$20 million  in the current  fiscal year and $20  million in                                                                    
the following fiscal year. He  wondered if he needed all $40                                                                    
million in the  current year before July 1,  2019. Mr. Jager                                                                    
commented that  Vice-Chair Gara's question  was challenging.                                                                    
He anticipated  the timing for the  initial construction for                                                                    
the shoreside work  and the dredging would be  the same with                                                                    
either funding  scenario. He relayed that  the challenge was                                                                    
the need to pre-order  materials, particularly the steel for                                                                    
pile.  He  did   not  know  the  preorder   time.  It  could                                                                    
potentially delay the in-water pile driving.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara asked  how quickly Mr. Jager  could get back                                                                    
to  the legislature  with an  answer. Mr.  Jager replied  it                                                                    
depended on what he meant  by fairly quickly. He believed he                                                                    
could get an idea by  the following morning. Vice-Chair Gara                                                                    
replied that that worked.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB  284  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster recognized Representative  Chuck Kopp in the                                                                    
room. He recessed the meeting to  a call of the chair [note:                                                                    
the meeting never reconvened].                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:10:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 284 CS WORKDRAFT v.J.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 LFD CAP StatewideTotals.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 LFD CAP ProjectDetailByHD.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 LFD CAP ProjectDetailByAgency.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 ABHA Chard letter.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 Project Report Anchorage Hillcrest Clean Water.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 Project Report Seward Jessee Lee Home.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284
HB 284 Public testimony 5.8.18.pdf HFIN 5/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 284