Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/21/2017 03:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
03:31:35 PM Start
03:32:16 PM SB7
04:08:50 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 7 MUSEUM CONSTRUCTION GRANT PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 78 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    SENATE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                  
                       February 21, 2017                                                                                        
                           3:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Anna MacKinnon                                                                                                          
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 7                                                                                                               
"An Act establishing a museum construction grant program in the                                                                 
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 78                                                                                                               
"An Act establishing the second Monday of October of each year                                                                  
as Indigenous Peoples Day."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB   7                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUSEUM CONSTRUCTION GRANT PROGRAM                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/09/17       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                                
01/18/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (S)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
02/21/17       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR Gary STEVENS                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DOUG LETCH, staff                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 7.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TIFFANY BRONSON, Executive Director                                                                                             
Kodiak Historical Society and Baranof Museum                                                                                    
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 7.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PATRICIA RELAY, Executive Director                                                                                              
Museums Alaska                                                                                                                  
Valdez, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Support SB 7.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ERIC JOHANSEN, Board Member                                                                                                     
Pioneer Air Museum                                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PETE HAGGLAND, Curator                                                                                                          
Pioneer Air Museum                                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
STEVE HECKMAN, Board Member                                                                                                     
Pioneer Air Museum                                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ANGELA LINN, Senior Collections Manager                                                                                         
Ethnology and History                                                                                                           
University of Alaska Museum                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
EVA MALVICH, Director/Curator                                                                                                   
Association of Village Council Presidents                                                                                       
Yupiit Piciryarait Light Museum                                                                                                 
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 7.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE ELDEMAR, Director                                                                                                     
Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA)                                                                               
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 7.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:31:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CLICK  BISHOP called  the  Senate  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs Standing Committee meeting to  order at 3:31 p.m. Present                                                               
at the  call to order  were Senators Stedman, Gardner,  and Chair                                                               
Bishop.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
            SB   7-MUSEUM CONSTRUCTION GRANT PROGRAM                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:32:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP announced the consideration of SB 7.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON joined the committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:32:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS,   Alaska  State  Legislature   Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
sponsor  of SB  7, said  that  a lot  of museums  in Alaska  need                                                               
improvement and  SB 7  establishes a  framework for  getting that                                                               
done sometime in  the future, because he knows there  is no money                                                               
for it now.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOFFMAN joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:35:06 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG  LETCH,   staff  to  Senator  Gary   Stevens,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, said  the idea  is to  establish a  program                                                               
that  could fund  future  museum projects,  and  the language  is                                                               
similar to the program for  libraries. Under the provisions of SB                                                               
7,  a  person in  charge  of  construction, expansion,  or  major                                                               
renovation of  an eligible museum  could apply to  the department                                                               
for matching funds  under regulations that would  be adopted. The                                                               
key point is that this bill  is subject to appropriation down the                                                               
line if  there is money.  The department  would be able  to award                                                               
not  more than  50 percent  of the  total proposed  grant project                                                               
cost to an eligible applicant.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Museums would be eligible for the  program if they are located in                                                               
Alaska  and entitled  to receive  state grant  funds if  they can                                                               
provide  50 percent  of the  project cost  in matching  funds. He                                                               
said that  Alaska is  home to many  museums and  cultural centers                                                               
that  are located  in  various communities  around  the state  of                                                               
various sizes and  these facilities connect our  past and future.                                                               
The goal of this bill is to help them continue their good work.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LETCH said  quite a few museums have plans  for major capital                                                               
projects  down  the  line  and any  assistance  the  state  could                                                               
provide would be greatly appreciated.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:37:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MACKINNON said  she  is  working on  a  bill for  energy                                                               
efficiencies for  construction development  and asked  if Senator                                                               
Stevens intends to  require best practices to make  sure that the                                                               
space  is  energy  efficient. Sometimes  the  everyday  operating                                                               
costs for  facilities throughout Alaska are  extremely burdensome                                                               
as  they  go  forward.  She  has  specifically  seen  in  smaller                                                               
communities some  pretty spectacular looking buildings  that have                                                               
a lot of  glass in them that  are in high cost  energy areas that                                                               
preclude best practices for operating the actual building.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS looked back at  what happened with the libraries.                                                               
The libraries  in Homer in  Kodiak and  Seward were all  done one                                                               
after  the  other, but  all  were  done energy  efficiently.  The                                                               
library in  Homer was awarded  a LEED award for  being innovative                                                               
as was  the one in  Kodiak, and absolutely  they want to  do best                                                               
practices.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN   added  that  the  original   intent  with  the                                                               
libraries was  to help  communities build a  library at  half the                                                               
cost.  But  what  they  ended  up doing  was  getting  a  lot  of                                                               
libraries were twice as big as  well as being nice. Sometimes the                                                               
community library  planning at the  local level was a  little too                                                               
robust.  Now the  Foraker Group  works  with them  on sizing  the                                                               
facility for  the individual community  looking at  the operating                                                               
costs and particularly energy costs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN  said the idea  was to modernize  these libraries                                                               
so that  children could  grow up  in and  around them  and become                                                               
more  productive  citizens  as  well as  better  informed  voting                                                               
citizens. This bill  appears to have a lot of  those same traits,                                                               
and he wouldn't be surprised if  groups like the Foraker Group do                                                               
not work  with the  communities and the  department to  make sure                                                               
that  the  museums  are  sized  for the  community  so  they  are                                                               
affordable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:40:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS agreed  that is the goal. He said  the museums in                                                               
his  community  include  a Russian-American  Museum,  a  Maritime                                                               
Museum, and  a Native Museum.  He emphasized how  important these                                                               
museums are  to show  what our  culture and  history is  and that                                                               
there is a need for them  throughout the state. Lawmakers need to                                                               
make  sure  these  facilities  are   built  to  code  using  best                                                               
practices, and that they are energy efficient.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP opened public testimony on SB 7.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:41:46 PM                                                                                                                    
TIFFANY  BRONSON, Executive  Director, Kodiak  Historical Society                                                               
and Baranof  Museum, Kodiak, Alaska, supported  SB 7. Collections                                                               
are at  risk with the  increasing age  of facilities and  many of                                                               
these  aging buildings  were not  intended to  be museums  in the                                                               
first  place.  For instance,  the  Baranof  Museum in  Kodiak  is                                                               
housed in the oldest building in Alaska.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:43:48 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICIA  RELAY,  Executive  Director,  Museums  Alaska,  Valdez,                                                               
Alaska, said  this is an organization  of over 65 museums  in the                                                               
state  that support  SB  7. She  said they  will  hear today  how                                                               
museums are  facing critical  infrastructure issues.  Without the                                                               
proper  care  and housing  of  public  trust collections,  robust                                                               
education programs couldn't be offered.  Governor Walker issued a                                                               
proclamation  designating  2017  as   the  year  of  history  and                                                               
heritage in  recognition of Alaska's sesquicentennial,  150 years                                                               
since Russia ceded its interest in Alaska to the United States.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. RELAY  said they clearly  recognize the fiscal  challenges of                                                               
our state  and communities and advocate  for the passage of  SB 7                                                               
to  establish  an  effective framework  to  support  current  and                                                               
growing capital needs of Alaska  museums as economies improve and                                                               
funding becomes available. She stressed  that they are not asking                                                               
for any money at this time.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She  reflected  on  Senator  MacKinnon's  comments  about  energy                                                               
efficiencies and  said now is  the time to work  towards planning                                                               
appropriate  programs. She  also reflected  on Senator  Stedman's                                                               
comments about  working with the  Foraker Group saying  they have                                                               
been  working  closely with  them  since  the beginning.  A  2014                                                               
McDowell Group survey  demonstrates critical infrastructure needs                                                               
for our  cultural institutions. Of  the 36 museums  contacted, 75                                                               
percent  identified   significant  capital   improvements  needed                                                               
within  the next  five years:  exhibition space,  improvements to                                                               
facilities,    collection     storage,    expansions,    security                                                               
improvements, and bathrooms.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:48:24 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIC  JOHANSEN,  Board  Member, Pioneer  Air  Museum,  Fairbanks,                                                               
Alaska,  supported SB  7.  He  said the  museum  is  housed in  a                                                               
building that  was never intended  to be a  museum, and it  has a                                                               
lot of needs.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:50:12 PM                                                                                                                    
PETE HAGGLAND,  Curator, Pioneer  Air Museum,  Fairbanks, Alaska,                                                               
supported SB 7.  A 2014 McDowell study indicated  that 75 percent                                                               
of the people they interviewed  needed to dramatically expand and                                                               
improve  their facilities.  His museum  is  one of  those. As  an                                                               
example,  restrooms have  been requested  since 1982  and nothing                                                               
has  been  done  until  a  recent  asbestos  report  necessitated                                                               
tearing down  the old facilities.  They are trying to  move ahead                                                               
and expand  education programs and a  place is needed to  work on                                                               
projects and archiving.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP thanked him for his  comments and for stepping up to                                                               
the plate.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:53:04 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  HECKMAN,  Board  Member, Pioneer  Air  Museum,  Fairbanks,                                                               
Alaska,  supported SB  7. He  said the  Pioneer Air  Museum is  a                                                               
tremendous museum with tremendous exhibits,  and it would be nice                                                               
for it to  have a bathroom. They have blueprints  for things they                                                               
would like  to do,  looking down the  road, and SB  7 would  go a                                                               
long way to keep the momentum going.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:54:27 PM                                                                                                                    
ANGELA LINN,  Senior Collections Manager, Ethnology  and History,                                                               
University of  Alaska Museum, Fairbanks, Alaska,  supported SB 7.                                                               
She said  Alaska has over  80 museums and cultural  centers. Many                                                               
of  them  came into  existence  as  a  result of  the  Centennial                                                               
funding appropriated by the state legislature in 1967.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She said  the Museum of  the North receives over  90,000 visitors                                                               
from near and far, of all  ages, annually. Nearly 12,000 of those                                                               
are K-12 kids from the  Fairbanks North Star Borough District and                                                               
surrounding  areas.  It   is  a  world  class   museum  that  was                                                               
established in  1926 in  the early  days of  the University  as a                                                               
home  for  Alaska-based research  and  it  is  one of  30  Alaska                                                               
institutions that  are actively planning  for or in the  midst of                                                               
an expansion or a renovation project.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Every  museum  in the  state  is  in  urgent need  of  additional                                                               
collection space to curate the  1.5 million objects and specimens                                                               
in  their  care,  Ms.  Linn said.  A  primary  responsibility  of                                                               
museums  and  cultural centers  is  to  preserve collections  and                                                               
protect  them  from  age  and  deterioration.  When  objects  are                                                               
deposited  into   their  permanent   collections,  it   is  their                                                               
responsibility  to care  for  them in  perpetuity,  but as  these                                                               
facilities  become overcrowded  or  aged, this  job becomes  more                                                               
difficult.   Only    through   expansion   or    renovation   can                                                               
infrastructure be kept in place  to safeguard these holdings, and                                                               
SB 7  will establish a  system that  can help the  museums obtain                                                               
the funding needed to accomplish this task.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:57:10 PM                                                                                                                    
EVA  MALVICH, Director/Curator,  Association  of Village  Council                                                               
Presidents'  Yupiit  Piciryarait  Light Museum,  Bethel,  Alaska,                                                               
supported  SB 7.  Their long-term  plan is  to become  the Yupiit                                                               
knowledge  center,  and  it  will  make a  big  impact  on  their                                                               
organization.  At  this time  there  is  no facility  or  service                                                               
readily available  to their tribes  who want to  preserve ancient                                                               
artifacts that are  being uncovered due to  coastal erosion, like                                                               
the community of Quinhagak where  masks and other items dated 500                                                               
years  old have  washed  up  on the  beach.  Although they  tried                                                               
getting  help from  the  state, they  had to  turn  to help  from                                                               
outside.  At  least  one  other   village  is  experiencing  this                                                               
problem.  Having  a facility  with  staff  would provide  a  safe                                                               
accessible space to work and learn.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:59:18 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHERINE ELDEMAR,  Director, Division of Community  and Regional                                                               
Affairs (DCRA),  Department of  Commerce, Community  and Economic                                                               
Development   (DCCED),  Juneau,   Alaska,  explained   that  DCRA                                                               
administers  $1.25 million  in  federal,  legislative, and  state                                                               
grants.  These grants  are administered  throughout the  state of                                                               
Alaska and the  Community Aid and Accountability  Section at DCRA                                                               
is  responsible for  the museum  program grant  as well  as other                                                               
grants  like  the  Community  Assistance  Program  (formerly  the                                                               
Community  Revenue Sharing),  Share Fisheries  Business Tax,  and                                                               
PILT funds.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Should  SB  7  become  law,  she  explained  that  DCRA  will  be                                                               
responsible for the  museum program grant. At  first glance, this                                                               
seems to  not have a  fiscal impact  because no grant  funding is                                                               
attached to it,  but that is not accurate. DCRA  foresees that it                                                               
will have impacts  similar to those experienced  with the library                                                               
grant program,  which was  created because  the two  programs are                                                               
statutorily similar.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ELDEMAR explained  that what  happened  in the  case of  the                                                               
library program  grants, DCRA was  required to  draft regulations                                                               
which takes time to produce  and then there were procedural steps                                                               
including public  notice that  take about  one year  to complete.                                                               
Additionally,  communities   actually  submitted   library  grant                                                               
applications for their projects, so  DCRA had to accept, consider                                                               
them for  funding, and  rate them.  What was  unique was  that no                                                               
grants were awarded after that entire process.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She brought in  a big binder [maybe one foot  thick] to show them                                                               
an example of  one grant application for a library  and said that                                                               
when  different   communities  come  forward  and   submit  their                                                               
application, the grant staff has to  review and rate it, and then                                                               
the applications must be stored until funding is provided.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:02:47 PM                                                                                                                    
She said the SCRA administers  many grants and is responsible for                                                               
the  oversight as  well, and  this costs  money in  light of  the                                                               
state's current budget challenges.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELDEMAR said the expansion  of the definition of museum under                                                               
SB 7 is quite exciting, as it  opens the door for many which were                                                               
previously  closed   to  showcase  their  wonderful   and  unique                                                               
communities.  But it  takes some  funding,  and if  this bill  is                                                               
passed DCRA requests funding for sufficient staffing.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Last  week DCRA  submitted an  indeterminant fiscal  note as  the                                                               
administration was  informed of a possible  committee substitute.                                                               
During the previous legislative  session the committee substitute                                                               
for HB  52 was introduced  to address these concerns.  The change                                                               
provided that  the department did  not have to  write regulations                                                               
nor  accept   grant  applications  until  funding   was  actually                                                               
provided  by the  legislature. This  reduced the  fiscal note  to                                                               
zero. The ability of DCRA  to absorb additional programs has been                                                               
curtailed by the  reduction of a number of employees,  and in the                                                               
event that  SB 7 becomes  law as currently presented,  they would                                                               
just request sufficient  funding to make sure they  can take care                                                               
of the museum requests.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MACKINNON asked the reason  the department is still going                                                               
"old  school"  with  paper   products  versus  having  electronic                                                               
storage.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ELDEMAR   replied  that  they  prefer   electronic  filings,                                                               
actually, but a certain amount of paper work is still required.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:05:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP   finding  no  further  questions,   closed  public                                                               
testimony.  He notified  the committee  of an  expected amendment                                                               
next Thursday.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:06:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MACKINNON asked  the  sponsor if  grant  funds could  be                                                               
considered  as  the 50  percent  matching  fund requirement  from                                                               
other sources.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LETCH replied that he would have to find out.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP said  a lot of antiquities have  left Alaska because                                                               
that  was the  thing for  expeditions to  do 100  years ago,  and                                                               
asked  if there  is  any room  in this  bill  to help  repatriate                                                               
totems or other indigenous artifacts to Alaska.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LETCH  said he would bring  that up with Senator  Stevens. He                                                               
said  it's  interesting  that Senator  Bishop  brought  that  up,                                                               
because  recently  he  was  looking  through  material  from  his                                                               
college,  the  University  of  Maine,  and  discovered  that  the                                                               
Seattle Seahawks  logo is based  on a  totem that wound  up going                                                               
from Orono, Maine, to what is now Washington State.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP  thanked Mr. Letch  and held  SB 7 in  committee for                                                               
future consideration.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:08:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP adjourned the Senate  Community and Regional Affairs                                                               
Committee meeting at 4:08 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 7 Hearing Request Memo Sen Bishop.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB 7 Sectional Analysis.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB 7 Support Kodiak Maritime Museum.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB 7 Support Museums Alaska.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB 7 Support Alaska Historical Society.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB 7 Support VMHA.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB7 SupportLetterU of North.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB7Support Aluttiq Museum.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
SB7-Support-2017 Baranof Museum.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 7
Senate Bill 7 Sponsor Statement.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Senate Bill 7.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Support Letter Janice Whalen.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Support Letter Jane Lindsey.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Support Letter Kesler Woodward.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Support Letter Robert Banghart.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Support Letter Shana Anderson.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM
Foraker Museum Report Final.pdf SCRA 2/21/2017 3:30:00 PM