Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/01/2003 08:01 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 1, 2003                                                                                          
                           8:01 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Jim Holm, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 5                                                                                               
Establishing  a task  force to  make recommendations  regarding a                                                               
new design for the official seal of the State of Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCR 5 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 134                                                                                                              
"An Act authorizing  the Department of Corrections  to enter into                                                               
agreements  with  municipalities  for   new  or  expanded  public                                                               
correctional facilities in the Fairbanks  North Star Borough, the                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna  Borough,  Bethel,   and  the  Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 161                                                                                                              
"An Act allowing expenses of  the correctional industries program                                                               
that may  be financed  from the  correctional industries  fund to                                                               
include the salaries and benefits of state employees."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 183                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to retirement contributions  and benefits under                                                               
the  public  employees'  retirement system  of  certain  juvenile                                                               
detention   employees  and   juvenile  correctional   institution                                                               
employees."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 5                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE:LEGIS. TASK FORCE ON DESIGN OF STATE SEAL                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)JOULE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/03/03     0118       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/03/03     0118       (H)        CRA, STA, FIN                                                                                
03/06/03                (H)        CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
03/06/03                (H)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
03/06/03                (H)        MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                  
03/07/03     0461       (H)        CRA RPT 5DP 1AM                                                                              
03/07/03     0461       (H)        DP: ANDERSON, WOLF, KOOKESH,                                                                 
                                   CISSNA,                                                                                      
03/07/03     0461       (H)        MORGAN; AM: SAMUELS                                                                          
03/07/03     0461       (H)        FN1: (LEG)                                                                                   
03/07/03     0477       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): ANDERSON                                                                       
03/27/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
03/27/03                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
04/01/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 134                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:CORRECTIONAL FACILITY EXPANSION                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)STOLTZE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/26/03     0306       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/26/03     0306       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
03/13/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
03/13/03                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
04/01/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 161                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES PROGRAM EXPENSES                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/05/03     0431       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/05/03     0431       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
03/05/03     0432       (H)        FN1: (COR)                                                                                   
03/05/03     0432       (H)        GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                
03/11/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
03/11/03                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
04/01/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 183                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:PERS BENEFITS FOR JUV INSTIT EMPLOYEES                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)WEYHRAUCH                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/10/03     0491       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/10/03     0491       (H)        STA, FIN                                                                                     
04/01/03                (H)        STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as sponsor of HCR 5.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JOHN GREELY, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on                                                                   
HCR 5.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BILL STOLTZE                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as sponsor of HB 134.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PORTIA PARKER, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Office of the Commissioner - Juneau                                                                                             
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on                                                                   
HB 134.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JERRY BURNETT, Director                                                                                                         
Administrative Services                                                                                                         
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on                                                                   
HB 134; presented HB 161.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DEVON MITCHELL, Debt Manager                                                                                                    
Treasury Division                                                                                                               
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During the  hearing on  HB 134,  discussed                                                               
issues relating to the state's  credit and revenue bonds with the                                                               
municipalities and answered questions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN DUFFY, Manager                                                                                                             
Matanuska-Susitna Borough                                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified  on behalf  of  the  Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna Borough in support of HB 134.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff                                                                                                          
to Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                               
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Introduced   HB   183   on  behalf   of                                                               
Representative Weyhrauch, sponsor.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GUY BELL, Director                                                                                                              
Division of Retirement & Benefits                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Answered questions  regarding  retirement                                                               
systems  and addressed  the  fiscal note  during  the hearing  on                                                               
HB 183.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BERNARD GATEWOOD                                                                                                                
Alaska   Juvenile  Correctional   Officers  Association   (AJCOA)                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  the hearing on  HB 183,  asked that                                                               
juvenile  correctional  officers  be   included  in  the  20-year                                                               
retirement.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-34, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BRUCE WEYHRAUCH  called the  House State  Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  8:01 a.m.   Representatives Holm,                                                               
Seaton,  and  Weyhrauch  were  present  at  the  call  to  order.                                                               
Representatives Lynn and Berkowitz arrived  as the meeting was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HCR  5-LEGIS. TASK FORCE ON DESIGN OF STATE SEAL                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0139                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the  first order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION  NO. 5, Establishing a  task force to                                                               
make  recommendations regarding  a  new design  for the  official                                                               
seal of the State of Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0163                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REGGIE JOULE,  Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of HCR  5, gave a  PowerPoint presentation.   Saying there  is no                                                               
symbol  of Alaska  older  than  the state  seal,  he offered  his                                                               
belief that it is time to modernize  it.  Thus HCR 5 would create                                                               
a task  force of eight citizens  to provide for a  focal point of                                                               
public  involvement in  designing a  new  seal.   After the  task                                                               
force  reports back  to the  legislature in  January [2004],  the                                                               
legislature  will decide  whether  to adopt  the  new design  and                                                               
commission the engraver.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  surmised that most Alaskans  probably don't                                                               
realize  the current  seal is  the  second one  to represent  the                                                               
government  of Alaska.   In  1885 the  first appointed  governor,                                                               
John  Kinkead,  designed a  seal  for  the military  district  of                                                               
Alaska; in use  approximately 25 years, it  depicted the northern                                                               
lights, icebergs,  and "an Alaska  Native or  two."  He  said the                                                               
only place  he knows of where  the district seal is  still in use                                                               
is on the mantel of the  fireplace of the governor's house, where                                                               
it was uncovered  from under many layers of paint  when the house                                                               
was restored in the 1980s.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0366                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  said then-Governor Walter Clark  decided in                                                               
1910  that  the  district  seal  was  inappropriate  for  several                                                               
reasons, including  its depiction  of icebergs,  northern lights,                                                               
and Natives.   Governor Clark hired a man to  draw a rough sketch                                                               
to include more modern developments  in Alaska; the result is the                                                               
design that was  sent to Washington, D.C., for  approval in 1910.                                                               
Around  that time,  however,  someone in  the  Department of  the                                                               
Interior commissioned a  more refined drawing and  sent that back                                                               
to Alaska.  Governor Clark  then commissioned an engraver to cast                                                               
the new seal, and it was  delivered to the Secretary of Alaska on                                                               
February 25, 1911.  In 1913,  the seal was changed again when the                                                               
word  "district"  was  changed  to "territory."    He  said,  "At                                                               
statehood, this seal became the  official state seal and remained                                                               
so as part of the statutes."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0518                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE referred to an article in the April 1911                                                                   
edition of the Alaska-Yukon Magazine that announced the new                                                                   
seal.  It read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  Territory of  Alaska will  not permit  any one  to                                                                    
     forget  that development  and  industrial progress  are                                                                    
     its  chief concern.   Not  even will  public documents,                                                                    
     bearing   the  signature   of  the   territorial  chief                                                                    
     executive,  be permitted  [any]  longer  to convey,  to                                                                    
     those who take note of  them, the ancient conception of                                                                    
     the country  as a  land of  Arctic temperature  and the                                                                    
     home of an  unique race of aborigines.   Gov. Walter E.                                                                    
     Clark  has had  prepared a  new official  seal for  the                                                                    
     Territory  that  will  typify   modern  Alaska,  as  he                                                                    
     conceives  it.   While the  general design  of the  old                                                                    
     seal is retained in the  new, the whole effect has been                                                                    
     to   emphasize   the   important  industries   of   the                                                                    
     Territory, and  to present them on  the whole according                                                                    
     to their relative  importance.  The center  of the seal                                                                    
     shows  a  range of  mountains  in  the distance,  above                                                                    
     which  appears  the  rising   sun,  typifying  in  this                                                                    
     instance the dawn of the  commercial and industrial era                                                                    
     in Alaska.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     In the middle distance on the  left is a large ore mill                                                                    
     and a wharf, with a train  of ore cars and a spur track                                                                    
     leading toward the  mill.  In the harbor  adjacent is a                                                                    
     large  steamship, typifying  commerce,  and in  another                                                                    
     part of  the harbor  is a fishing  vessel, representing                                                                    
     one  of  the  great  industries.   The  forests,  also,                                                                    
     appear in the middle distance  on the left to represent                                                                    
     the  lumber  industry and  resources;  and  there is  a                                                                    
     harvest scene to typify agriculture.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Around the circumference of the  seal appear the words:                                                                    
     "The Seal of the District  of Alaska," the two lines of                                                                    
     which are  separated on one  side by salmon and  on the                                                                    
     other side by  a fur seal in place  of the conventional                                                                    
     stars that are usually employed for this purpose.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said  those words from 1911  explain why the                                                               
official seal of  Alaska looks the way it does.   However, Alaska                                                               
is a  far different place today,  which leads to the  question of                                                               
whether its seal  should reflect those changes.   For example, in                                                               
1910 Anchorage did not exist,  and the state has outgrown several                                                               
industries  and [developed  new  ones].   For  example, do  urban                                                               
Alaska and  the oil and  gas industry  belong on the  state seal?                                                               
And is the horse and  plow the best representation of agriculture                                                               
in Alaska?   Representative Joule  noted that in 1910  [half] the                                                               
population of Alaska was Native,  and yet any depiction of Alaska                                                               
Natives was dropped  from the seal by Governor Clark.   He added,                                                               
"We have time to fix that omission."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0760                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  said in 1885  and 1910, the idea  of public                                                               
involvement  in  designing  a  seal  was  not  considered.    The                                                               
legislature  can  fix  that  oversight  and  provide  a  valuable                                                               
learning experience for  Alaskan residents.  He said  HCR 5 "asks                                                               
all of  us to use our  imaginations."  Saying Governor  Clark had                                                               
looked  to  the  future,  Representative Joule  asked  that  [the                                                               
legislature] do  the same now  by asking what symbols  might have                                                               
currency with residents of Alaska 100 hundred years from now.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0821                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE  showed  the  committee  some  other  state                                                               
logos, included  in the handout  of the  PowerPoint presentation,                                                               
including an  Alaska Department of Fish  & Game logo in  use from                                                               
1962  until  1977,  and the  ensuing  black-and-white  logo  that                                                               
dropped the totem pole design.   He noted that the design changed                                                               
again in 2001,  when color was added and the  lines were altered.                                                               
He also showed  the committee the logo used by  the Department of                                                               
Health &  Social Services (DHSS),  which was commissioned  in the                                                               
early 1990s after  extensive public involvement.   In response to                                                               
a   question  by   Chair  Weyhrauch,   he   confirmed  that   the                                                               
commissioner of the  DHSS was the one whose idea  it was to [have                                                               
a seal designed with public involvement].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0925                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN GREELY,  Staff to Representative Reggie  Joule, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  in   response  to  follow-up  questions   by  Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch,  offered to  find  out the  history  behind [the  DHSS                                                               
seal].  He explained that the  images discussed [on pages 3 and 4                                                               
of the PowerPoint handout] are examples of state symbols.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1017                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE  referred to  the  state  seals of  Hawaii,                                                               
Montana, and Idaho [page 5 of  the PowerPoint handout].  He noted                                                               
that  Hawaii's  seal  was adopted  at  statehood;  an  individual                                                               
changed the  Montana seal without  any regard to the  thoughts of                                                               
the legislature;  and the Idaho  seal was the only  official seal                                                               
designed  by a  woman, Emma  Edwards Green,  who took  part in  a                                                               
contest  sponsored   by  the  Idaho  legislature   shortly  after                                                               
statehood in 1890 and  won a $100 prize.  In  1957, he noted, the                                                               
Idaho  legislature updated  the  seal by  adding  symbols of  the                                                               
state's  main industries:    mining,  agriculture, and  forestry.                                                               
Representative  Joule   said  [HCR  5]  would   seek  out  public                                                               
involvement from people of all ages.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  referred to  the fiscal note  of [$53,000].                                                               
He mentioned a letter to  the First Alaskans Institute requesting                                                               
a partnership in getting this funded  to get it underway.  Noting                                                               
that the House Community and  Regional Affairs Standing Committee                                                               
had  suggested seeking  a partnership,  he  indicated he'd  asked                                                               
members of  that committee to  forward names of  potential donors                                                               
with regard to underwriting the cost.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked  if  a  decision  of  "no  change"  is  a                                                               
potential outcome [of the task force].                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  answered that it's possible,  but he doubts                                                               
it would  happen.  He  said aviation is  a huge part  of Alaska's                                                               
history.    Referring to  the  omission  of [symbols]  of  Alaska                                                               
Natives,  he  listed  the  following  groups:    Inupiat,  Yupik,                                                               
Athabascan, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and  Aleut.  He asked, "Is                                                               
there one that would capture them all?"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1478                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. GREELY  mentioned suggestions  over the years  regarding room                                                               
on  the rim  of the  seal and  allowing [design  features] to  be                                                               
added without  changing the  [existing design] of  the seal.   He                                                               
indicated there  are different ways  of approaching a  new design                                                               
and said  it will be interesting  to see what the  public does if                                                               
it has a chance to weigh in.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked  how the  House  Community  and  Regional                                                               
Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting went  during its  hearing on                                                               
HCR 5 and whether anyone had testified on the issue.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE answered  no.   He  mentioned  a letter  of                                                               
support from the Heritage Foundation in Anchorage.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1560                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked Representative Seaton for  his comments as                                                               
cosponsor of the resolution.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said the fiscal  note will be taken  up in                                                               
the  House  Finance   Committee.    He  said   he  thinks  public                                                               
involvement and bringing in the  history of and foresight for the                                                               
State of  Alaska are good things.   He likened [the  designing of                                                               
the state seal] to that for the state flag.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to report  HCR 5  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being  no objection,  HCR 5  was reported  from the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 134-CORRECTIONAL FACILITY EXPANSION                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[Contains discussion of SSHB 55]                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the next  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  134,  "An Act  authorizing  the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections to enter into agreements  with municipalities for new                                                               
or  expanded  public  correctional facilities  in  the  Fairbanks                                                               
North Star  Borough, the  Matanuska-Susitna Borough,  Bethel, and                                                               
the Municipality of Anchorage."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1683                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BILL STOLTZE,  Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of  HB 134,  told the  committee the  unfortunate reality  Alaska                                                               
faces is  the need for more  prison beds.  [The  legislature] has                                                               
different  options for  how  to  solve this  need.   He  credited                                                               
Senator Lyda Green for her work  on the Senate side on the issue.                                                               
He remarked,  "I'm pushing the  bill on  this side to  assist her                                                               
effort and [have] become attached to it since then."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE said the  bill covers expansion [of prison                                                               
beds]  in  several  areas  of  the  state,  including  Anchorage,                                                               
Fairbanks,  Bethel, and  the Matanuska-Susitna  area, which  will                                                               
have the major expansion.   Probably receiving the most attention                                                               
will be  the Sutton  expansion, he  predicted, saying  a facility                                                               
there is the right facility in  the right place, and is supported                                                               
by  the public.    He said  he thinks  that  through the  healthy                                                               
process  of competition  with the  private  prison industry,  the                                                               
[Department  of  Corrections  (DOC)]  has  done  a  good  job  of                                                               
reducing costs  and putting together  a good  proposal, including                                                               
documentation of how it can be accomplished.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  noted what  the number  of beds  for each                                                               
facility would  be as  follows:   Sutton, 1,250;  Anchorage, 200;                                                               
Fairbanks, 80;  and Bethel, 120.   The spaces added  in Anchorage                                                               
would  be leased  by the  federal government,  by U.S.  Marshals.                                                               
That would  be federal  money providing  Alaskan jobs,  he added,                                                               
and would make the current Anchorage facility more efficient.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1874                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STOLTZE  referred   to   a  color-copy   handout                                                               
[compiled by DOC]; the first  page shows where the facilities are                                                               
located.  He  pointed to the "Inmate  Population Statistics" [top                                                               
of page 2], which shows that by  the year 2007, the total will be                                                               
5,500.  Referring to [the  "Institution Activity 1997-2002" chart                                                               
on the bottom of page  2], which shows admissions, transfers, and                                                               
the average  daily count,  he indicated that  is what  the debate                                                               
centers  around  with   regard  to  private-versus-public  prison                                                               
initiatives.  He  clarified that the competition is  in regard to                                                               
housing  people.   He  complimented  DOC  for lowering  costs  in                                                               
construction,  which lowers  the  fiscal note.    He mentioned  a                                                               
proposed committee substitute (CS) [unspecified version].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2080                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  said  the  options  regarding  prisons  are  as                                                               
follows:   SSHB 55, which  would authorize the construction  of a                                                               
private prison in Whittier; HB  134, the bill now being presented                                                               
by  Representative  Stoltze,  supporting  expansion  of  existing                                                               
facilities;  and  "the do-nothing  option."    He commented  that                                                               
there is a  lot of confusing information on  the issue, including                                                               
some scare  tactics that  are not  credible.   He said  one thing                                                               
that isn't clear to him is the  economic impact on the state.  He                                                               
requested  from Representative  Hawker  [one of  two sponsors  of                                                               
SSHB 55]  and Representative Stoltze  a holistic view of  how all                                                               
the options  overlay, in  order for the  committee to  decide the                                                               
best policy option for the state to consider.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STOLTZE  opined   that   those  are   legitimate                                                               
concerns.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2207                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM said  he has visited jails, and  each room is                                                               
no more than 8  by 12 feet.  He noted that the  plans show a cost                                                               
of $110,000, $135,000,  and $155,000 per bed.   Saying it doesn't                                                               
take that  much concrete  to build  a room.   He added,  "I don't                                                               
know, given  out particular financial circumstance,  that we need                                                               
to be building the Taj Mahal to  house prisoners."  He said he is                                                               
uncomfortable   with   this   kind   of  expense.      He   asked                                                               
Representative Stoltze to comment.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  responded that he knows  that the private                                                               
sector  has  expensive  costs,  as well.    He  deferred  further                                                               
comment to the deputy commissioner of DOC.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2355                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PORTIA PARKER, Deputy Commissioner,  Office of the Commissioner -                                                               
Juneau,  noted that  the  $155,000 is  for  the Bethel  expansion                                                               
project.   She explained that  the cost of doing  construction in                                                               
that  rural area  is higher.    The Anchorage  extension will  be                                                               
federally funded; it won't affect  the general fund or the fiscal                                                               
note.   The  Fairbanks facility  is more  expensive at  $135,000.                                                               
She  explained that  the per-bed  costs include  the cost  of the                                                               
entire facility.   In response to a question  by Chair Weyhrauch,                                                               
she  clarified that  the  per-bed  cost covers  the  cost of  the                                                               
construction  only for  the entire  facility,  not the  operating                                                               
costs, for example.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2434                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JERRY BURNETT,  Director, Administrative Services,  Department of                                                               
Corrections, added that  the per-bed cost also  includes the cost                                                               
of design,  utilities, and new fencing  - "all the soft  and hard                                                               
costs of construction."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH surmised, "To the turnkey."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT concurred.  He commented  that the plan is similar to                                                               
one used in other places in the U.S.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2467                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  asked Mr.  Burnett if  he would  provide the                                                               
committee with a square-foot cost.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if  the standard for  the industry  is per                                                               
square-foot or per bed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER answered both.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2500                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ asked  for comparisons  of construction                                                               
costs in Alaska with the following:   elsewhere in the country, a                                                               
private office building in Anchorage,  and some of the University                                                               
construction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT said  the cost of construction is just  over $400 per                                                               
square foot.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  remarked that  a decent residential  home in                                                               
Anchorage, not including the garage,  costs about $100 per square                                                               
foot.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT  offered to produce  the numbers  that Representative                                                               
Berkowitz had previously  requested.  He noted that  the plan for                                                               
Alaska  was based  upon a  35  percent higher  cost than  similar                                                               
projects built in the Lower 48.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2586                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if it is  correct to assume that  a policy                                                               
issue  implicit  in  [HB  134]  is  that  a  larger  correctional                                                               
facility is  much more economic than  building smaller facilities                                                               
in many parts of the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE answered  in the  affirmative.   He noted                                                               
that the state  already owns the land and that  the plans are "in                                                               
a site that's not going to be contentious."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  commented that  "class A"  office space                                                               
costs $200 to  $300 per square foot to construct.   He asked what                                                               
added elements in a prison would cause the costs to go up.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  replied that  there  are  a number  of  specialized                                                               
materials  used in  a prison  facility such  as automatic  doors,                                                               
special prison toilets and showers,  hardware that has to be very                                                               
durable, and solid concrete walls versus sheetrock, for example.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2665                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   noted  that   a  policy  question   which  the                                                               
legislature must address is whether  to house prisoners in Alaska                                                               
or  Outside.   He questioned  at  what point  "critical mass"  is                                                               
reached and a decision must be made.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  remarked that the Arizona  facility seems                                                               
to have  value as an "escape  valve" now; however, it  can't meet                                                               
Alaska's  needs regarding  bookings.   He said  much shorter-term                                                               
[inmates] are  being sent  to the  Arizona facility.   Predicting                                                               
that it won't  be much longer before that facility  won't be able                                                               
to  meet  Alaska's   needs,  he  mentioned  the   added  cost  of                                                               
transferring prisoners back and forth.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2743                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  said one  problem  he  has always  had                                                               
about  sending  prisoners  Outside  is that  it  means  exporting                                                               
capital;  dollars are  not circulating  within the  economy.   He                                                               
asked if  any analysis has  been done  regarding the cost  to the                                                               
state's  economy  because  of  the   Arizona  facility  when  the                                                               
"multiplier effect" is included.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  answered, "I don't  know that number.   I                                                               
know  the one  on the  face is  $20 million,  and that  certainly                                                               
multiplies that."   He opined that  there's a point at  which the                                                               
value  of  the  state's  having  its  own  institutions  must  be                                                               
considered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said that's what he was suggesting.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH reiterated that the  policy decision is in regard                                                               
to the  economic benefit  to the  state of  building a  prison in                                                               
Alaska, whether it's public or private.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE said  he wants  to  see the  jobs in  the                                                               
state.   He posited that it  is probably better in  the long term                                                               
for the state to own its own facility.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2851                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ said  the  state might  be putting  $20                                                               
million into Arizona  right now; however, if  the investment were                                                               
put into  Alaska - even if  [running its own prison]  was, on the                                                               
surface, more  expensive - the  state would be getting  some kind                                                               
of return, based on property  and corporate taxes and the benefit                                                               
to  the municipalities.    He asked  that  those calculations  be                                                               
included in the analysis he'd requested previously.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2881                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT  referred to an economic  impact assessment [included                                                               
in the committee packet] that was prepared for the Matanuska-                                                                   
Susitna Borough by Northern Economics Inc.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  remarked that he  has tried not  to dwell                                                               
on things that benefit  the Matanuska-Susitna ("Mat-Su") Borough;                                                               
he opined that the issue is a larger, statewide concern.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2910                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  Representative Stoltze,  "Are  you                                                               
including booking  facilities in  the Mat-Su at  all, or  is this                                                               
strictly older facilities?"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE mentioned Mat-Su and  said there is a pre-                                                               
trial facility not  too far from there.  He  said, "The Anchorage                                                               
facility  is  the more  appropriate  function  for the  Anchorage                                                               
area, and the  Bethel facility also performs that  function."  He                                                               
added that the Sutton facility is a longer-term facility.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT, in  response to  a request  for clarification  from                                                               
Representative  Seaton,  stated,  "One   thing  that  an  Outside                                                               
facility cannot  economically handle is short-term  prisoners and                                                               
pre-sentence prisoners."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-34, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2981                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT indicated transportation  costs for sending prisoners                                                               
to  an  Outside  facility  are  greater  than  the  savings  from                                                               
[holding them in Alaska].  He  said he has been working on trying                                                               
to do an accurate analysis "to  get a number which is the maximum                                                               
at any point we could economically  send out."  He mentioned some                                                               
data-quality  issues  and  specific  sentence  times.    He  said                                                               
currently his best  estimate is about 1,500 inmates  who may meet                                                               
long enough sentence requirements to  send Outside.  He said some                                                               
[inmates]  have  mental illness  or  other  health or  behavioral                                                               
reasons why  they can't be  sent.  He  noted that at  some point,                                                               
the state is  spending more money to send [inmates]  Outside.  He                                                               
added, "It  would make  little sense to  send someone  to Arizona                                                               
for  a  4-month sentence,  and  right  now we've  [been]  sending                                                               
people that have a 14-month sentence."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKER clarified  that  the  state is  getting  to where  it                                                               
doesn't  have a  lot of  options  to send  additional inmates  to                                                               
Arizona and still  have it be cost-effective.  She  noted that an                                                               
effort  is made  to  consolidate the  number  of transports  [for                                                               
purposes of  saving money].   Regarding the Bethel  and Fairbanks                                                               
expansions, she  said, "Those are  almost 90 to 100  percent pre-                                                               
sentence."   The prisoners  being transported  out of  Bethel for                                                               
hearings in  superior court or additional  court appearances, for                                                               
example, have to  be transported right back  because they haven't                                                               
been sentenced yet.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2839                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked why  the Anchorage  facility, but  not the                                                               
Bethel facility, is federally funded.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKER  explained  that  the  U.S.  Marshals  requested  the                                                               
capacity  in Anchorage,  where most  of  their federal  detainees                                                               
are.    She said  [the  state]  has  a  contract [with  the  U.S.                                                               
Marshals] to  supply 80  beds at a  per-diem rate;  however, that                                                               
takes up space in a state  correctional facility.  She noted that                                                               
the federal detainee  number is expected to increase  from 120 to                                                               
about 200,  which is  why [the U.S.  Marshals] are  going through                                                               
the federal government  to request additional funds to  add on to                                                               
the Anchorage jail.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2789                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he has  heard that the state transfers                                                               
[inmates  with]  medical  problems   to  Arizona  when  possible,                                                               
because it  is less expensive to  treat them there.   He inquired                                                               
about  the  distance  to  medical  facilities  from  Sutton,  for                                                               
example, versus Anchorage.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE responded  that  the  Sutton facility  is                                                               
probably  within 15  minutes of  the Palmer  facility for  Valley                                                               
Hospital, where  a $80-million to $90-million  hospital expansion                                                               
is underway.   He noted  that the  other option [is  the proposed                                                               
private  prison  facility] in  Whittier,  which  is farther  from                                                               
Anchorage and requires a trip  fraught with more potential delays                                                               
than a  trip on the  expressway between Palmer and  Anchorage, or                                                               
from Sutton to downtown Palmer.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  DOC has  said its  prisoner base  is                                                               
[in] Anchorage; therefore, all the  other locations would be away                                                               
from that base.   He said he  is trying to figure  out the amount                                                               
of time that will be  necessary to transfer [prisoners] for court                                                               
appearances, for example.  He said  although he is not opposed to                                                               
this  project,  he  is  trying  to look  at  the  overall  policy                                                               
regarding where  the majority of  Alaska's prison  housing should                                                               
be sited.   One consideration is  this, he noted:   that which is                                                               
economical to build may not be economical to operate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2620                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT  reminded Representative Seaton that  the facility in                                                               
Sutton would  primarily be used for  long-term, stable prisoners,                                                               
so the  transportation in  and out  would be  less frequent.   He                                                               
also noted that  it would be sited next to  a medium-security and                                                               
a minimum-security  facility; therefore, some of  the staff could                                                               
be  used  mutually.    He  noted that  an  Alaska  State  Trooper                                                               
attachment and a court are in Palmer, a few minutes away.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2566                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he'd like  to see an analysis of where                                                               
the  prison population  is  being generated  and  how many  times                                                               
transports are  necessary.   He predicted  that what  may happen,                                                               
because of  the growth of  the prison population, is  that Alaska                                                               
may soon  be sending [inmates]  back to Arizona, and  Alaska will                                                               
be   stuck  with   the  shorter-term   prisoners  who   can't  be                                                               
transported back and forth from Arizona.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2433                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM asked for clarification  of the difference in                                                               
needs  between   pre-sentence  and  pre-trial  prisoners   as  it                                                               
pertains to duration of time and the facility, for example.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT responded  that  pre-trial  [prisoners] are  clearly                                                               
short-term, but couldn't answer whether  there is a difference in                                                               
the  facility  use  between  the   two.    He  said  pre-sentence                                                               
[prisoners]  typically  are  still   awaiting  sentence  after  a                                                               
criminal proceeding;  that wait is usually  short-term, and long-                                                               
term  custody has  not yet  been determined.   In  response to  a                                                               
follow-up  question by  Representative  Holm,  he explained  that                                                               
pre-trial  [prisoners] have  a "higher  need."   For example,  he                                                               
noted that the  people coming in are often unstable  and a higher                                                               
security level is needed.  Also, there are booking needs.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE offered his  belief that more attention is                                                               
given to a pre-trial [prisoner] than at any other level.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2407                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  remarked that  there are  prisoners in  Anchorage and                                                               
Fairbanks who  are there for 16  to 18 months awaiting  trial and                                                               
sentencing.   She added, "So, you  try not to move  them, because                                                               
you know we're going to have to move them right back."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE, based  on the  15 "ride-alongs"  that he                                                               
has done,  said the higher  level of  staffing is necessary.   He                                                               
explained,  "These guys  are drugged  up or  hopped up,  and they                                                               
don't want to  go in through that first locking  door."  He added                                                               
that he has seen some "pretty wild and wooly scenes."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2353                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM   returned  to   the  subject  of   cost  of                                                               
construction.  He  asked, "Who's the fox that's  watching the hen                                                               
house?"   He opined that  the State of  Alaska has a  tendency to                                                               
overbuild,  that it  has  been  give a  lot  of  free license  by                                                               
architects  and engineers  who get  more [money]  the bigger  the                                                               
structure is.   He asked  who the watchdog  is for the  people of                                                               
Alaska.  He  opined that the state needs to  be building adequate                                                               
buildings,   protecting   its   population,   and   incarcerating                                                               
appropriately;  however,  it  doesn't  need to  be  building  the                                                               
finest facilities man can possibly build.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2268                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  remarked  that  he  knows  inadequate  building                                                               
methods  have  resulted  in the  state's  having  infrastructure,                                                               
maintenance, and  repair bills  that don't  get funded  later on.                                                               
He said it's a conundrum.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  said any  construction  that  the state  does  will                                                               
involve a competitive  bid situation.  He noted that  DOC came up                                                               
with the $135,000 per-bed cost  at its first consideration, based                                                               
on  standard   construction  estimates  and  working   with  [the                                                               
Department  of  Transportation &  Public  Safety  (DOT&PF)].   He                                                               
referred to a blueprint [hanging on  the wall] provided by one of                                                               
the  largest   private  prison  companies,   and  he   said  [the                                                               
department] would  like to find  ways to build cheaper  [than the                                                               
cost proposed for the plan in the blueprint].                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM said that is the answer he wanted to hear.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  said  the department's  facility  person  has  been                                                               
tasked with looking at better and cheaper ways to build.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  added, "And  we've directed  them not  to go  out and                                                               
redesign, [but] to  look at what's working in other  areas of the                                                               
country.  This  company's also built for ... prisons  and for ...                                                               
a  lot of  state facilities."   She  said the  department doesn't                                                               
want  anything  above  and  beyond  the  absolute  needs  of  the                                                               
facility,  but is  looking  for  a good  facility  at the  lowest                                                               
possible cost.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2156                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE said  he  is willing  to  cut corners  on                                                               
prisoner comfort, but not on personnel safety.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2138                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked what  alternative to  "hard beds"                                                               
the  department may  be exploring.   For  example, he  listed the                                                               
following:   ankle  bracelets, house  arrests,  "soft beds,"  and                                                               
"Nygren."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  responded that when  the current  administration came                                                               
in,  there  were plans  already  in  place for  using  electronic                                                               
monitoring.   She mentioned a classification  process whereby the                                                               
probation  officer  works  with  the  central  classification  to                                                               
determine  the  appropriate  [conditions of  release],  including                                                               
electronic   monitoring  and   being  released   into  [community                                                               
residential  care]  (CRC)  and  halfway houses.    She  said  the                                                               
department is implementing that to  the greatest extent it thinks                                                               
possible while still protecting the public.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked, "Did  you tell me what percentage                                                               
of prisoners are on this sort of alternative?"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER, with  input from Mr. Burnett,  provided the following                                                               
estimates from last  week:  168 on electronic  monitoring, 730 in                                                               
community residential care, and 4,000 on probation and parole.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  noted  that those  numbers  are  under                                                               
direct supervision of  the department.  He  asked what percentage                                                               
are in hard beds and what percentage aren't.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT replied  that of the people in  direct supervision of                                                               
the department, less than half are in hard beds at this time.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ   asked  if  the  department   has  had                                                               
significant problems with those who aren't.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.   PARKER  offered   his  understanding   that  Representative                                                               
Berkowitz was asking about those  people who are considered to be                                                               
in the custody  of the department, including  those in electronic                                                               
monitoring, CRCs,  halfway houses,  and institutions.   She said,                                                               
"The percentage in  our institutions would be much  higher."  She                                                               
added,  "Community  residential  centers  -  same  as  a  halfway                                                               
house."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1950                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEVON MITCHELL,  Debt Manager,  Treasury Division,  Department of                                                               
Revenue, in response to a  request by Chair Weyhrauch to describe                                                               
his  job and  how he  can  be helpful  to the  committee on  this                                                               
issue, revealed that he is  currently working on the $461 million                                                               
general obligation to  the state that was  authorized November 5,                                                               
2002.   Noting  that the  state  bond committee  is charged  with                                                               
monitoring the state's credit, he  said the issue presently being                                                               
discussed by that  committee - in addition to  other proposals to                                                               
build additional prison  space - impacts the state's  credit.  He                                                               
explained:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This   particular  proposal   would   have  ...   three                                                                    
     municipal  entities issuing  lease  revenue bonds  that                                                                    
     would  be backed  by  a revenue  stream  that would  be                                                                    
     provided by the general fund of  the state.  And so, as                                                                    
     such, if you  were a person interested  in buying these                                                                    
     pieces  of paper,  you're going  to look  at where  the                                                                    
     money comes from,  follow it right back  to the general                                                                    
     fund, and  that's where I  would be of  some assistance                                                                    
     to  the committee,  if you  had questions  on ...  that                                                                    
     front.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   asked  Mr.  Mitchell   if  he  has   done  any                                                               
comparative analysis  regarding the state's  indebtedness because                                                               
of its use of a private  prison facility Outside, or in regard to                                                               
the   proposed  private   prison  in   Whittier  or   the  prison                                                               
construction proposed in HB 134.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL responded  that the state has not  incurred any debt                                                               
for the Arizona  facility because it is contract-based.   The two                                                               
proposals presently in the legislature  [HB 134 and SSHB 55] will                                                               
have fiscal impact.  He noted  that there are some constraints in                                                               
the legislation  related to the  private facility [SSHB  55] that                                                               
are of  concern.  First,  there isn't a dollar  amount identified                                                               
for the  capital portion  of [SSHB 55]; thus  there is  a concern                                                               
that this leaves a lot of leeway  for a city like Whittier to try                                                               
to interpret it.  Also, [SSHB  55] has a minimum required term on                                                               
the  financing of  25  years,  which also  is  a  concern to  the                                                               
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL offered the background  that the states in aggregate                                                               
are  in a  negative period  right now  regarding credit  ratings.                                                               
Approximately  half  are  looking  at  downgrades  or  have  been                                                               
downgraded,  he  said,  because there  is  an  imbalance  between                                                               
spending and  revenues by  about $100  billion across  the states                                                               
due to  a decline in  the economy and  the reliance of  people on                                                               
capital  gain receipts  that have  "gone  away."   He said,  "The                                                               
State of  Alaska, I  believe, is  quite fortunate  to be  able to                                                               
maintain our  credit ratings with  our upcoming sale."   He noted                                                               
that  the State  of  Alaska  is much  more  stable; however,  any                                                               
additional  use  of the  state's  credit  needs to  be  carefully                                                               
considered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked, "Have  you analyzed  the numbers                                                               
for the Arizona facility at all?"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL answered no.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH said  he doesn't know if anyone  present has done                                                               
so, but that information is available in the SSHB 55 file.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1750                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  mentioned Arizona and $20  million.  He                                                               
indicated that [the  State of Alaska] is paying  for the profits,                                                               
as well as  the Arizona taxes.  He mentioned  [paying] "above and                                                               
beyond the operating costs."  He  added, "And that number, to me,                                                               
would be interesting."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH told  Mr.  Mitchell it  is good  to  know he  is                                                               
available as a resource.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON mentioned state  bonds and revenue bonds as                                                               
the  two ways  of  financing  a facility.    He  asked, "Is  your                                                               
analysis that if  an equal amount was spent on  these, is there a                                                               
difference in the  impact upon the state's bond rating  or on its                                                               
credit rating from those two different sources?"                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  asked whether  Representative Seaton  was referring                                                               
to the two proposals before the legislature.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON answered yes.   He added, "To make it easy,                                                               
just think of them as being  the identical amount of money, if we                                                               
don't have  the amount  specified in the  Whittier one.  ... What                                                               
I'm trying  to do  is figure  out if ...  you think  that there's                                                               
going to  be a  different influence from  revenue bonds  with the                                                               
municipalities, or state bond indebtedness."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL responded  that he  believes the  current proposals                                                               
have a  fairly similar  financing mechanism;  it would  either be                                                               
Whittier with a private prison  issuing debt or, "with this bill,                                                               
the other municipalities."  He said:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     If your  question is,  would I  ... personally  be more                                                                    
     comfortable if it  was the State of  Alaska issuing the                                                                    
     debt, I'd say  yes, because it's the  State of Alaska's                                                                    
     credit  and,  as   such,  who  knows  it   better?    A                                                                    
     municipality doesn't know the  State of Alaska like the                                                                    
     State  of  Alaska  knows  the State  of  Alaska.    The                                                                    
     reading analysts that  are going to look  at the credit                                                                    
     are  the folks  that I  deal with  on a  fairly regular                                                                    
     basis.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     If your  question was,  is there  a cost  difference in                                                                    
     the  credit prospectus,  I think  this is  going to  be                                                                    
     state  supported obligation,  and  so  that means  that                                                                    
     each year the  legislature's going to come  in and say,                                                                    
     "Are we going to appropriate  money to continue to have                                                                    
     that  building  in  wherever   to  house  prisoners"  -                                                                    
     recognizing  that there's  some additional  things that                                                                    
     might happen to  you besides losing that  prison if you                                                                    
     fail  to  appropriate.   So  there  is an  essentiality                                                                    
     issue  and an  ability  to use  your  facility, and  so                                                                    
     that's a consideration when these  folks are looking at                                                                    
     this.  Obviously,  the case has been made  that we have                                                                    
     a  clear need  for ...  prison  space in  the state  of                                                                    
     Alaska.   And  so,  I think  there  is an  essentiality                                                                    
     otherwise.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1540                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked,  if  there were  two  set of  bonds                                                               
being  issued, whether  one of  those  two sources  would have  a                                                               
lower interest rate.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL replied  that he'd  tend to  argue that  because of                                                               
name  recognition, a  State of  Alaska issuance  would produce  a                                                               
lower interest rate than a  City of Whittier issuance would, even                                                               
though  the credit  is fundamentally  the  same.   He added,  "It                                                               
would be incremental."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1470                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked if there is  a difference between                                                               
rates, generally, on revenue versus general obligation bonds.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  answered  yes.   He  explained  that  the  state's                                                               
general obligation bond rating is "Aa-Aa2."  He added:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
       The type of ratings that we ... achieve with state-                                                                      
     supported  obligations, like  what's being  considered,                                                                    
     are in  the A1, "A-plus"  category.  And so  there's an                                                                    
     additional cost, which, depending  on the market you're                                                                    
     in,  would range  -- ...  well, 20  to 25  basis points                                                                    
     would be the  additional cost of not  putting your full                                                                    
     faith and credit on the line.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1410                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  DUFFY,  Manager,  Matanuska-Susitna  Borough,  thanked  the                                                               
committee for  addressing overcrowded prisons  and Representative                                                               
Stoltze for  sponsoring HB  134.   He said  the Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
Borough,  the  cities of  Palmer  and  Wasilla, and  their  local                                                               
chambers  of commerce  support HB  134.   He  explained that  the                                                               
borough believes investing in expansion  of its existing publicly                                                               
owned and  operated facilities is  the most  appropriate approach                                                               
to  relieve overcrowding  of those  facilities.   He said  HB 134                                                               
will allow prisoners  to be closer to their  families and support                                                               
network,  thereby  increasing   the  chances  of  rehabilitation;                                                               
Alaskans   will  benefit   from  increased   jobs  and   business                                                               
opportunities,   state  funds   will  be   invested  in   Alaskan                                                               
communities, and a multiplier effect  from these investments will                                                               
allow  those communities  to  develop  their infrastructure  when                                                               
it's based on local economies.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. DUFFY returned  to the economic impact  assessment, page 3-3,                                                               
and  asked members  to  look at  tables [3-1  and  3-2] at  their                                                               
leisure.   He remarked, "We  identified the economic  impact with                                                               
each facility, as  well as the entire  economic impact throughout                                                               
the state."   He  gave examples  showing that  approximately $250                                                               
million  would be  generated during  the  construction phase,  as                                                               
well as  $73 million generated  in sales and  services throughout                                                               
the state during the operation phase.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1253                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DUFFY reported  that the  borough has  adequate health  care                                                               
facilities.    He  reiterated  Representative  Stoltze's  earlier                                                               
mention  of an  upcoming expansion  of a  [hospital] facility  by                                                               
building a  76-bed facility,  with the ability  to expand  to 130                                                               
beds.  He  said there is a district court  facility in Palmer, as                                                               
well as other support systems near  the Sutton facility.  [HB 134                                                               
was held over.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 161-CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES PROGRAM EXPENSES                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1136                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the next  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE  BILL   NO.  161,   "An  Act   allowing  expenses   of  the                                                               
correctional  industries program  that may  be financed  from the                                                               
correctional  industries   fund  to  include  the   salaries  and                                                               
benefits of state employees."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1099                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JERRY BURNETT,  Director, Administrative Services,  Department of                                                               
Corrections (DOC), presented  HB 161, saying it is  a simple bill                                                               
that allows  for the correctional industry's  product revenues to                                                               
pay for state employees' salaries.   Current state statute allows                                                               
for the  correctional industry's  revenues to  pay for  all other                                                               
administrative  costs of  the program.   He  revealed that  state                                                               
employees' salaries in "this  program" are approximately $960,000                                                               
in  fiscal year  (FY  04) general  fund revenues.    He said  the                                                               
administration would  like the ability  to use the  revenues from                                                               
the correctional industry's product sales  to pay for those state                                                               
employees' salaries,  thus reducing the general-fund  cost of the                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  noted  that the  correctional  industry  has  eight                                                               
"product service"  enterprises operating now:   Juneau Commercial                                                               
Laundry,   Fairbanks  Garment/Flat   Goods  Shop,   Kenai  Office                                                               
Furniture Systems  Plant, Eagle River Garment  Shop, Kenai Metals                                                               
Plant, Seward  Wood Furniture Plant,  Palmer Auto Body  Shop, and                                                               
Juneau  Staph  Guard  [Hospital  Laundry].    He  said  14  state                                                               
employee product managers  work for DOC in  those industries, and                                                               
approximately  $4.1  million  in product  revenues  is  generated                                                               
annually.  In response to a  question by Chair Weyhrauch, he said                                                               
he guesses that  [the Juneau Staph Guard Hospital  Laundry] is in                                                               
cooperative  with Alaska  Laundry;  it  provides sterile  laundry                                                               
services to the hospital and medical clinics.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0843                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH noted  that [page 1, beginning on  line 10] would                                                               
amend [AS 33.32.020(a)] as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The commissioner of corrections  shall prepare a report                                                                    
     annually  on all  activities and  balances of  the fund                                                                    
     and  notify   the  legislature   that  the   report  is                                                                    
     available.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if the  report for 2003 has  been prepared                                                               
yet.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT replied  that he hasn't seen it and  doesn't know the                                                               
status.     In  further   response,  he  said   it  would   be  a                                                               
communication  from   the  commissioner.    He   added  that  the                                                               
information is  in [the department's] detailed  budget documents,                                                               
["Component: Correctional  Industries Product Cost,"  included in                                                               
the committee packet].   He also confirmed  that [the information                                                               
in   the  budget   documents]   is  more   or   less  where   the                                                               
commissioner's report is derived from.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0745                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ stated  his  understanding that  prison                                                               
industries provide  goods and services  to the state.   He asked,                                                               
"Shouldn't that be reflected somewhere in the fiscal note?"                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT answered  that it  would  only be  reflected in  the                                                               
fiscal  note if  there were  a change  in prices  or cost  to the                                                               
state as a result of HB 161.   He said that isn't the intent.  In                                                               
further  response,  he  said  there   is  net  income;  there  is                                                               
approximately $300,000 in the product  cost fund available at the                                                               
end of this fiscal year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked how much furniture  is sold [that                                                               
is  made by  the  prison  industry], for  example,  and what  the                                                               
equivalent commercial cost would be.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT said  he didn't  know, but  offered to  provide that                                                               
information.  He  conveyed his belief that  the industry's prices                                                               
are competitive at this point.   He remarked, "We need to work on                                                               
our marketing  and get [the product]  out."  He added  that there                                                               
is the potential for other customers besides the state.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  related  his understanding  that  [the                                                               
industry can  sell to] the following:   an agency of  the federal                                                               
government, a  political subdivision  of the state,  other states                                                               
or their political subdivisions, and nonprofit organizations.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0657                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT  said, "We are  also allowed  to sell to  ... private                                                               
individuals [and] private companies if  we are not competing with                                                               
private industry in that venture."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ responded,  "That being  the case,  I'm                                                               
curious why the approach of  the administration here is so sudden                                                               
-   why  there's   not  a   transition  provided   for  in   this                                                               
legislation."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT replied that the  fiscal policy driving [the bill] is                                                               
that general  fund spending  needs to  be reduced.   He  said the                                                               
department  believes  there   are  significant  opportunities  to                                                               
increase revenues within this component.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ asked  how the  department plans  to do                                                               
that  when it  gets  rid  off the  14  people  who are  currently                                                               
managing the program.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  answered  that  the  fiscal  note  shows  that  the                                                               
department would  be replacing  the money  and paying  the people                                                               
with product revenues, rather than getting rid of the 14 people.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ responded as follows:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I'm a little  confused.  The current  cost is $960,000.                                                                    
     You're having  $150,000 coming  in.   It would  seem to                                                                    
     me, when [there is] $810,000  in debts, that you're not                                                                    
     going to  be able  to afford all  the people  [who] are                                                                    
     currently in the program.   If you can't pay people who                                                                    
     are in  the program, how  are you going to  continue to                                                                    
     expand the program and market it?                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0548                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  BURNETT answered  that Representative  Berkowitz was  making                                                               
some  assumptions that  aren't necessarily  correct.   One is  in                                                               
regard to the  $150,000.  He mentioned $300,000 in  seed money to                                                               
start paying  people.   He added,  "So we  would need  to develop                                                               
additional revenues  beyond the  current net  revenues, somewhere                                                               
in the  neighborhood of $660,000, to  ... retain all 14  of these                                                               
people for this year."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked if [DOC] has a plan to do that.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT said  he isn't personally in charge  of this program,                                                               
but  believes  the  commissioner  has  been  working  with  "some                                                               
entities.   He added,  "We are  working on that  very plan."   In                                                               
further  response,  Mr. Burnett  confirmed  that  the plan  isn't                                                               
complete yet.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0457                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ said  it seems  one reasons  for having                                                               
this program - which  is on thin ice with lack of  a plan at this                                                               
point -  is for the  rehabilitation of prisoners.   He commented,                                                               
"I  was   wondering  what  plans  the   administration  has,  the                                                               
department  has, to  continue the  rehabilitation efforts  at the                                                               
eight  correctional  industries'  product service  enterprises  -                                                               
what  you  will  do  to facilitate  rehabilitation,  which  is  a                                                               
constitutional mandate."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT related his understanding  that, at this point, there                                                               
is no  intent to  eliminate any  of these  programs specifically;                                                               
therefore, he believes the programs  would continue to the extent                                                               
possible.   He noted  that the commissioner  has been  in contact                                                               
with the Department  of Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD) and                                                               
has been  working with them  regarding job  rehabilitation, which                                                               
is  also  in  the  Alaska  correctional  industry  statute.    He                                                               
mentioned  job-training  programs  and  said,  "So  we  would  be                                                               
actively    looking   for    any   opportunities    to   continue                                                               
rehabilitation."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked if  the budget makes provision for                                                               
expenditure of the $300,000 that's in reserves.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ   asked  what  would  happen   if  that                                                               
[$300,000] were exhausted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  reiterated  that   the  department  intends  to  do                                                               
everything possible to increase  product revenues.  Barring that,                                                               
he  said,  it  would  have  to  look  at  other  alternatives  to                                                               
providing the service.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked when the  plan would be ready.  He                                                               
requested that Mr. Burnett make  it available to the committee at                                                               
that point.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  said,  "To  the   extent  that  that  plan  becomes                                                               
available, I  see no reason why  we couldn't provide it  to you."                                                               
He  noted that  the  manager of  the  correctional industries  is                                                               
planning to  retire this month; therefore,  recruiting will begin                                                               
for a  new manager.   He  said part  of the  previously discussed                                                               
plan will  "come with the  new correctional  industries manager."                                                               
In response  to a comment by  Chair Weyhrauch, he noted  that the                                                               
commissioner who is  working on some of the  information that the                                                               
committee has asked to receive is presently out of town.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0177                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM asked  Mr. Burnett to explain  the purpose of                                                               
correctional industries.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT defined  correctional industries  as "a  mix of  job                                                               
training  and   activities  for   inmates  in   the  correctional                                                               
institutions."   He  explained that  [the inmates]  produce goods                                                               
and services that are intended  to "pay for themselves," and they                                                               
achieve some job skills that  hopefully are marketable upon their                                                               
release.  He noted also that  the jobs keep the inmates busy, and                                                               
a busy  inmate is "better"  to keep track  of than those  who are                                                               
idle.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0092                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM referred  to  the page  marked  "78" in  the                                                               
previously  indicated  "Correctional   Industries  Product  Cost"                                                               
handout [the  "Component Financial Summary"  page].  He  asked if                                                               
he  interpreted correctly  that it  shows a  budget component  of                                                               
over $4 million.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT said that is correct.   He explained that this amount                                                               
would be  the total program  [cost] in FY 04.   In response  to a                                                               
follow-up  question,  he noted  that  the  sales this  year  were                                                               
approximately $150,000 more than the  costs - "the programs, less                                                               
the state employees, which are not paid for."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-35, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT,  in  response to  additional  follow-up  questions,                                                               
clarified  that  the  employees  presently  aren't  paid  for  by                                                               
product  revenues, but  are  paid for  by  general fund  dollars.                                                               
They are  listed under "professional  industries administration."                                                               
He said, "We  would like to use product cost  revenues to pay the                                                               
state employees who manage the program."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM noted  that there is only  $150,000 more than                                                               
production costs; therefore, there is a shortfall.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT [agreed that there  is a shortfall] without producing                                                               
additional  revenues;  in order  to  continue  the programs,  DOC                                                               
would have  to produce  additional product  revenue.   In further                                                               
response, he said  DOC needs to have the  authorization [from the                                                               
legislature]  to pay  its state  employee  product managers  from                                                               
[product  revenues]  so  that  when the  department  is  able  to                                                               
produce additional  revenues, it can  use that money  rather than                                                               
general fund money to pay those state employees.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM surmised, "Then this  is a precursor to being                                                               
able to function this way."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNETT  said, "Right.    We  want  to  function as  a  full                                                               
enterprise fund so that it pays all its own costs."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM said he agrees with that.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0200                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   said  he   has  no  problems   with  the                                                               
authorization to use  excess funds to pay  salaries and benefits;                                                               
however, if the  outcome of adopting HB 161 might  be that if the                                                               
excess revenues are not sufficient,  the managers and, therefore,                                                               
the program  - which  is an integral  part of  rehabilitating the                                                               
people in the  states prisons - are eliminated, then  he would be                                                               
opposed to  it.   He said  it is important  to remember  that the                                                               
people  in   prison  will  be   back  out  on  the   street,  and                                                               
rehabilitation is [an important] goal.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0374                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  related his  understanding  that  it isn't  the                                                               
intent  of  those  introducing  the  bill to  do  away  with  the                                                               
programs  if there  are  no funds;  rather, it  is  to allow  the                                                               
flexibility to pay salaries and  benefits of state employees from                                                               
proceeds of the fund.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT concurred.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked  if  it  would  be  all  right  with  the                                                               
administration if the  committee included a letter  with the bill                                                               
[stating the sentiments that have been discussed].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNETT responded, "I can't speak to that at this point."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0428                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he would  like the  administration to                                                               
[respond] to  the committee regarding whether  they would receive                                                               
and  agree with  a letter  [of intent]  from the  committee.   He                                                               
said, "I think that's a fundamental  policy issue that we need to                                                               
decide here.  And if  we are misunderstanding or miscommunicating                                                               
with the  administration on the  outcome of this program,  I need                                                               
that before I could go forward."  [HB 161 was held over.]                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:43 a.m. to 9:44 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 183-PERS BENEFITS FOR JUV INSTIT EMPLOYEES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0525                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the last  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 183, "An  Act relating to retirement contributions                                                               
and  benefits under  the public  employees' retirement  system of                                                               
certain  juvenile detention  employees and  juvenile correctional                                                               
institution employees."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0610                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff to  Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, introduced HB  183 on behalf of Representative                                                               
Weyhrauch,  sponsor.   She noted  that Alaska's  current statutes                                                               
provide that peace  officers and fire fighters are  entitled to a                                                               
20-year   retirement.     However,   juvenile  justice   officers                                                               
participate  in  a  30-year  retirement  system.    The  proposed                                                               
legislation  would   add  them  to  the   statute  governing  the                                                               
retirement   system  of   peace  officers   and  fire   fighters.                                                               
Ms. Sylvester said it is the belief  of the sponsor and [those in                                                               
the  juvenile justice  system] that  this  group was  erroneously                                                               
left out  of the  20-year retirement  system, and  it is  time to                                                               
correct the inequity.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER said the Division  of Juvenile Justice provides the                                                               
people  of the  state with  a wide  range of  restorative justice                                                               
services  in  which  juvenile  offenders  are  held  accountable.                                                               
Furthermore, they  work to repair  the harm to those  impacted by                                                               
their crimes, and they provide  offenders and their families with                                                               
opportunities to  develop new skills  in order to  be productive,                                                               
contributing members of  society.  Ms. Sylvester  noted that over                                                               
the past  several years, the legislature  has funded construction                                                               
and  operation  of  new   juvenile  correctional  facilities,  in                                                               
support  of  the  public  safety   component  of  the  division's                                                               
restorative  justice  mission.    However, buildings  in  and  of                                                               
themselves  don't  make a  community  safer;  rather, it  is  the                                                               
people who staff these facilities.  She explained:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     This staff  is charged with guarding,  controlling, and                                                                    
     confronting the most hardened  juvenile offenders.  The                                                                    
     employees who  work with juvenile delinquents  face the                                                                    
     same   dangers  and   hazards  as   adult  correctional                                                                    
     officers.   The job title  of these people,  ... "youth                                                                    
     counselors," [belies]  what actually  goes on  in their                                                                    
     field.    The  public mistakenly  believes  that  these                                                                    
     people see  kids in offices  by appointment  to counsel                                                                    
     them.   And nothing  could be  further from  the truth.                                                                    
     These  workers provide  24-hour  correctional care  and                                                                    
     custody related to the  incarceration of people against                                                                    
     their will.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0783                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER explained the duties of juvenile officers:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Each day the  youth counselors are involved  in a chain                                                                    
     of custody with other  law enforcement personnel across                                                                    
     the state.   These kids  are brought to  the facilities                                                                    
     in handcuffs in  the back of police  cars; they've been                                                                    
     arrested for  a crime.   They arrive at  the facilities                                                                    
     in an  angry, agitated,  assaultive state.   Oftentimes                                                                    
     they are violent or intoxicated.   The officers turning                                                                    
     these  youths over  to the  youth counselors  are given                                                                    
     ... body armor, guns,  and chemical deterrents in order                                                                    
     to deal with  the offenders.  Youth  counselors are not                                                                    
     given any  of these  things; they  use their  skill and                                                                    
     their  training  and  the  relationships  that  they've                                                                    
     formed with  the kids, in  order to conduct  their duty                                                                    
     safely.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     These  counselors  also   exchange  custody  of  minors                                                                    
     between facilities.  They  accept custody from juvenile                                                                    
     probation officers  out in the  field who are in  a 20-                                                                    
     year  retirement  system;  oftentimes, they  assist  in                                                                    
     those arrests,  as juvenile probation  officers request                                                                    
     their assistance.  Some of  these [youth] offenders are                                                                    
     charged with very serious and  violent crimes, and they                                                                    
     spend between 30  and ... 90 days  inside the detention                                                                    
     facilities  before   being  transferred  to   an  adult                                                                    
     facility.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     In addition to custody transfer,  some of the kids stay                                                                    
     in the facilities until they're  20 years old.  In that                                                                    
     situation,  the youth  counselors are  actually dealing                                                                    
     with  housing adults  in their  facilities.   Also,  as                                                                    
     mandated by statute,  youth counselors make independent                                                                    
     arrests in  the community  in pursuit of  the juveniles                                                                    
     that  have absconded  from the  facilities  or from  an                                                                    
     escort to a medical or service transport.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The  duties of  the youth  counselor position  requires                                                                    
     solid  training  and  excellent  skill  development  in                                                                    
     handling resistive clients.   They have to  have a peak                                                                    
     mental  and  physical  condition;  ...  these  are  ...                                                                    
     qualities that  tend to wane  as we age. ...  These are                                                                    
     the  exact reasons  why the  State of  [Alaska] made  a                                                                    
     policy decision  ... [regarding] the fire  fighters and                                                                    
     police officers  to give them an  opportunity to retire                                                                    
     early,  because  these  jobs  are  very  dangerous  and                                                                    
     hazardous, and  they have a  short lifespan.   And it's                                                                    
     not the  same type of a  deal as sitting at  a desk and                                                                    
     working with your brain.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1000                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GUY   BELL,  Director,   Division  of   Retirement  &   Benefits,                                                               
Department  of  Administration,  testified   that  HB  183  would                                                               
convert  juvenile  correctional  officers from  the  "30-and-out"                                                               
system to  the "20-and-out"  retirement system  presently offered                                                               
to  police officers  and  fire  fighters.   It  would grant  that                                                               
service  retroactive  to each  individual's  date  of hire  as  a                                                               
juvenile correctional  officer, he noted, by  allowing him/her to                                                               
claim  that service  but not  pay the  full actuarial  cost.   He                                                               
stated, "The difference  in what they would  have contributed ...                                                               
as peace officers,  versus other employees, is  required of them,                                                               
but that doesn't cover the full  cost to the retirement system of                                                               
making this conversion."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL turned  to the fiscal note, which he  described as self-                                                               
explanatory.   He said  it adds  an annual cost  to the  state of                                                               
just over $1 million; the reason  is included in the fiscal note.                                                               
He  explained,   "The  cost  is  spread   across  state  employee                                                               
salaries, so  we don't show  a dollar  amount in the  columns; we                                                               
show  an asterisk  because it's  a rate  that each  employer will                                                               
need to pay on personal services."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1100                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked  what other  employees  are  now  allowed                                                               
[retirement after] 20 years.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL  listed  fire   fighters,  police  officers,  probation                                                               
officers, and adult  correctional officers.  He said  there was a                                                               
short period  when fisheries biologists and  certain other Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish  & Game (ADF&G) employees were  in the 20-and-                                                               
out system; however, they were removed in approximately 1983.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1158                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked about other states.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL explained that each  [state's] retirement system has its                                                               
own  criteria   for  improved  retirement  benefits   or  earlier                                                               
retirement  provisions, for  example.   He  said  some states  do                                                               
offer peace  officers 20-year retirement,  while some  offer them                                                               
25-year  retirements.   In  terms  of  the definition  of  "peace                                                               
officer," Mr. Bell told Representative  Berkowitz he'd have to do                                                               
some analysis and get back to him regarding that.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1202                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  asked if the  committee was  considering the                                                               
issue of a 20-year retirement at a 37.5-hour workweek or a 40-                                                                  
hour workweek.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL said he didn't know.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1275                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BERNARD   GATEWOOD,   Alaska   Juvenile   Correctional   Officers                                                               
Association  (AJCOA),   who  works   as  superintendent   of  the                                                               
Fairbanks   Youth  Facility,   Division   of  Juvenile   Justice,                                                               
Department of Health and Social  Services (DHSS), listed his past                                                               
positions  as a  Youth  Counselor I  and II,  which  he said  are                                                               
equivalent to DOC's Correctional  Officer I and II, respectively,                                                               
and  as a  Youth Counselor  III at  the Johnson  Youth Center  in                                                               
Juneau and  in a  facility in  Anchorage.   He mentioned  being a                                                               
unit leader, equivalent to a lieutenant in DOC.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GATEWOOD  said AJCOA is  a group of dedicated  and determined                                                               
juvenile justice workers and supporters  whose sole mission is to                                                               
correct  an  inequity that  has  existed  for  many years:    the                                                               
omission of  youth counselors, unit leaders,  and superintendents                                                               
of  juvenile   institutions  from   the  20-year   peace  officer                                                               
retirement system.  He elaborated:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     It is kind of incredible  to me that we're not included                                                                    
     in the 20-year  system, because we have the  law on our                                                                    
     side through  the statutes.   The statutes  clearly ...                                                                    
     identify  youth  counselors   as  peace  officers  with                                                                    
     respect  to process,  service, and  making arrests  ...                                                                    
     [under] AS  47.12.270.   And the  facts are  that youth                                                                    
     counselors do  the exact same things  that correctional                                                                    
     officers in DOC do.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     In the statutes, again, [AS]  18.65.290, it talks about                                                                    
     the   definition  of   a  correctional   officer  being                                                                    
     appointed  by the  commissioner  of corrections,  their                                                                    
     duties  being  to   provide  custody,  care,  security,                                                                    
     control,   and  discipline   of   persons  charged   or                                                                    
     convicted of  offenses against the  state.   And that's                                                                    
     the same thing that youth  counselors do, with a slight                                                                    
     difference:   juveniles  are  not  convicted; they  are                                                                    
     "adjudicated,"  and  it's  the   same  thing  as  being                                                                    
     convicted.     And   we  are   not  appointed   by  the                                                                    
     commissioner  of  corrections   because  we're  in  the                                                                    
     Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     But  you don't  differentiate on  the benefits  between                                                                    
     the commissioner of  DOC and [DHSS]; they  get the same                                                                    
     benefits package.   And that's  what we're  asking for.                                                                    
     It seems  as though  we have  been handcuffed  - excuse                                                                    
     the pun  - by the  term "youth counselor."   [We] think                                                                    
     that's  a  very  misleading  term;  it  doesn't  really                                                                    
     identify  exactly  what  we  do.    We  are,  in  fact,                                                                    
     juvenile  correctional officers.   It  seems as  though                                                                    
     sometimes we  were left out  of the  family inheritance                                                                    
     because we have a different name.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     There's a  large disparity between workers  of the same                                                                    
     duties, just in different departments.   We urge you to                                                                    
     correct this inequity.  Do the  right thing:  put us in                                                                    
     the  20-year  retirement  system, just  like  probation                                                                    
     officers, just  like correctional officers,  whose work                                                                    
     is the same as ours.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1528                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLM thanked  Mr. Gatewood for a prior tour  he had given him                                                               
through  his facility.   He  asked  Mr. Gatewood  to compare  the                                                               
threat involved with youths versus adults.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GATEWOOD said  the threat  that youth  counselors face  on a                                                               
daily basis  is similar to  what the adult  correctional officers                                                               
face and, in some cases, similar  to what a police officer faces.                                                               
For example, kids  come to the facility in  handcuffs, brought by                                                               
police officers or state troopers.   Sometimes they are revved up                                                               
on  drugs,  very  angry,  and  impulsive;  oftentimes,  they  are                                                               
suffering  from mental  illnesses and  don't process  information                                                               
the way  someone else might.   For the  most part, he  said, they                                                               
are unsure of what their future holds.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GATEWOOD told the committee  that when a youth counselor goes                                                               
to  a youth's  room  in  the morning,  he/she  doesn't know  what                                                               
exactly what  [will happen].   He revealed that  youth counselors                                                               
have been struck,  have been the subject of plots  to escape, and                                                               
have received  bodily harm.   He explained that the  kids fashion                                                               
knives  out of  any kind  of sharp  object.   A day  for a  youth                                                               
counselor can be quite dangerous, he concluded.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GATEWOOD said youth counselors who  work on the unit with the                                                               
kids work a 40-hour week; it's  rare for them to have a [Saturday                                                               
and Sunday]  off.  Shifts run  from 7 a.m.  to 3 p.m., 3  p.m. to                                                               
11 p.m., and 11  p.m. to 7 a.m.   He told the  committee that the                                                               
unit leaders and  the superintendents work a 37.5-hour  week.  In                                                               
response  to a  question by  Representative Seaton,  Mr. Gatewood                                                               
clarified  that  those in  the  administrative  portion work  the                                                               
37.5-hour workweek, while  those who work hands-on  with the kids                                                               
work 40-hour weeks.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1759                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked how the  job performed by  the youth                                                               
counselors  compares  with  working  at  the  Alaska  Psychiatric                                                               
Institute (API).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. GATEWOOD answered that he doesn't  know, but said a number of                                                               
kids in the youth correctional  facilities have to be transferred                                                               
to  API  for various  reasons.    Reiterating that  the  juvenile                                                               
justice  system sees  a number  of  kids who  suffer from  mental                                                               
illnesses, he said,  "Generally, we try to deal with  them in the                                                               
facilities,   just  through   caring  and   concern  and   humane                                                               
treatment.  But sometimes their  illnesses are just too great for                                                               
us to  deal with and  we do have  to transfer  them to API  for a                                                               
brief respite/evaluation."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1815                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  recalled from being a  [police officer] that                                                               
juveniles  were  often far  more  dangerous  than the  same-sized                                                               
adult.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked the  committee to  consider, as  a policy,                                                               
whether [youth  correctional officers] should be  included in the                                                               
same  category  as  fire  fighters,  probation  officers,  police                                                               
officers, and adult  correctional officers.  He  noted that there                                                               
may  be a  fiscal issue  to  consider later.   [HB  183 was  held                                                               
over.]                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State  Affairs  Standing  Committee   meeting  was  adjourned  at                                                               
10:03 a.m.                                                                                                                      

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