Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS 519

02/25/2020 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:35:02 PM Start
01:36:21 PM HB234
01:52:09 PM HB205 || HB206
01:52:15 PM Amendments
04:00:20 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
+= HB 206 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 234 APPROP:SUPP; REAPPROP; CAP; AMEND; CBR TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 234(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 25, 2020                                                                                          
                         1:35 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:35:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:35 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Jennifer Johnston, Co-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Kelly Merrick                                                                                                    
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Alexei  Painter,  Analyst,   Legislative  Finance  Division;                                                                    
Brodie  Anderson, Staff,  Representative  Neal Foster;  Neil                                                                    
Steininger,  Director,  Office  of  Management  and  Budget,                                                                    
Office   of  the   Governor;   Kelly  Cunningham,   Analyst,                                                                    
Legislative  Finance   Division;  Michael   Partlow,  Fiscal                                                                    
Analyst,   Legislative   Finance  Division;   Representative                                                                    
George Rauscher.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
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.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 234      APPROP:SUPP; REAPPROP; CAP; AMEND; CBR                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
            CSHB 234(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee                                                                         
            with a "do pass" recommendation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster indicated the committee would be taking up                                                                      
member amendments for HB 234, the FY 20 supplemental                                                                            
budget, and moving the bill from committee. The committee                                                                       
would also be taking up amendments for HB 205, the FY 21                                                                        
operating budget and HB 206, the FY 21 mental health                                                                            
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 234                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An    Act    making    supplemental    appropriations,                                                                    
     reappropriations,  and  other appropriations;  amending                                                                    
     appropriations;     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."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:36:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster referenced the amendment packet for the                                                                         
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter noted he had just been informed                                                                        
that the item in his amendment had already been removed                                                                         
from the supplemental budget.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:37:06 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:37:28 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  1 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: DEED                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION:    Mt.    Edgecumbe   Boarding    School                                                                    
     Facilities Maintenance                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ALLOCATION: Operational and Maintenance Costs for MEHS                                                                     
     Aquatic Center                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Rep. Carpenter                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     DELETE: 100.0, 1004 Gen Fund                                                                                               
     POSITIONS: None                                                                                                            
     EXPLANATION: Eliminate general funds for operation of                                                                      
     the Mt. Edgecumbe pool.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Carpenter explained  the Mt.  Edgecumbe pool                                                                    
did not have  a feasible financial path forward.  He did not                                                                    
support  putting an  additional  $100,000 into  a pool  that                                                                    
could  not  fund  itself into  the  future.  He  recommended                                                                    
saving the funds and closing the facility.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  recalled there  was a fee  structure in                                                                    
the  supplemental with  a path  forward to  offset at  least                                                                    
part of the expenses for the pool. He asked for details.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz  stated that the  amendment pertained  to a                                                                    
state facility that  needed to be maintained  like any other                                                                    
state facility. He  elaborated that in the  prior year, when                                                                    
the facility was short on  funding, Mt. Edgecumbe used money                                                                    
from  its  Base Student  Allocation  (BSA)  to maintain  the                                                                    
pool. The school  would likely do it again for  FY 21 if the                                                                    
committee  adopted the  amendment. Ultimately  the amendment                                                                    
would only  take away from  BSA funding. The pool  was being                                                                    
used  for  classroom  instruction   and  Mt.  Edgecumbe  was                                                                    
currently working  with local entities such  as the hospital                                                                    
to  use  the pool  more  frequently  to generate  more  door                                                                    
receipts  for the  future.  There was  an  increase in  door                                                                    
receipt  authority in  the  FY 21  budget.  He believed  the                                                                    
legislature could not  continue to ask the  district to fund                                                                    
the pool with BSA funding. He  reported that out of the 2010                                                                    
bond package  the Mt. Edgecumbe Aquatic  Center funding made                                                                    
up  a   very  small   percentage  of  project   funding.  He                                                                    
reiterated that it  was a state facility and,  the state was                                                                    
the overseer  of the entire  Mt. Edgecumbe  school including                                                                    
the pool. He opposed the amendment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:40:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sullivan-Leonard  looked at  the supplemental                                                                    
bill.  She noted  that  the reduction  of  $100,000 did  not                                                                    
eliminate  funding for  the  pool. She  asked  if there  was                                                                    
still  funding  in the  bill  for  the pool.  Representative                                                                    
Carpenter   confirmed  the   amendment  would   only  remove                                                                    
undesignated general funds (UGF).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp asked if the  pool had been included in                                                                    
the  capital  budget  in   recent  years.  Vice-Chair  Ortiz                                                                    
answered that the  pool was located in Sitka -  it was newly                                                                    
constructed.   He  explained   that  after   the  pool   was                                                                    
constructed there had been an  issue about continued funding                                                                    
for the pool's  operation. The funding request  did not have                                                                    
to  do  with  repairs  or  maintenance,  as  it  was  a  new                                                                    
facility. The  funding had  to do with  getting the  pool up                                                                    
and operating.  He hoped the  pool would be able  to collect                                                                    
more revenue  to be more  self-supporting in the  future. In                                                                    
the  end, it  was a  state facility  and, Mt.  Edgecumbe was                                                                    
managed  by the  state.  He  had heard  no  comment about  a                                                                    
desire to discontinue operations of the pool.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter provided wrap  up on the amendment.                                                                    
He  remarked that  no one  was suggesting  closing down  Mt.                                                                    
Edgecumbe. He argued  that the pool at  Mt. Edgecumbe should                                                                    
be closed  because it  was not  self-sufficient. He  did not                                                                    
think the state should be  funding the pool. The reality was                                                                    
that students  and children in  the community already  had a                                                                    
community pool  to use which  existed prior to  the building                                                                    
of the Mt. Edgecumbe pool.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Knopp,    Merrick,    Sullivan-Leonard,    Tilton,                                                                    
Carpenter                                                                                                                       
OPPOSED: LeBon, Ortiz, Wool, Josephson, Foster, Johnston                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to ADOPT Amendment 1 FAILED (5/6).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  indicated there were no  further amendments                                                                    
for  HB   234.  He  wanted   to  proceed  with   moving  the                                                                    
supplemental  bill from  committee. He  thought overall  the                                                                    
bill  reflected the  governors   supplemental bill.  Nothing                                                                    
had been added to it.  The supplemental budget restored $120                                                                    
million  in Medicaid  and provided  just under  $100 million                                                                    
for fire suppression among other things.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  MOVED to  REPORT  CSHB  234(FIN) out  of                                                                    
committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  234(FIN) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:47:03 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:02 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:52:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  indicated the committee would  be taking up                                                                    
member amendments  for the  operating budget  beginning with                                                                    
the language section.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^AMENDMENTS                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:52:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  directed attention to the  amendment packet                                                                    
and  the  Department  of Natural  Resources.  He  referenced                                                                    
Amendment H DNR 2.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:52:46 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:57 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment H DNR 2 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Fire Suppression, Land & Water Resources                                                                                   
     H DNR 2 - Remove Fire Risk Reduction Funding from                                                                          
     Numbers Section                                                                                                            
     Offered by Representative Knopp                                                                                            
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) -5,000.0                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sullivan-Leonard OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Knopp  explained  that the  amendment  would                                                                    
move $5  million from fire  suppression to  fire prevention.                                                                    
He detailed that  the Division of Forestry  had testified in                                                                    
the  finance  subcommittee  that  through the  use  of  fire                                                                    
brakes the  divisions  fire prevention efforts  had saved in                                                                    
excess  of  $800  million  worth   of  property  from  being                                                                    
damaged. The  intent of the  amendment was to  shift funding                                                                    
from fire suppression to fire  prevention. He was aware that                                                                    
the  amendment  reduced  the funding  below  the  historical                                                                    
average. It  was the  department's desire,  as it  could not                                                                    
spend $5 million in one year.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Sullivan-Leonard   asked  what   the   fire                                                                    
prevention  budget was  presently. Representative  Knopp did                                                                    
not have the figure on  hand. He deferred to the Legislative                                                                    
Finance Division (LFD).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ALEXEI  PAINTER,   ANALYST,  LEGISLATIVE   FINANCE  DIVISION                                                                    
answered that  the budget for fire  suppression preparedness                                                                    
was  approximately  $17  million UGF.  The  amendment  would                                                                    
increase the  amount to  $22 million.  He indicated  that $5                                                                    
million  would  be spread  over  a  multi-year period  of  2                                                                    
fiscal years.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sullivan-Leonard WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment H DNR 2 was ADOPTED.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Knopp MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment L  H DNR  3                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Fire Suppression, Land & Water Resources                                                                                   
     L H DNR 3 - Fire Risk Reduction Multi-Year                                                                                 
     Appropriation                                                                                                              
     Offered by Representative Knopp                                                                                            
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 5,000.0                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Knopp explained  the  amendment. The  change                                                                    
pertained to  the first amendment  and created  a multi-year                                                                    
fire risk reduction.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further OBJECTION,  Amendment L H DNR  3 was                                                                    
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment L H FND 1                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     No Further Appropriation Required                                                                                          
     L H FND 1 - Capitalize the Abandoned Motor Vehicle                                                                         
     Fund                                                                                                                       
     Offered by Representative Carpenter                                                                                        
     1005 GF/Prgm (DGF) 100.0                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Carpenter  explained   the  amendment  which                                                                    
would  populate  a  fund  that   would  be  used  to  remove                                                                    
abandoned vehicles from roads. The  funds were seed funds to                                                                    
enable the department to remove abandoned vehicles.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  asked if the  funding would be UGF  or DGF.                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter  replied   that  the  current  law                                                                    
specified that  an abandoned vehicle was  a misdemeanor with                                                                    
a  $500  fine.  A  change   proposed  in  another  piece  of                                                                    
legislation would reduce  the penalty to a  violation from a                                                                    
misdemeanor and  increase the fine  from $500 to  $1,000. In                                                                    
addition to  the fines,  the seed  money would  populate the                                                                    
fund.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster asked if the money  would sit in the fund if                                                                    
the   other  legislation   did   not  pass.   Representative                                                                    
Carpenter believed  it would  be "no  harm no  foul" because                                                                    
there was already a $500  fine. There was currently no money                                                                    
in the fund to spend on vehicle removal.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  asked  the  Legislative  Finance  Division                                                                    
(LFD)  if   there  were  any   issues  with   the  amendment                                                                    
structurally. Mr. Painter replied  that the fund existed but                                                                    
had never  had any funding in  it. The money could  be spent                                                                    
by  the  department for  the  purpose  of abandoned  vehicle                                                                    
removal  without further  appropriation.  He concluded  that                                                                    
putting the money in the  fund would allow the department to                                                                    
begin removing vehicles.  He did not believe  there were any                                                                    
issues with passing  the amendment. The account  had been on                                                                    
the books but never funded.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool asked about  the designated general fund                                                                    
(DGF) funding. He wondered where  the money would come from.                                                                    
He asked  about the origin of  DGF. Representative Carpenter                                                                    
deferred to LFD.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Painter answered  that the  amendment  stated that  the                                                                    
appropriation  was from  fees collected  by the  Division of                                                                    
Motor  Vehicles. The  division lapsed  about $35  million to                                                                    
the  general   fund  and  had  sufficient   program  receipt                                                                    
authority.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool WITHDREW his objection.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment L H FND 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:01:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  recognized Representative  Jonathan Kreiss-                                                                    
Tomkins in the audience. He  relayed that the next amendment                                                                    
on  page  3  was  technical   in  nature.  He  believed  the                                                                    
amendment was based on a recommendation of LFD.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment L H  XFR 1 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Designated Reserves/Endowments                                                                                             
     L H XFR 1 - Adjust NPR-A Language to reflect current                                                                       
     PCE Endowment                                                                                                              
     Offered by Representative Foster                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BRODIE   ANDERSON,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   NEAL   FOSTER                                                                    
explained  the   amendment  that  applied  to   the  Natural                                                                    
Petroleum   Reserve-Alaska  (NPRA)   funds   that  had   the                                                                    
potential  to lapse.  If they  lapsed and  there were  funds                                                                    
remaining, they would fall into  the Power Cost Equalization                                                                    
and  Rural  Electric Capitalization  Fund,  a  fund that  no                                                                    
longer  existed.  The  amendment  took the  funds  from  the                                                                    
original fund and moved them  to the Power Cost Equalization                                                                    
(PCE) Endowment Fund,  a fund that was  active and currently                                                                    
in use. If  there were ever any remaining  funds, they would                                                                    
go into an account that actually existed.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster saw  no dollar amount. He  surmised that the                                                                    
amendment pertained to any future  funds. He understood that                                                                    
the  funds  would go  into  the  rural electrification  fund                                                                    
which did not exist. The  amendment was merely ensuring that                                                                    
the  funds  would go  into  the  appropriate PCE  fund.  Mr.                                                                    
Anderson concurred.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster WITHDREW his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment L H XFR 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:03:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment L H  VRS 4 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Various                                                                                                                    
     L H VRS 4 - SDPR Carryforward Clarification Amendment                                                                      
     Offered by Representative Foster                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Anderson  indicated the  amendment provided  a technical                                                                    
fix based  from the committee substitute  that House Finance                                                                    
offered in Version  U of the bill. The  section was removed.                                                                    
The  Office   of  Management  and  Budget   (OMB)  contacted                                                                    
Representative  Fosters   office  regarding  the  effect  of                                                                    
removing the  section. The amendment  would restore  the use                                                                    
of  the   authorization  of  statutory   designated  program                                                                    
receipts.  He deferred  to  Mr. Painter  to  provide a  full                                                                    
explanation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Painter noted  that in  the  past statutory  designated                                                                    
program  receipts had  been considered  to carry  forward by                                                                    
their  nature. The  legislature could  not lapse  money that                                                                    
was part  of a contract  or a  donation to the  general fund                                                                    
because it did not belong in  the general fund. It had never                                                                    
required an  appropriation before. New language  proposed by                                                                    
OMB to  include explicit carry  forward language was  in the                                                                    
amendment. It  was the belief  of some individuals  that the                                                                    
section was  necessary and, including  the language,  did no                                                                    
harm.  It was  removed the  first time  because it  appeared                                                                    
there was  no justification for it.  However, receipts could                                                                    
lapse  unintentionally without  the language.  The amendment                                                                    
would ensure the funds would not lapse.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster WITHDREW his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further OBJECTION,  Amendment L H VRS  4 was                                                                    
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:05:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  reported that  the committee  had addressed                                                                    
all of the  amendments related to the  language section. The                                                                    
committee would  move to the  numbers section  starting with                                                                    
the Department of Administration.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment H  DOA 1                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Public Communications Services                                                                                             
     H DOA 1 - Restore Public Broadcasting Funding                                                                              
     Offered by Representative Josephson                                                                                        
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 700.0                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Josephson thanked  the  subcommittee on  its                                                                    
restoration of some of the  vetoed funding from the previous                                                                    
year. His  office had  received a  tally of  372 out  of 670                                                                    
testifiers supporting the  item [Public Radio Broadcasting].                                                                    
The   amendment   would   help  with   safety   and   health                                                                    
considerations for  rural communities in  particular. People                                                                    
were  worried about  their safety  at sea  and on  land. The                                                                    
amendment  would restore  a portion  of  the vetoed  funding                                                                    
which the legislature had said was inadequate.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  if the  money was  for the  public                                                                    
broadcasting     commission,    television,     or    radio.                                                                    
Representative  Josephson answered  that  the amendment  was                                                                    
designed to increase the public radio component.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  if it  was in  addition to  the $1                                                                    
million  already  in  the budget.  Representative  Josephson                                                                    
answered  in the  affirmative. He  added that  during public                                                                    
testimony most testifiers spoke to funding public radio.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  asked  why  an  additional                                                                    
$700,000  was  needed, since  $1  million  had already  been                                                                    
added. She thought legislators needed  to be cognizant about                                                                    
increasing the  budget. She did  not believe  the additional                                                                    
funds were necessary.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  spoke in support  of the  amendment. He                                                                    
knew public broadcasting had been  cut the previous year and                                                                    
he supported  an increase.  He was  a little  concerned that                                                                    
the  funds were  only  pertaining to  radio.  He noted  that                                                                    
Fairbanks  had   dropped  its   Gavel  programming   due  to                                                                    
insufficient  funds. He  wanted  to  see television  funding                                                                    
restored as well.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster had  a similar concern. He had  been told by                                                                    
one  member  that  Gavel-to-Gavel would  lose  funding  and,                                                                    
another member  had said that  was not true. He  wondered if                                                                    
Representative  Josephson  knew the  answer.  Representative                                                                    
Josephson did  not have the  information. He was  not wedded                                                                    
to the language  in the amendment. Co-Chair  Foster asked to                                                                    
hear from OMB.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
NEIL STEININGER, DIRECTOR, OFFICE  OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET,                                                                    
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR asked  Co-Chair Foster to restate his                                                                    
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster complied.  He understood that Gavel-to-Gavel                                                                    
had  been  losing  some  to  all  of  its  funding.  He  was                                                                    
uncertain whether  it was the  case. He wondered if  some of                                                                    
the funding in the amendment  should be moved to television.                                                                    
Mr. Steininger did not know the answer.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wool   spoke   to   the   local   Fairbanks                                                                    
broadcaster.  Gavel content  was  provided for  free to  the                                                                    
Fairbanks  station,  but  it  did  not  have  the  funds  to                                                                    
maintain all of its  broadcasting stations. He would support                                                                    
an  amendment to  the amendment  to open  up the  funding to                                                                    
Public  Broadcasting in  general  as opposed  to the  narrow                                                                    
focus of radio.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston asked for the  breakdown of funding vetoed                                                                    
in the previous year  between public broadcasting and radio.                                                                    
She thought the  majority of the funding was  for radio. Mr.                                                                    
Steininger would follow up with an answer to the question.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston requested  to hear  the amendment  at the                                                                    
end of the meeting.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson WITHDREW his  amendment for a later                                                                    
time                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:14:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment H CED 1 (copy on                                                                    
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Gasline Development Corporation                                                                                     
     H CED 1 - Reduce Alaska Gasline Development                                                                                
     Corporation                                                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Johnston                                                                                         
     1235 AGDC-LNG (Other) -1,715.8                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston explained the  amendment which reduced the                                                                    
appropriation  for the  Alaska Oil  and Gasline  Corporation                                                                    
(AGDC)  by  50 percent.  She  reported  that the  record  of                                                                    
decision  from  the  Federal  Energy  Regulatory  Commission                                                                    
(FERC)  was due  by  the end  of June.  So  far, the  budget                                                                    
subcommittee  had not  heard full  justification for  AGDCs                                                                     
budget. Therefore, she was offering the amendment.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Knopp  opposed  the reduction.  He  recalled                                                                    
that FERC [AGDC] was given  $30 million in receipt authority                                                                    
in the previous  budget cycle, of which  they were extremely                                                                    
frugal in  their expenditures. Only  $20 million of  the $30                                                                    
million had been transferred and  an additional $3.4 million                                                                    
was  necessary  to  complete the  permitting  phase  of  the                                                                    
project.  He  agreed that  the  work  on the  project  would                                                                    
continue even  though the permitting  portion with  FERC was                                                                    
nearly  completed.  He  noted  a  proposed  reduction  of  7                                                                    
full-time positions. He was unclear  what positions would be                                                                    
cut, as he had not  heard from AGDC regarding the amendment.                                                                    
He did not  want the agency to find itself  short on funding                                                                    
and would be opposing the amendment.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  had  overseen  the  subcommittee.  The                                                                    
amendment had  been discussed between  some members.  He had                                                                    
spoken with  Joe Dubler,  the acting  president of  AGDC. He                                                                    
concurred  with Representative  Knopp  that  the agency  had                                                                    
been frugal with  authority for $10 million  the prior year.                                                                    
The authority had  been reduced to $3.4 million  and had cut                                                                    
several  positions.  He  referenced  the  personal  services                                                                    
increment of  $1.5 million  in the  amendment. He  would not                                                                    
want to  hamper work  on a  potential pipeline  project that                                                                    
would employ Alaskans. He asked  if the amendment stated the                                                                    
reduction would  come from personnel  which would  result in                                                                    
layoffs. He  wondered if  the goal of  the amendment  was to                                                                    
make  to corporation  smaller or  if  it was  to reduce  the                                                                    
potential for overspending.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  answered it  was her intention  to reduce                                                                    
the  overall   spending.  She  believed  it   was  a  worthy                                                                    
conversation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston WITHDREW Amendment H CED 1.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:18:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment H  DOC 1 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Administration and Support                                                                                                 
     H DOC 1 - Add Funding to Support Recruitment and                                                                           
     Retention.                                                                                                                 
     Offered by Representative Wool                                                                                             
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 400.0                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment H DOC 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment H  DOC 2 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Administration and Support                                                                                                 
     H DOC 2 - Add Wordage for Recruitment and Wordage                                                                          
     Retention Efforts                                                                                                          
     Offered by Representative Wool                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  reported that the wordage  outlined the                                                                    
intent of the legislature  for the Department of Corrections                                                                    
(DOC)  to centralize  the recruitment  and retention  office                                                                    
and to have a minimum of  3 support staff. He noted that DOC                                                                    
had a  large workforce shortage.  With the reopening  of the                                                                    
Palmer  Correctional Center  the  department  would need  to                                                                    
fill  over   200  positions.   He  mentioned   the  national                                                                    
attrition  rate which  was  currently  high. The  department                                                                    
also had  a forced overtime situation  because prisons could                                                                    
not  be understaffed.  He had  been told  by the  department                                                                    
that  at  one point  it  had  a centralized  hiring  office.                                                                    
However, currently, each facility  was doing its own hiring.                                                                    
Some  funding  was  added during  the  finance  subcommittee                                                                    
process  and some  funds  were just  added  in the  previous                                                                    
amendment.  He wanted  to see  a centralized  office with  a                                                                    
team of  people working together  to execute a plan.  He did                                                                    
not have an opinion on  where a centralized office should be                                                                    
located. He thought the department  needed to double down in                                                                    
its recruitment efforts. He believed  the intent language he                                                                    
was proposing would assist the department.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:21:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Tilton  was   supportive   of  the   intent                                                                    
language. She was  concerned with the office  having to have                                                                    
a minimum  of 3 support  staff. She  asked how the  maker of                                                                    
the amendment  came up with  the number of 3  support staff.                                                                    
She  suggested   limiting  the  amendment   to  centralizing                                                                    
recruitment  and retention.  She  thought it  was better  to                                                                    
leave  it up  to the  office to  determine how  many support                                                                    
staff were needed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  was  not  trying  to  micromanage  the                                                                    
department.  He did  not  want  there to  be  one person  in                                                                    
charge with  such a large  task and a significant  amount of                                                                    
money.  He  thought  the task  required  a  certain  minimum                                                                    
manpower and  suggested that at  least 3 people  were needed                                                                    
to hire  more than 200  people. He  did not want  the office                                                                    
understaffed.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  understood  and  supported                                                                    
the  intent.  She  asked  what feedback  the  maker  of  the                                                                    
amendment  received from  the commissioner  of DOC  and from                                                                    
the  administration. She  reported speaking  with correction                                                                    
officers about  the proposal  and understood  the incredible                                                                    
need for  retention and  recruitment. The  department needed                                                                    
to fill  approximately 280 positions quickly.  She wanted to                                                                    
know  the  premise  of  the   department  and  whether  they                                                                    
supported the amendment.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  found   out  about  the  decentralized                                                                    
process when he spoke with  the department. He did not think                                                                    
the department  had made a  major effort to hire  people. He                                                                    
believed  that  the department  could  not  open the  Palmer                                                                    
Correctional  Center  because it  had  not  made a  thorough                                                                    
recruitment  effort.  He  was  unsure  of  the  departments                                                                     
response  to  his amendment  but,  he  hoped they  would  be                                                                    
supportive  of  designating  some  people  to  the  task  of                                                                    
recruitment  and  retention.  He noted  the  department  was                                                                    
already short-staffed without opening the Palmer facility.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Sullivan-Leonard  pointed   out  that   the                                                                    
department might already  have a plan in place.  She had not                                                                    
had  communication with  DOC  regarding  the amendment.  She                                                                    
queried  the possibility  of duplication.  She commented  it                                                                    
would be nice to hear from the department on the issue.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Josephson  supported   the  wordage  of  the                                                                    
amendment. The  committee had  already adopted  the previous                                                                    
amendment.  He did  not believe  there  was duplication.  He                                                                    
indicated that in January the  budget reflected $150,000 for                                                                    
the item, which he opined  was wholly inadequate. He thought                                                                    
what  they were  betting  on was  that  $400,000 would  save                                                                    
money  on what  had  been a  massive  increase in  mandatory                                                                    
overtime. He thought legislators had  the right to be unsure                                                                    
about the  department. It  had not made  the efforts  as the                                                                    
legislature had  directed to reopen the  Palmer facility. He                                                                    
concluded  that  the  amendment was  fundamental  since  the                                                                    
department had  backed away from the  transfer out-of-state.                                                                    
He supported the amendment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:27:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  surmised  that  the  additional  funding                                                                    
would not necessarily be used  to fund positions. Rather, it                                                                    
would be used for recruitment efforts  driven by an RFP or a                                                                    
private sector contract.  She asked if she  was correct. She                                                                    
wondered if Representative Wool was being too prescriptive.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  replied that  in subcommittee  they had                                                                    
discussed  3  position  control  numbers.  He  was  offering                                                                    
intent language,  as he was unable  to do so in  the finance                                                                    
subcommittee. The intent was to  hire a minimum of 3 people.                                                                    
The money for the 3  positions would come from $850,000. The                                                                    
remainder could  be spent on promotion  and recruitment such                                                                    
as advertising.  He was not being  prescriptive about hiring                                                                    
an  outside agency.  He hoped  to add  at least  3 positions                                                                    
focused on  fill positions. He  wanted to ensure  that there                                                                    
was enough  funding to get  the job  done. He was  trying to                                                                    
help the  department. He noted  the department was up  to $8                                                                    
million  in  overtime  costs.  He  wanted  to  see  overtime                                                                    
reduced.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:29:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  asked if  Representative Wool  had looked                                                                    
into  and means  of measuring  the department's  recruitment                                                                    
ability with benchmarks. Representative  Wool replied in the                                                                    
affirmative.  The  language had  not  been  included in  the                                                                    
amendment but, he was amenable to adding it.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  if  Representative  Wool would  be                                                                    
open to amending the amendment. Representative Wool agreed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston MOVED  to AMEND  Amendment H  DOC 2.  She                                                                    
proposed including language that  required a report from DOC                                                                    
in  January 2021  regarding its  efforts in  the recruitment                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Carpenter  OBJECTED  for  clarification.  He                                                                    
asked  if  Co-Chair Johnston  was  proposing  to strike  all                                                                    
other  intent   language  and  only  include   her  proposed                                                                    
language  or  to  add  the   language  to  the  end  of  the                                                                    
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston   replied  that  the  amendment   to  the                                                                    
amendment would  add language after, "three  support staff."                                                                    
She  wanted the  department to  provide a  report about  its                                                                    
success  in recruitment  efforts  to  the finance  committee                                                                    
before January 31, 2021.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter WITHDREW his objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being NO  OBJECTION, Amendment 1 to Amendment  H DOC 2                                                                    
was ADOPTED.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter  moved to MOVED to  AMEND Amendment                                                                    
H DOC 2.  He explained that the amendment  would strike out,                                                                    
 office have a minimum of three support staff.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston objected.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston found  the 3  staff important  because it                                                                    
seemed  they   had  been   trying  to   recruit  but   in  a                                                                    
decentralized  effort.  She  did   not  think  3  staff  was                                                                    
unreasonable.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Carpenter  stated  that the  current  intent                                                                    
language   directed  the   department   to  centralize   the                                                                    
recruitment  and  retention  office. His  amendment  was  to                                                                    
simply strike  the number  of people required  to do  so. If                                                                    
the department  were able  to find 2  people that  could get                                                                    
the job  done, he thought  the department should  be allowed                                                                    
to  do so  rather  than  forcing the  department  to hire  3                                                                    
staff.  The  legislature  would   know  in  January  of  the                                                                    
following year  whether the department had  been successful.                                                                    
He thought  the hiring of  3 people was presumptuous  on the                                                                    
part of the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston WITHDREW her objection.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool OBJECTED. He  stated that the Department                                                                    
of Public  Safety had  10 people working  on the  effort. He                                                                    
stated that  three people  was the  minimum. He  thought the                                                                    
department would welcome added personnel and funding.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:36:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Merrick, Sullivan-Leonard, Tilton, Carpenter                                                                          
OPPOSED:  Ortiz, Wool,  Josephson,  LeBon, Knopp,  Johnston,                                                                    
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  FAILED (4/7). Amendment  2 to Amendment H  DOC 2                                                                    
FAILED.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Carpenter  MAINTAINED   his  objection   to                                                                    
Amendment H DOC 2 as amended.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Ortiz,  Wool,  Josephson,  Knopp,  LeBon,  Foster,                                                                    
Johnston                                                                                                                        
OPPOSED: Sullivan-Leonard, Tilton, Carpenter, Merrick                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The  MOTION   PASSED  (7/4).   There  being   NO  OBJECTION,                                                                    
Amendment H DOC 2 was ADOPTED as amended.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:38:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment H  DOC 3 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Population Management                                                                                                      
     H DOC 3 - Funding to support the in-state increased                                                                        
     population in FY21                                                                                                         
     Offered by Representative Wool                                                                                             
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 7,409.9                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sullivan-Leonard OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  explained  the  amendment  added  $7.4                                                                    
million in support of  increased prison population projected                                                                    
from  the passage  of HB  49 [Legislation  passed in  2019                                                                      
Short Title: Crimes; Sentencing; Drugs; Theft; Reports].                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp  asked if the  sum of $7.4  million was                                                                    
in addition  to what was  already in the  governor's budget.                                                                    
He  thought the  line  item  below was  a  decrement of  $17                                                                    
million  from  out-of-state  contractual  services.  In  the                                                                    
prior year, the legislature added  $16 million to the budget                                                                    
for  the  opening of  the  Palmer  Correctional Center.  The                                                                    
amount also accounted for population  management. He did not                                                                    
see  a  good reason  to  add  another  $7.4 million  to  the                                                                    
budget. He asked the maker of the amendment to comment.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  noted  that  the  reduction  of  $16.7                                                                    
million  was not  for an  out-of-state contract,  as it  had                                                                    
been removed  during the  subcommittee process.  The purpose                                                                    
of the  $17.9 million  was to  fund the  Palmer Correctional                                                                    
Center. The  legislature provided funding in  the prior year                                                                    
in the  amount of $16.7  million. The same level  of funding                                                                    
was scheduled in FY 21. Nothing  had been done at the Palmer                                                                    
facility  in the  previous year  and the  $16.7 million  was                                                                    
still intact. The  money would be rolled  into the following                                                                    
year.  He  continued  that  since  the  Palmer  Correctional                                                                    
Center  was not  open  and people  were  still entering  the                                                                    
system,  the $7.4  million  would  accommodate the  incoming                                                                    
prisoners  until the  Palmer facility  was open.  The intent                                                                    
language by  the subcommittee indicated  an opening  date of                                                                    
January 1. The department reported  a different date. In the                                                                    
meantime,  incoming prisoners  would be  housed in  existing                                                                    
facilities. He deferred to LFD for additional detail.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KELLY  CUNNINGHAM,  ANALYST,  LEGISLATIVE  FINANCE  DIVISION                                                                    
agreed that  the $16.7 million appropriated  in the previous                                                                    
year for  FY 20 was carried  forward in  FY 21 based  on the                                                                    
supplemental  bill  recently  passed  from  the  House.  She                                                                    
believed the intent  of the department was to  use the money                                                                    
to  bring  the  Palmer   Correctional  Center  back  online.                                                                    
Additional  inmates were  entering the  system. The  current                                                                    
amendment of $7.4 million was  half of what the governor had                                                                    
requested to address the increased population in FY 21.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  surmised  that the  funding  would  have                                                                    
accompanied  HB  49.  She  asked   if  the  amount  was  the                                                                    
increased  funding  needed  for  additional  prisoners.  Ms.                                                                    
Cunningham responded,  That is  correct.  She explained that                                                                    
the fiscal notes  were handled in the capital  budget in the                                                                    
prior year and not as  a traditional fiscal note. Otherwise,                                                                    
the money would have gone  into the departments  base in the                                                                    
prior year.  The proposed amount  was half of what  it would                                                                    
have been.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:43:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  the sponsor  if the  funding would                                                                    
cover some  of the population  that would be  transferred to                                                                    
the Palmer  Correctional Center. She  did not want to  see a                                                                    
duplication of  funds between the Palmer  facility and other                                                                    
state  correctional facilities.  She  thought the  amendment                                                                    
reflected a budget reduction.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  replied that  the amount was  less than                                                                    
the governor  requested, but the Palmer  Correctional Center                                                                    
had $16.7  million. He  suggested that  some of  the funding                                                                    
could be used  for building maintenance to  get the facility                                                                    
reopened.  Once  the  center was  opened,  it  could  handle                                                                    
population. The  funding would accommodate the  expansion of                                                                    
population beyond  normal projections. He relayed  that when                                                                    
the Palmer  Correction Center was  opened previously  it ran                                                                    
on less than  $16.7 million. The amount was  enough money to                                                                    
operate  the  facility  with money  left  over  for  capital                                                                    
projects.  There   would  be  an   extra  $7.4   million  to                                                                    
accommodate prisoners.  The intent  of the amendment  was to                                                                    
incentivize  the department  to get  the Palmer  facility up                                                                    
and running  as quickly  as possible providing  $7.4 million                                                                    
until the  facility was opened.  He conveyed that  the $16.7                                                                    
million would be enough once Palmer was reopened.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Knopp   asked  for  verification   that  $17                                                                    
million  was included  in the  supplemental for  Palmer. Ms.                                                                    
Cunningham  answered that  the $17  million was  the funding                                                                    
number  for  an  out-of-state contract.  She  verified  that                                                                    
$16.7 million  was appropriated in  FY 20 and would  be used                                                                    
going into FY 21.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp asked what  the legislature did for the                                                                    
FY 21  budget effective  July 1.  He asked  if there  was an                                                                    
additional  funding  increment  of  $16.7  million  for  the                                                                    
operation of  the Palmer facility. Ms.  Cunningham indicated                                                                    
there   was  an   amendment  removing   the  Palmer   money.                                                                    
Representative Knopp asked,  For  the FY 21?  Ms. Cunningham                                                                    
answered in the affirmative.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp  began reviewing the numbers  again. He                                                                    
asked for help in  understanding the amounts. Representative                                                                    
Wool  understood the  complexity of  the issue.  He detailed                                                                    
that the  legislature funded $16.7  million in  the previous                                                                    
year  and, in  the  current  year it  was  supposed to  fund                                                                    
another $16.7  million. However,  the amount was  not needed                                                                    
twice. Instead of letting  the previous years  appropriation                                                                    
lapse, as it  had not been touched, the money  would be used                                                                    
for  the  current year  and  into  the following  year.  The                                                                    
amount of  $7.4 million would  house inmates that  could not                                                                    
be placed in the Palmer facility until it opened.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  conveyed that out of  the $16.7 million                                                                    
increment, some  of it was  supposed to be used  for capital                                                                    
projects. He had received different  estimates of items of a                                                                    
wish list for  everything that needed to be done  to get the                                                                    
Palmer facility opened. The amount  was about $7 million. He                                                                    
reiterated  that between  the  two sums,  $16.7 million  and                                                                    
$7.4  million, the  department should  be able  to open  the                                                                    
Palmer   Correctional  Center,   place   prisoners  in   the                                                                    
facility, and  hold onto prisoners  between the  present day                                                                    
and when the prison reopened.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:48:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson  supported the amendment.  He could                                                                    
not understand how DOC could  be surviving currently without                                                                    
the  $17 million.  He wondered  why the  department was  not                                                                    
asking for a supplemental.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Cunningham  answered that DOC had  received $3.5 million                                                                    
the  previous year  for excess  prisoners. She  relayed that                                                                    
the $16.7 million  set aside for the Palmer  effort was only                                                                    
for  opening  up the  facility.  She  did  not know  if  the                                                                    
department was being  starved or not. She  thought the issue                                                                    
of  opening  up  the  Palmer  facility  was  different  from                                                                    
dealing with the issue of excess population.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton asked  where DOC  was going  to house                                                                    
the  inmates  with  the $7.5  million.  Representative  Wool                                                                    
replied  that sending  prisoners  out of  state  was not  an                                                                    
option. The population was presently  at 97 percent capacity                                                                    
which  contributed to  the urgency  of reopening  the Palmer                                                                    
facility. He suggested that a  portion of the facility could                                                                    
be opened.  One portion  could be  opened while  another was                                                                    
being worked on.  He indicated Fairbanks had  taken the same                                                                    
approach of  doing phased upgrades.  The state did  not have                                                                    
many  options  and needed  to  get  the Palmer  Correctional                                                                    
Center opened. The state had the money aside to do so.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter requested a brief at ease.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:51:44 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:03:37 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  indicated the committee  had left  off with                                                                    
Amendment  H DOC  3 which  provided funding  to support  the                                                                    
instate  increased   population  in  DOC   under  population                                                                    
management in the amount of $7.4 million.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  replied   to  Representative  Tilton's                                                                    
question about where  prisoners would go. He  noted that the                                                                    
arrest rate  had increased with  the passage of HB  49. Many                                                                    
individuals were  awaiting pretrial. There was  a very large                                                                    
pretrial   population  -   over   half   the  total   prison                                                                    
population.  Individuals awaiting  pretrial would  either be                                                                    
housed in community residential  centers, otherwise known as                                                                    
halfway  houses,   or  would  be  part   of  the  electronic                                                                    
monitoring   program.  He   continued   that  removing   the                                                                    
out-of-state option had put more  pressure on the department                                                                    
to open up the Palmer facility.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard WITHDREW  her OBJECTION  to                                                                    
Amendment H DOC 3.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment H DOC 3 was ADOPTED.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:05:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment H  DOC 4 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Population Management                                                                                                      
     H DOC 4 - Remove FY21 numbers appropriation                                                                                
     Offered by Representative Wool                                                                                             
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) -16,669.1                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool explained the  amendment was a decrement                                                                    
of $16.7  million for FY 21.  The money from FY  20 would be                                                                    
carried forward.  The department would have  the same amount                                                                    
of money to reopen the  Palmer Correctional Center. He added                                                                    
that when he  presented the DOC subcommittee  report, he had                                                                    
not  received  all  of  the  numbers  from  the  department.                                                                    
Therefore, he was  taking up the amendments in  front of the                                                                    
full finance committee.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There  being NO  further OBJECTION,  Amendment H  DOC 4  was                                                                    
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment H  DOC 5 (copy                                                                    
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Health and Rehabilitation Services                                                                                         
     H DOC 5 - Funding to support increased in-state health                                                                     
     care costs associated with HB 49.                                                                                          
     Offered by Representative Wool                                                                                             
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 4,361.2                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool explained the  amendment was an addition                                                                    
to cover  healthcare costs related  to the  increased prison                                                                    
population resulting  from HB 49. He  suggested hearing from                                                                    
LFD if there were questions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  LFD to  provide more  detail about                                                                    
the  appropriation.  Ms.  Cunningham  offered  that  in  the                                                                    
previous year the health  and rehabilitation services fiscal                                                                    
note appropriated just over $4 million  for HB 49. In year 2                                                                    
the  projection was  an increase  of about  $8 million.  She                                                                    
believed  Representative  Wools   amendment would  be  about                                                                    
half  of the  amount going  into FY  21 based  on associated                                                                    
uncertainties.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  asked  if  the  department  thought  the                                                                    
appropriation  amount  was   large  enough.  Ms.  Cunningham                                                                    
answered that  the governor's budget assumed  $8 million for                                                                    
FY 21. The department needed additional funding.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  relayed that when  he had tried  to get                                                                    
numbers from  the department, LFD  thought the  numbers were                                                                    
too high  and was seeking  justification for the  $8 million                                                                    
figure. He  had not received  any further feedback  from the                                                                    
department. He  had gone  with the  previous number.  He did                                                                    
not know what the department would say to the amount.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston WITHDREW  her OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
OBJECTION, Amendment H DOC 5 the amendment was ADOPTED.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster returned to  an earlier amendment, Amendment                                                                    
H DOA 1,  which would restore Public  Broadcasting funds. He                                                                    
invited Representative Josephson to move the amendment.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment H  DOA 1                                                                    
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Public Communications Services                                                                                             
     H DOA 1 - Restore Public Broadcasting Funding                                                                              
     Offered by Representative Josephson                                                                                        
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 700.0                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson  explained what he had  learned was                                                                    
that the allocations  for Alaska Public TV or  radio came in                                                                    
three   places.  His   original  plan,   reflected  in   the                                                                    
amendment, was  to restore an additional  $700,000 to public                                                                    
radio. He saw  wisdom in his choice because  of public radio                                                                    
funding being  reduced entirely by vetoes  from the previous                                                                    
summer. The allocation  had been reduced by $2  million of a                                                                    
total  appropriation  of  $2.7  million.  He  indicated  the                                                                    
amendment  would  fully  restore funding  to  public  radio.                                                                    
However, television was also deleted  entirely in the amount                                                                    
of  $633,000. He  thought  one way  the  amendment could  be                                                                    
handled  was  to split  $700,000  between  public radio  and                                                                    
public television  leaving $350,000 for each  allocation. If                                                                    
someone offered  such an amendment,  he would consider  it a                                                                    
friendly one.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool MOVED  to  AMEND  Amendment H DOA 1  to                                                                    
equally divide the $700,000 between radio and television.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter OBJECTED.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  mentioned that in subcommittee  there was                                                                    
concern about  Gavel-to-Gavel. She recalled the  cost of the                                                                    
service   being  about   $75,000.   She   had  spoken   with                                                                    
representatives   from  KTOO   who  did   not  request   the                                                                    
appropriation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson  repeated that the  committee heard                                                                    
from 670 testifiers who supported public broadcasting.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter WITHREW his objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sullivan-Leonard OBJECTED.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Ortiz, Wool, Josephson, Knopp, LeBon, Foster                                                                          
OPPOSED:   Sullivan-Leonard,  Tilton,   Carpenter,  Merrick,                                                                    
Johnston                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to AMEND Amendment H DOA 1 PASSED (6/5).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Foster  returned   to  the   original  amendment,                                                                    
Amendment H DOC 1 as amended.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston WITHDREW her objection to the amendment.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter OBJECTED.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Wool, Josephson, LeBon, Ortiz, Foster                                                                                 
OPPOSED:   Sullivan-Leonard,   Tilton,   Carpenter,   Knopp,                                                                    
Merrick, Johnston                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment H DOA 1 FAILED (5/6).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment H DOE  1 (copy on                                                                    
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Education Support and Administrative Services                                                                              
     H DOE 1 - Pre-Kindergarten Grants                                                                                          
     Offered by Representative Ortiz                                                                                            
     1004 Gen Fund (UGF) 4,300.0                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Ortiz  explained   that  while   the  amendment                                                                    
reflected an increase of $4.3 million,  he looked at it as a                                                                    
significant  cost savings  measure.  He thought  it was  the                                                                    
ultimate  in  upstream   spending.  Statistics  showed  that                                                                    
people who  read by the third  grade had a much  higher high                                                                    
school  graduation rate,  a much  higher college  graduation                                                                    
rate,  and a  much higher  earning potential  in their  work                                                                    
life. The amendment  was in the name of  supporting what the                                                                    
governor wanted    to  have a  higher percentage  of Alaskan                                                                    
children reading by  the third grade. He  argued that having                                                                    
access to  pre-K was critical  for children to be  ready for                                                                    
school and  ready to  read. By  adopting the  amendment, the                                                                    
state would maintain access to  pre-K services that would no                                                                    
longer be available otherwise.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz indicated  that in FY 19 and  FY 20 the                                                                    
legislature  gave  a 2-year  grant  totaling  $6 million  to                                                                    
districts  for pre-K  programs. Ten  programs benefited.  He                                                                    
identified  the school  districts which  were affected:  The                                                                    
Alaska  Gateway   School  District,  the   Anchorage  School                                                                    
District (2  programs), the Bering Straits  School District,                                                                    
the  Kodiak  School  District, the  Lower  Kuskokwim  School                                                                    
District, the  Lake and Peninsula School  District, the Nome                                                                    
School District,  the Southwest Region School  District, and                                                                    
the Valdez School  District. The programs served  a total of                                                                    
812 students. The 2-year program  had ended and would likely                                                                    
serve significantly fewer students  unless the amendment was                                                                    
adopted. He  reported that the  subcommittee heard  from the                                                                    
Anchorage  School District  who testified  that the  lack of                                                                    
grant  funding  would  equate  to   a  direct  reduction  in                                                                    
pre-school  services  for  153  students.  It  would  impact                                                                    
kindergarten readiness skills  including literacy, math, and                                                                    
social skills.  It would also  mean less  inclusive settings                                                                    
such as  blending classrooms  that included  classrooms with                                                                    
special education  needs. He  spoke to  his experience  as a                                                                    
teacher that if a student was  not able to read by the third                                                                    
grade the  school would experience significant  increases in                                                                    
costs for extra tutoring,  extra services, and special needs                                                                    
services.  He reiterated  that  in  adopting the  amendment,                                                                    
even though  it was an  increment of $4.3 million,  it would                                                                    
ultimately result  in a cost  savings in  educating Alaskas                                                                     
youth. The committee had spent  a significant amount of time                                                                    
discussing funding  within DOC  and Alaskas   prison system.                                                                    
He  reemphasized that  statistics positively  reflected that                                                                    
people who could read by the  third grade had a much greater                                                                    
chance of avoiding  a prison sentence in  their lifetime. He                                                                    
strongly supported the amendment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston noted the necessity  of doing fiscal notes                                                                    
for  bills.  She asked  about  the  fiscal  impact of  SB  6                                                                    
[Legislation introduced  in 2020    Short  Title: Pre-K/Elem                                                                    
Ed  Programs/Funding;  Reading].  Vice-Chair Ortiz  did  not                                                                    
know the  fiscal impact of  SB 6.  He clarified that  he was                                                                    
moving the amendment with no  guarantee of the passage of SB
6. He  suggested that if he  did not move the  amendment and                                                                    
SB  6  did not  pass,  the  state  would lose  the  existing                                                                    
programs and the benefits they provided.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston asked that prior  to the grants, there had                                                                    
been a  $2 million  grant. Vice-Chair  Ortiz replied  in the                                                                    
negative. He  elaborated that there  had been a total  of $6                                                                    
million appropriated which included  the $2 million Co-Chair                                                                    
Johnston  referenced.  He  thought  the  $2  million  was  a                                                                    
portion  of   the  existing  budget.  The   amendment  would                                                                    
increase the amount to $6.3 million.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  clarified that the $4.3  million was part                                                                    
of  more recent  grants compared  to the  $2 million  grant.                                                                    
Representative Ortiz thought  Co-Chair Johnston was probably                                                                    
right.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster recognized  Representative George  Rauscher                                                                    
in the  audience. He also  wanted to get  some clarification                                                                    
from Mr. Partlow from LFD.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL   PARTLOW,  FISCAL   ANALYST,  LEGISLATIVE   FINANCE                                                                    
DIVISION detailed that the base  budget for pre-K grants was                                                                    
$2 million. He explained that  the $6 million was a one-time                                                                    
funding increment  for a  2-year period  in addition  to the                                                                    
$2 million. He summarized that there  was $2 million in each                                                                    
of the 2  years plus $6 million spread over  2 years. In the                                                                    
current budget the base budget was $2 million.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  pulled up the  fiscal note for SB  6 that                                                                    
included $4.3 million for FY 22 for pre-K.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp shared that  he would be voting against                                                                    
several  things   he  truly  supported.   Individually,  the                                                                    
amounts were  not significant but added  together, they were                                                                    
substantial. He  supported the items,  but he  thought there                                                                    
was nothing worse  than continuing to support  a budget that                                                                    
could not be supported in future years.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter recalled 810  students. He ran some                                                                    
math in his head and  thought the amount translated to about                                                                    
$5,000 per student.  He stated that a child that  was not in                                                                    
pre-K  would have  some portion  of their  PFD used  for the                                                                    
limited service.  He did  not believe it  made sense  to add                                                                    
another $4.3 million  to the budget deficit  to benefit only                                                                    
810  students.  He  also believed  parents  had  a  personal                                                                    
responsibility   in   raising   their  kids.   Although   he                                                                    
appreciated the  sentiment in trying  to solve  the problem,                                                                    
he did not support the amendment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  supported  pre-K   as  a  concept  and                                                                    
believed  more, not  less, was  needed. He  wondered if  the                                                                    
programs  were open  to  any student.  He  asked what  would                                                                    
happen to existing  programs if the funding  decreased to $2                                                                    
million.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:26:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  replied  to  comments  by  Representative                                                                    
Carpenter first. He stated it  was the responsibility of the                                                                    
committee  to take  action promoting  fiscal responsibility.                                                                    
He pointed  to statistics and  stressed that the  action was                                                                    
fiscally  responsible for  the  future. He  cited that  when                                                                    
children  could read  by  the third-grade  they  had a  much                                                                    
better chance  of avoiding  higher costs  to society  in the                                                                    
future.   He  opined   that  the   legislatures   number-one                                                                    
priority should be to promote  a well-educated society and a                                                                    
well-educated youth. He suggested  that if the committee did                                                                    
not adopt  the amendment, there  would be 821  students that                                                                    
did not  have access to  a pre-K  program. He stated  it was                                                                    
not a  means tested program  like Head Start.  He emphasized                                                                    
that pre-K  was part  of the public-school  system offering.                                                                    
He thought  everyone in the  district should have  access to                                                                    
the program if it were offered.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  asked what would happen  if the funding                                                                    
was  not  provided.  He  asked  if  the  programs  would  be                                                                    
discontinued  in  the  communities  that  currently  offered                                                                    
them.  Vice-Chair  Ortiz  answered in  the  affirmative.  He                                                                    
detailed  that if  SB 6  was  adopted some  of the  students                                                                    
might  have access  to  pre-K. He  felt  strongly about  the                                                                    
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:30:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  shared that  he had  visited the  pre-K and                                                                    
Head  Start programs  in  his district.  He  noted that  the                                                                    
programs leveraged  a substantial  amount of  federal money.                                                                    
He  thought  about what  government  should  offer -  public                                                                    
safety and  education. He did  not view the amendment  as an                                                                    
"add." He  noted it might  not be  means tested but,  he had                                                                    
observed  that  many  of  the  families  in  his  district's                                                                    
program were low-income. He  agreed with Representative Wool                                                                    
that the  state needed more,  rather than less,  funding. He                                                                    
viewed  it as  a base  foundation for  the 821  students. He                                                                    
argued that the state would  be going in the wrong direction                                                                    
if the funding was removed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Josephson  clarified   that  Representative                                                                    
Ortizs   proposal  was  offered   in  the  event  the  other                                                                    
legislation did  not pass before the  legislature adjourned.                                                                    
The amendment was a modicum  of what the administration, the                                                                    
Minority Leader  in the  other body,  and the  Alaska Policy                                                                    
Forum  supported. He  asked if  he  was correct.  Vice-Chair                                                                    
Ortiz responded, Thants correct.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton  asked   for  verification  that  the                                                                    
grants  were awarded  to school  districts on  a competitive                                                                    
bid basis. Mr. Partlow agreed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton  asked for  verification there  was no                                                                    
guarantee  a school  that had  received the  funding in  the                                                                    
past would receive it again.  Mr. Partlow replied that there                                                                    
was no guarantee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  asked if  previous  grants  were over  a                                                                    
period  of 2  years.  Mr.  Partlow was  not  certain of  the                                                                    
grant-issuing  period but  could get  back to  the committee                                                                    
with the information.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  noted  she  would like  an  answer  from                                                                    
someone. Mr.  Steininger replied  that the $6  million grant                                                                    
program had  been over a period  of 2 years to  the same set                                                                    
of schools  that received approximately $1.5  million in the                                                                    
first year and about $4.5 million in the second year.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston noted the grants  were competitive. If the                                                                    
item was funded  to the following years  level,  it would go                                                                    
out as  a competitive grant in  FY 21. She asked  if she was                                                                    
correct.  Mr. Steininger  answered that  the department  did                                                                    
not  currently have  any regulations  in place  in how  they                                                                    
would  handle the  circumstance.  It would  be considered  a                                                                    
change or addition to the  $2 million base level of funding.                                                                    
Likely, it  would be done  through a competitive  process of                                                                    
some sort.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:35:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  noted  that the  originally  $2  million                                                                    
grants were the result of  a settlement. She wondered if she                                                                    
was accurate.  Mr. Steininger believed  she was  thinking of                                                                    
the Moore  Settlement grants which  were part of  a separate                                                                    
allocation  within the  Department  of  Education and  Early                                                                    
Childhood  Development  (DEED).  He furthered  that  the  $2                                                                    
million   figure  was   not   associated   with  the   Moore                                                                    
Settlement.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston asked if the  Moore Settlement grants were                                                                    
still in existence.  Mr. Steininger replied that  he did not                                                                    
believe so. Mr. Partlow added  that there was currently $1.2                                                                    
million in  the budget referred  to as the  Moore Settlement                                                                    
grants  because it  was how  it  was originated.  It was  no                                                                    
longer a  part of  the settlement. The  settlement agreement                                                                    
had already  been reached. The  money was  continued funding                                                                    
to  achieve some  of the  goals  that were  outlined in  the                                                                    
settlement,   but  they   were   not   required  under   the                                                                    
settlement.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston   asked  if  $1.2  million   was  at  the                                                                    
discretion  of  the department  to  meet  the needs  of  the                                                                    
litigation. Alternatively,  she asked if the  money had been                                                                    
used  for  the  pre-K  program  in  the  past.  Mr.  Partlow                                                                    
answered  the funding  was used  to continue  assisting low-                                                                    
performing schools. He  was not aware of  any set parameters                                                                    
of how the money was being spent.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  mentioned that the Head  Start program in                                                                    
Nome  was  separate  and  more   needs-based.  She  saw  the                                                                    
benefits of pre-K programs, but  she also saw the benefit of                                                                    
reading  readiness.  She  had  concerns  about  passing  the                                                                    
increment  in  the  event  a separate  bill  with  the  same                                                                    
increment passed.  She did  not know how  she would  vote on                                                                    
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  clarified that in  Nome the Head  Start and                                                                    
pre-K  programs were  co-mingled  in the  same building.  He                                                                    
realized that  Head Start  was means  tested. His  point was                                                                    
that  several of  the pre-K  students in  the building  were                                                                    
also  low-income,  whether  or  not it  was  a  means-tested                                                                    
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston noted that Nome  had received funding from                                                                    
the  grant program.  Co-Chair Foster  agreed. He  added that                                                                    
the money was used to leverage federal dollars.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Merrick  asked  why the  amendment  had  not                                                                    
passed or had not been offered in subcommittee.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:39:58 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Ortiz  replied   to  Representative   Merricks                                                                     
question.   The  subcommittee   had   discussed  pre-K   and                                                                    
supported  ideas  such  as universal  pre-K.  They  had  not                                                                    
adopted  the  amendment  for   an  additional  $4.3  million                                                                    
because   the  committee   felt  that   the  topic   merited                                                                    
discussion  at the  full finance  committee  level. Had  the                                                                    
subcommittee taken  up an amendment,  there would  have been                                                                    
full support.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Merrick  wondered if  any attention  had been                                                                    
given  to  finding a  decrement  to  counter the  increment.                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Ortiz answered  that he  was certainly  aware of                                                                    
trying to avoid adding to the budget.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter commented that  from one end of the                                                                    
state  to the  other there  were several  different entities                                                                    
looking  for  state  funding  solutions.  He  thought  pre-K                                                                    
(daycare)  was  no  different  in  terms  of  seeking  state                                                                    
funding to solve problems. He  suggested that as long as the                                                                    
state  continued to  offer money,  local or  other solutions                                                                    
would not materialize. He asserted  that for too long people                                                                    
had  looked to  the  state for  funding -  it  was the  easy                                                                    
answer. He  thought the state  no longer had easy  money for                                                                    
easy answers.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Carpenter believed  that holistically  there                                                                    
was  a  moral  imperative   to  ensure  that  children  were                                                                    
learning.  As a  parent and  grandparent, he  understood the                                                                    
importance  of education.  He thought  it was  important for                                                                    
communities  to encourage  growth in  families and  parental                                                                    
involvement. By suggesting  that the only way  a child could                                                                    
learn  to read  was  by attending  preschool, parents  could                                                                    
wash their  hands of their  responsibilities. He  thought it                                                                    
sent the message  that parents were not  capable of teaching                                                                    
their children to read outside  of a preschool. He reflected                                                                    
that none  of the  committee members  had attended  a state-                                                                    
funded pre-K program. He argued  that there was no financial                                                                    
imperative  for the  state  to  pay for  pre-k.  It was  his                                                                    
experience  that  a child  could  learn  to read  without  a                                                                    
preschool program.  He did not  believe the service  rose to                                                                    
the level of  essential. However, he recognized  that it was                                                                    
constitutionally  mandated and  essential for  the state  to                                                                    
provide K-12 education.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative LeBon  recalled his days on  the school board                                                                    
receiving  many grant  proposals.  The  board would  measure                                                                    
grant proposals  in two ways.  First, it would  consider the                                                                    
length of  a grant.  Typically, grants  were about  3 years.                                                                    
The board would look to see  if the success of a grant could                                                                    
be measured within 3 years.  Second, the board would look at                                                                    
whether  it  would  be  willing   to  fund  the  grant  with                                                                    
operating  dollars if  the proposal  was  successful in  the                                                                    
first 3  years. Often  times, the board  would pass  on free                                                                    
money because  it was  not confident  that the  results were                                                                    
measurable or that the board would  be willing to fund it in                                                                    
3 years. He indicated  he was considering grant performance,                                                                    
continued funding from districts,  and whether it was short-                                                                    
term grant funding.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool thought  it would  be acceptable  for a                                                                    
community  to accept  a grant  for the  start-up of  a pre-K                                                                    
program even if  it were to end within 1-3  years. He argued                                                                    
that the pre-K program was not  a lengthy program of 5 or 10                                                                    
years in which a short-term  grant would end abruptly in the                                                                    
middle of a  program. He thought pre-K was  a 1-year program                                                                    
prior  to kindergarten  which provided  an  extra boost  for                                                                    
young  children.  He understood  Representative  Carpenters                                                                     
comment  about  preschool  being  a daycare.  He  noted  his                                                                    
children having  attended preschool or daycare.  Much of the                                                                    
activities  involved  unstructured play.  However,  children                                                                    
learned  letters,  how  to  write  their  names,  and  other                                                                    
academic skills. He stated that  the costs of preschool were                                                                    
about  $1,000  per child  and  was  not affordable  for  all                                                                    
parents. He argued  that it was worth the  cost for children                                                                    
to be  able to attend  preschool or  daycare even if  it was                                                                    
only for 1 year.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  provided wrap  up  on  the amendment.  He                                                                    
agreed  with Representative  Carpenter that  educating young                                                                    
people began  with families  and parents.  He had  access to                                                                    
support unlike  some people. He underscored  that Alaska had                                                                    
the least  opportunity for pre-K  education compared  to all                                                                    
other  states.  He  questioned the  state's  priorities.  He                                                                    
stressed that  the committee had just  approved $7.4 million                                                                    
for   prison  population   and  $4.3   million  for   prison                                                                    
healthcare. He supported  the funds, but asked  what it said                                                                    
about the state. His  amendment would significantly decrease                                                                    
the chances  that 821  students would end  up in  the prison                                                                    
system.  He emphasized  the importance  of investing  in the                                                                    
youth of Alaska - failing to  invest would catch up with the                                                                    
state. He  noted that  it was unclear  what would  happen if                                                                    
SB 6 was adopted and the  amendment passed. He suggested the                                                                    
other  body could  remove what  the House  Finance Committee                                                                    
adopted.  He  stressed  that the  funds  would  create  more                                                                    
opportunity  for access  to pre-K.  He strongly  believed in                                                                    
investing in Alaskas children.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston MAINTAINED her objection.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Wool, Josephson, Ortiz, Foster                                                                                        
OPPOSED:   Tilton,   Carpenter,   Knopp,   LeBon,   Merrick,                                                                    
Sullivan-Leonard, Johnston                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to ADOPT Amendment H DOE 1 FAILED (4/7).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 205 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 206 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the schedule for the following                                                                         
day.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:00:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 205 HB 206 Op Budget Amendments 1. Lang Amendments Report022520 (1).pdf HFIN 2/25/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 205
HB 206
HB 205 HB 206 Op Budget Amendments 2. Numbers Amendments Report022520 (2).pdf HFIN 2/25/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 205
HB 206
HB 205 HB 206 Op Budget Amendments All Backup 022520 (3).pdf HFIN 2/25/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 205
HB 206
HB 234 Amendment 1 022520.pdf HFIN 2/25/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 234
HB 234 Amendment 1 Action 022520.pdf HFIN 2/25/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 234
HB 205 Amendment Action on 022520.pdf HFIN 2/25/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 205