Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

02/21/2020 05:00 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
05:07:04 PM Start
05:08:11 PM HB205 || HB206
05:11:10 PM Public Testimony: Anchorage
07:31:33 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 205 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
+= HB 206 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
5:00- 6:45 p.m. * Anchorage
7:00 - 8:00 p.m. * Bethel, Cordova, Kotzebue,
Nome, Valdez, Wrangell & Utqiagvik
5:00 - 8:00 p.m. * Off Net
- Select a spokesperson if you are part of a
group with the same message
- All Off Net callers must hang up immediately
after testifying to keep lines open
- Continue to access meeting through akleg.gov
- The hearing may be televised on Gavel to Gavel,
please check listings
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
- Please arrive 30 min. prior to end of allotted
time or testimony will close early
- Send written testimony to
housefinance@akleg.gov by 1:00 pm on 2/26/20
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 21, 2020                                                                                          
                         5:07 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 5:07 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Jennifer Johnston, Co-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Kelly Merrick (via teleconference)                                                                               
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair (via teleconference)                                                                       
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Charles   McKee,  Self,   Anchorage;   Deena  Bishop,   ASD,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Starr   Marsett,  President,   Anchorage  School                                                                    
Board,  Anchorage;  Dave   Carter,  Self,  Anchorage;  Laura                                                                    
Bonner,  Self, Anchorage;  Patti Calonder,  Self, Anchorage;                                                                    
Andy  Holleman,  ASD/Self,   Anchorage;  Katherine  Goodell,                                                                    
Self, Anchorage; William  Goodell, Self, Anchorage; Crystal-                                                                    
Ann  Berwick, Self,  Anchorage;  Chris  Tower Zafren,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Sandra Quimby, Self,  Eagle River; Steve Heimbel,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage;  Janet   McCabe,  Partners  for  Progress,                                                                    
Anchorage; Suzi Pearson,  AWAIC, Anchorage; Rick Goodfellow,                                                                    
Self,   Anchorage;  Ron   Wilson,  AKTCA,   Anchorage;  Jake                                                                    
Metcalf, Executive  Director, ASEA Local 52,  Anchorage; Pam                                                                    
Kelley,  Executive  Director,  Alzheimer's  Resource  -  AK,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Jessie   Gwen  Kennedy,  Alaska   Public  Media,                                                                    
Anchorage; Steve  Petratis, Self, Anchorage;  Andres Widmer,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage;  Marnie  Hartill,  Self,  Anchorage;  Gary                                                                    
McDonald,  Self,  Anchorage;  Carrie  Harris,  Self,  Anchor                                                                    
Point;  Caroline  Bolar,  Self, Anchorage;  Michael  Bailey,                                                                    
HOPE/AADD,  Anchorage; Cris  Eichenlaub, Self,  Eagle River;                                                                    
Adam Babcock,  Self, Anchorage;  Bryan Emerson,  Director of                                                                    
Public  Relations,  Civil  Air Patrol,  Mat-Su;  Gary  Voss,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau;  Jeff  DeFreest, Lieutenant  Colonel,  Alaska                                                                    
Civil  Air Patrol,  Juneau;  Robert  Carlson, Self,  Bethel;                                                                    
Diana Kuest,  Self, Anchorage;  Philip Moser,  Self, Juneau;                                                                    
Kenny Morgan,  Self, Bethel;  Patricia Gilbert,  Assembly of                                                                    
Wrangell   and  School   Board,   Wrangell;  Terri   Walker,                                                                    
Superintendent,  Northwest Arctic  Borough School  District,                                                                    
Kotzebue; Margaret  Hansen, Northwest Arctic  Borough School                                                                    
District, Kotzebue;  Lucy Robinson, Wrangell Parks  and Rec,                                                                    
Wrangell;  Gayle  Gross,   Self,  Wrangell;  Anne  Morrison,                                                                    
Wrangell Assembly, Wrangell;  Mike Lockabey, Self, Wrangell;                                                                    
Kate  Thomas, Parks  and Recreation  Office, Wrangell;  Alan                                                                    
Reeves,  Commercial  Fisherman,  Wrangell;  Tania  Harrison,                                                                    
Self,  Cordova; Marc  Carrel,  Self,  Cordova; Karl  Becker,                                                                    
self,   Cordova;  Roxanne   Brower,   North  Slope   Borough                                                                    
District,  Barrow; Fadil  Limani,  Deputy Finance  Director,                                                                    
North  Slope  School  District,  North  Slope;  Mayor  Steve                                                                    
Prysunka,  Mayor,   Wrangell;  Lisa  Von   Bargen,  Wrangell                                                                    
Borough Manager, Wrangell; Greg Weaver, Self, Wasilla.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 205      APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
            HB 205 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                          
            further consideration.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 206      APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
            HB 206 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                          
            further consideration.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  reviewed the  meeting agenda.  He explained                                                                    
the  public  testimony  process and  provided  the  call  in                                                                    
number and House Finance Committee email address.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 205                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain    programs;    capitalizing   funds;    making                                                                    
     appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution                                                                     
     of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget                                                                     
    reserve fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 206                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:08:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: ANCHORAGE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:11:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  MCKEE, SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  was                                                                    
referencing a specific statute related  to a State of Alaska                                                                    
public corporation.  He referenced a lawsuit  from September                                                                    
2019 pertaining to various drug  companies. He had presented                                                                    
a case  to the board and  the trustee had shown  interest in                                                                    
putting the claim  in an injunction. He  addressed trust law                                                                    
and stated that  all crimes were commercial.  He shared that                                                                    
he  was  listed in  CourtView.  He  asserted that  situation                                                                    
occurred  because the  state  had stolen  money  out of  his                                                                    
social security account.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  provided the House Finance  Committee email                                                                    
address for the public.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:14:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEENA   BISHOP,   ASD,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of school  funding. She  detailed that                                                                    
the  current budget  funded  education at  the  FY 18  level                                                                    
prior  to  HB 287's  authorization  of  funding outside  the                                                                    
formula. The elimination  of the HB 287  funding had created                                                                    
a $10.8  million deficit for the  Anchorage School District.                                                                    
She  discussed   the  high  annual  inflation   growth.  The                                                                    
district was required  to submit its budget  to the assembly                                                                    
by the first Monday in  March. The school board had approved                                                                    
a balanced  budget during the  current week,  which required                                                                    
increased  class   size  and  the  elimination   of  teacher                                                                    
positions.  She spoke  to reductions  that had  consistently                                                                    
occurred in the  district over the years.  She stressed that                                                                    
the  50 percent  reduction in  school bond  debt shifted  an                                                                    
additional  $20 million  to Anchorage  residents. She  urged                                                                    
the   legislature  to   provide  reliable   and  predictable                                                                    
education  funding.  She  stressed that  children  were  the                                                                    
state's most valuable resource.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Josephson  thanked   Ms.  Bishop   for  her                                                                    
testimony.  He thought  an  argument may  be  made that  the                                                                    
resources  being requested  were duplicative  to funds  in a                                                                    
separate piece of legislation. He  asked if Ms. Bishop could                                                                    
dispel the argument.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Bishop   asked   if   Representative   Josephson   was                                                                    
referencing a  committee substitute  for SB 6.  She detailed                                                                    
that the bill funded additional  resources to the ASD as the                                                                    
district  had  provided  operational  funds  to  preschools.                                                                    
Under  the legislation,  the  average  daily membership  for                                                                    
Anchorage  would increase.  The bill  focused the  resources                                                                    
the district had.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson asked how  Ms. Bishop would respond                                                                    
to a claim  that the district did not need  a restoration of                                                                    
one-time funding because SB 6 would cover it.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Bishop  answered  that  the amount  of  money  the  ASD                                                                    
anticipated for  preschool was $2 million  and the reduction                                                                    
from HB  287 was $10.8 million.  There was still a  delta in                                                                    
the negative.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster thanked  Ms. Bishop  for her  testimony. He                                                                    
discussed   early  funding   of  education   versus  forward                                                                    
funding.  He asked  when the  district needed  the state  to                                                                    
pass  the education  budget in  order to  avoid passing  out                                                                    
pink slips to teachers. He asked if the date was May 1.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Bishop  answered that the  ASD had a budget  deadline of                                                                    
March,  while   other  school  districts  had   an  April  1                                                                    
timeline. She shared  that May 15 was the  last possible day                                                                    
the  district  could  give   pink  slip  notifications.  She                                                                    
relayed that a budget passed  by March would be suitable for                                                                    
ASD and April for other districts.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:20:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STARR MARSETT, PRESIDENT,  ANCHORAGE SCHOOL BOARD, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for                                                                    
education. She  reviewed the  number of  full-time positions                                                                    
the district had  been forced to reduce due  to flat funding                                                                    
from 2013  to 2020.  She noted  it did  not include  the new                                                                    
cuts the district would have  to make in the following year.                                                                    
She highlighted that the district  had incurred increases in                                                                    
salaries, health  benefits, and utilities by  $19 million in                                                                    
the current year. The district's  current budget deficit was                                                                    
$19.5  million. She  asked the  legislature  to provide  the                                                                    
funding  necessary to  meet the  students' needs.  She asked                                                                    
the legislature to adjust the  Base Student Allocation (BSA)                                                                    
to  reflect  the  cost  of   living  index.  She  asked  the                                                                    
legislature to make education a priority.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  considered the  population                                                                    
difference in  the past  three years  due to  net migration.                                                                    
She asked  if the school  district was seeing  large numbers                                                                    
of reductions or a trickle effect.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Marsett  answered that the  reduction was  slowing down.                                                                    
Some of  the losses in  instruction were due to  a reduction                                                                    
in student  population. They were not  seeing the reductions                                                                    
they had seen in past years.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:23:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE CARTER,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), thought                                                                    
it seemed  like Groundhog  Day. He  believed there  would be                                                                    
people testifying  for legitimate  revenue and  spending for                                                                    
legitimate  public expenses.  He  focused  his attention  on                                                                    
thinking  inside  the  box. He  referenced  voting  yes  for                                                                    
Alaska's  fair share.  He  spoke about  an  average of  $3.8                                                                    
million  per  year  from  2009  to  2013  from  Prudhoe  Bay                                                                    
production revenue.  He stated  that after  SB 21  the state                                                                    
had lost an  average of $200 million per  year in production                                                                    
tax  revenue.  He  stated  the good  news  was  a  citizens'                                                                    
initiative on the  ballot. He stated that the  oil was owned                                                                    
collectively. He  thought it was  a public  education issue.                                                                    
He hoped legislators would vote  for Alaska's fair share. He                                                                    
provided the web address.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:26:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  BONNER, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of  funding for the Alaska  Marine Highway System                                                                    
(AMHS).  She  believed  the  committee  had  increased  AMHS                                                                    
funding above  the governor's request, which  she supported,                                                                    
but hoped it was not too  little too late. She stressed that                                                                    
the  ferry   system  provided  critical   infrastructure  to                                                                    
coastal communities. She  supported University education and                                                                    
research  funding,  K-12,   Medicaid,  public  broadcasting,                                                                    
corrections, public safety, and  judicial systems. She spoke                                                                    
to  underfunding  of  the  AMHS  over  the  years.  She  was                                                                    
concerned about  the Department of  Law expenses  related to                                                                    
outside  legal teams  and  no-bid  contracts. She  supported                                                                    
changing  the outdated  PFD statute.  She stated  that there                                                                    
was not a spending problem but a revenue problem.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:28:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATTI  CALONDER,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of funding for  disabilities services.                                                                    
She had seen funding decline  and was concerned that she and                                                                    
her friends  would be negatively impacted  by spending cuts.                                                                    
She supported  reducing the waitlist to  allow more Alaskans                                                                    
access to care and  services. She highlighted the importance                                                                    
of  stable  and  predictable funding.  She  emphasized  that                                                                    
Alaskans were  waiting so long  for services that  some died                                                                    
while  on the  waitlist. She  stressed that  Alaskans needed                                                                    
access  to  services in  order  to  be productive  and  lead                                                                    
meaningful lives.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:30:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDY  HOLLEMAN,  ASD/SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of  education funding.  He appreciated                                                                    
that in the  past several years the legislature  had come to                                                                    
understand  the  necessity  of early  education  funding  in                                                                    
order to allow districts to  plan. He explained that forward                                                                    
funding a  year in  advance would mean  it would  not matter                                                                    
when in  session the  funding was  decided upon.  He relayed                                                                    
that  districts were  being asked  to target  more and  more                                                                    
students who  were not reaching proficiency.  He stated that                                                                    
as long as the Base  Student Allocation (BSA) remained flat,                                                                    
districts would  be faced with cutting  successful programs.                                                                    
The  goal was  to keep  successful programs  running and  to                                                                    
look  for other  ways  to increase  student proficiency.  He                                                                    
discussed that  with inflation it  became harder  and harder                                                                    
to  keep   programs  going.  He  discussed   a  program  the                                                                    
community did not want to  lose. Everything provided meant a                                                                    
great  deal to  a portion  of students.  There needed  to be                                                                    
more  variety  to  reach all  kids.  He  suggested  covering                                                                    
inflation  from  year  to  year. He  remarked  that  if  the                                                                    
legislature needed to  consider a cut it  was legitimate but                                                                    
hoped for advanced notice to allow districts to prepare.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster acknowledged Vice-Chair Ortiz on the line.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:33:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE  GOODELL,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of public  television and  radio. She                                                                    
shared that  her son  had been raised  on Sesame  Street and                                                                    
Mr.  Rogers  and  she  was glad  to  see  quality  preschool                                                                    
programming still  being offered  on public  television. She                                                                    
appreciated  the unbiased  reporting  on public  radio on  a                                                                    
daily  basis. The  programming  on  public radio  television                                                                    
served the  young and  old in  rural and  urban communities.                                                                    
She asked  the committee  to consider  full funding  for the                                                                    
valuable service.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:34:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM  GOODELL,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of  public radio. He  shared that  he used                                                                    
public radio for  local and national news.  Public radio was                                                                    
the only  source providing fish  radio out of  Kodiak, which                                                                    
allowed him to  keep track of his family  fishing in Kodiak.                                                                    
He  discussed  the   great  public  programming,  continuing                                                                    
education, weather  reports for  boating safety,  and other.                                                                    
He believed it was a public service that needed //                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:37:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRYSTAL-ANN BERWICK,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified   in  support   of   Alaska   Public  Media.   She                                                                    
appreciated   legislators   who   voted   to   fund   public                                                                    
broadcasting  prior to  the governor's  vetoes. She  thanked                                                                    
the legislature  for the  $1 million  in the  current budget                                                                    
proposal. She  implored the committee  to fully  restore the                                                                    
$2.7  million taken  from the  public communication  budget.                                                                    
She  listed various  programming including  Gavel to  Gavel,                                                                    
360  North,  news,  and  other.  She  stressed  that  public                                                                    
broadcasting allowed her to stay  connected. She feared that                                                                    
a lack  in state  support would lead  to a  deterioration of                                                                    
content and quality  of the news. She  asked the legislature                                                                    
to keep public media strong with full funding.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:39:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  TOWER ZAFREN,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
discussed the joint  efforts to maintain a  quality level of                                                                    
life in Alaska. She  supported forward funding for education                                                                    
and  maintaining  the  Alaska  Marine  Highway  System.  She                                                                    
highlighted her support for  public broadcasting. She stated                                                                    
that public  media provided much  needed and  valued service                                                                    
to Alaskans.  She detailed that  it provided  listeners with                                                                    
balanced  and  well-researched   information.  She  believed                                                                    
Alaska's public media  was some of the best  in the country.                                                                    
She  asked the  legislature  to continue  to support  public                                                                    
media.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:41:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SANDRA  QUIMBY,  SELF,  EAGLE  RIVER  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
shared that  her father had  worked on the Tustumena  in the                                                                    
1970s providing radio  communications. She shared additional                                                                    
detail.  She stressed  the  need for  all  Alaskans to  have                                                                    
transportation  allowing  them  with  access  to  goods  and                                                                    
services. The  mission of the  Alaska Marine  Highway System                                                                    
(AMHS)  was to  provide transportation  for residents  where                                                                    
roads could  not be built  to connect them with  other areas                                                                    
of  the state.  She stressed  that the  AMHS was  vital. She                                                                    
spoke  to  the  need  for access  to  business  service  and                                                                    
economic  opportunities.  She  highlighted  that  access  to                                                                    
medical  care  was  just  one  of  the  goods  and  services                                                                    
provided by  the ferry  system. She  explained that  part of                                                                    
the  responsibility of  government was  to provide  services                                                                    
that individuals could not afford individually.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:44:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE HEIMBEL,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  a  restoration   of  full  funding  for  public                                                                    
broadcasting.  He outlined  why  public broadcasting  public                                                                    
broadcasting in  Alaska was in a  leadership position across                                                                    
the  country  and  globally.   He  highlighted  that  Arctic                                                                    
research was  about three years  ahead of what was  heard in                                                                    
national venues.  He detailed  that the  public broadcasting                                                                    
system was  the most  complete regional  information service                                                                    
in the U.S.  He urged the committee to  consider the funding                                                                    
an  investment  in a  positive  future  for the  state.  The                                                                    
investment  was  necessary in  order  to  grow and  yield  a                                                                    
return.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:46:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET   MCCABE,  PARTNERS   FOR  PROGRESS,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), shared that the  organization ran a reentry                                                                    
center in Anchorage. The  organization worked in partnership                                                                    
with  the   Department  of  Corrections.  She   thanked  the                                                                    
legislature  for  current  and   past  funding  for  reentry                                                                    
services  provided  via  contract  with  the  Department  of                                                                    
Health and  Social Services. She provided  information about                                                                    
the center that  was located in near proximity  to a prison.                                                                    
The   center   provided    temporary   housing,   employment                                                                    
assistance,  and supportive  services.  There had  been a  5                                                                    
percent  drop  in  recidivism  since  2015.  She  asked  the                                                                    
legislature to continue the funding for reentry services.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:47:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZI   PEARSON,  AWAIC,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
expressed  gratitude for  the  legislature's and  governor's                                                                    
continued  support  for  the   mission  of  the  Council  on                                                                    
Domestic  Violence and  Sexual  Assault  (CDVSA) within  the                                                                    
Department  of Public  Safety. She  shared  that AWAIC's  52                                                                    
beds  provided the  only emergency  shelter  for victims  of                                                                    
domestic  violence   in  Anchorage.  The   program  included                                                                    
transitional  housing  and   helping  families  secure  safe                                                                    
permanent  housing.  She  thanked the  legislature  for  its                                                                    
support of the critical and essential services.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:48:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK  GOODFELLOW,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
shared that he and his  wife ran the classical radio station                                                                    
in Anchorage.  He stated  that the  public radio  station in                                                                    
Anchorage  was his  biggest competitor.  He emphasized  that                                                                    
making further reductions to  the public broadcasting budget                                                                    
would be a  grave mistake. He would  personally benefit, but                                                                    
the social damage  that would be done  would be unthinkable.                                                                    
He  stressed  that  public  broadcasting  was  important  in                                                                    
Anchorage  and  vital  in  rural  areas.  He  believed  that                                                                    
further cuts to public broadcasting was unconscionable.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:50:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RON   WILSON,   AKTCA,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support of  the  Court  System's request  for                                                                    
additional   funding   for   the  therapeutic   courts.   He                                                                    
highlighted the  success of the courts.  He had participated                                                                    
in the felony drug court in  2010 and he lauded its success.                                                                    
He  was  a   homeowner  and  property  owner   and  had  not                                                                    
reoffended  after  going  through  the  program.  He  shared                                                                    
information about  his participation in the  program and had                                                                    
learned to live without alcohol and substances.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:52:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAKE METCALF,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ASEA LOCAL  52, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), thanked  the  legislature for  taking                                                                    
public  testimony.  The union  had  over  80,000 members  in                                                                    
Alaska. He  stressed that  the union's  members got  the job                                                                    
done.  Union   members  provided  essential   services  that                                                                    
Alaskans  relied  on were  done  every  day. The  union  had                                                                    
recently visited  the Pioneer Home  on Valentine's  Day. The                                                                    
stories they had heard  were heartbreaking and heartwarming.                                                                    
He  shared that  his grandfather  had lived  in the  Pioneer                                                                    
Home  prior to  oil  money. He  stated  that state  employee                                                                    
salaries  were  not keeping  up  with  private industry.  He                                                                    
shared  a   story  about  losing  an   employee  to  private                                                                    
employment   due  to   the   vast   salary  difference.   He                                                                    
appreciated all  of the work  the legislature was  doing for                                                                    
Alaskans.  He hoped  they would  not kick  the can  down the                                                                    
road.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:55:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM KELLEY,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALZHEIMER'S RESOURCE  - AK,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  advocated for  funding for                                                                    
nutrition,  transportation,   senior  support,   and  family                                                                    
caregiver support under the Department  of Health and Social                                                                    
Services. Alaska  was no different  than any  other location                                                                    
in terms  of people and  needs. She stated that  sometimes a                                                                    
little  public  support was  needed  like  Meals on  Wheels,                                                                    
providing  parenting  help,  care  for  individuals  with  a                                                                    
chronic illness.  She urged the legislature  to move forward                                                                    
with the flat funding in the  budget in order for seniors to                                                                    
be well cared for.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:58:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSIE  GWEN KENNEDY,  ALASKA PUBLIC  MEDIA, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), shared that she  was a small business owner                                                                    
and on the  board of Alaska Public  Media. The organizations                                                                    
were independent,  but they were  a system. She  shared that                                                                    
there were strong education  programs serving various areas.                                                                    
She had  learned that  journalism was  the fourth  pillar of                                                                    
democracy. There  was aging  technology in  the state  - she                                                                    
noted it  was not the  time to  take money away  from public                                                                    
media. She  was not  a proponent of  full funding  PFDs. She                                                                    
believed the money was for  civic engagement for the state's                                                                    
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:00:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE PETRATIS, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in strong support of public  media. He shared that he worked                                                                    
throughout the  state and  in other  locations. He  found it                                                                    
important to  have state,  national, and  international news                                                                    
wherever  he  traveled.  He encouraged  support  for  Alaska                                                                    
public radio.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:02:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDRES   WIDMER,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
advocated   for   services   for   people   who   experience                                                                    
disabilities. He reviewed  various items assistance provided                                                                    
to   individuals.   There   were   many   individuals   with                                                                    
disabilities who  did not have appropriate  funding and were                                                                    
unable to  get out  of their  house. He  highlighted classes                                                                    
individuals   could  take   and   employment  that   allowed                                                                    
individuals to  be productive members of  their communities.                                                                    
He asked for stable and predictable funding.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:03:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARNIE HARTILL, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of the  bill and  encouraged forward  funding of                                                                    
education.  She thanked  the committee  for  its efforts  in                                                                    
forward funding  education in recent years.  She shared that                                                                    
forward  funding  was  a win  for  students,  teachers,  and                                                                    
parents; it provided stability to  help schools succeed. She                                                                    
stressed  that forward  funding was  no additional  cost but                                                                    
offered continuity  in the system. She  was deeply concerned                                                                    
with the success  of each student. She addressed  the cut to                                                                    
the  school  bond debt  reimbursement  that  was harmful  to                                                                    
schools. Over the past five  years she had watched dozens of                                                                    
her colleagues leave to teach  out of state. She shared that                                                                    
teachers got to  work at 7:00 a.m. worked  through lunch and                                                                    
took work home.  She stressed that Alaska  could not recruit                                                                    
and retain  educators. Children were  coming to  school with                                                                    
more adverse experiences  than in the past.  She thanked the                                                                    
committee for listening and for its service.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY MCDONALD,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of  public broadcasting.  He  reviewed  various                                                                    
programs including  documentaries and other. He  thanked the                                                                    
committee for its time.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARRIE HARRIS, SELF, ANCHOR  POINT (via teleconference), was                                                                    
against  the budget.  She thanked  her Representative  Sarah                                                                    
Vance   and   Governor   Dunleavy   for   supporting   their                                                                    
constituents. She thought taking  the PFD and thinking about                                                                    
taxing  was lazy  budgeting. She  supported funding  for the                                                                    
police   department  and   other.   She  supported   cutting                                                                    
everything else  by 50 percent.  She supported a  lotto. She                                                                    
thought  that stealing  peoples' PFDs  to fund  public radio                                                                    
made   state  roads   more   dangerous.   She  stated   that                                                                    
legislators had  been lazy.  She stressed  that the  PFD did                                                                    
not  belong in  the  budget.  She thought  it  was sad  that                                                                    
public radio was put ahead of the PFD.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:12:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROLINE  BOLAR,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
shared  that she  had  lived  in Alaska  for  50 years.  She                                                                    
thought the state should not  have given oil money away. She                                                                    
detailed that  about $338 billion  had been spent  since the                                                                    
PFD had  started. She did  not have  a problem with  the PFD                                                                    
and recognized that it helped  many people; however, she did                                                                    
not  believe  it should  be  considered  the "be  all."  She                                                                    
pointed  out  that  the   state  constitution  required  the                                                                    
funding for K-12  education. She shared a story  about a man                                                                    
who had come  to Alaska to work in  public broadcasting. She                                                                    
stated  that public  broadcasting connected  the state.  She                                                                    
asked  the  legislature  to   maintain  funding  for  public                                                                    
broadcasting.  She agreed  roads  were needed.  She did  not                                                                    
support that  the governor's policy  was to cut with  no new                                                                    
taxes. She  considered what  the future  would look  like if                                                                    
the  state's young  people  did not  get  an education.  She                                                                    
considered what people wanted for their own future.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:16:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL BAILEY,  HOPE/AADD, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
shared that  he had  lived in  Alaska for  25 years.  He had                                                                    
worked in the  seafood industry and had  visited many remote                                                                    
areas in the  state in the past. He noted  that the Medicaid                                                                    
portion  of  the  budget  came  under  much  contention.  He                                                                    
detailed that  many of the  reductions in the past  year had                                                                    
turned  out  to  not  be  realistic.  He  pointed  out  that                                                                    
currently  35  percent  of Alaskans  were  on  Medicaid.  He                                                                    
considered  the need  in rural  areas related  to access  to                                                                    
health.  He  elaborated that  he  had  been stuck  in  Dutch                                                                    
Harbor for a  week - without access to  care the communities                                                                    
would  not be  in good  shape. He  asked the  legislature to                                                                    
look at  the General Fund  portion of the budget  related to                                                                    
Medicaid. He  stressed that care  needed to be taken  to not                                                                    
undermine  the infrastructure.  He  stated  that during  the                                                                    
time  of rate  freezes and  other, there  were fewer  people                                                                    
being  served under  the home  and  community based  system,                                                                    
while  the  waitlist  continued to  increase.  He  requested                                                                    
stabilizing  home  and   community  based  services  without                                                                    
further reductions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:20:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRIS  EICHENLAUB, SELF,  EAGLE  RIVER (via  teleconference),                                                                    
believed the  state was  grossly mismanaging  its resources.                                                                    
He  stated  that  the previous  governor  had  committed  to                                                                    
Medicaid  expansion  against  the  will of  the  people.  He                                                                    
stressed the need to develop  and manage resources in a more                                                                    
efficient manner.  He supported Governor Dunleavy's  idea of                                                                    
a lotto. He supported  the Pick.Click.Give program. He asked                                                                    
the legislature  to repeal SB  26. He supported a  full PFD.                                                                    
The private sector  had been taking a  pounding because PFDs                                                                    
had  been  reduced.  He  did   not  know  what  formula  the                                                                    
legislature  was  using  to  pay the  PFD.  He  thought  the                                                                    
numbers  kept  changing; it  appeared  to  be arbitrary.  He                                                                    
cited an  advisory vote where  83 percent of the  people had                                                                    
requested that  the PFD should  be left alone.  He supported                                                                    
outlawing the  binding caucus. He  asked the  legislature to                                                                    
manage the state's resources for the people.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:25:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADAM   BABCOCK,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
vocalized support for  public media and radio.  He had heard                                                                    
the governor on the radio  the other day state that Alaskans                                                                    
may be  leaving Alaska  because of a  lower PFD.  He thought                                                                    
the notion was  laughable. He shared that he  had lived most                                                                    
of his life  in the Lower 48  and none of the  places he had                                                                    
lived paid  people to  live there.  He viewed  the PFD  as a                                                                    
superfluous bonus.  He thought the  whole notion of  the PFD                                                                    
was irresponsible.  He stressed  that people would  move out                                                                    
of  state because  the governor  was  destroying the  public                                                                    
education system, public  media, and critical infrastructure                                                                    
like  the  AMHS.  He  pointed out  the  federal  gutting  of                                                                    
environmental protections.  He stressed the state  relied on                                                                    
the items for a stable  economy. He supported protecting the                                                                    
education  system  and other  services  that  made Alaska  a                                                                    
great place to  live. He was amenable to taxes  if they were                                                                    
necessary. He  asked the legislature  to fund  public media,                                                                    
education, AMHS,  and the protection of  the state's natural                                                                    
resources.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:29:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN  EMERSON,  DIRECTOR  OF PUBLIC  RELATIONS,  CIVIL  AIR                                                                    
PATROL,  MAT-SU (via  teleconference), spoke  in support  of                                                                    
the  Civil  Air  Patrol that  performed  homeland  security,                                                                    
disaster  relief,  and  drug interdiction  missions  at  the                                                                    
request of  federal, state, and local  agencies. He stressed                                                                    
that  the  organization  also  played   a  leading  role  in                                                                    
aerospace education. The  organization had approximately 500                                                                    
senior volunteers  in Alaska  who served  as mentors  to 200                                                                    
young cadets.  In FY 19  the Alaska  unit flew 131  hours of                                                                    
search and rescue  resulting in 35 finds and  2 lives saved.                                                                    
The elimination of  state funding resulted in all  16 of the                                                                    
Alaska  units  becoming responsible  to  pay  for their  own                                                                    
utilities  estimated at  $110,000 and  facility maintenance.                                                                    
He reported  that the Seward  and Homer facilities  had been                                                                    
placed in  cold storage.  He reported that  the unit  had to                                                                    
somehow pay insurance premiums for  facilities in the amount                                                                    
of $14,300.  The unit had undergone  significant cost saving                                                                    
measures in recent years. He  emphasized that its work would                                                                    
be significantly hindered without state funding.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:31:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY VOSS,  SELF, JUNEAU (via teleconference),  shared cost-                                                                    
cutting ideas.  He explained there were  many different ways                                                                    
to vote in  an election. He suggested  eliminating paper and                                                                    
use  of the  REAL  ID. He  suggested  filling Juneau's  Egan                                                                    
Highway medians with native plants  and flowers to eliminate                                                                    
the  need  for mowing  and  cutting  grass. He  thanked  the                                                                    
committee for its time.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF DEFREEST, LIEUTENANT COLONEL,  ALASKA CIVIL AIR PATROL,                                                                    
JUNEAU (via  teleconference), spoke in support  of the Civil                                                                    
Air Patrol. He  requested that funding be  restored into the                                                                    
budget.  The  unit  was comprised  of  volunteers  only.  He                                                                    
indicated the Civil Air Patrol  had three missions including                                                                    
search and rescue and  disaster relief, aerospace education,                                                                    
and  the youth  cadet program.  State funding  was used  for                                                                    
utilities in  the organization's facilities in  16 squadrons                                                                    
across the  state. The funding  kept the aircrafts  warm and                                                                    
ready  for quick  response time  to emergencies.  He thanked                                                                    
the subcommittee that proposed  adding back $250,000 for the                                                                    
FY 21 budget. He thanked the committee for its work.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:35:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT CARLSON, SELF,  BETHEL (via teleconference), believed                                                                    
the Permanent Fund Dividend should  not be in the budget. He                                                                    
read a quote by Speaker  Edgmon rejecting the idea of taking                                                                    
funds from  future generations just  to receive a  large PFD                                                                    
at present.  He discussed that  much of the oil  resource in                                                                    
the  state  had  been  used   to  fund  state  projects  and                                                                    
services.  He thought  much  of the  funding  had been  used                                                                    
wisely  for airports,  roads, state  services including  law                                                                    
enforcement and education. He noted  that a good deal of the                                                                    
funds had been wasted on  things like "the gas line fiasco,"                                                                    
the Knik  Arm Bridge,  and other. He  continued that  a very                                                                    
small amount  of the  total revenue from  oil had  gone into                                                                    
the Permanent Fund.  He reported that about  $30 billion had                                                                    
been distributed in the PFD  program. He highlighted that if                                                                    
the PFD  money had  been reinvested  in the  Permanent Fund,                                                                    
the  Permanent Fund  would  be twice  its  current size  and                                                                    
funding  shortages would  not currently  exist. He  provided                                                                    
additional testimony about why the  PFD should not be in the                                                                    
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:40:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANA KUEST, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
favor of  a full PFD. She  also supported a vote  to put the                                                                    
PFD into the  constitution. She spoke in opposition  to SR 2                                                                    
related  to  the  security issues  of  the  northern  Arctic                                                                    
region  through  the  University of  Alaska  Fairbanks.  She                                                                    
thought  the issue  should be  left to  the military  at the                                                                    
federal level.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:43:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PHILIP  MOSER, SELF,  JUNEAU  (via teleconference),  thought                                                                    
the state budget represented a  failure in terms of creating                                                                    
a wealth  fund that  was self-sustaining. He  mentioned that                                                                    
people in  places such as  Hoonah and Angoon were  feeling a                                                                    
failure of  the state to  return their investment  that they                                                                    
had  contributed  including time  and  money.  He noted  the                                                                    
state overspending. He  thought it was time  to question the                                                                    
integrity and value in having a  PFD. He noted the state had                                                                    
a  large amount  of cash.  He spoke  of Norway's  investment                                                                    
fund. He thought it was a  travesty that the state could not                                                                    
pay  for basic  services. He  favored increasing  the budget                                                                    
for the state to be able to provide basic services.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:46:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENNY MORGAN,  SELF, BETHEL (via teleconference),  wanted to                                                                    
see the  budget balanced. He  wanted his PFD left  alone. He                                                                    
supported forward finding of education.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:47:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICIA  GILBERT, ASSEMBLY  OF WRANGELL  AND SCHOOL  BOARD,                                                                    
WRANGELL  (via   teleconference),  spoke  of   investing  in                                                                    
Alaska's  students.  She  spoke of  student's  being  behind                                                                    
which had  a negative impact  on their lives. She  noted the                                                                    
importance  of  addressing  childhood  trauma  in  order  to                                                                    
promote  education.  She  spoke  in favor  of  adequate  and                                                                    
effective child protective services.  She mentioned that the                                                                    
Petersburg office handled cases  for 3 communities including                                                                    
Wrangle, Petersburg,  and Kake. She  spoke of the  case load                                                                    
versus the number of OCS front line counselors.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:51:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRI  WALKER,  SUPERINTENDENT,   NORTHWEST  ARCTIC  BOROUGH                                                                    
SCHOOL  DISTRICT, KOTZEBUE  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
favor   of  HB   236  which   increased  the   base  student                                                                    
allocation.  She  provided numbers  in  the  bill. She  also                                                                    
recommended forward funding of  education. She reported that                                                                    
the teacher pool  had dwindled. She spoke  of the importance                                                                    
of  securing qualified  teachers.  She supported  inflation-                                                                    
proofing the Permanent Fund yearly.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:53:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET HANSEN,  NORTHWEST ARCTIC BOROUGH  SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                    
KOTZEBUE (via  teleconference), spoke  in support  of school                                                                    
bond  debt reimbursement.  She also  asked  that the  sunset                                                                    
date be extended for TVEP funding.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:56:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LUCY  ROBINSON,  WRANGELL  PARKS   AND  REC,  WRANGELL  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   provided    information   regarding   her                                                                    
affiliation.  She relayed  that one  of the  most vulnerable                                                                    
sections  of Alaska's  population  was  were elementary  and                                                                    
middle school aged  youth. She reported that in  the fall of                                                                    
2019  administrators,   teachers,  ministers,   and  service                                                                    
workers identified  a growing number of  children in crisis.                                                                    
In the face of diversity,  the community of Wrangell rallied                                                                    
creating winter  programing for  youth helping  to implement                                                                    
structured activities while school  was on holiday. Although                                                                    
it was  a great effort,  she thought it  was a band  aid for                                                                    
the  current  situation.  The severity  of  the  community's                                                                    
situation without OCS and proper  Health and Social Services                                                                    
in Wrangell  was heart-wrenching.  She opined that  the lack                                                                    
of services  and outreach programs  that were  available was                                                                    
despicable. The  community could only  do so much  with what                                                                    
it had. She spoke of the  many benefits hove having a social                                                                    
worker  in Wrangell.  She believed  the  crisis in  Wrangell                                                                    
would  not  end without  additional  funding  help from  the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:58:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GAYLE GROSS,  SELF, WRANGELL (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of  the  AMHS.  She   thought  Coastal  Alaska  was                                                                    
experiencing  calamity.   She  asked  members   to  consider                                                                    
properly  funding  the  system. The  Alaska  Marine  Highway                                                                    
System  was an  integral part  of the  state and  provided a                                                                    
safety measure for Coastal Alaska.  She urged members to get                                                                    
the system running again.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:00:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE    MORRISON,   WRANGELL    ASSEMBLY,   WRANGELL    (via                                                                    
teleconference),   supported   the  Office   of   Children's                                                                    
Services. She indicated  the case load in her  area was much                                                                    
too  large. She  reviewed the  negative impacts  to children                                                                    
when social  workers had  too many  cases. She  continued to                                                                    
provide statistics around caseloads.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:02:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  LOCKABEY, SELF,  WRANGELL (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in favor of  supporting the AMHS. He  also supported funding                                                                    
for the  Wrangell Fish and  Game Office. He listed  what the                                                                    
office  currently  did  and  the   programs  that  would  be                                                                    
affected. He noted  that the staff within the  fish and game                                                                    
office  in Wrangell  were beneficial  to the  community. The                                                                    
loss  of jobs  would  also  have a  negative  effect on  the                                                                    
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:05:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  THOMAS, PARKS  AND  RECREATION  OFFICE, WRANGELL  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke   in  support   of  the   Office  of                                                                    
Children's  Services.  She  indicated  that  the  Parks  and                                                                    
Recreations  office provided  activities for  elementary and                                                                    
middle school  aged youth.  In the fall  of 2019,  a growing                                                                    
number of children in crisis  were identified. The magnitude                                                                    
of  the children's'  situation varied  greatly. A  taskforce                                                                    
was formed in  the community to help  certain youths because                                                                    
of a lack  of professional help in the  community. She asked                                                                    
legislators to reinstate funding for  OCS, as it was greatly                                                                    
needed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:07:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALAN   REEVES,    COMMERCIAL   FISHERMAN,    WRANGELL   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  was a  commercial fisherman.  He spoke  of                                                                    
the community  diversifying. He talked about  a Health nurse                                                                    
being  moved  from  the  community a  few  years  prior.  He                                                                    
opposed  closing  the  Wrangell  Fish and  Game  office.  He                                                                    
thought  by  closing  the  office,  a  domino  effect  would                                                                    
result. He asked  that the office be left open  to take care                                                                    
of Wrangell's business.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:09:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TANIA  HARRISON, SELF,  CORDOVA (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in favor  of funding the  AMHS and public  broadcasting. She                                                                    
supported a reduced PFD and an income tax.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:10:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARC CARREL,  SELF, CORDOVA  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
favor of  restoring funding for  the AMHS. He noted  some of                                                                    
the benefits of the ferry  system. He talked about the local                                                                    
economy suffering as a result  of the loss of ferry service.                                                                    
He spoke  in support  of public  broadcasting. He  favored a                                                                    
reduced PFD  and a  state income  tax to  pay for  the vital                                                                    
services of the state.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:11:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARL BECKER,  SELF, CORDOVA  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
favor of funding  Public Broadcasting, as it  was a valuable                                                                    
service. He  also advocated  full funding  for the  AMHS. He                                                                    
reported that it was the first  time in 40 years that he had                                                                    
not had  a ferry in  the winter  in Cordova. He  thought the                                                                    
ferry system was  a major economic driver for  the town. The                                                                    
ferry system  was a main part  of life in his  community. He                                                                    
favored a  state income tax.  He hoped for a  steady revenue                                                                    
stream. He thanked the committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:13:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROXANNE BROWER,  NORTH SLOPE  BOROUGH DISTRICT,  BARROW (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke   in  support  for   the  district's                                                                    
residential learning  center program. The  governor's budget                                                                    
for  the  Department  of  Education  and  Early  Development                                                                    
included  funding  to  help  begin  the  district's  20  bed                                                                    
program.  The  budget  subcommittee for  DEED  approved  the                                                                    
funding  and the  school district  asked  the House  Finance                                                                    
Committee  and  the  entire  legislature  for  support.  The                                                                    
school  district  was excited  to  see  the dream  become  a                                                                    
reality.   Building   the  residential   program   including                                                                    
distance delivery  courses would offer the  most economical,                                                                    
efficient, and effective way  of providing quality education                                                                    
needed by  students. She also  noted the  district's support                                                                    
for  forward  funding  K-12  education.  It  was  especially                                                                    
helpful for  retaining quality  teachers. The  district also                                                                    
supported  SB  74  that  would   expand  access  for  school                                                                    
district   broadband  services.   She   reported  that   the                                                                    
district's state  funding had dropped  by 50 percent  in the                                                                    
last 5 years due to  state economic challenges. However, the                                                                    
needs of the schools in  the district were greater presently                                                                    
than they  had ever been.  She requested support  for school                                                                    
bond  debt  reimbursement.  She thanked  members  for  their                                                                    
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FADIL LIMANI,  DEPUTY FINANCE  DIRECTOR, NORTH  SLOPE SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT,  NORTH  SLOPE   (via  teleconference),  asked  for                                                                    
funding to restore  the Kaktovik school after  the fire that                                                                    
occurred. He  noted that a  residential high  school program                                                                    
would make  delivery more cost  effective. He  urged funding                                                                    
for the  school. He  spoke in favor  of forward  finding for                                                                    
schools. He emphasized the importance  of forward funding in                                                                    
terms of retaining teachers. He thanked the committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:18:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAYOR STEVE PRYSUNKA,  MAYOR, WRANGELL (via teleconference),                                                                    
asked  for funding  for  the OCS  position  in Wrangell.  He                                                                    
indicated  the  only  case worker  was  in  Petersburg.  The                                                                    
school district  recently expressed  concern over  some high                                                                    
school  student   contemplating  self-harm.  He   noted  the                                                                    
community's  frustration with  not having  an OCS  worker in                                                                    
the community.  He had a  meeting with the city  manager and                                                                    
the OCS case  worker from Petersburg. She  reported having a                                                                    
caseload of over  60 children. The state  recommended that a                                                                    
worker  carried  about  13  cases   as  a  manageable  load.                                                                    
Further, she had  been asked to take on cases  out of Juneau                                                                    
and Sitka. She was  currently responsible for Juneau, Sitka,                                                                    
Kake,   Petersburg,   and   Wrangell.  It   was   completely                                                                    
unmanageable for her. He hoped  the committee would consider                                                                    
returning  funding to  OCS to  help  ensure that  Wrangell's                                                                    
children were safe. He thanked the committee.                                                                                   
`                                                                                                                               
7:22:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA  VON BARGEN,  WRANGELL BOROUGH  MANAGER, WRANGELL  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke  in   opposition   to  the   budget                                                                    
reduction for the  Wrangell Fish and Game  office. She spoke                                                                    
of the  commercial fishing fleet being  negatively affected.                                                                    
She urged the restoration of funding.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:23:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREG  WEAVER,   SELF,  WASILLA  (via   teleconference),  was                                                                    
completely disabled. He supported  Governor Dunleavy and the                                                                    
cuts to the  AMHS. He suggested that  the legislature needed                                                                    
to  make additional  cuts. He  thought if  people could  not                                                                    
afford  to  live somewhere,  they  should  relocate. He  had                                                                    
traveled  all   over  the  state.   He  concluded   that  he                                                                    
appreciated  the  drastic  cuts   to  the  budget.  He  also                                                                    
supported  a capital  move. He  thought it  was a  matter of                                                                    
choice. He wished  that more people on the  state boards and                                                                    
commissions were from places on the road system.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:30:11 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston indicated there was no one else online.                                                                       
She relayed the agenda for the following day.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 205 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 206 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:31:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 7:31 p.m.                                                                                          

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