Legislature(2021 - 2022)ADAMS 519

04/14/2021 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:32:04 PM Start
01:33:18 PM Presentation: Tribal American Rescue Plan Act Funding
03:05:53 PM HB169
03:38:52 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 169 APPROP: EDUCATION; PUPIL TRANSPORTATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 69 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 71 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+ Presentation: Tribal American Rescue Plan Act TELECONFERENCED
Funding by Nicole Borromeo, Exec. Vice-President
& General Counsel, Alaska Federation of Natives
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 14, 2021                                                                                            
                         1:32 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:32:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 1:32 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Kelly Merrick, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Dan Ortiz, Sponsor                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Nicole  Borromeo,  Executive   Vice  President  and  General                                                                    
Counsel,  Alaska  Federation   of  Natives;  Lacey  Sanders,                                                                    
Administrative  Services Director,  Department of  Education                                                                    
and  Early Development,  Office  of  Management and  Budget,                                                                    
Office of the Governor.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 169    APPROP: EDUCATION; PUPIL TRANSPORTATION                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HB 169 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: TRIBAL AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the meeting agenda.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION: TRIBAL AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster asked  members to hold questions  to the end                                                                    
of the presentation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
NICOLE  BORROMEO,  EXECUTIVE   VICE  PRESIDENT  AND  GENERAL                                                                    
COUNSEL, ALASKA FEDERATION  OF NATIVES (via teleconference),                                                                    
provided a  PowerPoint presentation  titled "Summary  of the                                                                    
Provisions  Benefitting  Alaska   Natives  in  the  American                                                                    
Rescue  Plan Act  of 2021,"  dated April  14, 2021  (copy on                                                                    
file). She  shared information  about the  Alaska Federation                                                                    
of  Natives (AFN).  [Note:  due to  poor  audio quality  the                                                                    
testimony was repeated at 1:43. See below for detail.]                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster noted  that the  audio  was not  completely                                                                    
clear.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo tried calling in  with her cellphone. She noted                                                                    
she was hearing static on her end of the line.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster noted  that  the audio  was  not great.  He                                                                    
asked her to call into the teleconference number.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:41:12 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:43:43 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  repeated her previous  testimony due  to audio                                                                    
difficulties.  She  detailed that  AFN  was  the oldest  and                                                                    
largest Native organization in  Alaska, representing most of                                                                    
the regional and village  corporations established under the                                                                    
Alaska  Native Claims  Settlement  Act (ANCSA),  all of  the                                                                    
tribal nonprofit regional  organizations or tribal consortia                                                                    
providing  social  services   and  healthcare  to  different                                                                    
regions, and 159 different  federally recognized tribes. She                                                                    
planned to present  on the Alaska Native  or Native American                                                                    
provisions in the  American Rescue Plan Act  (ARPA) of 2021.                                                                    
She was happy to go over the bill after her presentation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo turned  to slide  2  and gave  an overview  of                                                                    
ARPA. She reported  that $1.9 trillion in  funding was being                                                                    
pushed  out throughout  the country  to  help with  COVID-19                                                                    
recovery efforts.  She explained  the funding  was available                                                                    
for  a  wide  variety  of  programs  touching  nearly  every                                                                    
federal  agency.  She  stated  for the  first  time  in  the                                                                    
country's history there was an  immense tribal set-aside for                                                                    
Native  people. She  elaborated that  $32.5 billion  was set                                                                    
aside for  tribes, tribal organizations, and  Native people.                                                                    
She  remarked it  was  important to  note  that each  tribal                                                                    
program had  its own eligibility criteria.  Generally, there                                                                    
were  three different  entities that  would qualify  for the                                                                    
fund. The  first was a  federally recognized  tribe, meaning                                                                    
the  tribe had  to be  on  the List  Act of  1994. The  list                                                                    
included the  229 federal  recognized tribal  governments in                                                                    
Alaska. The  second entities  eligible were  regional tribal                                                                    
nonprofits. The  third group of entities  were Alaska Native                                                                    
corporations,  which  qualified  for  the  tribal  set-aside                                                                    
under some provisions.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  noted that whenever Indian  tribes appeared in                                                                    
federal law,  it was necessary  to look at  the definitional                                                                    
section to determine  who was included in  the definition of                                                                    
Indian   tribe.  She   explained  that   sometimes  Congress                                                                    
legislated in a manner aiming  to impact economic policy, in                                                                    
which case, Alaska Native  corporations were included. Other                                                                    
times,  legislation only  touched on  tribal governance  and                                                                    
tribal sovereign authority was  impacted, in which case, the                                                                    
Alaska Native  corporations and  tribal nonprofits  were not                                                                    
necessarily included  because it  only applied  to federally                                                                    
recognized tribes that exercise self-governance powers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo moved to a  disclaimer on slide 3. She reported                                                                    
that  the   presentation  was  a  high-level   summary.  She                                                                    
clarified there  are numerous tax provisions  and amendments                                                                    
to  Medicaid  and Medicare  that  were  not covered  in  the                                                                    
presentation. She  elaborated that she had  tried to include                                                                    
all  provisions  with  specific references  to  Indian-based                                                                    
programs or  benefits. She relayed that  additional research                                                                    
was necessary and legal counsel review was encouraged.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo   turned  to  slide   4  titled  "Title   I  -                                                                    
Agriculture,  Nutrition  and  Forestry."  Title  I  included                                                                    
$20.2 billion for  socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers,                                                                    
and forest  landowners and operators. She  detailed that the                                                                    
amount  included two  tribal set-asides:  $10.1 million  for                                                                    
tribal  colleges and  universities;  and  $10.1 million  for                                                                    
Alaska Native  and Native  Hawaiian serving  institutions of                                                                    
higher  education. She  elaborated that  the funds  could be                                                                    
for  grants  or  loans   to  support  education,  extension,                                                                    
scholarships,  and internships.  She  noted  that often  the                                                                    
loans  would  revert  to  a grant  and  funds  would  remain                                                                    
available  until expended.  She  explained  that funds  were                                                                    
often  allocated  on  a  first  come,  first  served  basis;                                                                    
therefore, it was imperative for  Alaska's tribes and tribal                                                                    
organizations  to submit  applications as  soon as  possible                                                                    
for any funding with the first come, first served notation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  moved to  slide 5  and highlighted  $4 billion                                                                    
available  for   food  programs.  She  explained   that  the                                                                    
increment  was  included  in the  presentation  even  though                                                                    
there  was no  specific tribal  set-aside because  it was  a                                                                    
large pot  of money  and funding  was available  to purchase                                                                    
food for distribution  including seafood, seafood processing                                                                    
facilities and  processing vessels  eligible for  grants and                                                                    
loans.  She expounded  there were  many  Alaska Natives  who                                                                    
operated  commercial fishing  boats  or set  net sites.  She                                                                    
added  that  tribal  non-profit organizations  would  likely                                                                    
qualify for program participation and funding.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo advanced  to slide 6 and  reviewed $500 million                                                                    
available  for  rural  health programs.  She  detailed  that                                                                    
tribal  non-profit organizations  serving rural  communities                                                                    
(not Anchorage, Fairbanks, or  Juneau) and recognized tribes                                                                    
in rural  communities were eligible for  grants. Funds could                                                                    
be  used  for  telehealth,  facility  construction,  vaccine                                                                    
distribution, medical supplies,  lost revenue, staffing, and                                                                    
nutrition programs.  She noted  it was  a new  pilot program                                                                    
and the  [U.S.] Department of Agriculture  had been directed                                                                    
to  ensure  the  program  was up  and  running  within  five                                                                    
months.  She expounded  that  the  department was  currently                                                                    
holding a series  of tribal consultations on  the program to                                                                    
receive  tribal  input. Once  the  input  was received,  the                                                                    
department  would issue  more eligibility  requirements. The                                                                    
slide  included  a  reference to  CFR  3570.61(a)  for  more                                                                    
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  addressed Title  II  on  slide 7,  which  she                                                                    
described  as  a  "mammoth"  of a  title  within  ARPA.  She                                                                    
explained the  title included several different  tribal set-                                                                    
asides for Native  people. One of the  larger increments was                                                                    
$1.072 billion  for childcare  development block  grants and                                                                    
childcare stabilization  grants. She noted that  most of the                                                                    
funding  would  only  be  available  to  existing  programs;                                                                    
therefore,    qualifying    Alaska   tribes    and    tribal                                                                    
organizations would  need to have  already been  operating a                                                                    
program.  She highlighted  that  Alaska Native  corporations                                                                    
were also  eligible for the  program. She noted  that income                                                                    
requirements did not apply for  the program. She highlighted                                                                    
that  the   program  would  loop   in  the   largest  tribal                                                                    
participation  within  the  state including  tribes  on  the                                                                    
federally  recognized  List   Act,  tribal  nonprofits,  and                                                                    
Alaska Native corporations.  She identified several purposes                                                                    
the  funds  could be  used  for  including personnel  costs,                                                                    
rent,  and   mortgage.  She  relayed  the   funds  would  be                                                                    
available until the end of FY 24.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:53:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  highlighted $25.401 million for  Head Start on                                                                    
slide 8. The funds were  for federally recognized tribes and                                                                    
tribal non-profits  running existing programs.  She detailed                                                                    
that Head  Start was  intricately formulated  under existing                                                                    
allocation  formulas.  She  elaborated that  the  department                                                                    
would  rely  on existing  formulas  and  funds would  remain                                                                    
available until  expended and  were on  a first  come, first                                                                    
served basis.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo moved  to  slide 9  and  reviewed $19  million                                                                    
under Title  II available for survivors  of family violence.                                                                    
She listed three  primary areas the funds could  be used for                                                                    
including   survivors  of   sexual   assault  and   domestic                                                                    
violence;  other  emerging  needs related  to  COVID  public                                                                    
health,  emergencies, and  public  health  concerns; and  to                                                                    
promote strategic partnership  development and collaboration                                                                    
with   other  agencies   outside  of   a  tribe   or  tribal                                                                    
organization. Congress had specified  that $18 million would                                                                    
go to  Tribal Family  Violence and Prevention  Act grantees;                                                                    
and $1  million would  be allocated for  StrongHearts Native                                                                    
Helpline. She  explained that when Congress  had an affinity                                                                    
for  certain programs  and policies  it deemed  were working                                                                    
across Indian country,  it would be more specific  in how it                                                                    
directed  the department  to use  the  funds. She  specified                                                                    
that funds would remain available until expended.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:55:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo   addressed  $2.5  million  for   child  abuse                                                                    
prevention  and treatment  on slide  10.  She detailed  that                                                                    
there was no  state match for the  increment; therefore, the                                                                    
funding would  be a direct  allocation to tribes  and tribal                                                                    
organizations.   She  clarified   the  funds   would  remain                                                                    
available  until  expended.  Additionally, there  was  $1.75                                                                    
billion for  COVID-19 gene sequencing and  surveillance. She                                                                    
expounded  funds  could  be used  to  conduct,  expand,  and                                                                    
improve activities to sequence  genomes, identify mutations,                                                                    
and survey  the circulation and transmission  of viruses and                                                                    
other organisms. She relayed  tribal health departments were                                                                    
eligible for  the funding and  could enter  into cooperative                                                                    
agreements with  other states and localities.  She explained                                                                    
the  increment  may  be  available  for  DHSS  or  different                                                                    
municipal health  departments could  use it to  leverage the                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo advanced  to slide  11 and  highlighted a  $30                                                                    
million tribal  set-aside for  local substance  use disorder                                                                    
services  including overdose  prevention in  Section 2706(b)                                                                    
of the act. She had  tried to include the different sections                                                                    
of ARPA to  make the fund locations  easily identifiable for                                                                    
legislators   looking  to   research  the   provisions.  The                                                                    
specific   funding   was   only  available   for   federally                                                                    
recognized tribes  and tribal non-profit  organizations. She                                                                    
noted that  ARPA was a  little stricter on how  the specific                                                                    
funds could be  used. There were $50  million for behavioral                                                                    
health grants  available to federally recognized  tribes and                                                                    
tribal non-profit  organizations. She noted there  were many                                                                    
different  behavioral  health  grants throughout  ARPA.  The                                                                    
specific funds  could be used for  prevention, intervention,                                                                    
crisis   management,   substance    abuse   treatment,   and                                                                    
telehealth. She  explained the provision would  allow Alaska                                                                    
Natives  to apply  for and  capture some  of the  funds. She                                                                    
added  that  distribution of  the  funds  would be  strictly                                                                    
controlled by  Congress. The use  of the funds  was outlined                                                                    
in Section 2707(b)(2).                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo advanced to slide  12 and reviewed $4.5 billion                                                                    
for  low   income  home  energy  assistance   programs.  She                                                                    
detailed that  even though  all federally  recognized tribes                                                                    
and tribal nonprofit organizations  are eligible for grants,                                                                    
Alaska only  had seven federally  recognized tribes  and six                                                                    
Alaska    Native     nonprofit    organizations    currently                                                                    
administering  the funding.  She directed  committee members                                                                    
to  the Low  Income Home  Energy Assistance  Act (42  U.S.C.                                                                    
8623) for more information.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo moved to slide  13 and addressed $15 million to                                                                    
help pay  for water bills. Federally  recognized tribes were                                                                    
eligible  for the  grants. She  remarked that  one challenge                                                                    
that would  make it  harder for Alaska  to qualify  was that                                                                    
many  of its  villages did  not  have water  and sewer.  She                                                                    
explained  it was  nearly impossible  to have  a water  bill                                                                    
without running  water in the  first place. The  funds would                                                                    
remain available through FY 2022.  Additionally, there was a                                                                    
tribal  set-aside for  older Americans  and family  support.                                                                    
She detailed  that the funds  were for  grandparents raising                                                                    
their grandchildren. She  reported that federally recognized                                                                    
tribes,  tribal nonprofit  organizations, and  Alaska Native                                                                    
corporations were  eligible for  grants that  were available                                                                    
on  a first  come, first  served basis.  Funds would  remain                                                                    
available until expended.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:00:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  moved to  slide 14  and reviewed  $100 million                                                                    
for  rural  housing  assistance  to  provide  for  temporary                                                                    
adjustment to  income losses. She clarified  the funding was                                                                    
not  a tribal  set-aside, but  it had  been included  in the                                                                    
presentation as  it was a  large line item  for applications                                                                    
to  come  through.  She  informed  the  committee  that  the                                                                    
Housing Act of 1949 would  be very specific in  terms of how                                                                    
the program  was administered. She stated  the importance of                                                                    
ensuring   that   legislative    staff   or   other   tribal                                                                    
organizations  and Native  entities interested  in the  set-                                                                    
aside were researching the ARPA provisions.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  turned to  slide 15 and  noted that  the funds                                                                    
were   not   necessarily   tribal  set-asides.   The   slide                                                                    
highlighted increments  of $7.66  billion for  public health                                                                    
workforce,  $1.5  billion  in  block  grands  for  community                                                                    
mental health  services, and, $1.5  billion in  block grants                                                                    
for  prevention  and  treatment   of  substance  abuse.  The                                                                    
increments  were included  in the  presentation because  AFN                                                                    
believed  tribal  organizations   and  federally  recognized                                                                    
tribes  were eligible  under the  criteria  as written.  She                                                                    
noted that a nonprofit,  private, or public organization was                                                                    
eligible for the $7.66 billion  if it demonstrated expertise                                                                    
in   implementing  public   health  programs   and  had   an                                                                    
established   relationship  with   state  or   local  health                                                                    
departments,  particularly in  medically underserved  areas.                                                                    
She relayed AFN believed it  was a fantastic opportunity for                                                                    
the Alaska  Native Tribal Health Consortium  (ANTHC) and all                                                                    
of the regional health corporations to submit applications.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:02:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo reviewed  slide 16 and remarked  that the funds                                                                    
were  not  necessarily  tribal  set-asides  but  constituted                                                                    
other opportunities  for Alaska Native entities  to apply to                                                                    
receive different  grants. The first increment  on the slide                                                                    
was clear  that Indian tribes and  tribal organizations were                                                                    
eligible,  but ARPA  did not  define  either. She  explained                                                                    
that  the [U.S.]  Department of  Health  and Human  Services                                                                    
would likely  rely on  existing definitions  of both  of the                                                                    
terms.  Tribes and  tribal  organizations  were eligible  to                                                                    
apply for  the $80  million in  mental health  and substance                                                                    
use  disorder  training  for  healthcare  professionals  and                                                                    
public safety officers.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:03:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo addressed  the Title  III -  Banking, Housing,                                                                    
Urban Affairs - section of  the bill. There was $498 million                                                                    
under  the  newly   established  Homeowner  Assistance  Fund                                                                    
program  to  help  recognized  tribes,  Tribally  Designated                                                                    
Housing  Entities (TDHEs),  and the  Department of  Hawaiian                                                                    
Home  Lands. She  relayed funds  could be  spent to  prevent                                                                    
mortgage  delinquencies,  defaults,   foreclosures,  and  to                                                                    
provide  utilities   assistance  and  the   displacement  of                                                                    
homeowners experiencing financial  hardship due to COVID-19.                                                                    
The  formula  allocation   mirrored  the  Rental  Assistance                                                                    
Program  in  the  Coronavirus   Aid,  Relief,  and  Economic                                                                    
Security Act (CARES). She explained  that Congress liked how                                                                    
Treasury  formulated the  CARES program.  Congress specified                                                                    
that at  least 60  percent of the  allocation had  to assist                                                                    
homeowners   who   met   certain  low   income   guidelines.                                                                    
Additionally, tribes that did  not participate in the Indian                                                                    
Housing Block Grants  were required to "opt in"  by April 11                                                                    
(no later than 30 days after  enactment of ARPA) in order to                                                                    
participate.  She relayed  housing  provisions  in ARPA  and                                                                    
otherwise  were very  detail specific  and  most tribes  and                                                                    
tribally  designated housing  entities  eligible to  receive                                                                    
the  funds were  tracking  them in  real  time. Funds  would                                                                    
remain available until the end of FY 2025.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:05:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo advanced  to slide 18 and  highlighted a tribal                                                                    
set-aside  of  $500 million  for  the  State Small  Business                                                                    
Credit  Initiative.  She  reported  it was  the  first  time                                                                    
Treasury had  allowed tribes to participate  in the program.                                                                    
She elaborated  that Treasury was  expected to  begin making                                                                    
allocations  within  60  days  of  the  enactment  of  ARPA.                                                                    
Allocations would be based on  employment and economic data.                                                                    
She relayed  that interested tribal governments  had to file                                                                    
a  notice of  intent with  the department  no later  than 30                                                                    
days after  enactment of  ARPA to  be eligible  for funding.                                                                    
She expounded  that if  a tribe  or tribal  organization had                                                                    
not filed  a notice of intent  by April 11, it  would be too                                                                    
late to apply for the specific money.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:06:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  referenced  an   additional  $35  million  in                                                                    
Federal  Transit  Administration  grants on  slide  19.  The                                                                    
funding  could be  used to  support tribal  transit agencies                                                                    
impacted by  COVID-19. Congress specified that  of the total                                                                    
amount,  $30 million  would be  allocated through  the Rural                                                                    
Areas  formula grants;  and $5  million  would be  allocated                                                                    
through discretionary  grants. Funds would  remain available                                                                    
until the end of FY 2024.  She clarified the funding was for                                                                    
federally  recognized   tribes  running  their   own  tribal                                                                    
transportation programs.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo addressed  Title  IX of  the  bill related  to                                                                    
finance. There  was a $74.85 million  set-aside for pandemic                                                                    
emergency  assistance  (Sec.   9201).  She  elaborated  that                                                                    
recognized tribes and  tribal organizations that participate                                                                    
in the  Temporary Assistance for Needy  Families (TANF) were                                                                    
eligible  for  funding.  She reported  that  Alaska  had  no                                                                    
tribes  participating  at  the federally  recognized  level;                                                                    
only   the   state's   regional   tribal   nonprofits   were                                                                    
participating and were eligible.  She added that funds would                                                                    
remain available  until expended  and would  be administered                                                                    
on  a first  come, first  served basis.  Additionally, there                                                                    
was  $400  million  for childcare  assistance  (Sec.  9801).                                                                    
Recognized  tribes  and  tribal organizations  that  receive                                                                    
annual mandatory  funding were  the only  entities available                                                                    
for the funding.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:07:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo moved to slide  21 that encompassed the largest                                                                    
share of the tribal set  aside: $20.6 billion in Coronavirus                                                                    
State and  Local Fiscal Recovery  Funds; $20  billion tribal                                                                    
set-aside, of which $1 billion  would be allocated equitably                                                                    
among all 574  recognized tribes; and the  other $19 billion                                                                    
would  be   allocated  by  the   Treasury  secretary   on  a                                                                    
discretionary  basis. Recognized  tribes  were eligible  for                                                                    
funding.  Funds could  be used  to respond  to the  negative                                                                    
health   and  economic   impacts   of  COVID-19,   including                                                                    
providing premium  pay to essential workers;  replacing lost                                                                    
revenues  necessary  to  support  government  services;  and                                                                    
investing  in water,  sewer,  and broadband  infrastructure.                                                                    
Funds had  to be allocated  within 60 days of  the enactment                                                                    
of ARPA and remained available through December 31, 2024.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  turned to slide  21 and addressed  the "lion's                                                                    
share" of  the tribal  set-aside. She  detailed that  of the                                                                    
$32.5 billion,  $20.6 billion was  included in  Section 9901                                                                    
of ARPA.  Of the  $20.6 billion,  $20 million  [billion] was                                                                    
designated in two different ways  according to Congress. She                                                                    
elaborated  that $1  billion  would  be allocated  equitably                                                                    
among  all  574  federally   recognized  tribes,  which  was                                                                    
excellent for  Alaska because  it had  229 of  the federally                                                                    
recognized  tribes.  The  remaining  $19  billion  would  be                                                                    
allocated  by  the  Treasury secretary  on  a  discretionary                                                                    
basis.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  expounded that Treasury  had held a  series of                                                                    
tribal consultations  and most  of the comments  coming from                                                                    
the Lower  48 were  pushing a  formula based  on population,                                                                    
land base, and economic impacts.  She explained it would not                                                                    
be  favorable to  Alaska. She  explained even  though Alaska                                                                    
was the most  Native state on pro rata basis,  it had one of                                                                    
the  lowest  populations  of  Native  people.  Additionally,                                                                    
lands were  not held by  tribal governments in  Alaska; they                                                                    
were owned  and managed by Alaska  Native corporations under                                                                    
the  federal Alaska  Native Claims  Settlement Act  (ANCSA).                                                                    
Lastly, Alaska's tribes did not  operate tribal industry and                                                                    
businesses on the  same level as some of  the gaming tribes,                                                                    
oil and  gas, or large  tourism tribes  in the Lower  48. On                                                                    
the  contrary, the  economic drivers  for  tribes in  Alaska                                                                    
were primarily  the Alaska Native corporations  formed under                                                                    
ANCSA. She relayed  that AFN was not expecting  Alaska to do                                                                    
incredibly well  for the discretionary funds;  however, they                                                                    
were tracking it closely.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  shared that  only federally  recognized tribes                                                                    
were eligible  for the specific  funding and funds  could be                                                                    
used in a  wide array of activities for  health and economic                                                                    
impacts  of   COVID  including  paying   essential  workers,                                                                    
repaying  lost  revenue,  and  supporting  other  government                                                                    
services    including    water,   sewer,    and    broadband                                                                    
infrastructure. She reported that  funds had to be allocated                                                                    
within  60 days  of the  enactment of  ARPA. She  noted that                                                                    
Treasury was  working hard  and fast  to meet  the deadline.                                                                    
Funds would remain available until December 31, 2024.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:10:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo reviewed slide 22  and highlighted $500 million                                                                    
for  local  assistance  and  tribal  consistency  funds  for                                                                    
federally recognized tribes. She  detailed that tribes could                                                                    
use  the  funding  for  any  governmental  activity,  except                                                                    
lobbying. She  explained that  funding would  be distributed                                                                    
over the  next two fiscal  years and remain  available until                                                                    
the end  of FY  2023. Additionally,  there was  $100 million                                                                    
for the  Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.  The funds would                                                                    
be distributed in equal payments  of no less than $50,000 to                                                                    
each recognized tribe  and the State of Hawaii  to carry out                                                                    
critical  capital projects  in  response  to COVID-19.  Only                                                                    
federally  recognized  tribes  were eligible  to  apply  for                                                                    
funding  and funding  had  to be  allocated  within 60  days                                                                    
after the enactment  of ARPA. She added that  funds would be                                                                    
distributed on a  first come, first served  basis, and would                                                                    
remain available until expended.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:11:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  addressed the Indian  Affairs section  - Title                                                                    
IX. The title included $6.094  billion for the Indian Health                                                                    
Service. She detailed that funding  could be used to address                                                                    
the  impacts  of  COVID-19 on  the  operation  of  essential                                                                    
health and sanitation programs.  She expounded that Congress                                                                    
had been a  bit more specific about the  fund breakdown. She                                                                    
elaborated that  $1.34 [$2.34]  billion had  to be  used for                                                                    
vaccine  campaigns,  testing, tracing,  mitigation  efforts,                                                                    
and  expanding  or  sustaining a  public  health  workforce.                                                                    
Another  $2 billion  had  to be  used  for lost  third-party                                                                    
medical billing reimbursements. Funds  were on a first come,                                                                    
first served basis, and remained available until expended.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:13:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  advanced to  slide  24  and reviewed  a  $900                                                                    
million  set-aside  for  the Bureau  of  Indian  Affairs  to                                                                    
distribute  to  different  federally  recognized  tribes  to                                                                    
address  the  impacts  of COVID-19  on  social  welfare  and                                                                    
public  safety programs.  Congress had  specified the  money                                                                    
needed to be allocated  very specifically. She detailed that                                                                    
$772.5 million  would be  allocated for  government services                                                                    
including  public safety  and child  welfare programs;  $100                                                                    
million  would   be  allocated  for  the   bureau's  Housing                                                                    
Improvement  Program;  $20  million would  be  allocated  to                                                                    
potable water delivery; and $7.5  million would be allocated                                                                    
for administrative costs and oversight.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo explained that the  U.S. Department of Interior                                                                    
could  not consider  any allocation  received to  negatively                                                                    
impact tribes  receiving funding  under the Small  and Needy                                                                    
Tribes  Program. The  program  gave the  base allocation  to                                                                    
tribes  that were  "small"  and  "needy" under  definitional                                                                    
sections.  She detailed  there  were  310 tribes  nationwide                                                                    
participating  in  the  program,  with 209  in  Alaska.  She                                                                    
remarked that  Alaska did  very well  under the  program and                                                                    
the  funding coming  through Section  1102 would  not impact                                                                    
the  program funding.  Funds  would  remain available  until                                                                    
expended. She  relayed the department  had held a  number of                                                                    
consultations on  the issue  and all  of Indian  country was                                                                    
tracking the issue. She characterized  it as the second most                                                                    
popular  set-aside in  addition to  the large  Treasury set-                                                                    
aside of $20 billion.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo looked  at slide 25 and discussed  that the BIA                                                                    
[Bureau  of Indian  Affairs] would  distribute $750  million                                                                    
for housing  assistance and  support services.  She reported                                                                    
that Congress had specified  several different breakdowns in                                                                    
terms  of  how  the  money would  be  grouped  together  for                                                                    
distribution.  She  detailed  that  $450  million  would  be                                                                    
allocated for  the Indian Housing Block  Grant program; $280                                                                    
million  would   be  allocated  for  the   Indian  Community                                                                    
Development  Block  Grant  program;  $10  million  would  be                                                                    
allocated  for technical  assistance;  $5  million would  be                                                                    
allocated  for  the  Native  Hawaiian  Housing  Block  Grant                                                                    
program;   and   $5   million   would   be   allocated   for                                                                    
administrative  costs  and  oversight.  She  explained  that                                                                    
recipients  could  use  the  funds  for  eligible  COVID-19-                                                                    
related  expenses incurred  since  January  21, 2020.  Funds                                                                    
remain available until the end of FY 2025.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:16:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo highlighted  that the  Department of  Interior                                                                    
was responsible  for administering  a $20  million set-aside                                                                    
for  Native  language   preservation  and  maintenance.  She                                                                    
explained that the health department  would take on the task                                                                    
instead and it  was required to award the  grants within 180                                                                    
days   of  the   enactment  of   ARPA.  She   detailed  that                                                                    
eligibility   was  limited   to  entities   receiving  other                                                                    
language   grants  from   the   administration  for   Native                                                                    
Americans;  therefore,  the  pool  of  applicants  had  been                                                                    
predetermined  by  Congress.  Funds would  remain  available                                                                    
until  expended. There  was an  additional $190  million for                                                                    
American   Indian,  Alaska   Native,  and   Native  Hawaiian                                                                    
Education. She  elaborated that the funding  covered a broad                                                                    
array  of  different   education  organizations  within  the                                                                    
aforementioned  groups.  She   detailed  that  Congress  had                                                                    
specified the funds  would be split evenly  with $85 million                                                                    
going  to  Alaska  and  $85 million  going  to  Hawaii.  She                                                                    
reported  that  the department  had  to  allocate the  funds                                                                    
within 180 days of enactment of ARPA.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  concluded her presentation. She  was available                                                                    
for  questions.   She  hoped   the  presentation   gave  the                                                                    
committee  a  high-level  summary of  the  different  Native                                                                    
American  provisions  related  to Alaska  Natives  that  the                                                                    
state could leverage through ARPA.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster thanked Ms. Borromeo for her presentation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Rasmussen looked at slide  7 and asked if the                                                                    
childcare  and development  block grants  could be  used for                                                                    
the Parents as  Teachers program. She asked how  many of the                                                                    
229 tribes  in Alaska currently  had Head Start  programs in                                                                    
place and how many families were served by the program.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  answered  that   the  12  regional  nonprofit                                                                    
organizations  servicing   most  of  the  229   tribes  were                                                                    
operating Head Start  programs on behalf of  the tribes. All                                                                    
of  the  12  nonprofits  offered a  Head  Start  program  in                                                                    
different   villages  throughout   rural  Alaska   based  on                                                                    
enrollment.  She did  not know  the answer  to the  question                                                                    
about stipends for parents.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Rasmussen   suggested  that   perhaps   the                                                                    
legislature  could work  with Ms.  Borromeo  offline on  the                                                                    
Parents as Teachers issue. She  believed Parents as Teachers                                                                    
was a federal program and the  state had been starting to do                                                                    
more with  the program  in rural Alaska.  She was  hoping to                                                                    
continue  the  effort. She  requested  a  follow up  on  the                                                                    
number of  enrollees in Head  Start through the  12 regional                                                                    
corporations.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:20:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  LeBon  looked as  slide  12  related to  low                                                                    
income  home  energy  assistance.  He  thought  it  appeared                                                                    
Alaska stood to do very  well with the specific distribution                                                                    
of funds.  He referenced the  second bullet that  only seven                                                                    
Alaska  recognized tribes  and six  Alaska Native  nonprofit                                                                    
organizations  [were administering  the  funding]. He  asked                                                                    
how the program could benefit Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  replied  that  the  program  was  deceptively                                                                    
beneficial to  Alaska because only  7 of its 229  tribes and                                                                    
half of  its tribal nonprofits  were eligible to  apply. The                                                                    
funding  went to  a number  of  different energy  assistance                                                                    
programs and  many tribes were  working in  partnership with                                                                    
state and  federal energy agencies  to further  maximize the                                                                    
funding.  She  explained  that because  Alaska  only  had  7                                                                    
tribes  and 6  tribal nonprofits  operating Low  Income Home                                                                    
Energy Assistance  Program (LIHEAP) programs, the  state did                                                                    
not have the  reach, which was part of the  drawback for the                                                                    
state in the particular set-aside.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  LeBon thought  at first  glance the  funding                                                                    
appeared  to be  a great  opportunity. He  stated there  had                                                                    
been  challenges  with  Alaska Native  corporations  getting                                                                    
access  to  CARES  Act  relief   funds.  He  asked  if  that                                                                    
situation  was  in  the  past.  Alternatively,  he  wondered                                                                    
whether  an Alaska  Native corporation  would still  have to                                                                    
fight for a share of the funding.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo answered that the  issue continued to be a live                                                                    
controversy. She detailed that  the U.S. Supreme Court would                                                                    
hear  oral  arguments the  following  week  on the  19th  of                                                                    
April.  She  explained   that  Congress  sometimes  included                                                                    
different   Native   entities,   including   Alaska   Native                                                                    
corporations in  a legislative definition of  Indian tribes.                                                                    
She  elaborated  that  when Congress  had  been  legislating                                                                    
CARES it  wanted to push  out the  most amount of  money and                                                                    
have the broadest impact. Congress  had decided to pull from                                                                    
the Indian Self-Determination  and Education Assistance Act.                                                                    
She relayed that it was  a familiar definition to Alaska and                                                                    
AFN  liked  the  definition  because   it  included  all  of                                                                    
Alaska's    federally   recognized    tribes   and    Native                                                                    
corporations. Unfortunately, the  inclusion of Alaska Native                                                                    
corporations  in the  CARES  Act had  been  a very  divisive                                                                    
wedge for Indian country.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  detailed that the  Lower 48 tribes had  a real                                                                    
issue  with  the  situation and  believed  Alaska  would  be                                                                    
unevenly impacted and  benefitted if all 229  tribes and 245                                                                    
corporations  applied  for  the  fund. The  issue  had  been                                                                    
immediately tied  up in litigation  and it was  currently on                                                                    
appeal  to  the  U.S.  Supreme   Court.  She  explained  the                                                                    
situation had  nothing to do with  tribal self-governance or                                                                    
sovereign immunity and  unfortunately it was a bit  of a red                                                                    
herring.  She explained  that if  the court  sided with  the                                                                    
Lower 48  tribes and a  handful of Alaska tribes  and deemed                                                                    
Alaska's  Native   corporations  as  ineligible   under  the                                                                    
definition of  tribes created by  Congress it  threatened to                                                                    
undo a lot of the good  progress that had been made over the                                                                    
past 50 years in terms of self-determination.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:25:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  LeBon  thought  it sounded  like  the  issue                                                                    
would remain a  complicated legal issue. He  looked at slide                                                                    
24 and was  interested in housing for  Village Public Safety                                                                    
Officer (VPSO)  positions in rural  Alaska. He  explained it                                                                    
had been a  struggle to find quality housing  to support the                                                                    
program to help with recruitment  and retention. He asked if                                                                    
any of the funds would be eligible for the purpose.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  answered she would  argue that the  answer was                                                                    
yes.  She  detailed  that $772  million  was  allocated  for                                                                    
government services, which  included public safety; however,                                                                    
it was the argument that  could be made from the perspective                                                                    
of  not  knowing  all of  the  details.  Unfortunately,  the                                                                    
public  safety program  in  ARPA tied  back  to an  existing                                                                    
public  safety  program  run  by  BIA  and  Alaska  did  not                                                                    
qualify.  She stated  it  would be  challenging  to use  the                                                                    
funds  for   VPSO  housing.   She  suggested   that  perhaps                                                                    
different provisions  that were more housing  specific would                                                                    
be a better fit.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:26:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz asked  about  the  biggest roadblocks  for                                                                    
tribal  groups in  Alaska  to fully  take  advantage of  the                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  responded that one  of the  biggest roadblocks                                                                    
for  the state's  229 federally  recognized  tribes was  low                                                                    
capacity in sufficient resources to  hire staff to track the                                                                    
legislation to  locate all of  the different pots  of money.                                                                    
She  noted  the legislation  was  the  largest bill  in  the                                                                    
history  of   the  U.S.  She  elaborated   there  were  many                                                                    
different tribal  set-asides through CARES, ARPA,  and other                                                                    
sources.  She explained  that Alaska's  tribes did  not have                                                                    
the  bandwidth  to  keep  track  of  all  of  the  different                                                                    
application  deadlines  and   requirements  in  addition  to                                                                    
following  up and  communicating  with  the various  federal                                                                    
agencies.  Additionally,   a  significant  portion   of  the                                                                    
information  was being  sent electronically  without advance                                                                    
notice. She  explained that Alaska's tribes  were not seeing                                                                    
the information because  they did not have  broadband on par                                                                    
with Lower 48 tribes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz surmised  there was  significant challenge                                                                    
based on Ms.  Borromeo's answer. He asked  if the challenges                                                                    
could be overcome and if  there was anything the state could                                                                    
do to assist.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo answered  that as shown on some  of the slides,                                                                    
there were  application deadlines  that had  already passed.                                                                    
She explained  that some  of the  tribes were  just learning                                                                    
about  the   different  provisions  currently   even  though                                                                    
federal agencies, AFN, and other  tribal nonprofits had been                                                                    
trying to get  the information out. She  emphasized the vast                                                                    
number of  things happening at  the federal  level including                                                                    
numerous consultations with  different agencies and comments                                                                    
that were  due, it was  almost an information  overload. She                                                                    
stated that  unfortunately the  Native community  had missed                                                                    
some of  the big  deadlines. She  highlighted that  a future                                                                    
remedy  would  be  tracking legislation  more  closely.  She                                                                    
stated that  "many hands make  light work." She  discussed a                                                                    
greater   collaboration  between   the   state  and   Native                                                                    
community.  She noted  the  next  big [federal]  legislation                                                                    
would  be  the  infrastructure  bill. She  stressed  it  was                                                                    
necessary  to ensure  the work  was  divided in  a way  that                                                                    
allowed for  reading the bill  in real time  and identifying                                                                    
applications   the  Native   community  could   submit.  She                                                                    
clarified they  had not  missed the boat  on ARPA,  but some                                                                    
pots  of money  set aside  for tribes  had been  missed. She                                                                    
elaborated  that  the bigger  increments,  such  as the  $20                                                                    
billion from  Treasury were still working  their way through                                                                    
the federal agency consultation and allocation processes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:30:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz noted  that one  of  the slides  addressed                                                                    
water. He  discussed that  there had  been an  ongoing issue                                                                    
with ensuring  there was safe  water in Alaska  villages and                                                                    
that the program was funded. He  asked if there would be any                                                                    
way to  use some of the  federal funds to address  the issue                                                                    
even  though  funds would  go  directly  to communities  and                                                                    
tribes.  He asked  if the  issue of  village safe  water was                                                                    
addressable via the federal funds.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo replied  in the  affirmative.  She pointed  to                                                                    
slide 24  and highlighted that the  allocation from Congress                                                                    
was limited  to $20 million.  She shared that 40  percent of                                                                    
the Navajo nation did not  have plumbed water. She explained                                                                    
that between Alaska, Navajo nation,  and all other tribes in                                                                    
the country  with water issues  and shortages, it was  not a                                                                    
large  amount of  money to  go around.  She shared  that the                                                                    
Alaska  Native  community  (especially tribes  and  regional                                                                    
nonprofits)   had  expertise   in   leveraging  funds.   She                                                                    
elaborated that if they were  able to successfully apply and                                                                    
receive an allocation  and if the state was  able to provide                                                                    
matching funds, the dollars would go farther.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter did not know  there had ever been a                                                                    
problem such  as the current  one. He highlighted  the state                                                                    
deficit problem they were trying  to solve that would take a                                                                    
couple of years. He noted  that the sovereign tribal nations                                                                    
did not  provide any  revenue to the  state budget,  but the                                                                    
state budget provided services to  members of the tribes and                                                                    
other  Alaskans. He  stated it  was necessary  to understand                                                                    
the decisions made by the  sovereign tribes in regard to any                                                                    
federal  funding   they  may  receive  in   order  to  avoid                                                                    
duplicate efforts in the state  budget. He did not know what                                                                    
the  process was.  He remarked  there was  not a  process to                                                                    
communicate  with  hundreds   of  sovereign  nations  within                                                                    
Alaska  on   fiscal  issues.  He  stated   there  was  money                                                                    
appropriated by the federal  government directly to Alaskans                                                                    
that would  impact the state  budget, yet the state  did not                                                                    
understand how the  funds would impact the  state budget. He                                                                    
wondered if there  was a recommendation from  AFN about ways                                                                    
to avoid duplicating funds.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  answered that although  the funds  were tribal                                                                    
set-asides  for tribal  members, the  State of  Alaska still                                                                    
had  a constitutional  obligation to  fund certain  programs                                                                    
and  services  for  all   Alaskans,  tribal  and  non-tribal                                                                    
residents alike.  She highlighted that rural  Alaska was not                                                                    
strictly made up  of Alaska Natives. She stated  that if the                                                                    
concern  was  too  much  money for  rural  Alaska  and  that                                                                    
perhaps the state  did not need to allocate  as much funding                                                                    
because of the ARPA  tribal provisions, she underscored that                                                                    
it was  not the  message she hoped  anyone on  the committee                                                                    
received. She  stressed that the  federal funds  were highly                                                                    
competitive  between the  nation's 574  tribes. The  state's                                                                    
229  tribes  accounted  for a  substantial  portion  of  the                                                                    
total; however, its  tribes were much smaller  than those in                                                                    
the Lower 48.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo explained  that  in  funding discussions  with                                                                    
federal  agencies there  was almost  always  a formula  that                                                                    
came out  of the discussion  and Alaska almost  always lost.                                                                    
She furthered that Alaska did  not have the large population                                                                    
that big  tribes had,  it did  not have  the land  base that                                                                    
large  reservation  tribes had,  and  it  did not  have  the                                                                    
economic benefit of owning casinos,  oil and gas operations,                                                                    
or  tourism businesses.  She continued  that there  had been                                                                    
such a  high level  of underfunding in  rural Alaska  and to                                                                    
many  areas  where tribes  were  prevalent,  even if  Alaska                                                                    
captured all  of the  $305 billion  tribal set  aside, which                                                                    
would not happen, there would still be funding issues.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  suggested writing  a  letter  or calling  the                                                                    
tribal  administrator  to see  if  there  were shovel  ready                                                                    
projects in different regions or  Alaska Native villages the                                                                    
state could  partner on with  tribes. She  recommended using                                                                    
the funds under ARPA to  leverage any state funds and tribal                                                                    
set  aside funds  to complete  projects for  the benefit  of                                                                    
Alaskans whether  or not they  were enrolled in  a federally                                                                    
recognized tribe.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carpenter thought  the answer highlighted the                                                                    
coming  challenge  of  communicating  with  several  hundred                                                                    
tribes to understand how they were being impacted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster acknowledged both  points. He thought how to                                                                    
avoid duplicating efforts and  understanding the process was                                                                    
a  good point.  He spoke  to  the point  about grants  being                                                                    
competitive. He  addressed the high  level of need.  He used                                                                    
village safe  water as an  example. He stated that  the ADEC                                                                    
had come up with a list of  over $1 billion in terms of need                                                                    
for maintenance and  new service for village  safe water. He                                                                    
referenced slide  24 and highlighted  that only  $20 million                                                                    
in  ARPA  was allocated  for  potable  water nationwide.  He                                                                    
remarked  that even  if Alaska  received the  entire amount,                                                                    
funds would still  fall far short [of the  overall need]. He                                                                    
noted it  was only one  piece of  the puzzle and  there were                                                                    
many components involved in coordinating the whole thing.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo provided  an additional  suggestion about  how                                                                    
best  to  communicate with  229  tribes.  She believed  that                                                                    
asking AFN to  the meeting showed that  the legislature knew                                                                    
how  to communicate  effectively  and  efficiently with  the                                                                    
state's  tribes. She  detailed that  AFN represented  169 of                                                                    
the  229 tribes  in  Alaska  and it  was  able  to push  out                                                                    
information. She  strongly suggested forming  a relationship                                                                    
with the different tribal nonprofits  in all of the regions.                                                                    
She  explained that  most regional  tribes  belonged to  the                                                                    
tribal consortia, which was able  to communicate quickly and                                                                    
efficiently   with   tribes   as  well.   She   added   that                                                                    
communicating only with AFN and  tribal nonprofits was not a                                                                    
substitution  to trying  one's best  to send  information in                                                                    
real time  to the tribes. She  noted that AFN was  more than                                                                    
willing to  help legislators with that.  She believed tribal                                                                    
nonprofits would also be willing to help.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:41:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wool    referenced   the    Alaska   Native                                                                    
corporations  and the  U.S. Supreme  Court case.  He assumed                                                                    
that tribal nonprofits  were not under the  same lawsuit. He                                                                    
asked if  nonprofits were  eligible in  the same  way tribes                                                                    
were, which was different than the for-profit corporations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo responded  there were  three primary  entities                                                                    
with a  responsibility to Alaska  Natives or  with authority                                                                    
over them,  including federally recognized  tribes, regional                                                                    
nonprofits,  and  corporations.  She  explained  that  under                                                                    
certain provisions of ARPA,  tribal nonprofits were eligible                                                                    
if  Congress  included  them in  the  definition  of  Indian                                                                    
tribes. She relayed that most  of the ARPA funding set aside                                                                    
for tribes  was limited to federally  recognized tribes. She                                                                    
elaborated  that the  Lower 48  tribes were  very active  in                                                                    
lobbying  their different  members  of Congress  in the  new                                                                    
administration and  had been very  crafty in  making certain                                                                    
Congress used definitions of  federally recognized tribes as                                                                    
much  as possible  because  it would  benefit  the Lower  48                                                                    
collectively. She clarified that AFN  did not fault Lower 48                                                                    
tribes  for the  effort. She  emphasized the  high level  of                                                                    
need  across Indian  country and  tribes were  advocating as                                                                    
strongly and  forcefully as possible  for their  people. She                                                                    
explained  that  the effort  hurt  the  chances of  Alaska's                                                                    
federally recognized Native tribes  of receiving some of the                                                                    
allocations; however,  they understood why it  was important                                                                    
that  a strict  federally  recognized  tribe definition  was                                                                    
used as much as possible.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  continued   that  tribal  organizations  were                                                                    
eligible for  a good amount  of the different funds  if they                                                                    
were  included in  the definition  of tribal  organizations,                                                                    
which they  almost always  were. She  stated it  was another                                                                    
good opportunity  for AFN to  be working better  with tribal                                                                    
organizations  and   tribes  in   submitting  some   of  the                                                                    
applications, especially  when tribes and  tribal nonprofits                                                                    
were eligible on their own.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:43:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool stated  that much  of the  presentation                                                                    
included available  funds to tribes  across the  country and                                                                    
did not give  a breakdown for Alaska. He  surmised that many                                                                    
of the funds  were grants and the amount of  money coming to                                                                    
Alaska would depend on who applied.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo replied affirmatively.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool relayed  that the  committee had  heard                                                                    
presentations  from  the  Legislative Finance  Division  and                                                                    
others on CARES Act and  ARPA funds. He referenced a handout                                                                    
the  committee had  received recently  showing approximately                                                                    
$400 million  under the CARES  Act and $500 million  or $600                                                                    
million under ARPA going to  tribal entities. He asked if it                                                                    
was  separate  from  the  funds   included  in  the  current                                                                    
presentation. Alternatively, he asked  if the listed amounts                                                                    
were an approximation if the expected applicants applied.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo directed attention to  slide 21 that showed the                                                                    
$20 billion coming through Treasury.  She explained that the                                                                    
$400  million  allocated to  all  tribes  came from  the  $1                                                                    
billion  evenly  shared  by all  574  [federally  recognized                                                                    
tribes].  She  clarified  that   the  funds  highlighted  by                                                                    
Representative Wool  were not separate and  were included in                                                                    
her presentation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool referenced  Ms. Borromeo's  explanation                                                                    
that the  funding was divided  between the 574  tribes based                                                                    
on  population,  landmass,  and so  on.  He  understood  the                                                                    
formula  was  more involved  than  just  dividing the  money                                                                    
equally by 574 or 229 in  Alaska. He thought he had heard in                                                                    
a recent  meeting that every  tribe in Alaska  would receive                                                                    
$1.7 million,  which was  almost $400  million. He  asked if                                                                    
the information was accurate.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo  asked if  Representative Wool  was referencing                                                                    
the  $1 billion  that would  be divided  equally across  all                                                                    
tribes in the country.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  replied  that  he  did  not  know.  He                                                                    
explained  that the  committee  had been  told  in a  recent                                                                    
presentation that  each of  the 229  tribes in  Alaska would                                                                    
receive   $1.7  million.   He  stated   it  may   have  been                                                                    
inaccurate.  He asked  if the  number  was based  on the  $1                                                                    
billion divided by 574.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo believed  the person had been  referring to the                                                                    
$1 billion  divided by 574.  She was not entirely  sure what                                                                    
the  number was.  She  confirmed that  $1  billion would  be                                                                    
divided by  574 and allocated  to all 229 tribes  across the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool   stated  that  the  figure   was  $1.7                                                                    
million.  He asked  if the  $1 billion  was divided  equally                                                                    
across  the   574  tribes.  He  referenced   Ms.  Borromeo's                                                                    
testimony  that  some  funding   was  based  on  population,                                                                    
landmass, and so on.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo   answered  that  the  $1   billion  would  be                                                                    
allocated evenly. She elaborated that  of the $20 billion to                                                                    
be allocated  by Treasury, Congress  had told  U.S. Treasury                                                                    
Secretary  Janet Yellen  to  distribute  $1 billion  equally                                                                    
between all  574 federally recognized  tribes. Additionally,                                                                    
there  was $19  billion the  secretary would  allocate on  a                                                                    
discretionary  basis.  She  relayed the  comment  period  to                                                                    
Treasury on how Indian country  believed the funds should be                                                                    
allocated had  closed the previous Friday.  She informed the                                                                    
committee that  Treasury had  sent out  a number  of framing                                                                    
questions  indicating that  population  and economic  losses                                                                    
would be  major factors.  She explained  the method  was not                                                                    
necessarily  equitable because  many of  the tribes  running                                                                    
large casinos,  operating oil and  gas, or  tourism business                                                                    
could qualify for non-tribal set  asides, which were greater                                                                    
than  the  tribal set-asides  in  ARPA.  She furthered  that                                                                    
those tribes  would likely be  able to double dip  under the                                                                    
$19   billion   and   other  provisions.   She   highlighted                                                                    
provisions for  the service industry  and restaurants  as an                                                                    
example. She reported that any  tribe owning a restaurant in                                                                    
a casino could apply.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:49:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool  stated   his  understanding  that  one                                                                    
amount would  be divided equally between  all 574 [federally                                                                    
recognized] tribes  with each tribe  receiving approximately                                                                    
$1.7  million.  He remarked  that  it  would certainly  help                                                                    
smaller  tribes  in  Alaska.  He  believed  the  larger  $19                                                                    
billion would  be allocated by  population, which  would not                                                                    
help Alaskan tribes as much as other parts of the country.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo interjected  that AFN did not know  how the $19                                                                    
billion would be allocated. She  explained that AFN had seen                                                                    
some framing questions from the  Department of Treasury, and                                                                    
some  follow  up questions  led  AFN  to believe  population                                                                    
would  be one  of  the  main variables  used  to divide  the                                                                    
money.  She elaborated  that when  a tribal  funding formula                                                                    
was  developed by  a federal  agency,  typically there  were                                                                    
several components  included such as population,  land base,                                                                    
economic  impacts,  poverty,  unemployment, and  other.  She                                                                    
reiterated  AFN's expectation  that  population  would be  a                                                                    
major driver for the $19 billion.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wool asked  if  there were  any sidebars  or                                                                    
rules  on the  $1.7 million  each  of the  574 tribes  would                                                                    
receive.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  replied  that tribes  had  requested  maximum                                                                    
flexibility to  be able to  allocate the funds in  line with                                                                    
their  own  tribal  sovereignty.  She stated  that  AFN  was                                                                    
expecting there  would be  significant flexibility  with the                                                                    
funds. She explained that all  of the funds would be subject                                                                    
to a  federal audit  and Treasury  would have  guardrails on                                                                    
some of the funds. For example,  the funds could not be used                                                                    
for lobbying and  had to be used  for COVID-related purposes                                                                    
necessary for economic and health recovery.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:52:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  thanked Ms. Borromeo for  a fantastic                                                                    
presentation.  He observed  the presentation  contained more                                                                    
detail than the committee had  received on the ARPA package.                                                                    
He noted  that he and  various committee members  had Alaska                                                                    
Native  villages in  their districts.  He  stated that  $2.7                                                                    
billion  was the  last large  federal funding  that came  to                                                                    
Alaska  tribes under  the Obama  Administration in  2009. He                                                                    
stressed  that  the  ARPA  funding  was  $32.5  billion.  He                                                                    
referenced  Ms. Borromeo's  discussion  on partnerships.  He                                                                    
was concerned that the state was  not keeping its end of the                                                                    
bargain up. He  highlighted that the state had  cut a number                                                                    
of  local government  specialists  around  Alaska. He  noted                                                                    
that the  governor's proposed budget  would cut one  more of                                                                    
the  positions. He  explained  that  the specialists  helped                                                                    
tribal administrators  and others  at the village  level who                                                                    
would  have  demonstrate   public  health  emergency  needs,                                                                    
essential  workers,  and  the same  requirements  the  House                                                                    
Finance  Committee  had  seen with  the  ARPA  funds  coming                                                                    
Alaska's way.  He explained that  the $1.7 million  for each                                                                    
of the 229 tribes would not be a blank check.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Edgmon   recognized   there  would   be   a                                                                    
tremendous amount  of money coming  into Alaska  for tribes;                                                                    
however, the  concerning feature  was the issue  of capacity                                                                    
and  the  number of  tribal  administrators  and people  who                                                                    
could actually  do the  work it  took to  get the  money. He                                                                    
stressed that a  vast amount of the  $32.5 million [billion]                                                                    
would  be competitive  money. He  elaborated there  would be                                                                    
competition with  tribes in  the Lower  48 that  were likely                                                                    
more  sophisticated, have  more  human  capital, and  larger                                                                    
populations in  terms of formula-based  programs. He  saw an                                                                    
opportunity for the state to be  a good partner and he hoped                                                                    
it had  the chance to do  its part to help  compete for much                                                                    
of the money. He recognized  that $1.7 billion coming to the                                                                    
229 federally recognized tribes  in Alaska was $389 million,                                                                    
which  was  a  substantial amount  of  money.  Additionally,                                                                    
there  was $20  billion, and  a plethora  of other  projects                                                                    
shown in the presentation.                                                                                                      
Representative     Edgmon     appreciated     Representative                                                                    
Carpenter's  question about  how the  tribal money  would be                                                                    
tied  into the  budget process.  He shared  it had  been his                                                                    
concern from  the beginning in  terms of how the  tribal and                                                                    
other  ARPA  funds  would  be folded  into  the  budget.  He                                                                    
pointed  out that  many  of  the tribes  in  Alaska were  in                                                                    
smaller    communities    with   incorporated    governments                                                                    
functioning under  the state constitution  like the  City of                                                                    
Anchorage,   cities  of   Palmer,   Wasilla,  Eagle   River,                                                                    
Dillingham, Nome,  Ketchikan, etcetera. He  highlighted that                                                                    
numerous  tribes  also  existed in  urban  Alaska  including                                                                    
Southcentral.  He  underscored  there was  $389  million  in                                                                    
addition to  the other  funding to  be obtained  through the                                                                    
competitive  process  that   would  reverberate  around  the                                                                    
statewide economy.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Edgmon  thought   he   had  perhaps   heard                                                                    
somewhere  along the  way that  villages did  not pay  their                                                                    
way. He  could say from  experience that villages  paid high                                                                    
sales  tax  in  addition  to property  taxes  that  differed                                                                    
community  to  community  (Native allotment  and  non-Native                                                                    
allotment).   He  appreciated   the   thoroughness  of   the                                                                    
presentation. He emphasized it  was a tremendous opportunity                                                                    
for the legislature  on the tribal and  non-tribal front. He                                                                    
emphasized that part of the  legislature's job was to ensure                                                                    
there was  enough human capacity  to administer  the grants,                                                                    
to make certain the money  was spent appropriately, and that                                                                    
at some point a future legislature  did not have a huge bill                                                                    
to pay because  people did not follow the  rules properly in                                                                    
tribal and non-tribal entities.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:57:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Rasmussen  was curious  to know if  the state                                                                    
was lacking  some of  the human  capacity for  competing for                                                                    
the  dollars, whether  tribes were  allowed to  partner with                                                                    
groups like the Rasmussen  Foundation to provide assistance.                                                                    
She wanted to  know how they could set up  the situation for                                                                    
success.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo answered that tribes  were able to partner with                                                                    
a broad array  of organizations and individuals  as they saw                                                                    
fit.  For example,  the Alaska  Native Tribal  Health System                                                                    
had a  grant writing office  that lent its time  and talents                                                                    
to  tribes  as  available. She  agreed  with  Representative                                                                    
Edgmon that  a navigator program would  be extremely helpful                                                                    
in terms of what the  state could contribute to the process.                                                                    
She explained there  were currently a vast  number of tribal                                                                    
set-asides in ARPA and there  would likely be more under the                                                                    
infrastructure  package [under  consideration by  Congress];                                                                    
therefore, a streamlined process  where tribes knew where to                                                                    
go for  a "one stop shop"  would really help draw  down some                                                                    
of  the  funds.  She  stressed  that  it  mattered  what  an                                                                    
application  looked like  and how  talented  a grant  writer                                                                    
was. She  emphasized that the  need in Alaska and  the Lower                                                                    
48 was great. She explained that  the funds would not all be                                                                    
allocated based  on need alone.  Some of the funds  would be                                                                    
distributed based on the application process.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Rasmussen  asked   about  the  capacity  the                                                                    
various tribes had when it  came to the application process.                                                                    
She asked if the tribes  had basic broadband internet access                                                                    
to apply if a program was online.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Borromeo  answered  in the  negative.  She  reported  a                                                                    
recent situation where  a person in a village had  to fly to                                                                    
Anchorage  to upload  their application  for submittal.  She                                                                    
explained  it was  difficult to  submit the  applications in                                                                    
much  of  rural Alaska.  She  elaborated  that the  regional                                                                    
nonprofits  helped the  tribes  along with  the process.  In                                                                    
terms  of capacity,  the tribes  were very  different across                                                                    
the  state. For  example, the  Tlingit and  Haida tribe  was                                                                    
overseen  by Richard  Peterson in  Juneau. She  detailed the                                                                    
tribe  had  numerous  departments including  court  systems,                                                                    
finance, child  welfare, and an elders'  program. There were                                                                    
also tribes  in the Interior  with a handful of  members and                                                                    
one  tribal  administrator  trying  to  keep  track  of  the                                                                    
different   funding   programs    and   opportunities.   She                                                                    
elaborated that  the smaller  tribe had  one person  doing a                                                                    
job that  was spread  out among 40  individuals in  a larger                                                                    
tribe.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:02:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  thanked Ms.  Borromeo for  the presentation                                                                    
and asked if she had any closing comments.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Borromeo appreciated the  committee's time. She stressed                                                                    
that  the  federal   funding  was  a  once   in  a  lifetime                                                                    
opportunity.  She  emphasized  that  Alaska  Native  tribes,                                                                    
tribal organizations,  and Native corporations  were extreme                                                                    
economic drivers  and wanted to  be part of the  solution in                                                                    
terms of  the fiscal  gap. She  explained that  the entities                                                                    
were able  to leverage federal  resources in ways  the state                                                                    
was  unable  to.  She  relayed  the  entities  welcomed  the                                                                    
opportunity  to  partner with  the  state  through ARPA  and                                                                    
different  economic stimulus  plans coming  out through  the                                                                    
new administration.  She believed  there would be  much more                                                                    
success  working  together  to  solve  negative  health  and                                                                    
economic impacts from COVID.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  thanked AFN for  all of its  work and                                                                    
consultation  with the  federal delegation.  He acknowledged                                                                    
Senator   Lisa   Murkowski,   Senator  Dan   Sullivan,   and                                                                    
Congressmen  Don  Young  for   their  work  on  the  federal                                                                    
funding.   He   reiterated    his   appreciation   for   the                                                                    
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:04:46 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:05:38 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 169                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act making appropriations  for public education and                                                                    
     transportation  of  students;   and  providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:05:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster listed individuals available online.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DAN   ORTIZ,    SPONSOR,   introduced   the                                                                    
legislation with a prepared statement:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I appreciate the opportunity for  the chance to present                                                                    
     House Bill 169, which is  an appropriation bill for the                                                                    
     education formula  and pupil transportation  for fiscal                                                                    
     year 2022.  House Bill 169 is  a separate appropriation                                                                    
     bill  from the  regular  operating budget  in order  to                                                                    
     pass funding  for education earlier in  the session and                                                                    
     prevent   school  districts   from  issuing   mandatory                                                                    
     teacher layoff notices.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Each  year,   school  districts  rely  heavily   on  an                                                                    
     appropriation  from   the  state  to   fund  education,                                                                    
     although  we, the  legislature, sometimes  do not  pass                                                                    
     the  operating budget  until late  May or  June. School                                                                    
     districts  must complete  their  budgets much  earlier,                                                                    
     usually in  March. Districts are often  forced to draft                                                                    
     multiple budgets and anticipate low amounts.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     In  the  face  of uncertainty,  school  districts  will                                                                    
     sometimes issue  pink slips to tenured  teachers by May                                                                    
     15th and  to non-tenured  teachers by  the last  day of                                                                    
     the  school year  because they  did not  know what  the                                                                    
     legislature   was   going   to   do   specifically   in                                                                    
     relationship  to  funding   for  education;  therefore,                                                                    
     without  knowing,   by  contracts,   stipulations,  and                                                                    
     things  like that,  they sometimes  are forced  to hand                                                                    
     out  pink  slips because  they  were  left without  the                                                                    
     information  they  needed.   Therefore,  there  was  an                                                                    
     opportunity  cost with  that.  Education and  students'                                                                    
     success is a high priority for the state.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Keeping educators in the classrooms  is one of the most                                                                    
     effective  ways to  address that  priority. House  Bill                                                                    
     169   reflects   the    legislature's   commitment   to                                                                    
     education, the school districts, and teachers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz  further explained the bill  was an attempt                                                                    
by the legislature  to give early notice to  districts as to                                                                    
where  things  would  stand  for  them  in  relationship  to                                                                    
funding. The  goal was to  hopefully avoid  districts having                                                                    
to issue pink  slips. He explained there  was an opportunity                                                                    
cost  with issuing  pink  slips  because teachers  sometimes                                                                    
decided to  leave a community  and take a job  elsewhere. He                                                                    
highlighted the difficulty retaining  teachers in Alaska. He                                                                    
hoped the  problem could be  avoided by working  together to                                                                    
pass an early funding bill. He was available for questions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster did  not see the necessity  of reviewing the                                                                    
sectional analysis. He pointed  out that the legislature had                                                                    
provided early funding for education  several years back. He                                                                    
explained early funding was  different than forward funding.                                                                    
He elaborated  that early funding  meant paying  the current                                                                    
year  as the  legislature  normally would  in the  operating                                                                    
budget, but rather than putting  it in the operating budget,                                                                    
it  was  included in  a  separate  bill to  provide  funding                                                                    
sooner.  He  elaborated  that   with  the  anticipated  ARPA                                                                    
funding, the  operating budget timeline had  slowed down. He                                                                    
detailed that  if the budget  was not completed  until after                                                                    
May 15,  it was  a problem for  school districts.  He argued                                                                    
that while  May 15 was  the deadline, some  school districts                                                                    
had multiple  schools that were asked  internally to provide                                                                    
a  list of  potential pink  slips by  May 1.  He highlighted                                                                    
that if the legislature did not  issue a budget by May 10 or                                                                    
so,  it  would put  some  school  districts  in a  bind.  He                                                                    
pointed out that  HB 169 was a basic bill  that followed the                                                                    
formula.  He   clarified  the  bill  did   not  contain  any                                                                    
additional items  such as projected  ARPA funds  or one-time                                                                    
increments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:10:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Josephson   asked    what   average   daily                                                                    
membership (ADM) would be applied to the calculation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz answered that the  ADM had been impacted in                                                                    
the current year by COVID. He  had heard requests to use the                                                                    
FY  19  ADM numbers  rather  than  the most  recent  October                                                                    
numbers. He  did not  know whether  the legislature  had the                                                                    
leeway to  make the  adjustment in the  bill. He  relayed he                                                                    
had submitted the question to the department.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LACEY SANDERS, ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF  EDUCATION AND  EARLY DEVELOPMENT,  OFFICE OF  MANAGEMENT                                                                    
AND  BUDGET, OFFICE  OF THE  GOVERNOR (via  teleconference),                                                                    
answered  that there  were no  changes made  by the  current                                                                    
version  of the  bill and  the Department  of Education  and                                                                    
Early Development (DEED) would  utilize the existing statute                                                                    
to  provide  payments  to school  districts.  Currently  the                                                                    
projection in the bill was based  on the ADM provided by the                                                                    
school districts in September  2020; however, there would be                                                                    
a new  student count with preliminary  numbers after October                                                                    
2021. She  detailed that a reconciliation  would be provided                                                                    
by the  department and finalized numbers  would be available                                                                    
in March of 2022. She  explained the March 2022 number would                                                                    
be paid to school districts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:13:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson  provided a scenario  where student                                                                    
populations  beginning  in  mid-August looked  more  like  a                                                                    
typical  year as  opposed  to the  current  school year.  He                                                                    
asked  if  the  appropriation   would  look  more  like  the                                                                    
2019/2020 school year under the scenario.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders  answered  in  the  affirmative.  She  detailed                                                                    
districts would be paid based  on the school count period in                                                                    
the fall [of 2021].                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Rasmussen  asked if  it was possible  to look                                                                    
at language  for funding the  following year as well  in the                                                                    
same  piece  of  legislation  to  bring  some  certainty  to                                                                    
districts. She reasoned  if the funding was  within the same                                                                    
two-year  cycle,  the legislature  would  not  be binding  a                                                                    
future legislature to an appropriation.  She believed it was                                                                    
important for the legislature do  everything it could to not                                                                    
put teachers and  schools in the position  of receiving pink                                                                    
slips,  especially   during  a  time  with   many  financial                                                                    
stresses on families.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders responded that the  bill provided funding for FY                                                                    
22 and did  not address FY 23. She believed  it was what Co-                                                                    
Chair Foster  had spoken  to earlier  when he  had explained                                                                    
the bill did not forward fund education.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  added that the  bill did not  forward fund,                                                                    
but it could.  He stated the other part of  the equation was                                                                    
whether  the legislature  wanted to  do so.  He relayed  the                                                                    
committee could add the provision with an amendment.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:15:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  LeBon supported  the legislation.  He stated                                                                    
that he almost wished the  legislature had passed the bill a                                                                    
bit earlier.  He recalled his  time on the  Fairbanks School                                                                    
Board and reported that the  school board had been deep into                                                                    
its budget  process one to  two months back.  He highlighted                                                                    
that it still  did not hurt that the  legislature was giving                                                                    
districts some heads  up that it was willing to  fund to the                                                                    
formula. He stated that the bill would help regardless.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Ortiz  referenced   an   earlier  question   by                                                                    
Representative Josephson. He  asked if it would  be legal to                                                                    
use the  ADM count  from FY 19  with the  understanding that                                                                    
those numbers may more accurately  reflect the student count                                                                    
in October of 2021.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders  answered that using  a different  student count                                                                    
period would require a statutory  change. She noted that the                                                                    
bill  reflected  the  projections currently.  She  clarified                                                                    
that the  actual payment  made by  DEED to  school districts                                                                    
would be paid based on actuals in FY 22.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson  noted  that  the  bill  looked  at                                                                    
projections for  the current budget  using 2020  counts from                                                                    
the past  fall. He  believed funding would  be short  if the                                                                    
student count in  the fall increased to the  2019 level, but                                                                    
the budget used the 2020 count.  He asked if it would mean a                                                                    
supplemental budget item.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  answered that  it  was  possible to  do  a                                                                    
supplemental. He  remarked that the question  had been asked                                                                    
to  Legislative   Legal  Services  or  another   entity.  He                                                                    
explained that  if the  2019 student  count were  used, each                                                                    
school would get a disproportionate  amount. He referenced a                                                                    
recent year  when the legislature  had allocated  a one-time                                                                    
increment of $35 million. He  noted it had been necessary to                                                                    
get  around the  disparity test.  He asked  if the  one-time                                                                    
increment had been allocated based on the ADM.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders clarified  that the  estimates provided  in the                                                                    
bill were projections  by the school districts  on what they                                                                    
think the next  school year would look  like. She elucidated                                                                    
that  the  projections  were not  based  on  the  districts'                                                                    
decreased  populations during  the  pandemic. She  explained                                                                    
the language in  the bill provided the  appropriation at the                                                                    
amount necessary  to fund, which  provided DEED  the ability                                                                    
to pay  school districts based  on the actual  student count                                                                    
period  and  did  not  require  DEED  to  come  back  for  a                                                                    
supplemental. The  department reported  back on  the changes                                                                    
between  the  initial  projection   and  the  actual  amount                                                                    
required. She  reiterated it  did not  require DEED  to come                                                                    
back for  a supplemental.  She agreed  that the  $35 million                                                                    
had been  an appropriation  outside the  foundation formula,                                                                    
which  was   allocated  based  on  the   adjusted  ADM.  She                                                                    
confirmed that changes to the  formula required working with                                                                    
federal partners to avoid failing  the disparity test, which                                                                    
would cost the state more money.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster thought there would  be a $26 million dip in                                                                    
the  funding  for education  because  students  had gone  to                                                                    
correspondence and  fewer students  had been in  schools. He                                                                    
asked  how to  ensure schools  did not  see a  reduction. He                                                                    
highlighted that eventually students  would be back in brick                                                                    
and mortar schools.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders replied  that school  districts  would be  paid                                                                    
based on  their actual student  count. In the  current year,                                                                    
districts  may see  a dent  based on  the decline  in actual                                                                    
student   enrollment.   She    clarified   that   the   fund                                                                    
appropriated in HB  169 would be based on  the next [school]                                                                    
year.  She   explained  that   school  districts   may  have                                                                    
considered students  returning from  correspondence programs                                                                    
as  schools  were reopening  in  the  next fiscal  year  and                                                                    
projections would not  reflect the dip that  occurred in the                                                                    
current year.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:23:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon spoke  to  projections versus  actual                                                                    
student counts.  He stated  that in the  fall of  2020, many                                                                    
schools had kids being instructed  by remote learning or not                                                                    
in  school. He  stated his  understanding that  schools were                                                                    
projecting "x"  number of students  in the fall in  order to                                                                    
meet  the funding  that would  come  into play  in March  of                                                                    
2022. He asked  if projections could be used  to suffice for                                                                    
the student count.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders replied in the  affirmative. She elaborated that                                                                    
statutory  guidance  directed  school districts  to  provide                                                                    
projections in the  fall in order for DEED to  have a budget                                                                    
to present to the  legislature. She confirmed that districts                                                                    
provided projections.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  used the  Bristol Bay Borough  in his                                                                    
district as  an example. He  remarked that most of  the kids                                                                    
were at  home. He considered  a scenario where  the district                                                                    
projected 300  students for  the fall of  2020. In  terms of                                                                    
the legislation,  he asked if the  projections would suffice                                                                    
as opposed to counting the actual students.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders responded  that DEED  used projections  when it                                                                    
developed the  future year budget.  She clarified  that when                                                                    
DEED  reimbursed   districts  during   the  year,   it  used                                                                    
districts' first  nine months based  on the FY 21  count and                                                                    
trued  up in  the  final three  months.  She explained  that                                                                    
projections  were used  for purposes  of budgeting  and when                                                                    
the   actual  student   count  occurred   in  October,   the                                                                    
department used the actual counts.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Edgmon  surmised   the  legislature   could                                                                    
appropriate $1.1  billion in  HB 169, but  in the  end, what                                                                    
actually went  to school districts could  be smaller because                                                                    
of the actual numbers in the true up.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders answered that the  funding could be less or more                                                                    
depending on student counts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  referenced $26 million the  legislature had                                                                    
heard schools would be shorted.  He asked if the $26 million                                                                    
would be applied to the FY  21 budget with the "estimated to                                                                    
be"  language.  Alternatively,  he   asked  if  it  was  the                                                                    
projection for the FY 22  budget that schools would be short                                                                    
by $26 million.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:27:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders  stated her  understanding that  in FY  21 there                                                                    
was an  increase over  the projection  in the  prior budget.                                                                    
She would follow up with an answer in writing.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  LeBon stated  there  was a  lot unknown  out                                                                    
there.  He shared  that his  own district  in Fairbanks  was                                                                    
doing  everything  it   could  identify  returning  students                                                                    
because many  students sought other  options as much  of the                                                                    
in-person  instruction   had  paused.  He   recalled  having                                                                    
meetings  in June  and July  during his  time on  the school                                                                    
board to  adjust budget amounts because  of new information.                                                                    
He  explained  that  in Fairbanks,  funding  had  come  from                                                                    
federal sources  because of the  schools on  Fort Wainwright                                                                    
and  Eielson Air  Force Base.  Additionally,  there was  the                                                                    
state   funding   formula,    a   borough   component,   and                                                                    
miscellaneous  grants. He  highlighted  that budget  actions                                                                    
were not limited to one time per year.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster pointed out that  although May 15th may be a                                                                    
deadline for tenured  teachers, there was a  deadline on the                                                                    
last  day  of school  for  non-tenured  teachers, which  was                                                                    
April 30 in one of the  schools in his district. He stressed                                                                    
that the issue impacted schools.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wool  stated that the student  count was down                                                                    
in Fairbanks by 2,000 from  the previous year. He added that                                                                    
statewide  the count  was  down 2,000.  He  noted that  kids                                                                    
doing remote  learning during in-person school  closures did                                                                    
not   change   the   student   count.   He   remarked   that                                                                    
correspondence learning was within  the public school system                                                                    
depending  on  the program.  He  pointed  out that  although                                                                    
projected  numbers   were  down   from  2019,   some  school                                                                    
districts  were  up.  He  cited Galena  as  an  example  and                                                                    
explained  that  correspondence  schools   had  a  surge  in                                                                    
enrolment.   He  referenced   many   calls  to   legislators                                                                    
requesting  the  use  of  2019  numbers  [in  the  education                                                                    
budget]. He reasoned  that if the budget  used 2019 numbers,                                                                    
the schools  with robust correspondence programs  (e.g., the                                                                    
Galena  or Yukon-Kuskokwim  School districts)  would take  a                                                                    
hit.  He  did  not  know what  the  correspondence  schools'                                                                    
projected numbers were, but he  speculated they would likely                                                                    
see decreases in student numbers.  He reasoned that while it                                                                    
sounded simple, it may not  be advisable to use 2019 student                                                                    
count numbers  in the budget. He  considered that statewide,                                                                    
the student count was only  down by 2,000 and attributed the                                                                    
decrease partially  to people leaving the  state and private                                                                    
schools  absorbing some  of the  students. He  believed that                                                                    
remote schooling  would not be  offered in Fairbanks  in the                                                                    
coming  school  year. He  thought  students  would have  the                                                                    
choice  of  doing  correspondence  or  going  to  school  in                                                                    
person.  He  speculated  that school  numbers  would  bounce                                                                    
back. He reported  that his kids, who  were attending school                                                                    
in person, had told him  more students were returning to the                                                                    
classroom  each week.  He asked  where  student counts  were                                                                    
currently in comparison to 2019 numbers.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:32:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders replied  that  she did  not  have the  district                                                                    
allocation on hand.  She shared that the DEED  website had a                                                                    
report  showing projections  provided  by school  districts.                                                                    
She would  include the  information in  her response  to the                                                                    
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  asked  if  Ms. Sanders  had  the  HB  169                                                                    
sectional analysis on hand.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders replied that she would pull it up online.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  referenced   language  in  the  sectional                                                                    
analysis specifying  the bill  would appropriate  the amount                                                                    
necessary, estimated to  be $1.193 billion. He  asked if the                                                                    
number reflected the savings or  lessened funding that would                                                                    
go  towards  the  Base Student  Allocation  (BSA)  based  on                                                                    
declined student enrollment due to COVID.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sanders  answered that the number  reflected the student                                                                    
count projected  by school districts during  the next school                                                                    
year. She  relayed that school  districts may  have included                                                                    
some  reduction based  on projected  declines, whether  from                                                                    
COVID or students leaving the  state. She could not speak to                                                                    
each   school  districts'   basis   for  determining   their                                                                    
projections.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz asked  if it was no longer  the position of                                                                    
the administration  that approximately $30 million  would be                                                                    
saved in the FY 22 budget based on declining enrollment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders  answered  that  she   was  not  aware  of  the                                                                    
statement being made.  She was not aware of  the $30 million                                                                    
in savings  due to  [enrollment] decline. She  reported that                                                                    
the  actual  cost  of  education   had  increased  over  the                                                                    
projection from  the previous year. She  elaborated that the                                                                    
number  had  increased  by $26  million  from  the  previous                                                                    
session.  She  wondered  if Vice-Chair  Ortiz  was  possibly                                                                    
comparing FY 20 to FY 22.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz answered that he  was referring to a number                                                                    
referenced  by  Co-Chair  Foster.   He  explained  that  the                                                                    
governor's  initial  budget  reflected  a  decrease  in  BSA                                                                    
funding based on  declining enrollment in FY 21.  He did not                                                                    
recall  the precise  number  referenced  by Co-Chair  Foster                                                                    
earlier in the meeting.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster recalled the figure as $26 million.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Foster  asked   Ms.   Sanders   to  include   the                                                                    
information in the written response to the committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Carpenter  asked  for clarification  on  the                                                                    
projections  and  student   counts.  He  referenced  earlier                                                                    
discussion  about September  2020 and  October 2021  student                                                                    
counts  for the  ADM. He  asked for  verification that  both                                                                    
were  physical counts.  He surmised  the October  2021 count                                                                    
was not  a projection.  He thought  the budget  process used                                                                    
what   he  characterized   as  a   third  count   reflecting                                                                    
projections created currently during  the budget process. He                                                                    
asked for verification that the  projected count resulted in                                                                    
the $1.2 billion appropriation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sanders  answered that  there  was  one physical  count                                                                    
period that occurred in October  2020, which determined what                                                                    
would  actually  be  paid  during   the  current  year.  The                                                                    
projection provided by  the school district was  at the same                                                                    
time  for  the following  year;  however,  in October  2021,                                                                    
there would  be another  physical student count  period that                                                                    
would apply to the next year's payment.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 169 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the schedule for the following                                                                         
day.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:38:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:38 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 169 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/14/2021 1:30:00 PM
HB 169
HB 169 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/14/2021 1:30:00 PM
HB 169
AFN - HFIN, re - ARPA (14APR21).pdf HFIN 4/14/2021 1:30:00 PM