Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS 519

03/05/2020 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 15 Minutes Following Session --
+ HB 230 INTENSIVE MGMT SURCHARGE/REPEAL TERM DATE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 197 EXTEND SEISMIC HAZARDS SAFETY COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 186 NAMING IRENE WEBBER BRIDGE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 186 Out of Committee
+= HB 159 MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 5, 2020                                                                                            
                        10:21 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:21:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston   called  the  House   Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 10:21 a.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Jennifer Johnston, Co-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Kelly Merrick                                                                                                    
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Sara   Perman,   Staff,    Representative   Louise   Stutes;                                                                    
Representative   John  Lincoln,   Bill  Sponsor;   Elizabeth                                                                    
Ferguson,     Staff,     Representative    John     Lincoln;                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck, Bill  Sponsor; Mike Mason, Staff,                                                                    
Representative   Chris   Tuck;  Kris   Curtis,   Legislative                                                                    
Auditor,    Alaska    Division   of    Legislative    Audit;                                                                    
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, Sponsor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Eddie Grasser, Director,  Division of Wildlife Conservation,                                                                    
Department of Fish and Game                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 159    MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          HB 159 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 186    NAMING IRENE WEBBER BRIDGE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          HB 186 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with one previously                                                                          
         published fiscal impact note: FN1 (DOT).                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 197    EXTEND SEISMIC HAZARDS SAFETY COMMISSION                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HB 197 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 230    INTENSIVE MGMT SURCHARGE/REPEAL TERM DATE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          HB 230 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston reviewed the meeting agenda.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 186                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act naming the irene Webber Bridge."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:21:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  invited  the  bill  sponsor's  staff  to                                                                    
provide a brief reintroduction of the legislation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SARA  PERMAN, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  LOUISE STUTES,  shared                                                                    
that the  bill would name  a bridge  at mile 9.5  in Cordova                                                                    
the "irene  Webber Bridge" as  a tribute to Ms.  Webber. She                                                                    
detailed that  Ms. Webber was  a former Cordovan  and runner                                                                    
who had founded a marathon that crossed over the bridge.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  the  Department of  Transportation                                                                    
and Public Facilities to answer  any questions on its fiscal                                                                    
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston asked  members  if  there were  questions                                                                    
about the fiscal note. [There were no questions.]                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster MOVED  to REPORT  HB 186  out of  committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB  186 was  REPORTED  out  of committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  one previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
impact note: FN1 (DOT).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 230                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   repealing  the  termination  date   for  the                                                                    
     intensive management hunting license surcharge."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:24:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN   LINCOLN,  BILL   SPONSOR,  introduced                                                                    
himself. He asked his staff  to provide a description of the                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  FERGUSON,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN  LINCOLN,                                                                    
explained  that the  one-line bill  would repeal  the sunset                                                                    
date   for   the   intensive  management   hunting   license                                                                    
surcharge.  She provided  additional detail  with a  written                                                                    
statement:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The surcharge  was first implemented  after legislation                                                                    
     passed in 2016  authorizing the collection for  it at a                                                                    
     rate of $10 per resident  hunting license and $30 for a                                                                    
     nonresident hunting  license. In  its three  years, the                                                                    
     surcharge has  grossed just  about $3.1  million. House                                                                    
     Bill  230 does  not  increase or  change the  surcharge                                                                    
     amount  per hunting  license, and  it  does not  change                                                                    
     policy   on  intensive   management,   it  just   funds                                                                    
     activities and  will continue  to allow  the department                                                                    
     to use much of that money for federal match.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Ferguson  referenced two  pie  charts  in the  packets'                                                                    
showing   the  total   spending   on  intensive   management                                                                    
activities for FY  18 and FY 19 prepared by  the Division of                                                                    
Wildlife  Conservation in  the Department  of Fish  and Game                                                                    
(copy on  file). She  pointed out that  the majority  of the                                                                    
expenditures  went  toward   research  and  management.  She                                                                    
elaborated  that scientists  and researchers  determined all                                                                    
of  the factors  at  play -  each case  varied  from one  to                                                                    
another. Using the funds to  assist the data driven approach                                                                    
had  made  the program  successful.  Currently  most of  the                                                                    
surcharge  was used  for a  1:3 match  for Pittman-Robertson                                                                    
funds. The bill  had a zero fiscal note;  however, it showed                                                                    
that without  the surcharge revenue, the  Department of Fish                                                                    
and Game (DFG)  could stand to lose up to  $4 million, which                                                                    
would  make management  research,  surveying, and  inventory                                                                    
more challenging.  Section 1  of the  bill [the  bill's only                                                                    
section]  read that  the current  sunset provision  would be                                                                    
repealed with the passage of  the bill. She relayed that the                                                                    
department was online for any questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:26:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Josephson directed  a  question  to DFG.  He                                                                    
asked for confirmation  that the federal match  could not be                                                                    
used for predator control.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE GRASSER, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  FISH AND GAME (via  teleconference), answered                                                                    
in  the negative.  However, because  of constraints  federal                                                                    
land managers  had on their  land and other issues,  DFG had                                                                    
elected to never use  Pittman-Robertson dollars if possible,                                                                    
for actual predator management.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson asked if  it included not using the                                                                    
funding on state lands.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Grasser agreed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Josephson reported  that  he  had been  told                                                                    
during  the current  week by  a DFG  employee that  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson dollars  could not be  used for  predator control.                                                                    
He stated his understanding  of Mr. Grasser's testimony that                                                                    
DFG  could use  the funds  [for predator  control], but  the                                                                    
department opted to  not use the funds for  that purpose. He                                                                    
asked  why  people kept  telling  him  incorrectly that  the                                                                    
department  could  not   use  Pittman-Robertson  dollars  on                                                                    
predator control.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Grasser replied that he  did not know. He clarified that                                                                    
there  was nothing  in the  statutory  language housing  the                                                                    
Pittman-Robertson Act that barred  the state from conducting                                                                    
predator  management  programs  with  the  use  of  Pittman-                                                                    
Robertson dollars.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB  230  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 197                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act extending  the Alaska  Seismic Hazards  Safety                                                                    
     Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:29:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK, BILL SPONSOR, introduced the                                                                         
bill with a prepared statement:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Thank  you for  hearing House  Bill 197  to extend  the                                                                    
     Alaska  Seismic Hazards  Safety Commission.  As we  all                                                                    
     know,  Alaska is  one of  the  most seismically  active                                                                    
     regions  on earth  with  a history  of  very large  and                                                                    
     damaging earthquakes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In  January,  the  Alaska Earthquake  Center  issued  a                                                                    
     summary  of Alaska's  seismic  activity  in 2019.  (The                                                                    
     report is in your packet).                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska experienced 50,289 earthquakes in 2019.                                                                             
         2nd most in Alaska's history.                                                                                       
         So far this year, there have been 7,050                                                                             
          earthquakes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The State  of Alaska  has worked diligently  to prepare                                                                    
     for  future earthquakes  to ensure  the  safety of  our                                                                    
     people and our infrastructure.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     As  part of  this work,  the state  created the  Alaska                                                                    
     Seismic  Hazards   Safety  Commission  in   2001.  This                                                                    
     Commission  provides   recommendations  on   goals  and                                                                    
     priorities  to  mitigate   seismic  hazards  in  Alaska                                                                    
     through...                                                                                                                 
         Gathering and disseminating information on how to                                                                   
          reduce Alaska's vulnerability to earthquakes; and                                                                     
         Reviewing earthquake recovery and reconstruction                                                                    
          efforts to make recommendations to improve these                                                                      
          efforts.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The commission is made up  of volunteer experts and key                                                                    
     government    officials   to    "provide   advice    to                                                                    
     policymakers  on  disaster   preparedness  and  seismic                                                                    
     hazard mitigation."                                                                                                        
         The commission is  staffed by  the  Division  of                                                                    
          Geological and Geophysical Surveys.                                                                                   
         The Director of the Division, Steve Masterman, is                                                                   
          on the line if you have any questions.                                                                                
         The latest annual report for the  commission was                                                                    
          included in your bill packet.                                                                                         
         House Bill 197 would extend  the Alaska  Seismic                                                                    
          Hazards Safety Commission through June 30, 2028.                                                                      
         The bill includes  an immediate  effective  date                                                                    
          because the current authorization expires at the                                                                      
          end of this June.                                                                                                     
         A recent audit  of  the  commission  included  a                                                                    
          specific recommendation to extend the commission                                                                      
          until 2028.                                                                                                           
         Kris Curtis, the  legislative auditor,  will  go                                                                    
          through the results of the audit.                                                                                     
         In conclusion,    Alaska   is    threatened   by                                                                    
          earthquakes 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.                                                                            
         The Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission has                                                                    
          played a key role in preparing the public and                                                                         
          private sectors for future earthquakes.                                                                               
         With the passage of House  Bill  197 that  vital                                                                    
          work can continue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:33:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston asked to hear a sectional analysis.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MIKE MASON,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK,  provided the                                                                    
sectional analysis.  The bill would  amend AS  44.66.010 and                                                                    
change the sunset date from June  30, 2020 to June 30, 2028.                                                                    
The act would take place immediately.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  asked  to  hear  from  the  Division  of                                                                    
Legislative Audit.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT, referenced  the audit  titled "A  Sunset                                                                    
Review  of  the  Department  of  Natural  Resources,  Alaska                                                                    
Seismic  Hazards Safety  Commission," dated  March 15,  2019                                                                    
(copy on file). She reminded  the committee that the purpose                                                                    
of  a sunset  audit  was  to determine  whether  a board  or                                                                    
commission was serving the publics'  interest and whether it                                                                    
should be extended. The audit  found there continued to be a                                                                    
public   policy   need   for  the   commission's   continued                                                                    
existence.   The  audit   findings  recommended   a  maximum                                                                    
extension  of  eight years.  She  turned  to a  schedule  of                                                                    
expenditures on  page 9 of  the audit. The audit  found that                                                                    
the commission was  a fairly low cost way  of leveraging the                                                                    
volunteer    expertise.   She    elaborated   that    annual                                                                    
expenditures ranged from  over just over $3,500  per year to                                                                    
just over $13,000.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Curtis   turned  to  a  summary   of  the  commission's                                                                    
activities during the audit period  on page 12. The schedule                                                                    
showed the commission to be  very active. She pointed to the                                                                    
third bullet under Strategic Plan  Goal 2 and explained that                                                                    
during  the  audit  period   the  commission  helped  secure                                                                    
Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) grants that were                                                                    
used by  school districts  to assess the  vulnerabilities of                                                                    
school  buildings  susceptible   to  significant  structural                                                                    
damage  during an  earthquake. The  number of  the buildings                                                                    
and specific  locations were  listed at  the bottom  of page                                                                    
12.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Curtis relayed that the  audit had also reviewed how the                                                                    
commission  helped  respond  to   the  major  earthquake  in                                                                    
November  2018.  She  directed  attention  to  page  14  and                                                                    
highlighted  that   after  the  earthquake   the  commission                                                                    
provided a  list of certified evaluators  who had assessment                                                                    
training to  assist with inspecting  structures. A  total of                                                                    
11  volunteers had  assisted with  damage assessments,  8 of                                                                    
which had completed training sponsored  by the commission in                                                                    
September  2018.  Additionally, several  commission  members                                                                    
helped  with damage  assessments  by  working directly  with                                                                    
state agencies.  The audit recognized that  FEMA reached out                                                                    
to  the commission  after the  earthquake and  requested its                                                                    
assistance  in  generating  a   damage  report  with  future                                                                    
recommendations for preparedness.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Curtis  reported  that the  audit  had  identified  two                                                                    
administrative  improvements, which  began on  page 16.  The                                                                    
audit   recommended  that   the  commission   chair  ensures                                                                    
procedures  were  implemented  to  publish  meeting  notices                                                                    
timely  and  accurately.  She  detailed  that  auditors  had                                                                    
tested  25  meetings  during  the audit  period,  5  of  the                                                                    
meetings  were  not public  noticed  or  not public  noticed                                                                    
timely. Second,  the audit recommended the  commission chair                                                                    
ensure  the  strategic  plan  was  updated  to  reflect  the                                                                    
current goals and priorities based on experience (page 17).                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Curtis  reported that  responses to  the audit  began on                                                                    
page  27.  The commissioner  of  the  Department of  Natural                                                                    
Resources and  the chair of  the commission agreed  with the                                                                    
findings and recommendations and  corrective action had been                                                                    
taken.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB  197  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 159                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to repayment conditions for medical                                                                       
     education program participants."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:36:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  asked for a  brief reintroduction  of the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JONATHAN  KREISS-TOMPKINS, SPONSOR,  thanked                                                                    
the committee for the second  bill hearing and was available                                                                    
for questions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston  asked committee members if  they wanted a                                                                    
brief overview of the bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Knopp  thanked the sponsor bringing  the bill                                                                    
forward and highlighted his support for the legislation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Johnston OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:38:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston  set  an amendment  deadline  of  Friday,                                                                    
March 6 at 5:00 p.m.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB  159  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Johnston reviewed  the  agenda  for the  afternoon                                                                    
meeting.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:39:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:39 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 230 Administrative Process for Intensive Management 2.17.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230
HB 186 DOT Response to HFIN 030320.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 186
HB 223
HB197 Supporting Document-Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission Audit.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document-ASHSC 2018 Annual Report.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Additional Documents-2019 Alaska Seismicity Summary 2.01.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Sponsor Statement 1.22.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB 230 Hunting License Surcharge Revenue CY17-CY19 2.4.2020.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB 230 IM FY 19 Activities and Spending 2.7.2020.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB 230 IM Species Determinations 12.17.2019.jpg HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB 230 Testimony Received by 2.18.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230
HB 230 IM FY 18 Activities and Spending 2.11.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230
HB 230 Administrative Process for Intensive Management 2.17.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230