Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/14/2015 04:00 PM CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON HB72 AND HB73

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Audio Topic
04:06:41 PM Start
04:28:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 72 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS
Heard & Held
HB 73 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET
Heard & Held
Department Closeouts
- Administration
- Dept. of Commerce, Community, & Economic
Development
- Dept. of Education & Early Development
- Dept. of Fish & Game
- Dept. of Natural Resources
- Legislature
                     29TH ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                              
                             FIRST SESSION                                                                                      
                 CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON HB72 and HB73                                                                          
                            April 14, 2015                                                                                      
                               4:06 p.m.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     4:06:41 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Chair Neuman called the Conference Committee meeting on                                                                    
     HB72 and HB73 to order at 4:06 p.m.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     MEMBERS PRESENT:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     House:                                                                                                                     
     Representative Mark Neuman, Chair                                                                                          
     Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                              
     Representative Les Gara                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Senate:                                                                                                                    
     Senator Pete Kelly, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
     Senator Anna MacKinnon                                                                                                     
     Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     None                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     ALSO PRESENT:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     David Teal,  Director, Legislative Finance  Division; fiscal                                                               
     analysts  with  the  Office of  Management  and  Budget  and                                                               
     Legislative  Finance   Division;  and  aides   to  committee                                                               
     members and other members of the Legislature.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     SUMMARY                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     HB 72     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
               HB 72 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                
               consideration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     HB 73     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HB 73 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 72(FIN)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain programs and  capitalizing funds; and providing                                                                    
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 72(FIN) am S                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain  programs  and   capitalizing  funds;  amending                                                                    
     appropriations; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
and                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 73(FIN)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 73(FIN)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENTS                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ADMINISTRATION                                                                                                             
     COMMERCE, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                                                                               
     EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT                                                                                            
     FISH AND GAME                                                                                                              
     NATURAL RESOURCES                                                                                                          
     LEGISLATURE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Chair  Neuman  communicated  that the  conference  committee                                                               
     would be  meeting on HB  72 and HB  73 open items.  He noted                                                               
     that Limited Powers  of Free Conference had  been granted by                                                               
     both the Senate  and the House. Departments  with open items                                                               
     would be taken up based  on the motion sheets distributed to                                                               
     members earlier  in the  day and  dated 4/14/15.  He relayed                                                               
     that the  conference committee would not  address open items                                                               
     from the  following departments during the  current meeting:                                                               
     Department  of   Administration;  Department   of  Commerce,                                                               
     Community and Economic  Development; Department of Education                                                               
     and  Early   Development;  Department  of  Fish   and  Game;                                                               
     Department of Natural Resources; the Legislature.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     4:07:47 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     ADMINISTRATION                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Vice-Chair Kelly  MOVED to ADOPT the  Chair's recommendation                                                               
     on the following items for  the Department of Administration                                                               
     budget:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 2    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 3    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 4    House                                                                                                            
     Item 5    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 6    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 7    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 8    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 9    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 10   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 11   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 12   On line 1, House plus $500.0 thousand                                                                            
               On line 2, House minus $500.0 thousand                                                                           
     Item 13   House                                                                                                            
     Item 14   House                                                                                                            
     Item 15   Senate plus $200.0 thousand                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     4:08:45 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Representative Gara OBJECTED for  discussion. He objected to                                                               
     Items 3  and 9. He  considered Item 3, which  adopted Senate                                                               
     language  stating  the  intent to  reopen  negotiated  labor                                                               
     contracts, and disagreed with  renegotiating. He thought the                                                               
     committee should honor the original agreement.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Chair Neuman stated that Item 9 was an open item.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gara spoke to Item 9,  relating to a $400,000 cut to                                                                    
the Office  of Public Advocacy  (OPA). He thought  perhaps a                                                                    
misunderstanding  had taken  place,  and  asserted that  the                                                                    
main  function  and  biggest  cost-driver  of  OPA  was  not                                                                    
criminal trials. He thought there  had been an intent to cut                                                                    
criminal attorney  staff across the  state, but in  fact the                                                                    
cuts  at  OPA  would  be  to  children's  attorneys,  public                                                                    
guardians, and guardians ad litum.  He cited that Alaska had                                                                    
the highest public  guardian caseload in the  country, and a                                                                    
$400,000 cut would be extremely  difficult for the agency to                                                                    
absorb. He asked the committee to consider the information.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  echoed the objections  and the  statements of                                                                    
the  previous   speaker.  He  furthered  that   Item  9  was                                                                    
important to his  district, and much of the work  of OPA was                                                                    
in aid of children.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:11:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote  was taken  on the  motion  to adopt  the                                                                    
Chair's recommendation for Item 3.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Representative   Thompson,    Senator   MacKinnon,                                                                    
Representative Neuman, Senator Kelly                                                                                            
OPPOSED: Representative Gara, Senator Olson                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (House: 2/1, Senate: 2/1).                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further OBJECTION, Items  1, 2, 3, 4,  5, 6,                                                                    
7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14,  and 15 were ADOPTED. This action left                                                                    
open  Items 1,  6, 7,  8, 9,  and 10  for the  Department of                                                                    
Administration's budget.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:12:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Kelly  MOVED to ADOPT the  Chair's recommendation                                                                    
on  the  following items  for  the  Department of  Commerce,                                                                    
Community and Economic Development budget:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Item 1    Senate for both fund sources                                                                                          
Item 2    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 3    Senate for both fund sources                                                                                          
     Item 4    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 5    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 6    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 7    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 8    House for all fund sources                                                                                       
     Item 9    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 10   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 11   Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. This action                                                                   
     left open items 5, 6, 7, and 10 for the Department of                                                                      
  Commerce, Community and Economic Development's budget.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     4:13:37 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Vice-Chair Kelly MOVED to ADOPT the Chair's recommendation                                                                 
     on the following items for the Department of Education and                                                                 
     Early Development budget:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 2    House                                                                                                            
     Item 3    House                                                                                                            
     Item 4    House for both fund sources                                                                                      
     Item 5    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 6    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 7    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 8    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 9    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 10   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 11   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 12   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 13   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 14   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 15   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 16   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 17   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 18   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 19   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 20   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 21   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 22   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 23   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 24   Open                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara OBJECTED  for discussion.  He commented                                                                    
on Item  1 and Item  10. He specified  that Item 1  was K-12                                                                    
funding and  referred to a legislative  research report that                                                                    
had  been  commissioned.  The report  indicated  that  there                                                                    
would  need  to be  a  $149  increase  in the  base  student                                                                    
allocation  (BSA) in  order to  stay  at the  same level  of                                                                    
funding as  the previous year.  He hoped to work  with other                                                                    
members to avoid  school cuts and perhaps  waive the Uniform                                                                    
Rule pertaining to the issue.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  discussed  Item   10,  part  of  which                                                                    
pertained  to  funds for  the  Best  Beginnings program.  He                                                                    
hoped that the committee  could consider waiving the Uniform                                                                    
Rules  in order  to consider  the other  Pre-K budget  items                                                                    
that had been  deleted from the budget; such  as the Parents                                                                    
as Teachers program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further OBJECTION, Items  2, 3, 4, 5,  6, 7,                                                                    
11, 21, and 23 were ADOPTED.  This action left open items 1,                                                                    
8, 9,  10, 12, 13, 14,  15, 16, 17,  18, 19, 20, 22,  and 24                                                                    
for  the Department  of  Education  and Early  Development's                                                                    
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:16:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Kelly  MOVED to ADOPT the  Chair's recommendation                                                                    
on the following  items for the Department  of Department of                                                                    
Fish and Game budget:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Item 1    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 2    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 3    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 4    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 5    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 6    House                                                                                                                 
Item 7    House                                                                                                                 
Item 8    House                                                                                                                 
Item 9    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 10   Senate plus $200.0 thousand                                                                                           
Item 11   House                                                                                                                 
Item 12   Senate                                                                                                                
Item 13   House                                                                                                                 
Item 14   Senate                                                                                                                
     Item 15   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 16   Senate for both fund sources                                                                                     
     Item 17   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 18   Senate                                                                                                           
     Items 19, 20, 21, and 22 Senate for all fund sources                                                                       
     Item 23   House                                                                                                            
     Item 24   House                                                                                                            
     Item 25   Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     There  being NO  OBJECTION, it  was so  ordered. The  action                                                               
     closed  all  conferencable  items  in  the  budget  for  the                                                               
     Department of Fish and Game.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     4:18:06 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Vice-Chair Kelly  MOVED to ADOPT the  Chair's recommendation                                                               
     on  the  following  items  for  the  Department  of  Natural                                                               
     Resources budget:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 2    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 3    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 4    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 5    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 6    Senate and remove designation as "one-time item"                                                                 
     Item 7    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 8    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 9    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 10   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 11   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 12   Senate for both fund sources                                                                                     
     Item 13   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 14   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 15   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 16   Senate and remove designation as "one-time item"                                                                 
     Item 17   Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Senator Olson OBJECTED to Item  6, relating to the Citizens'                                                               
     Advisory Commission  on Federal Areas (CACFA).  He explained                                                               
     that CACFA provided  a duplicate service that  was no longer                                                               
     necessary  for  the state  to  perform.  He highlighted  the                                                               
     importance of  ensuring that federal lands  under the Alaska                                                               
     National  Interest  Lands  Conservation  Act  (ANILCA)  were                                                               
     managed in the  best interest of the state.  He thought that                                                               
     there  were other  areas in  state government  that provided                                                               
oversight in  the same area,  and considered that  the House                                                                    
decision  to  zero  out  funding   for  the  commission  was                                                                    
prudent.  He  urged  the  committee  to  support  the  House                                                                    
recommendation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:20:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Neuman clarified  that  Senator  Olson preferred  the                                                                    
House recommendation to eliminate funding for CACFA.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote was  taken on  the motion  to accept  the                                                                    
Chair's recommendation on Item 6.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Representative   Thompson,    Senator   MacKinnon,                                                                    
Senator Kelly, Representative Neuman                                                                                            
OPPOSED: Senator Olson, Representative Gara                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (House 2/1, Senate 2/1).                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  objected to  Item  1  and Item  2.  He                                                                    
explained that  the House proposal  had left  the governor's                                                                    
request for commercializing North  Slope natural gas through                                                                    
the  large   pipeline  project  intact,  where   the  Senate                                                                    
proposal reflected a  $4 million cut. He  expressed a desire                                                                    
to  reach  an  accommodation  with  the  governor  regarding                                                                    
funding a team to move  forward with the project, and looked                                                                    
forward to participating in further discussion.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara WITHDREW  his OBJECTION  to Item  1 and                                                                    
Item 2.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further OBJECTION, Items  4, 5, 6, 7,  8, 9,                                                                    
10, 11,  12, 14, 15,  16, and  17 were ADOPTED.  This action                                                                    
left  open items  1,  2, 3,  and 13  for  the Department  of                                                                    
Natural Resources' budget.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:22:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEGISLATURE                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Kelly  MOVED to ADOPT the  Chair's recommendation                                                                    
on the following items for the Legislature's budget:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Item 1    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 2    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 3    Senate                                                                                                                
Item 4    Senate                                                                                                                
     Item 5    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 6    Senate                                                                                                           
 Item 7    Senate plus $82.2 thousand, General Fund, fund                                                                       
               code 1004 and minus $5.0 thousand, Inter-agency                                                                  
               Receipts, fund code 1007                                                                                         
     Item 8    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 9    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 10   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 11   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 12   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 13   House                                                                                                            
     Item 14   House                                                                                                            
     Item 15   House                                                                                                            
     Item 16   House                                                                                                            
     Item 17   House                                                                                                            
     Item 18   House                                                                                                            
     Item 19   Senate minus $82.2 thousand, General Fund, fund                                                                  
      code 1004 and plus $5.0 thousand, Inter-agency                                                                            
               Receipts, fund code 1007                                                                                         
     Item 20   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 21   Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 22   Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Representative  Gara  objected  to   Items  13  through  18,                                                               
     pertaining to  the proposal  on the  Legislative Information                                                               
     Office  (LIO)  in  Anchorage.  He  thought  the  Senate  had                                                               
     formulated a  good cost savings proposal,  and he elucidated                                                               
     that the LIO  had gone from a cost of  $685,000 per year two                                                               
     years  previously to  a  current cost  of  $4.5 million  per                                                               
     year. He remarked  that there had been an offer  of space at                                                               
     the State  Office Building in  Anchorage, with  enough space                                                               
     to house  legislators at the  cost of $500,000 per  year. He                                                               
     supported the Senate proposal on Items 13 through 18.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     4:25:23 PM                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Chair Neuman  relayed that Legislative Council  had voted on                                                               
     the   items  and   there  was   compromise  language   being                                                               
     formulated  that would  fund the  LIO for  approximately one                                                               
     year   and  then   bring  the   contracts  forward   to  the                                                               
     legislature for further discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Representative Gara MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     A  roll call  vote  was taken  on the  motion  to adopt  the                                                               
     Chair's recommendation for Items 13 through 18.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Representative   Thompson,    Senator   MacKinnon,                                                                    
Representative Neuman, Senator Kelly                                                                                            
OPPOSED: Representative Gara, Senator Olson                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (House 2/1, Senate 2/1).                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  OBJECTED to item 9.  He expressed concern                                                                    
about possible federal cutbacks  resulting in decreased army                                                                    
troops and aircraft at Fort  Richardson and Fort Wainwright.                                                                    
He recounted  that the Department  of Military  and Veterans                                                                    
Affairs once had $300,000 in  funding to oppose base closure                                                                    
and  reductions,  and  was concerned  that  there  would  no                                                                    
longer  be  a group  working  to  mitigate cutbacks  to  the                                                                    
state's military bases.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION to item 9.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further  OBJECTION, it  was so  ordered. The                                                                    
Chair's  recommendation for  items for  the Legislature  was                                                                    
ADOPTED.   This   action  left   open   item   10  for   the                                                                    
Legislature's budget.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Chair Neuman relayed that the  next meeting would be held on                                                                    
Wednesday, April 15 at 4:00pm.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  72  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  73  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
4:28:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:28 p.m.                                                                                          

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