Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/21/1996 03:07 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
          HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                          
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         March 21, 1996                                        
                           3:07 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 None                                                                          
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 529                                                            
                                                                               
 "An Act giving notice of and approving the entry into, and the                
 issuance of certificates of participation in, a lease-purchase                
 agreement for a centralized public health laboratory."                        
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 451                                                            
                                                                               
 "An Act prohibiting persons from receiving or attempting to receive           
 duplicate assistance; directing the Department of Health and Social           
 Services to establish a pilot project relating to identification of           
 recipients of public assistance; and providing for an effective               
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                       
                                                                               
 Supporting the collective bargaining agreement between the                    
 University of Alaska and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation            
 of Teachers.                                                                  
                                                                               
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
                                                                               
 * HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 30                                          
                                                                               
 Relating to rights of public school students.                                 
                                                                               
      - PASSED CSHCR 30(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 216                                                            
                                                                               
 "An Act establishing the Alaska education technology program; and             
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
      - PASSED CSHB 216(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 506                                                            
                                                                               
 "An Act relating to establishment of a fire fighting and safety               
 training program by the University of Alaska."                                
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 393                                                          
                                                                               
 "An Act relating to managed care for recipients of medical                    
 assistance; and providing for an effective date."                             
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 435                                                          
                                                                               
 "An Act relating to employment contributions and to making the                
 state training and employment program a permanent state program;              
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 (*First public hearing)                                                       
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 529                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: APPROVE CENTRALIZED PUBLIC HEALTH LAB                            
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/28/96      2912    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/28/96      2912    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/14/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 451                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: PROHIBIT DUPLICATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MULDER                                          
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/26/96      2541    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/26/96      2541    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 02/29/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 02/29/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/05/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/05/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/12/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HR  12                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS                                        
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/12/96      2721    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/96      2721    (H)   HES, LABOR & COMMERCE                             
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HCR 30                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: STUDENT RIGHTS                                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/12/96      2722    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/96      2722    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                           
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 216                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM                                     
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT,Brown                                      
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/01/95       530    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/01/95       531    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/21/95              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 506                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: UNIVERSITY FIRE FIGHTING PROGRAM                                 
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) NAVARRE,G.Davis,Phillips                        
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/12/96      2727    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/96      2727    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant                                            
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110601                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0601                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3030                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 529                             
                                                                               
 TOM LANE, Juneau Facilities Manager                                           
 Division of Administrative Services                                           
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110650                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0650                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3037                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 529                                      
                                                                               
 GREGORY V. HAYES DrPH, Chief                                                  
 Section of Laboratories                                                       
 Division of Public Health                                                     
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110613                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0613                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3019                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 529                             
                                                                               
 MICHAEL PRESS                                                                 
 Coopers & Lybrand                                                             
 Telephone:  (212) 259-2279                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 529                                      
                                                                               
 DENNIS DeWITT, Legislative Assistant                                          
   to Representative Eldon Mulder                                              
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 411                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2647                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 451                                      
                                                                               
 CURT LOMAS, Program Officer                                                   
 Welfare Reform Program                                                        
 Division of Public Assistance                                                 
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110640                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0640                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3382                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 451                                      
                                                                               
 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President                                                  
 Statewide University System                                                   
 University of Alaska                                                          
 P.O. Box 155000                                                               
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99775                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 474-7311                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HR 12                                       
                                                                               
 RALPH McGRATH, President                                                      
 Alaska Community Colleges Federation of Teachers                              
 2533 Providence Drive                                                         
 Anchorage, Alaska  99508                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 562-2660                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HR 12                                       
                                                                               
 PHIL SLATTERY, Faculty Member                                                 
 Sitka Campus                                                                  
 Box 1864                                                                      
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 747-8482                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 JOLI MORGAN, Professor                                                        
   of Applied Business                                                         
 University of Alaska                                                          
 P.O. Box 844                                                                  
 Bethel, Alaska  99669                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 543-2013                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 ROBERT WARNER, Associate Professor                                            
   of Library Science                                                          
 University of Alaska Southeast                                                
 888 Monroe Street                                                             
 Ketchikan, Alaska  99901                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 225-4722                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 PETER PINNEY                                                                  
 5132 Haystack                                                                 
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99712                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 389-2582                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 GEORGE GUTHRIDGE, Associate Professor                                         
 University of Alaska                                                          
 P.O. Box 883                                                                  
 Dillingham, Alaska  99576                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 842-5483                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 BILL JERMAIN, Attorney                                                        
 Jermain, Dunnagan and Owens                                                   
   representing ACCFT                                                          
 3000 A Street, Suite 300                                                      
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 563-8844                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HR 12                                       
                                                                               
 ERIC LEEGARD, Representative                                                  
 Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers                             
 P.O. Box 32806                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 780-4021                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 KRISTY TIBBLES, Legislative Secretary                                         
   to Representative Joe Green                                                 
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 24                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HCR 30                   
                                                                               
 STEPHEN McPHETRES, Executive Director                                         
 Alaska Council of School Administrators                                       
 364 4th Street, Suite 404                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-9702                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HCR 30                           
                                                                               
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                 
 Association of Alaska School Boards                                           
 316 West 11th Street                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1083                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HCR 30 and HB 216                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 24                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HCR 30                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 216                                        
                                                                               
 LARRY WIGET, Director of Government Relations                                 
 Anchorage School District                                                     
 4600 DeBarr                                                                   
 Anchorage, Alaska  99519                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 269-2255                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 216                           
                                                                               
 KIMBERLY HOMME, Special Assistant                                             
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 West 10th Street, Suite 200                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1894                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2803                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 216                           
                                                                               
 KAREN JORDAN, Past President                                                  
   of the Alaska Society for Technology                                        
   and Education                                                               
 11575 Mendenhall Loop Road                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-1803                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 216                           
                                                                               
 MICHAEL McGOWAN, Coordinator and                                              
   Assistant Professor                                                         
 University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                
 510 Second Avenue                                                             
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99701                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 474-7916                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 506                                      
                                                                               
 THOMAS MONK, Member                                                           
 Interior Fire Chiefs Association                                              
 1710 30th Avenue                                                              
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99701                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 451-2600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 506                        
                                                                               
 DAVID BURNETT, Chief                                                          
 Kenai Fire Department                                                         
 105 South Willow                                                              
 Kenai, Alaska  99611                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 283-7666                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 506                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MIKE NAVARRE                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 521                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3779                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 506                                        
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-31, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee            
 was called to order by Co-Chair Toohey at 3:07 p.m.  Members                  
 present at the call to order were Representatives Brice, Robinson,            
 Rokeberg, Bunde and Toohey.  Members absent were Representatives              
 Vezey and Davis.                                                              
                                                                               
 HB 529 - APPROVE CENTRALIZED PUBLIC HEALTH LAB                              
                                                                               
 Number 082                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced the first order of business to come                 
 before the committee was HB 529.  She said this bill had been                 
 before the committee previously and asked if there was anyone in              
 the audience wishing to testify.  Hearing none, she closed public             
 testimony.  She inquired if the Department of Health & Social                 
 Services had any further testimony to present.                                
                                                                               
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant, Department of Health & Social             
 Services, said based on his belief that the issues and questions              
 most likely to be raised were going to be related to the financial            
 aspects of the project, he had asked the representative from                  
 Coopers & Lybrand in New York to address the committee on the study           
 that was done.                                                                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY noted for the record that public testimony had been           
 re-opened.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS joined the meeting at 5:09 p.m.                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said based on a 1994 printout of the Centralized              
 Option Lab Model, a strategic planning document from the Department           
 of Health & Social Services, the estimated cost for the project in            
 1994 was $13 million and she expressed concern that in two years              
 the cost had increased by $10 million.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 385                                                                    
                                                                               
 TOM LANE, Facilities Manager, Division of Administrative Services,            
 Department of Health & Social Services, said the original                     
 construction cost estimates were done in 1994 and did not include             
 the medical examiner's laboratory.  Since then, a follow up study             
 worked on by Coopers & Lybrand was completed in 1995 and because of           
 the two-year delay extra inflation costs were included, as well as            
 costs for the medical examiner.  He explained the department had              
 originally tried to get an appropriation last year, so another                
 year's inflation has also been added to the cost.  He acknowledged            
 it was a big jump in cost, but the increase included three years of           
 inflation, space for the medical examiner, which wasn't originally            
 included, and some changes in the financing costs.                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY raised a concern about $2,931,000 for a medical               
 examiner.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. LANE said compared to the other costs, it was basically                   
 proportional to the space that would be required as proportional to           
 the rest of the facility.                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if a breakdown of the space was available.              
                                                                               
 MR. LANE said the department was roughly estimating about 4,400               
 square feet for the medical examiner and in the neighborhood of               
 22,300 square feet for the public health laboratory, itself.  He              
 explained that currently the lab is in two locations in Anchorage;            
 the office is at the state trooper building and the laboratory                
 space is at the crime detection laboratory.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 538                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORM ROKEBERG asked how many people were in the                
 medical examiner's office.                                                    
                                                                               
 GREGORY V. HAYES DrPH, Chief, Section of Laboratories, Division of            
 Public Health, Department of Health & Social Services, said he                
 wasn't really sure, but knew of two pathologists and clerical                 
 support.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked that information be provided to the             
 committee concerning the size of the space in relation to the                 
 personnel.  He inquired if human remains would also be kept in that           
 space.                                                                        
                                                                               
 DR. HAYES responded affirmatively.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. LANE said that Mr. Lindstrom indicated there are usually two or           
 three autopsy assistants, a pathologist and some clerical support.            
 They would provide the committee with a complete breakdown.                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked how many individuals are currently doing                
 autopsies?                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. LANE said he wasn't exactly certain how many people were                  
 involved.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. LINDSTROM responded two pathologists.                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS asked if the medical examiner space would           
 be in addition to the proposed building.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. LANE explained that something needs to be worked out for the              
 medical examiner in the future because currently they are using               
 borrowed space at the public safety building.  They viewed this as            
 an opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone" and also, it                
 would allow them to get a symbiotic relationship between the                  
 different laboratories.  He explained that the plan in the study              
 focused on the public health laboratories, but given that something           
 will need to be done with the medical examiner, this was an                   
 opportunity to consolidate those two programs.                                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY again reiterated her concern that 44,000 square               
 feet was a large amount of space for a state with a population of             
 500,000 to 600,000.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG calculated the cost to be about $680 a                
 square foot, assuming there were no service areas attached.                   
                                                                               
 MR. LANE said the original cost estimates were in the neighborhood            
 of $400 per square foot.  Costs would be added to that for                    
 equipment, administrative costs in terms of state employees who               
 would be working on it at the Department of Transportation & Public           
 Facilities and design costs.                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that he was in support of the               
 laboratory, but the costs were extraordinary.                                 
                                                                               
 MR. LANE interjected that laboratory space is very expensive.                 
                                                                               
 Number 785                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY thought it was irresponsible to ask for this kind             
 of increase.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. LINDSTROM noted the Department of Public Safety is very                   
 supportive of this project.  The current space for the medical                
 examiner is very limited and the Department of Public Safety very             
 much wants to utilize that space in the crime lab for other                   
 purposes, including the DNA (indisc.).                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY read an excerpt from the 94 project budget, "Land             
 cost is considered to be $0, based on the use of state-owned                  
 property."  She maintained that a $10 million increase in two years           
 was not justifiable.                                                          
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented there were people on teleconference                  
 waiting to testify, but he felt there were too many unanswered                
 questions and asked that the bill be held over to the following               
 week.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out the increase wasn't quite $10             
 million, because it included interest, etc.  He thought it was more           
 like $5.5 million.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 902                                                                    
                                                                               
 MICHAEL PRESS, Director, Coopers & Lybrand, said he was available             
 to answer specific questions with regard to the statistical                   
 information, the cost of the lab and savings, the differential in             
 savings between centralizing and possibly consolidating.                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if Mr. Press had previously observed               
 construction costs of this type of facility and if he had compared            
 the proposed cost of this project with other projects.                        
                                                                               
 MR. PRESS responded he had found nothing unreasonable about the               
 cost estimates that accompanied this legislation for the type of              
 facility that is contemplated.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Press what a typical laboratory             
 with similar specifications would cost in the United States, what             
 percentage of Alaska cost adjustment was made for on this project,            
 and to give a breakdown on the difference between equipment and               
 specialized leasehold improvements.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. PRESS advised committee members that the costs presented were             
 not derived by Coopers & Lybrand per se.  They reviewed the costs             
 and found nothing unreasonable about them; however, the costs were            
 specified by the firm of Livingston Slone, Inc., of Anchorage in              
 conjunction with (indisc.) International, not as the contractor,              
 but consulting design architects.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE commented he had a number of questions for Mr.           
 Press and inquired if Co-Chair Toohey's intention was to hold the             
 bill in committee.                                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY agreed there were a number of questions that needed           
 to be answered, so the bill would be held in committee.                       
                                                                               
 Number 1140                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE suggested that Mr. Lindstrom and the Department of             
 Health & Social Services could probably answer many of the                    
 individual questions.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. LINDSTROM felt the department had attempted to furnish as much            
 information to individuals as possible, but it was his observation            
 there would be questions that simply would not be answered                    
 satisfactorily to some individuals.                                           
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced that HB 529 would be held in committee              
 and rescheduled at a later date.                                              
                                                                               
 HB 451 - PROHIBIT DUPLICATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE                               
                                                                               
 Number 1292                                                                   
                                                                               
 DENNIS DeWITT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Eldon                  
 Mulder, said "The intent is to allow a pilot project on electronic            
 fingerprinting in the Anchorage area to determine whether or not we           
 can find a useful and determining duplicate application and as we             
 move along with legislation that will limit the length of time on             
 welfare - life time limits on welfare recipients can help build a             
 data base so that we can track those folks over time in a very                
 efficient way."  As indicated in previous testimony, Connecticut,             
 Massachusetts, Arizona and Washington state are looking at                    
 electronic fingerprinting, while New York, California and                     
 Pennsylvania have already established the program and it appears to           
 be working well in terms of detecting and deterring fraud.  Mr.               
 DeWitt commented the fiscal notes provided by the Department of               
 Health & Social Services appeared to be extremely inclusive.  The             
 sponsor concurred that $47,000 for the fingerprint equipment                  
 operator is reasonable.  The proposal from North American MORPHO              
 Systems, Inc. who is the contractor for the equipment, had been               
 received and provides for three units in the Anchorage office at an           
 approximate cost of $115,000 to $120,000.  The sponsor felt that              
 $200,000 plus was somewhat excessive for the development of a pilot           
 project given that several other states have already implemented              
 the program.  Mr. DeWitt said they would like to have the                     
 opportunity to discuss the fiscal notes with the Finance Committee            
 chairman, who chairs the subcommittee on Health, Education & Social           
 Services.  He felt through discussions in the Finance Committee,              
 they would be able to come up with more reasonable costs.                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE viewed this legislation as twofold, and asked Mr.              
 DeWitt to correct him if he was wrong.  One is to be proactive so             
 when the time comes that we actually have a nationwide time limit             
 on welfare, people will not be drifting from state to state                   
 duplicating benefits.  The other benefit deals with fraud within              
 the state of Alaska.  He asked Mr. DeWitt to estimate the amount of           
 fraud currently going on within the state in terms of numbers of              
 people and dollar amounts involved.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1425                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. DeWITT said that Co-Chair Bunde was correct on the two intents.           
 However, they have not been able to come up with a handle on the              
 number; it's difficult to tell, but they don't believe there is a             
 great deal of fraud.  He added that one of the purposes of the                
 pilot project is to establish how much fraud there is.  Other                 
 states have found it rewarding in terms of a reduction in                     
 applications as well as detected fraud.  Based on the reviews                 
 completed of the other programs, there was some initial reluctance            
 to register for benefits, but the notion that there is a deterrent            
 effect to eligible and legitimate applicants was not found to be              
 true.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked the same question regarding fraud of Mr.                 
 Lomas, but limited it to the Anchorage area because that was where            
 the pilot project would take place.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1512                                                                   
                                                                               
 CURT LOMAS, Program Officer, Welfare Reform Program, Division of              
 Public Assistance, Department of Health & Social Services,                    
 responded that he did not have fraud data with him at the hearing             
 for Anchorage, specifically.  Based on the department's quality               
 control activity, which is a federally mandated monitoring activity           
 that generates statistically reliable results, statewide over the             
 last four years, the error rate for AFDC payments paid in error as            
 a result of wilful misrepresentation on the part of the clients,              
 was 0.85 percent.  Again statewide, that calculates to roughly                
 $102,000 a year out of a $120 million program, which is what was              
 being looked at.  Assuming the activity is proportional, randomly             
 distributed around the state, Anchorage has approximately 40                  
 percent of the caseload, which would be in the neighborhood of                
 $40,000 per year.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1581                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON said the focus of the fingerprinting            
 program is trying to identify people attempting to get duplicate              
 benefits.  She asked Mr. Lomas if he had any statistics available             
 on duplicate benefits fraud.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. LOMAS said based on quality control records for as far back as            
 available, the department has never had a case where they found an            
 error on the basis of duplicate identity.  The only case anyone is            
 aware of, is the case Mr. Nordlund referred to in his testimony at            
 a prior hearing, where the fraud was detected by the department               
 before any benefits were issued.  That client is now serving time             
 for welfare fraud.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1620                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Mr. Lomas how he envisioned this type           
 of pilot program would assist the division in fraud cases.                    
                                                                               
 MR. LOMAS responded the department's fiscal notes reflected no                
 impact on the cost of the AFDC program, based on their belief that            
 it wouldn't make a difference.  Particularly, given that the design           
 set out in the project specified in the bill would operate in only            
 one office in Anchorage, the likelihood of someone receiving                  
 benefits under two identities seemed to be so small as to be none.            
                                                                               
 Number 1677                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if Sections 1 and 2 of the legislation             
 were currently not in law?                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DeWITT said while there are a number of tangential laws which             
 deal with the issue of fraud, there is no specific prohibition in             
 either the AFDC program statute or the General Relief program                 
 statute that precluded duplicate enrollment.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE inquired if the department had an individual             
 in jail who shouldn't be there.                                               
                                                                               
 MR. DeWITT didn't think that was the case.  He said there is an               
 ability, through a lot of other tangential laws, to get to the                
 issue.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1732                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE conjectured that a person might be a little more               
 careful in completing their application for benefits if they were             
 required to go through the fingerprinting process.  He asked if               
 there was any research available from states that have implemented            
 fingerprinting, to indicate whether or not the reject level of                
 applicants was reduced.                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. DeWITT said he didn't have that information available and                 
 couldn't respond to the question.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1779                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if Mr. Lomas was aware of any                   
 research related to Co-Chair Bunde's question.                                
                                                                               
 MR. LOMAS replied that according to the federal AFDC agency, there            
 is only one state conducting this kind of activity in the AFDC                
 program; other states conducting the activity are doing it only               
 with their state General Relief programs.  He added the only place            
 it is happening with AFDC program is in LA County, California and             
 the demonstration results have not been released, but they are a              
 matter of great controversy.  The information he received indicated           
 the quantitative result that had been detected, that went through             
 objective measurement, was that they had discovered 11 individuals            
 who attempted to obtain assistance under a duplicate                          
 identification.  Mr. Lomas said he hadn't seen the report because             
 it hadn't been released yet.  He felt it was fair to say there                
 isn't a good set of data that indicates whether this generates real           
 results or not.                                                               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was anyone else who would like to              
 testify.  Hearing none, public testimony was closed.                          
                                                                               
 Number 1884                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Mr. Lomas if the department thought                
 there was a problem with fraud in this area?                                  
                                                                               
 MR. LOMAS replied no.  He said the department recognizes there is             
 fraud, but they do not feel this particular kind of fraud is                  
 significant relative to the other kinds of fraud that occur where             
 people may not be providing accurate information.  The department             
 is well focused on it and has a lot of activity in that area.                 
                                                                               
 Number 1919                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said the fiscal note indicates an expense             
 of about a half million dollars in the first year and inquired if             
 the sponsor felt this was the best use of money to stop fraud in              
 the state.  She asked how the department would use the money if               
 they were trying to increase fraud cases.  Also, she wondered if              
 the sponsor had looked at other alternatives.                                 
                                                                               
 MR. DeWITT said the sponsor has been focused on this approach.  The           
 bulk of the projected cost is for developing a Request for Proposal           
 and following the federal guidelines for requesting a waiver and              
 reporting on a waiver.  He added that it may be more economical to            
 limit the project to the General Relief program.  If that's the               
 desire, he feels the reduced cost would be worth the investigation            
 into the fraud.  He also believed the price placed on this project            
 is certainly all inclusive and a pretty significant estimate for              
 reviewing and creating the program.                                           
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY pointed out the bill is headed for the Finance                
 Committee next, where the costs can better be addressed.  Her                 
 personal feeing was this legislation was not yet needed.  The                 
 department has an incredible record for keeping people honest and             
 has won an award yearly for having no payment errors.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON expressed her desire to table the bill in             
 this committee based on the lack of statistical data indicating               
 that it is needed at this time and the large fiscal note.                     
                                                                               
 Number 2078                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to table HB 451.                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked for a roll call vote.  Voting in favor of the           
 motion were Representatives Rokeberg, Brice, Robinson and Bunde.              
 Voting against the motion were Representatives Vezey, Davis and               
 Toohey.                                                                       
                                                                               
 HR 12 - UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT                                
                                                                               
 Number 2154                                                                   
                                                                               
 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President, Statewide University System,                    
 University of Alaska, said this piece of legislation was confusing            
 to her, but as she understands it, HR 12 directs the University to            
 pay for a salary increase, through reductions in their current                
 programs, for a bargaining unit whose request for a pay increase              
 was already turned down by the legislature last year.  She                    
 commented that this sets sort of odd precedents, but one that                 
 presents some problem is a kind of ignoring the collective                    
 bargaining process the university is involved in with their                   
 collective bargaining units, and a rewriting of legislative history           
 and intent after the fact, which causes some problems.  The biggest           
 problem however, is the serious financial impact on the current               
 university budget.  She hadn't planned to go into a long history of           
 what the arbitration was, but stated she would do so if the                   
 committee desired.  She explained that what happened with this                
 arbitration ruling was that in effect, the arbitration froze in               
 place a 1993 Board of Regents' policy that asked for a 3 percent              
 salary increase for all faculty.  The arbitrator said that even               
 though the contract states the bargaining unit faculty will get the           
 same thing that all the other faculty get (keep in mind this                  
 bargaining unit is about 254 members out of a total of 1200                   
 faculty) the board changed the policy, and the arbitrator said they           
 couldn't do that; they would be frozen in place with the board                
 policy at the time they signed their contract.                                
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN distributed a document to committee members which gave             
 an overview of the UA/ACCFT Arbitration Award, the UA/ACCFT                   
 Collective Bargaining Agreement and the State Employee Collective             
 Bargaining Law.  She pointed out that in Reference 1 the                      
 arbitrator's award states "The University shall pay the bargaining            
 unit members the pay increase provided by the collective bargaining           
 agreement."  Reference 2 indicates what the collective bargaining             
 agreement is with this unit; that is "that any compensation                   
 increases shall be subject to legislative appropriations in                   
 accordance with the provisions of AS 23.40.215 and shall be                   
 requested separately from compensation increases requested for                
 other employees of the University."  Additionally, Article 12.5 (B)           
 says implementation of monetary terms will not become effective               
 unless there is approval given for the additional funds by the                
 legislature.  That did not happen.  She stated that Mr. Jermain               
 yesterday referenced a letter from Terry Cramer, legislative                  
 attorney, on what to do when the legislature isn't going to fund              
 the contracts.  Basically, her final determination for the                    
 legislature was that you should go in and say you're not going to             
 fund it and take the money away.  She said that Mr. Jermain did not           
 read the last paragraph of Terry Cramer's letter, which states, "If           
 there were a monetary term of a contract that required a separate             
 appropriation, unrelated to other budget items, then, given the               
 language in AS 23.40.215, that monetary term would be considered to           
 have failed unless the legislature made an appropriation for that             
 purpose.  However, I believe that this is an unlikely factual                 
 situation.  The safer course for the legislature, if it wishes to             
 disapprove a monetary term, is to state its disapproval                       
 specifically."  Ms. Redman said the other state contracts are not             
 written like the university's.  Their collective bargaining                   
 contract is very clear - it does require a separate appropriation,            
 it does require additional funding and that was not given.                    
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said she argued before the legislature for funding of              
 the contracts last year and is doing so again this year.  The                 
 university believes a good contract was negotiated, their faculty             
 are not overpaid inasmuch as the average university faculty pay,              
 including the collective bargaining unit, is about what the average           
 is for a K-12 teacher in this state.  They do not feel that is                
 appropriate for the level of education and the level of                       
 responsibility for these faculty.  It is the university's belief              
 that a 3 percent salary increase is warranted.  The request was               
 made last year, is being made again this year and a fiscal note is            
 attached to the resolution.  She does not think it is appropriate,            
 and urged the committee not to set the precedent, to convey to the            
 university we're not...                                                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-31, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN continued... expect you to go back, regardless of the              
 collective bargaining agreement you have, and cut programs in order           
 to pay for this.  She said that is not appropriate.  That may be              
 something that could be negotiated in a future contract, but that             
 is not the way it's been done thus far.                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said based on the amount of contact he has heard on            
 this piece of legislation, he believes he was either contacted by             
 all 257 members of this bargaining unit or there are other people             
 affected by this.  He asked if the 3 percent included everyone in             
 the university system or only the bargaining unit?                            
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN replied it was only the bargaining unit.                           
                                                                               
 Number 042                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he didn't care what the contract said,              
 what was being talked about was the process.  Apparently there is             
 a provision in the contracts to arbitrate disputes and that process           
 was followed.  Generally under Alaska law, either party to an                 
 arbitration can appeal to the district court.  He asked if that had           
 been done in this case?                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said, "No.  What the arbitration ruling was, as you can            
 see in Reference 1, was the arbitrator said to the university, you            
 must pay the increase provided by the collective bargaining                   
 agreement, so the requirement - we then go back to the collective             
 bargaining agreement, and the requirement for the university under            
 the collective bargaining agreement is to go to the legislature and           
 get the money."                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if it was the university's position that           
 they have complied with the arbitrator's decision?                            
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN responded affirmatively.                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if anyone, subsequent to that, had filed           
 action in court?                                                              
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said the union is in court now, but not on that issue.             
 She added that has been the process the university has had with               
 this bargaining unit for over 20 years, so it is a well established           
 process.  However, the unions are suing the university over the               
 issue of whether or not the university has to absorb the salary               
 increase from existing funds.  It is the union's contention that              
 even though the legislature did not fund the contracts last year,             
 the fact that the legislature did fund anything at the university,            
 means the university should pay the increase.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated since the award was dated April 14,               
 1995, he assumed it had to address some year other than 1995.  He             
 asked what fiscal year it was addressing?                                     
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said it represents the current year in which the award             
 was given - FY 95, the current year 96, and 97.  The university has           
 requested the 96 and 97 as well and are before the legislature                
 again for consideration this year.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented he was somewhat confused as to what            
 action and reaction prompted the arbitration and prompted the                 
 arbitrator's decision.                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said, "The issue that prompted the actual arbitration              
 was the board's - the contract with the ACCFT has a provision that            
 says on compensation, promotion, tenure, essentially all faculty              
 matters, that they will follow the same policies that apply to non-           
 organized faculty.  Subsequent to the signing of that contract in             
 1992, in 1993 the Board of Regents suspended a policy that had been           
 in place which said they would seek 3 percent pay increases for               
 their faculty every year.  The union filed a grievance one year               
 later in 1994, and their argument and the arbitrator agreed with              
 them, is that the reason they filed it a year later is we gave a              
 pay increase and we got money from the legislature for the                    
 bargaining unit during that 1994 year - FY 94.  The union waited a            
 whole year to file a grievance because they weren't sure what the             
 impact of the cessation of the board's policy would have on them.             
 They thought - I guess - am I saying it correctly?  I don't want to           
 misrepresent it.  But the board - because they gave the pay                   
 increase during the year which they canned the policy, so it wasn't           
 going to be until the next year that the non-increase took place.             
 So, the union waited a year to see whether or not the board would             
 change their mind or whether they would apply it differently to the           
 union...."                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY verified that a raise was given in 1993.                 
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN responded yes.  The union and the nonunion both got a 3            
 percent increase.                                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked what happened when 1994 came?                      
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN responded that was in 1994.  The university gave a 3               
 percent pay increase that began January 1, 1994, through June 30,             
 1994.  She emphasized that both the collective bargaining unit and            
 the non-bargaining unit received that pay increase.  In FY 95, the            
 non-organized faculty did not get an increase, the university was             
 in the arbitration with the bargaining unit during that year; in              
 April 1995, the arbitration ruling was received.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked when the arbitration was filed.                    
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN thought the arbitration was filed in August 1994.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY verified the arbitration proceeding was                  
 started after fiscal year 94 started.                                         
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN interjected FY 95.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY verified that FY 95 started in July 1, 1994,             
 arbitration proceedings were initiated and the arbitrator's                   
 decision came out in April 1995.                                              
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN stated that was correct.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 259                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented that so far all the dispute                    
 provisions have all been followed.  He understood there's an                  
 arbitration award and apparently there is a dispute over how the              
 award is administered.  He asked Ms. Redman if that was correct.              
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said the legal dispute the university continues to have            
 with the union has to do with whether or not the interpretation of            
 the contract which was specified in Reference 2 of the document she           
 had distributed to committee members.  She added everyone agrees              
 they are bound by the terms of the contract and the contract says             
 for pay increases, the university comes to the legislature and must           
 receive a specific appropriation.  That's where the point of                  
 contention is and what is being argued in court.  The university              
 believes the language that states, "specific appropriation subject            
 to provision of additional funds" means that it has to be a                   
 specific appropriation.  On the other hand, the union's stand is              
 that if there is any appropriation to the university, that is                 
 sufficient to then pay the contract.  That is the issue that will             
 be argued in court.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said it was his understanding there was an               
 arbitrator's decision and there is a difference of opinion in how             
 to interpret that decision.                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN reemphasized the university does not disagree with the             
 arbitrator's decision; the university carried out the arbitrator's            
 decision and she doesn't think the union has any difference of                
 opinion as to whether or not the university carried it out.  She              
 went on to say, "Now, they dropped a sentence.  They say that the             
 arbitrator said we must pay the increases and they put the period             
 at the end of that piece of the decision.  We say the arbitrator              
 said we pay the increase provided by the collective bargaining                
 agreement.  We've had a collective bargaining agreement for 25                
 years and that agreement is that we come to the legislature to get            
 the new money that's required to implement the terms of the                   
 contract.  And that's what we did."                                           
                                                                               
 Number 348                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thought the two points of contention were:  The                
 university is saying they aren't paying because they got a general            
 university appropriation, not a specific appropriation for the                
 raise;  and the union is saying the university got an appropriation           
 that should have included the amount for the raise.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said the point he was trying to get at was               
 there was a dispute over how to interpret the arbitrator's decision           
 or how to interpret the contract.  Neither party went back to the             
 arbitrator for clarification, but rather one of the parties went to           
 court.  He asked when the court suit was filed?                               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that Representative Williams, the sponsor of             
 HR 12 was in attendance.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON thought she had been told that $500,000 was           
 put into the budget to fund these contracts and asked what happened           
 to that money?                                                                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Representative Vezey wished to continue his           
 questioning?                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he was trying to find out where we are in           
 the process of determining how to interpret a contract.                       
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN responded we're in court and she believed the briefs               
 would be filed within the next weeks.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated, "So, we're being asked to intervene in           
 a court proceeding?"                                                          
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said that is what it looked like to her.                           
                                                                               
 Number 436                                                                    
                                                                               
 RALPH McGRATH, President, Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of            
 Teachers, said the arbitration process we concluded with under the            
 collective bargaining agreement is final and binding; it states in            
 the agreement that arbitrator's awards are final and binding.  The            
 arbitrator did specifically say the university shall pay the                  
 compensation owed under the Regent's policy.  The university, after           
 the decision came down in April...                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY interrupted and said, "You have an                       
 arbitrator's decision - the way you enforce an arbitration decision           
 is you go to court and you get a judgment, so that's what you're              
 trying to do at this time.  Is not the legal -- how does anybody              
 enforce an arbitrator's decision and not go to court and get a                
 judgment?                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. McGRATH said at some point, yes.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY noted that's the process that is going on now;           
 we haven't gotten there yet.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. McGRATH commented that's right.                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY surmised that somebody was asking the                    
 legislature to intervene in a court proceeding.  The court has not            
 ruled yet, and a court can overrule an arbitrator's decision under            
 certain guidelines.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. McGRATH said he believed that was correct.  The university did            
 request the arbitrator, for the university's purposes, to clarify             
 that his decision meant that all the university had to do was                 
 request it of the legislature.  The arbitrator took no action on              
 it; he said that never came before him in the arbitration process.            
 The university repeatedly says the arbitrator in his decision                 
 simply meant that the university, now that they have lost the case,           
 would have to come to the legislature.  The university did come to            
 the legislature last year and what occurred was the Office of                 
 Management and Budget came forward with a letter to Representative            
 Mark Hanley, House Finance Committee, which essentially stated that           
 $500,000 was needed to fund the FY 95 and the FY 96 costs.  Out of            
 that particular process, there was no action by the legislature.              
 In that same period of time, Terry Cramer of the Division of                  
 Legislative Legal Services, interpreted PERA for the House Finance            
 Committee and included in that definition the essence of almost all           
 of the Resolution, with the exception of the bottom line, and in              
 their specific case they were not treated properly.  In other words           
 the interpretation that came from legislative counsel was that if             
 the legislature takes no action and appropriates personal services,           
 then the terms of the agreement have been met and it is up to the             
 agency, or in this case, the university to pay out of their                   
 existing budget.  The legislature didn't say they were rejecting              
 the agreement or rejecting the terms, which is certainly within               
 their power, but they did not say that.                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that he wanted to give the people on                 
 teleconference an opportunity to testify at this time.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she was under the impression that Mr.            
 Jermain had testified in an earlier meeting that there had been an            
 appropriation made that was to fund these contracts, at least                 
 partially.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. McGRATH said they may not be correct in that; they've had                 
 discussions with the university on that issue.  They don't see that           
 as necessarily being a part of the resolution; their bottom line is           
 the university has the obligation to pay.  It's the university's              
 responsibility and they must meet the terms of the arbitrated award           
 and the contract.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 646                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN said the committee at the last meeting had been left               
 with the last statement of Mr. Jermain that the university had                
 somehow stolen money.  She clarified that was absolutely untrue and           
 Professor McGrath now understands that.  She explained the                    
 university had a bill in the 1994 legislative session to cover the            
 3 percent from January to June.  In addition, there was a base                
 adjustment for the next year, as there is with any pay increase, to           
 carry that 3 percent forward into the second year.  She believed              
 that people thought there were two 3 percent increases given, when            
 in fact it was the same 3 percent carried into the second year.               
 The bargaining unit members all received the full 3 percent and               
 still have it in the base budget.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 702                                                                    
                                                                               
 PHIL SLATTERY, Faculty Member, Sitka Campus, testified via                    
 teleconference, that he didn't have much to add to what the union             
 had already said.  He thought basically the arbitrator referred to            
 the regent's policy and payments according to regent's policy, not            
 payments (indisc.) contract, but there seems to be an ongoing                 
 pattern of delay.  He thought the university may not be making the            
 best effort on the faculty's behalf if they represent people as               
 community college faculty who are overpaid rather than as                     
 university faculty who are about average in pay across the United             
 States.  He was hopeful they would win it in court, but said it's             
 difficult when an arbitrator arbitrates an award and makes a                  
 decision and then the decision is further challenged by people who            
 agreed to abide by it.                                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed there were two points of view:  The                   
 legislature could appropriate additional money or expect the                  
 university to absorb the cost out of the university's current                 
 budget.  He asked Mr. Slattery if he would support closing down               
 some of the smaller, less efficient programs to fund the salary               
 increase.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. SLATTERY said he would prefer not to shut down any of the                 
 programs unless there is a better program assessment than what                
 they've had in the past, to look at where the cuts could be made              
 and where they couldn't.  He finds any budget cut made across the             
 university offensive.  He prefers the idea of looking at where                
 money could be taken out of the system, if necessary.                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE remarked that people may be asking the legislature             
 to demand that the university fund this salary increase, and to do            
 it out of their existing budget, the university will have to take             
 money from somewhere else.  That's one of the realities the                   
 legislature is being asked to address when they are requested to              
 address this contract.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. SLATTERY acknowledged it was reality, but it is his belief that           
 parties should live up to the terms of a contract.                            
                                                                               
 Number 881                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOLI MORGAN, Professor of Applied Business, testified via                     
 teleconference from Bethel that he has been an Alaskan resident               
 since 1967 and with the University of Alaska since 1976.  He                  
 supports HR 12 and the enforcement of the contract.  The contract             
 language under Article 4, Section (indisc.-coughing) states the               
 decision of the arbitrator shall be final and the parties shall               
 abide by it.  He said if we feel the university has the obligation            
 to go before the legislature and ask for the money, Article 12 of             
 their contract states that the university shall request and                   
 actively support full funding of this agreement.  He does not feel            
 the university has actively supported the funding of the arbitrated           
 award.  He commented that the union had four issues when they went            
 to arbitration; they lost on three of those issues and they have              
 abided by that loss.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 951                                                                    
                                                                               
 ROBERT WARNER, Associate Professor of Library Science, University             
 of Alaska Southeast, testified from Ketchikan that he had been with           
 the university since 1972.  He expressed his appreciation to                  
 Representative Williams for bringing this issue to the attention of           
 the legislature.  He said there have been a long series of                    
 difficulties in labor negotiations between the University of Alaska           
 and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers, and this           
 resolution brings to light one area of difficulty.  He asked the              
 legislature to take a positive look at trying to resolve this                 
 matter so the university professors and university administration             
 can get back to doing the important work they need to do for the              
 citizens and the state of Alaska.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1024                                                                   
                                                                               
 PETER PINNEY testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support           
 of HR 12.  He said the legislature could save money with HR 12                
 because it wouldn't cost the state any additional money.  It should           
 not be confused with other appropriations coming before the                   
 legislature in terms of pay increases; it's basically a stand to              
 follow the rules of a negotiated contract which is in place.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1105                                                                   
                                                                               
 GEORGE GUTHRIDGE, Associate Professor, University of Alaska,                  
 testified from Dillingham.  He has been with the university since             
 1990 and supports HR 12.  From his point of view, it is simply a              
 matter of ethical laws.  He thought it was contradictory to say now           
 there are fiscal problems at the university and programs may have             
 to be cut if this pay increase is funded.  The same thing could be            
 said on the other side; maybe programs will have to be cut in order           
 to pay for the court proceedings.  It is the university's job to              
 look at the future and to satisfy the legal obligations they                  
 undertake.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1157                                                                   
                                                                               
 BILL JERMAIN, Attorney, Jermain, Dunnagan and Owens, representing             
 ACCFT, testified from Anchorage.  He said he was sorry if he misled           
 the committee on the 1995 appropriation; apparently that sum was              
 built into the base of the salary schedule.  The arbitration                  
 (indisc.) that the contract required 3 percent; whatever happened             
 to the rest of the university was irrelevant to that.  The 3                  
 percent was owed and the university refused the pay that and the 3            
 percent is being enforced through the courts.  That's a legal issue           
 that will resolve itself.  He said what is misleading is the                  
 statement about contract interpretations; there is no issue of                
 contract interpretation in any of the litigation.  The litigation             
 deals with the constitutional issue (indisc.-coughing)                        
 interpretation of AS 23.40.215 and includes the enforcement of the            
 arbitration award.  The university is taking the position that with           
 the nonrepresented faculty, they can give increases without any               
 appropriation from the legislature.  However, with represented                
 people, even if there is an arbitrator's award as with this case,             
 they will not give that out of the general appropriation for                  
 personal services, and say that AS 23.40.215 precludes them from              
 doing that.  That's despite the opinion of Ms. Cramer, which Mr.              
 Jermain believes is very well-reasoned and agrees with.  He quoted            
 from that opinion, "...a collective bargaining contract may call              
 for a salary increase.  By appropriating money for the personal               
 services for positions in that bargaining unit, the legislature is            
 acting on that contract term.  Unless the legislature also states             
 its disapproval of the salary increase, the increase will take                
 effect, even if the amount appropriated is insufficient to fully              
 fund all of the positions in the department...."  He said they need           
 to be on the same level as the university (indisc.) give out                  
 general appropriations to other faculty members (indisc.) the right           
 to do it.  How at the same time can they ignore an arbitrator's               
 award which they say they don't disagree with, and say that it                
 requires a specific appropriation.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1333                                                                   
                                                                               
 ERIC LEEGARD, Representative, Alaska Community Colleges' Federation           
 of Teachers, pointed out that he had submitted written testimony to           
 the committee.  He emphasized that all the ACCFT members in Juneau            
 support HR 12.                                                                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed the meeting to public testimony.                        
                                                                               
 Number 1377                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to pass HR 12 from committee with               
 attached fiscal note and individual recommendations.  Hearing no              
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
                                                                               
 HCR 30 - STUDENT RIGHTS                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1463                                                                   
                                                                               
 KRISTY TIBBLES, Legislative Secretary, to Representative Joe Green,           
 read the following sponsor statement:  "House Concurrent Resolution           
 30 was introduced to send a strong message to students, parents and           
 schools that education and school safety are top priorities with              
 the 19th Legislature.  Children are one of the state's most                   
 valuable resources for the future economic and social well-being of           
 our state.  We, as elected leaders have the responsibility to                 
 safeguard their future to the best of our ability.                            
                                                                               
 "Education should be the key concern of a parent sending a child to           
 school, yet the issue of safety has surpassed this concern.  In               
 1940, the major problems in public schools identified by teachers             
 were talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise in the                    
 classroom, running in the halls, cutting in line, littering, and              
 disobeying the dress code.  Educators now consider the top problems           
 to be assaults by students on teachers and other students, weapons            
 in school, racial or ethnic attacks, gang disruptions, shootings,             
 knifings, and drive-by shootings.  While schools should be a safe             
 haven for learning, many students are burdened with intimidation              
 and fear of violence.                                                         
                                                                               
 "This resolution declares that our children have a right to be                
 provided with a safe, orderly, and drug free environment in which             
 they can learn, and that they have a right to high academic                   
 standards in order to prepare them to meet the challenges they will           
 encounter in the future.  Our present system, programs, and                   
 attitudes need to be changed.  The conditions that allow students             
 to become disenfranchised need to be identified and reworked.  With           
 the cooperation of parents, educators, and elected officials, we              
 can all work together to provide our children the quality they will           
 need and education they deserve."                                             
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted the bill sponsor, Representative Joe Green,              
 was in attendance.  He asked if there were questions for the bill             
 sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1645                                                                   
                                                                               
 STEPHEN McPHETRES, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School               
 Administrators (ACSA), said he believed this resolution speaks in             
 support of education.  The legislature coming out with a statement            
 of philosophy is a very important step in setting the direction of            
 how education should be treated in the future.  To that end, the              
 ACSA is supportive of this resolution.  He pointed out that in                
 current regulation, school districts have the responsibility of               
 establishing rights and responsibilities for their students in                
 their districts.  He didn't want there to be any misinterpretation            
 of the fact there aren't student rights and responsibilities that             
 do exist currently in school districts across the state.  He read             
 a paragraph from one school district to give the committee an idea            
 of the statements and beliefs school districts currently have:                
 "The Board of Education recognizes that students possess the rights           
 of citizenship.  In granting each student the educational                     
 opportunities for which he or she is entitled, the board shall                
 provide him or her with the nurture, counsel and care appropriate             
 to his or her age and maturity.  No student enrolled in the schools           
 of this district shall be deprived of his or her basic rights to              
 equal treatment and equal access to the educational program.  Due             
 process of law, the presumption of innocence, free expression and             
 association, and the privacy of his or her thoughts."  He directed            
 the committee's attention to this just to let committee members               
 know there are in existence within the state and school districts,            
 statements of their rights and responsibilities for students, as              
 well.  The ACSA does support this resolution and would like to see            
 terms like "drug-free" and "weapon-free" schools added.                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE encouraged the sponsor to think about including                
 the terms "rights and responsibilities of public students" to the             
 title of the resolution.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1810                                                                   
                                                                               
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards,           
 stated he had provided written testify to the committee in support            
 of HCR 30.  He thought this legislation was appropriate and timely.           
 Society and societal change is upon us and the children reflect               
 that.  Parents and communities are very concerned about the                   
 environment in which their children attend schools.  He said more             
 important than just handbooks on roles and responsibilities, though           
 he felt they were appropriate, society has to take a look at what             
 has happened over the last 30 or 40 years.  As was previously                 
 mentioned, many of the things children face today are totally                 
 foreign to many of us adults in our days in school.  He said the              
 Association of Alaska School Boards has established the "Advocacy             
 Agenda"; there is limited funding but it was their thinking that              
 funding alone would not be what would drive their effort.  That               
 effort is to raise the awareness of the public as to some of the              
 problems that exist.  He felt that was about the best they could do           
 to draw attention to the concerns and help society address them.              
 He reiterated his support for HCR 30.                                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE directed a comment to Mr. McPhetres that he did not            
 view this resolution as a criticism of schools; he agreed with what           
 Mr. McPhetres was trying to do and wanted to encourage and support            
 him to that end.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1921                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to adopt Amendment 1.                           
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE objected for discussion purposes and asked                     
 Representative Robinson to speak to the amendment.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said Amendment 1 inserts language on page             
 2, line 15, "; and (11) the right to available resources to attain            
 a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle."                                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he didn't understand if the amendment meant               
 that students have enough money to get healthy or enough brains to            
 get healthy.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON replied they can have both.                           
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Representative Green had any reaction to              
 Amendment 1.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 2008                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, Sponsor of HCR 30, said he had no                   
 objection to the amendment.  He understood the intent of the                  
 amendment and concurred that if a student comes to school with some           
 type of mental problem, whether it be generated from school out of            
 fear or perhaps a problem at home, it would inhibit the student's             
 ability to receive a quality education.  While most schools do have           
 counselors and nurses that would look for abuse, he felt the                  
 amendment would fall in line as to students rights.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG questioned the placement of the amendment             
 within the resolution in that Section 10 was written with a degree            
 of finality.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 2105                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she would rather have it become                  
 subsection (3) following line 17 on page 1, and renumber the                  
 existing subsections.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY expressed opposition to the amendment because            
 it says they have a right to more money.  He said it's a nice                 
 concept and wished there was a money tree available, but people               
 need to be realistic.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE agreed with Representative Vezey's remarks;              
 however, he felt the other 10 subsections spoke to the same thing.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON pointed out that subsection (6) speaks to             
 the right to learn in a well equipped school.  She felt the                   
 statements contained in the resolution were what is viewed as                 
 important in a school.  It is difficult for a child to learn who is           
 not healthy and mentally healthy and she believed the amendment               
 would strengthen the resolution.                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-32, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY pointed out that each one of the Resolves contained           
 in the resolution comes with an added cost to the school                      
 curriculum.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE remarked that the amendment says "available                    
 resources" and as long as he had a choice as to what is available,            
 he would support the amendment.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated a further objection in that the                   
 amendment seems to carry over strongly from the school into the               
 home.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for a roll call vote.  Voting to adopt                   
 Amendment 1 were Representatives Rokeberg, Toohey, Brice and                  
 Robinson.  Voting against Amendment 1 were Representatives Vezey              
 and Bunde.  Co-Chair Bunde announced that Amendment 1 was adopted.            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Representative Green would entertain the              
 notion to adding the word "responsibility" to the title?                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded that he did not have an objection to           
 adding "responsibility", but he had a concern because all the                 
 Resolves tend to...                                                           
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Representative Green to note his concern and             
 withdrew his request.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 164                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved to pass CSHCR 30 out of the HESS Committee to           
 the next committee of referral with zero fiscal notes and                     
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 HB 216 - EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM                                       
                                                                               
 Number 233                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT, Sponsor of HB 216, said he had a                    
 committee substitute to address for the committee.                            
                                                                               
 Number 266                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to adopt CSHB 216, Work Draft 9-                
 LS0765\M, Ford, 3/12/96.  Hearing no objection, CSHB 216, Work                
 Draft 9-LS0765\M was adopted.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said that educational technology is a major               
 concern in modern society.  Of the eight million high paying jobs             
 in America, almost one-fourth were in the technology arena.  He               
 felt it was an important way to approach education and training.              
 The intent of the original bill was to set up the Alaska                      
 educational technology program; that intent is maintained in the              
 committee substitute.  Section 1 of the proposed committee                    
 substitute deals with the legislative findings and the purpose of             
 the bill.  Section 2 of the original bill which dealt with school             
 districts being required to submit reports was deleted.  He learned           
 there is a new report being generated in the Department of                    
 Education, and their intention is to continue to publish that                 
 report.  Section 2 of the committee substitute, contains several              
 things being required as far as the major purposes of the education           
 technology program.  Most of the requirements that were in the                
 original bill to administer the fund were eliminated because there            
 is no general fund monies involved and most likely it will be                 
 operated by pass-through grants.  The structuring will be done in             
 a manner he believed very similar to the Alaska Children's Trust              
 Fund.  He dropped the requirement that the Department of Education            
 could not use any of the fund money for administrative expenses.              
 It is his experience that grant money that has flowed into various            
 funds that have been established in the state generally come                  
 through with the understanding that normal administrative expenses            
 would be deducted from the grant.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 450                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT informed the committee he had recently learned            
 the federal government has billions of dollars that will be                   
 available to the various states for inclusion into various funds              
 around the states for education technology.  It is currently before           
 Congress.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said Section AS 14.30.810 basically covers the            
 duties of the department.  The requirement for the department to              
 administer the details of the fund has been shifted and instead               
 overview language borrowed from other states was inserted.  Those             
 states include Georgia, Florida, California and Minnesota.  The               
 duties of the commissioner of revenue are identified in Section               
 14.30.820.  Those duties are basically to administer the fund once            
 the department is empowered with monies.  He noted this was the               
 standard procedure for handling funds for trusts in Alaska.                   
 Section 14.30.850 is the Definitions section of the bill and is               
 pretty straightforward.  Finally, Section 3 of the bill is the                
 effective date of the Act.  He explained that basically the                   
 framework has been set up in which to receive monies from the                 
 federal government that appears to be forthcoming.  There is also             
 an opportunity for the legislature to appropriate money and an                
 opportunity is allowed for the private sector to make contributions           
 into this framework.  The Department of Education will actually               
 oversee the fund, with the Department of Revenue disbursing the               
 fund.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 609                                                                    
                                                                               
 LARRY WIGET, Director of Government Relations, Anchorage School               
 District, testified from Anchorage that the Anchorage School                  
 District supports the establishment of the Alaska Education                   
 Technology program and urges support of the program by the                    
 legislature.  One year ago to the day, he first testified in                  
 support of HB 216; since that time, much has changed.  For example,           
 the ability to share information with each other around the state             
 and around the world (indisc.) through awareness in the use of                
 Internet.  The development of new software now makes accepting this           
 information network by students and teachers more user friendly.              
 The Department of Education, Anchorage School District,                       
 Municipality of Anchorage and other organizations, individuals and            
 businesses around the state have recognized the importance of this            
 communication avenue.  Unfortunately, what has not changed in the             
 past year is the ability of the districts and the state to provide            
 equitable access to information through the information highway to            
 all students.  In the past year, the Anchorage School District has            
 developed a (indisc.) of instructional technology plan with the               
 help of the instructional technology committee consisting of over             
 40 community and school personnel.  Their vision begins with a                
 student in the classroom, eager to learn because of the                       
 instructional technology tools he or she is using.  This student is           
 connected to the district network which is connected to the global            
 information highway.  Computers are used to access information.               
 However, the technology available to the students in the Anchorage            
 School District to fulfil this mission is inadequate and outdated.            
 The district budget cannot provide adequate funds to meet existing            
 or future district instructional technology needs or eliminate the            
 present inequity among the schools in providing access to                     
 technology, information resources and communications.  To this end,           
 the voters of Anchorage (indisc.) $35 million for technology.  The            
 outcome of their efforts will not be known until after the April 16           
 election.  House Bill 216 will establish a technology fund.  It               
 will lay the foundation for future monies to be set aside for                 
 technology needs statewide.  It recognizes the importance of                  
 technology to the future of Alaska.  He urged the committee's                 
 support of HB 216.                                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY expressed her concern that if we wait for the grant           
 money, children will be graduating with no schools at all.  She               
 would like to see this concept taken to the Board of Education so             
 they can incorporate it into their planning.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 821                                                                    
                                                                               
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards,           
 said he views this legislation as enabling; it gives direction.  He           
 said he would like to see this fund established, to be able to at             
 least focus on it as a means of providing the opportunity and                 
 equitable access to technology.  From a personal point of view, he            
 has found that having access to E Mail helps him to communicate               
 with people.  He feels the many uses of technology are critical to            
 the global economy.  He believes the future of young people is                
 dependent on their ability to use technology.  He supports HB 216.            
                                                                               
 Number 913                                                                    
                                                                               
 KIMBERLY HOMME, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                
 Department of Education, testified in support of CSHB 216, which              
 establishes the education technology fund and the consequent                  
 program that would result.  The department feels that having a                
 technology fund is the first step to having a commitment to                   
 appropriating the funding that's needed.  The goal of the fund is             
 to create a better trained and more productive work force.  The               
 department is concerned that the bill doesn't appropriate dollars             
 for technology for libraries and schools because it's an empty                
 shell, but it does provide the frame work for future deposits by              
 private business, perspective grants from the federal government              
 and hopefully future appropriations by the legislature.  These                
 monies would then be applied for by school districts and libraries            
 for the purchases of education technology and the associated                  
 training that goes with new technology.  The department would be              
 allowed to deduct administrative fees from the account to pay for             
 the work associated with administering the fund and the program.              
 The department believes if the frame work for the fund is                     
 established, there ultimately would be a mechanism available to               
 enable the state and local school districts to provide the ability            
 for children and citizens with the opportunity to learn technology            
 and its uses.  Ms. Homme referred to Co-Chair Toohey's comment on             
 the Board of Education's concern about technology and education and           
 said just last fall the board adopted statewide voluntary                     
 technology standards for students.  The department has outlined in            
 regulation what children are expected to know and do with                     
 technology, as well as other areas of the curriculum.                         
                                                                               
 Number 1050                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE turned the gavel over to Co-Chair Toohey as he had             
 to leave for another committee meeting.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1061                                                                   
                                                                               
 KAREN JORDAN, Past President, of the Alaska Society for Technology            
 and Education, testified the Society fully supports HB 216.  She is           
 the technology coordinator for the Juneau School District and                 
 personally supports the bill.  She shared an anecdote about a girl            
 who had a new E Mail connection with her father, whom she                     
 previously saw only twice a year, but now was able to communicate             
 with him daily.  She cited several other examples of how technology           
 is currently being used by students.  The Juneau School District is           
 connected to the Internet throughout the district.  As had been               
 previously testified, this bill will set up a fund; it will be a              
 zero balance fund to begin with, but there are many people                    
 throughout the state that are eager and willing to work on                    
 subsequent funding through grants from private corporations and               
 other sources.  We need to make sure that students as they are                
 graduating have the skills needed for jobs and employability.                 
 She said that one estimate is that 70 percent of the technology               
 jobs after the year 2000 will be high technology jobs.  The world             
 is changing, economics are changing and that needs to be addressed            
 in our school systems.                                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there were other individuals to testify on           
 HB 216.  Hearing none, she closed public testimony.                           
                                                                               
 Number 1246                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to pass CSHB 216(HES) out of                    
 committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.           
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
                                                                               
 HB 506 - UNIVERSITY FIRE FIGHTING PROGRAM                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1306                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced the next bill on the agenda was HB 506.             
                                                                               
 MICHAEL McGOWAN, Coordinator and Assistant Professor, University of           
 Alaska Fairbanks, testified that Fairbanks has the largest fire               
 science program in the state and is considered by many                        
 professionals to be the best in the state, and possibly one of the            
 best in the United States.  Currently they have 101 fire science              
 majors.  In addition to offering associate degrees in municipal               
 fire, the university is the only campus offering associate degrees            
 in wildland fire and hazardous materials.  They also offer courses            
 in emergency trauma training, emergency medical technician, and               
 fire fighter I.  The university has a pool of 30 instructors that             
 provide a high level of technical expertise to the program.  The              
 university currently offers about 45 courses per year in fire                 
 emergency medical services.  During the last five years, 97                   
 students have graduated with degrees; of those about 80 percent of            
 them are employed in emergency services or related fields.  He has            
 been told by Representative Navarre's office and Mayor Williams of            
 Kenai that the primary purpose of HB 506 is to allow the facility             
 in Kenai to retain all the revenues they generate instead of                  
 turning it over to the general fund of the University of Alaska.              
 If that is true, he asked why the fire science program in Fairbanks           
 and Anchorage isn't being included in this bill?  He commented that           
 no one seems to understand the true purpose of the bill, and there            
 is concern around the state that this will take away from existing            
 programs.  From his point of view, this appears to be an                      
 unnecessary duplication of something already being done quite well.           
 He asked committee members not to pass this bill out of committee.            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked Mr. McGowan if he was saying that program               
 receipts from tuition will cover the cost of training?                        
                                                                               
 MR. McGOWAN said that was the information received from                       
 Representative Navarre's office and Mayor Williams of Kenai.                  
 Apparently the intent is to dedicate the revenues it generates back           
 to the facility rather than to the general fund of the University             
 of Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there were any questions for Mr. McGowan.            
 She asked the next witness to begin his testimony.                            
                                                                               
 Number 1469                                                                   
                                                                               
 THOMAS MONK, Member, Interior Fire Chiefs Association, testified in           
 opposition to HB 506 because of the inaccurate language, the lack             
 of clarity and the failure to consider other fire programs within             
 the state and university system.  The association also opposed the            
 legislation due to their inability to get specific answers to                 
 questions from the university system regarding the policies and               
 details related to HB 506.                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked Mr. Monk who he had contacted at the                    
 university?                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MONK responded he had contacted several agencies; the                     
 President's office, the Provost, Vice President of Academic                   
 Affairs, University Relations, etc.  He added that he didn't have             
 specific names, but the people he had talked with were caught                 
 completely off guard as they had no knowledge of HB 506.                      
                                                                               
 Number 1538                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for an overview of the structure of the            
 fire training and safety program at the University of Alaska                  
 Fairbanks.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. McGOWAN said he could only speak to the Fairbanks campus.  The            
 fire science program in Fairbanks is under the Tanana Valley                  
 Campus, which is under the College of Rural Alaska.  It was his               
 understanding that the Kenai program is just a campus of the                  
 University of Alaska Anchorage.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the fire science was a department or            
 a school under the Tanana Community College.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. McGOWAN responded it is a program under the Tanana Valley                 
 Campus, which is under the College of Rural Alaska.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if there was a school between the                  
 program and the Tanana Valley Campus?                                         
                                                                               
 MR. McGOWAN said it's a direct line.  He added they used to be a              
 school of career and continuing education and then merged into the            
 College of Rural Alaska.                                                      
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY noted that Representative Navarre was in                      
 attendance.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1633                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAVID BURNETT, Chief, Kenai Fire Department, testified in support             
 of HB 506.  He supported the funds coming back to the Mining and              
 Petroleum Training Service (MAPTS) in order to continue the                   
 development of this project.  He believes it is a viable program              
 and not in conflict with the university's fire science program.               
                                                                               
 Number 1668                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MIKE NAVARRE, Sponsor, said the goal of HB 506 is              
 not to compete with any other fire training facilities around the             
 state.  There is a need for the facilities and there will continue            
 to be a need for them.  The impetus of bill was his frustration               
 with the university in that this is a program that was an outdoor             
 facility, it had to be moved once because it was generating too               
 much smoke, another outdoor facility was built.  Then there were              
 environmental problems and people began to build homes around the             
 facility, so it was going to be moved again in 1988.  Another                 
 outdoor facility was going to be constructed, but with the changes            
 to the Clean Air Act, he suggested that an indoor state of the art            
 facility be constructed.  It is a state of the art facility that is           
 used for all sorts of fire training, but one of the primary uses is           
 for oil fire service training.  The oil industry utilizes the                 
 facility and are trying, in a cooperative effort, to be able to               
 keep the funds and accumulate enough funds to buy the props                   
 necessary, which the university doesn't allow them to do, so they             
 can do the training.  The companies are currently buying the props            
 outside in places like Texas, Pennsylvania and Reno, so rather than           
 the dollars being spent out of state, they would be spent instate.            
 He reiterated the legislation is not meant to compete with anybody;           
 it came as a result of his frustration with the university.  He is            
 also working with the oil industry to see about utilization of the            
 tax credits that are currently on the statutes as a means of doing            
 a matching type fund, so they would have some input as to what type           
 of props are purchased, so specific growing needs within the oil              
 industry could be met.  The Mining and Petroleum Training Service             
 has also been working in development of the training and trying to            
 get commitments for the training for the American companies in the            
 Russian markets.  He apologized to the people in Fairbanks who view           
 this as a threat; it is not intended to be that.  The thrust is to            
 keep the funds where they are generated because this is a self-               
 funded facility that can continue to grow and meet needs in the               
 state that are currently not being met.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1824                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY questioned what exactly gives the legislature the             
 right to dedicate funds.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE responded they're not dedicated.  They are             
 separately accounted for and then the legislature has discretion in           
 the appropriation process as to the disposition of those funds.               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said, "Of program receipts."                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said they are like program receipts but the            
 legislature gets to control that through the budget process.  He              
 hoped the funds would be allowed to be used at the facility in                
 Kenai, but he couldn't absolutely guarantee that.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1858                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if the sponsor might consider deleting             
 "Kenai Peninsula" on page 1, line 7, which would imply a statewide            
 institute so the people in Fairbanks could participate.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said he would be happy to come up with one             
 coordinated plan for fire training in the state that would allow              
 for designation of certain types of training being done in certain            
 parts of the state.  His frustration with the university is there             
 seems to be a propensity for whenever someone begins something                
 successful as a component of the university system, one of the                
 larger campuses proclaims there's a need and they can generate                
 additional revenues if they set up their own facility.  That has              
 happened with the petroleum technology training, which was started            
 in Kenai.  He believes there are a lot of programs at the                     
 university that should be combined into one comprehensive plan                
 statewide.  He commented this is his attempt at getting this one              
 facility in Kenai, which has been generating funds in excess of the           
 amount needed to operate the facility, and that money has been                
 stripped away from them and used in other areas.                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was anyone else who wished to                  
 testify on HB 506.                                                            
                                                                               
 MR. MONK said that Mr. Tim Biggane, President of the Alaska Fire              
 Chief's Association had been standing by in Fairbanks to testify,             
 but the time allotment didn't afford him the opportunity.                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY apologized to those who didn't get to testify and             
 announced HB 506 would be heard again in committee.                           
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY adjourned the meeting of the House Health,                    
 Education and Social Services meeting at 5:19 p.m.                            
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects