Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/13/1995 05:05 PM MLV
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS March 13, 1995 5:05 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Co-Chairman Representative Pete Kott, Co-Chairman Representative Eldon Mulder, Vice-Chairman Representative Ed Willis MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Richard Foster Representative Gail Phillips Representative John Davies COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HB 166: "An act making special appropriations to the Department of Education for construction or upgrade of schools on military installations: and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 411 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: 465-2647 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement DUANE GUILEY, Director Division of School Finance Department of Education 801 W. 10th Street, Suite 200 Juneau, AK 99801-1894 Telephone: 465-2891 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered Questions on HB 166 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 166 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: CONSTRUCT/UPGRADE ON-BASE SCHOOLS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MULDER,James,Martin JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/08/95 273 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/08/95 273 (H) MLV, HES, FIN 03/13/95 (H) MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-5, SIDE A Number 000 The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs was called to order by Co-Chairman Pete Kott at 5:05 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Kott, Ivan, Eldon and Willis. Members absent were Representatives Foster, Phillips and Davies. HMLV - 03/13/95 HB 166 - APPROP: CONSTRUCT/UPGRADE ON-BASE SCHOOLS Number 030 REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER, Sponsor, stated HB 166 appropriates $6,800,000 (or a lesser amount, contingent upon what the federal government agrees to match on a dollar for dollar basis) from the general fund to the Department of Education to fund the construction of a new elementary school at Eielson Air Force Base. This school would replace Taylor and Pennell elementaries, which are too deteriorated for upgrades. In Section 2, HB 166 appropriates $17,700,000 (or a lesser amount, contingent upon what the federal government agrees to match on a dollar for dollar basis) from the general fund to the Department of Education to fund upgrades on the 6 schools remaining on the task force construction list. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said in 1993, the Alaska Legislature established a Military Schools Task Force. The task force reviewed maintenance requests, cost estimates and other pertinent information. The Department of Defense owns the facilities, partial maintenance funding comes through the U.S. Department of Education, which grants to the state department of Education, who then pass the funds to the local school district. The task force determined the schools should be controlled locally. Prior to this, the districts want the schools upgraded to meet health and safety codes. It was determined to cost approximately $49 million to upgrade all the schools to meet the required codes. Local school districts cannot bond to secure funding to upgrade the facilities due to the federal government owning the facilities. In response to this dilemma, the 1994 legislature passed a resolution to Congress stating should the posts remain open, Alaska would be favorable toward a matching funding program. Alaska has received $7 million from the U.S. Department of Defense with an additional $20 million appropriation that is currently in the budget. It has been indicated, Alaska would have priority for $10 million to $12 million providing we match funds. The effected schools that need to be upgraded include Aurora Elementary, Orion Elementary, Mt. Spurr Elementary (Elmendorf), Ben Eielson Junior/Senior High School (Eielson), Ursa Minor Elementary, JF Kennedy Elementary (Fort Richardson) and replacing Taylor and Pennell with a new facility on Eielson Air Force Base. HB 166 is a focal point to draw attention to the problem and to give opportunities for those schools and for those affected families. It also gives impact back to the legislature on how important this issue is and places the funding into the capital budget. CO-CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT asked if this was a continuation of last year's proposal? REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded last year's proposal was for $52 million, we did receive $3.5 million. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if the federal allocations were transferred through the state's Department of Education and what is the status of that funding? Number 124 MR. DUANE GUILEY, Director, Division of School Finance, Department of Education, stated in regards to the recent allocations received for repair of military schools, each school district is working directly with the federal agency. The funds received from the Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Education have been direct appropriations to the individual school districts. Although there is an agreement with the districts that Department of Education will serve as the intermediary, the districts have requested and are allowed to negotiate directly and independently of the Department of Education. The impact aid funds which are available for operation and routine maintenance, do flow through the state Department of Education based upon a single application representing Kodiak, Fairbanks and Anchorage school districts. Impact aid funds are received by the Department of Education, who allocates the funds to the three school districts and submits a check within 45 days of receipt of funds. Impact aid funds routine operation and maintenance where HB 166 addresses capital repairs. Number 149 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked last year when the appropriation measure was passed asking for $52 million, we only received $3.5 million from the federal government and we matched those funds, did the remaining funds revert back into the general fund? REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded we received $7 million from the federal government. The language in the appropriation bill designates the funds to be used for upgrades of base schools. Top priority was given to upgrade Taylor and Pennell elementaries when actually phasing the school out and building a new school facility is needed. As the federal appropriation language states upgrade, the funds could not be used to build a new facility. The state used half of the funds to upgrade another facility in Anchorage and hopes to use the remaining funds for the new elementary school at Eielson. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the remaining $3.5 million dollars in federal funds is still available? REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded the $3.5 million are funds that have been obligated and will be in addition to other funds that would be appropriated. Number 173 MR. GUILEY stated they are anticipating additional funding for Eielson. The state has provided $600,000 to the Fairbanks school district for the design of the new Eielson elementary school. They are awaiting the balance of the funds to be able to construct the facility. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if this appropriation bill is anticipated by the House Finance Committee in the FY 96 capital budget? REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded no. Our goal and objective is to get $10 million in the capital budget, this has been discussed with the Governor. It is not anticipated to be a major component in the capital budget. If we can get partial funding to match the federal dollars, Senator Stevens believes the process can be continued. Operated under local school districts and owned by the federal government, these facilities never received continued upgrading. Consequently, the facilities deteriorated causing possible safety and health hazards. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked as this is an appropriation bill, does it require a fiscal note? REPRESENTATIVE MULDER responded no, the fiscal note is the amount included at the top of the bill. Number 236 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS made a motion to move HB 166 out of committee with individual recommendations. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, the motion passed. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Co-Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at 5:17 p.m.