Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/25/2003 09:06 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                              MINUTES                                                                                         
                     SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                          April 25, 2003                                                                                      
                              9:06 AM                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPES                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SFC-03 # 65, Side A                                                                                                             
SFC 03 # 65, Side B                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Gary Wilken convened  the meeting at approximately 9:06 AM.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Wilken, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Lyda Green, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Con Bunde, Vice Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Robin Taylor                                                                                                            
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Also Attending:  SENATOR  SCOTT OGAN; MATT  ROBUS, Acting  Director,                                                          
Division  of Wildlife  Conservation,  Department of  Fish and  Game;                                                            
ROBERT  BUTTCANE,  Programs/Administration,   Division  of  Juvenile                                                            
Justice, Department of  Health and Social Services; Juneau Boy Scout                                                            
Troop  11:  SHAUN  NESHEIM;  KYLE  KAHKLEN;  CARLETON  SHOREY;  ALEX                                                            
BOTELHO;  TREVOR LARSEN;  BRUCE BOTELHO;  BRUCE  BOTELHO, Boy  Scout                                                            
Troop 11 Leader                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Attending  via  Teleconference:  From Mat-Su:  JOHN  DUFFY,  Borough                                                          
Manager,  Mat-Su  Borough;  JODY  SIMPSON,   Member  Mat-Su  Borough                                                            
Assembly;  From an  Offnet  Site: LIEUTENANT  MATT  LEVEQUE,  Alaska                                                            
State Troopers,  Department  of Public Safety;  KATHY CRONEN,  Chief                                                            
Executive Officer, NorthStar Hospital                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB 53-REVOKE DRIVER'S LIC. FOR FATAL ACCIDENT                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from the sponsor  and the Department  of Public                                                            
Safety, and reported the bill from Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB 147-CONTROL OF NUISANCE WILD ANIMALS                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  Committee  heard from  the  Department  of  Fish and  Game  and                                                            
reported the bill from Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SB 157-INPATIENT PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from Department  of Health and Social  Services                                                            
and reported the bill from Committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SB 65-CORRECTIONAL FACILITY EXPANSION                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
This bill was scheduled but not heard.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SB 35-APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                      
HB 75-APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  adopted a committee substitute and  reported the bill                                                            
from Committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SB 36-APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                              
HB 76-APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  adopted a committee substitute and  one amendment and                                                            
reported the bill from Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE BILL NO. 53                                                                                                         
     "An Act relating to  disposition of a traffic offense involving                                                            
     the death of a person;  providing for the revocation of driving                                                            
     privileges by a court  for a driver convicted of a violation of                                                            
     traffic  laws  in connection  with  a  fatal motor  vehicle  or                                                            
     commercial motor vehicle  accident; amending Rules 43 and 43.1,                                                            
     Alaska Rules of Administration;  and providing for an effective                                                            
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Wilken  informed the Committee  that this bill would  allow                                                            
the revocation  of  a person's  driving  license in  the event  that                                                            
their traffic violation results in a death.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SCOTT OGAN, the  sponsor of the bill, explained that current                                                            
State  statute does  not provide  provisions  to  address a  traffic                                                            
violation  that results  in a death.  He shared  that he  personally                                                            
knows families who have  lost a relative or suffered a disability as                                                            
the  result  of  another   driver  running  a  red   light,  and  he                                                            
communicated that  the at-fault driver only received  a $50 fine for                                                            
a  traffic  violation.  He  stated  that unless  a  driver  is,  for                                                            
instance,  intoxicated,  there  is no  State  statute  that holds  a                                                            
driver  who drives  too  fast for  conditions  or runs  a red  light                                                            
responsible for their actions.  He stated that the legal defense for                                                            
these people  "is that they really  didn't intend to kill  someone."                                                            
He stated that similar  legislation was presented to the Legislature                                                            
the previous  session, "but  was held up in  the closing minutes  of                                                            
the session."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor asked how  this legislation would address a situation                                                            
whereby a vehicle  slides off a road due to icy road  conditions and                                                            
results in  a family member in the  car being killed. He  noted that                                                            
the driver's negligence,  according to this Legislation, contributed                                                            
to a fatality.  He asked whether the  word "may" in the Legislation                                                             
would allow the court discretion in addressing this scenario.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ogan responded  that judges would have sufficient  authority                                                            
to appropriately  address  the situation  and that  the court  would                                                            
render an appropriate response.  He stated that this "is exactly the                                                            
reason"  the  legislation  includes  the  word  "may."  However,  he                                                            
asserted,   this   legislation   would  also   allow   a  judge   to                                                            
appropriately address a  situation whereby the action of the driver,                                                            
or repeated  infractions  of  a driver,  causes personal  damage  to                                                            
others.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde expressed  understanding of the frustration that might                                                            
be  caused  by  current  statutes  limitations;  however,  he  asked                                                            
whether revoking  a driver's license would have the  desired result;                                                            
as, he  furthered,  some people  would  continue to  drive or  might                                                            
otherwise not be "inconvenienced."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ogan suspected  that there are some people  who "would thumb                                                            
their  nose" at  the loss  of their  driver's license.  However,  he                                                            
stressed that this legislation  would be a deterrent to those people                                                            
who violate traffic  laws by driving too fast or who  run red lights                                                            
as opposed to  those people who routinely drive recklessly  or drive                                                            
while intoxicated.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  MATT  LEVEQUE,  Alaska  State  Troopers,  Department  of                                                            
Public Safety, testified  via teleconference from an offnet site and                                                            
agreed that some  people would continue to drive without  a driver's                                                            
license;  however, some  would  respect the  law and  not drive.  In                                                            
response to  Senator Bunde's comment  about further inconveniencing                                                             
offenders  by, for instance,  prohibiting  them from airline  travel                                                            
because  they  would not  have  a  driver's license  to  present  as                                                            
required at  time of airline check-in,  Lieutenant Leveque  informed                                                            
that  individuals  who  lose their  driver's  license  would  remain                                                            
eligible  to apply for  a state identification  card. Therefore,  he                                                            
continued  the  State would  not  deny individuals  the  ability  to                                                            
travel.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked whether Lieutenant  Leveque supports  the bill.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Lieutenant Leveque responded  that the Department supports the bill.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Without objection,  HB 53 was REPORTED from Committee  with previous                                                            
fiscal notes  #1 and #2  from the Department  of Administration  and                                                            
previous fiscal note #3 from the Department of Law.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE BILL NO. 147                                                                                                        
     "An Act relating to control of nuisance wild animals; and                                                                  
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the second  hearing for  this bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair  Wilken stated that  this bill  addresses nuisance  animals                                                            
and is sponsored by Co-chair Green.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MATT  ROBUS, Acting  Director,  Division of  Wildlife Conservation,                                                             
Department of  Fish and Game provided answers to questions  asked in                                                            
the first hearing on this  bill by communicating that the Department                                                            
currently  has regulations  to  address situations  involving  large                                                            
animals such  as moose or bear through  the Department's  ability to                                                            
issue public safety  permits, Defense of Life and  Property permits,                                                            
and scientific  permits. In addition,  he stated that permits  could                                                            
be  issued  to  "a  responsible  individual"   were  an enforcement                                                             
official unavailable.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Robus  stressed;  however,  "that  the one  thing  not  covered                                                            
currently"  through regulations  are small  animals and birds  whose                                                            
actions  are creating  nuisance problems  including  such things  as                                                            
birds eating  grain crops or an ermine  harming someone's  house. He                                                            
continued  that this legislation  would provide  the Department  the                                                            
authority to address these types of issues.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman asked  whether there  is a need  for provisions  to                                                            
address  the  disposal  of these  small  animals;  particularly  the                                                            
salvage of the meat or the disposal of the remains.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Robus informed  that  provisions are  usually  included in  the                                                            
permit for meat salvaging  of large animals, and where small animals                                                            
or birds are concerned,  the Department attempts to  be flexible and                                                            
to appropriately  take care  of, for example,  a fur-bearing  animal                                                            
whose hide could be salvaged.  Furthermore, he mentioned that in the                                                            
case of a food  animal, provisions  are included to allow  the taker                                                            
to  either  use   it  for  individual  use  or  provide   it  to  an                                                            
organization that  provides food to other people.  However, he noted                                                            
that when a situation  arises in which salvaging of  the meat or fur                                                            
is not  an option  or conditions  would not allow  for salvage,  the                                                            
flexibility  to  handle  situations   on  a case-by-case   basis  is                                                            
requested in this legislation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman voiced  that most people would willingly salvage the                                                            
meat, and he questioned  whether a provision requiring salvage would                                                            
be necessary.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked how this legislation would address  a situation                                                            
wherein  an animal  or bird  is not a  nuisance but  rather poses  a                                                            
threat to, for instance,  a private pilot or to national security by                                                            
it presence on a private or military airport runway.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Robus  replied that  this issue  is addressed  currently  by the                                                            
Department's  ability to  issue public safety  permits. However,  he                                                            
noted that this  existing authority includes threats  posed by small                                                            
animals.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #1:  This amendment inserts "and subject  to AS 16.30.010"                                                            
after the word "Act" on page 3, line 20.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson moved for adoption of Amendment #1.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken objected for explanation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  shared that muskox in the Nome area  present a danger                                                            
to airports during  the animals' rutting season. He  noted that this                                                            
amendment  addresses the  issue of  wanton waste,  and he  exclaimed                                                            
that, "if you shoot it, and kill it, you better eat it."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson withdrew the amendment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection, SB 147  was REPORTED from Committee  with                                                            
previous fiscal note #1 from the Department of Fish and Game.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 9:29 AM / 9:29 AM                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken  introduced  visiting  Juneau  Boy Scout  Troop  11                                                            
consisting  of SHAUN NESHEIM,  KYLE KAHKLEN,  CARLETON SHOREY,  ALEX                                                            
BOTELHO,  TREVOR  LARSEN,  and BRUCE  BOTELHO,  Boy Scout  Troop  11                                                            
Leader.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Botelho announced  that the scouts are working  on the Boy Scout                                                            
Citizenship Award.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 157(HES)                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to  inpatient psychiatric services for persons                                                            
     who  are under  21 years  of age  and are  either eligible  for                                                            
     medical assistance  or are in the custody of  the Department of                                                            
     Health and Social Services."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green,  the bill's sponsor, explained that  this bill would                                                            
require the  Department of  Health and Social  Services to  provide,                                                            
when available,  in-State psychiatric services to  individuals under                                                            
the age  of 21,  who are  in State care  and require  or need  those                                                            
services. She  stated that, while  this requirement is currently  in                                                            
regulation,  it  is not  being  implemented.  She expounded  on  the                                                            
benefits  of providing  in-State care  as: it  "would stabilize  the                                                            
environment so that the  State can attract and assure care providers                                                            
in this  field that in-State  providers would  be considered  first"                                                            
before  a person would  be sent  out-of-State  for treatment;  would                                                            
reduce the  demand on the  State to pay  for expensive out-of-State                                                             
treatment;  and would keep individuals  closer to family.  She noted                                                            
that the  Denali KidCare  program has contributed  to the growth  in                                                            
the numbers of individuals identified as requiring treatment.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  DUFFY   Borough  Manager,   Mat-Su   Borough,  testified   via                                                            
teleconference  from Mat-Su in support  of this legislation,  and he                                                            
urged the Committee to  support it. He stated that allowing children                                                            
to receive  treatment  close  to home and  to family  members  would                                                            
"increase  the probability  of treatment success."  In addition,  he                                                            
noted that provisions of  this legislation would remove "uncertainty                                                            
from  the private  sector"  and allow  for more  in-State  treatment                                                            
centers. This,  he asserted, would  benefit individuals,  positively                                                            
impact  the economy,  and provide  jobs. He  affirmed that  in-State                                                            
treatment is  less expensive than  out-of-State treatment,  and that                                                            
"it makes sense  that Alaskan dollars  remain in Alaska"  to support                                                            
the State's economy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KATHY  CRONEN,   Chief   Executive  Officer,   Fairbanks   NorthStar                                                            
Hospital,  testified  via  teleconference  from  an offnet  site  in                                                            
support  of bringing  Alaskan  children  "home for  treatment.'  She                                                            
informed  that  300-plus children  were  treated  out-of-state  last                                                            
year, and  she opined  that this  "has devastating  impact of  these                                                            
children and their families,  as well as on the State because we are                                                            
not  supporting our  kids."  She stressed  that mental  health  care                                                            
should be provided  closer to home, that follow-up  care is critical                                                            
to a child's long-term  success, and, she asserted, treatment should                                                            
involve a child's family.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Cronen  furthered that  this legislation  would be good  for the                                                            
State  as it  would allow  in-State  treatment programs  to  expand,                                                            
would create hundreds  of new jobs, and would keep  Medicaid dollars                                                            
in the State. She urged the Committee to pass this legislation.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  asked  the  staffing  situation   at  the  Northstar                                                            
Hospital,  particularly  whether  the hospital  is  able to  attract                                                            
board-certified  psychiatrists   and  other  support  staff  as,  he                                                            
understands,  there is a  shortage of personnel  in these fields  of                                                            
practice.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Cronen  confirmed  that "staffing  and recruitment  is always  a                                                            
challenge  for any  health  care provider;"  however,  she  informed                                                            
that,  while the  hospital  has  at times  experienced  nursing  and                                                            
psychiatrist  staff shortages, the  hospital has been successful  in                                                            
the long-term. She voiced  the need to provide job security, and she                                                            
contended  that  legislation   of  this  nature  would  provide  the                                                            
foundation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  moved to  adopt  CS SB  157  (HES) as  the  working                                                            
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There  being  no  objection,  the  (HES)  committee  substitute  was                                                            
adopted as the working document.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JODY  SIMPSON,  Member   Mat-Su  Borough  Assembly,   testified  via                                                            
teleconference  from  Mat-Su  and  voiced that  the  Mat-Su  Borough                                                            
supports this  bill. She voiced that out-of-state  treatment removes                                                            
Alaskan  children  from  their  families  as well  as  sends  Alaska                                                            
dollars  elsewhere  thereby  resulting  in a  loss of  in-State  job                                                            
opportunities.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  BUTTCANE,  Programs/Administration,   Division  of  Juvenile                                                            
Justice, Department of  Health and Social Services informed that the                                                            
Department  supports this legislation  and its goal of establishing                                                             
"adequate in-State  resources to meet  the treatment needs  of young                                                            
people." He informed that  the Division is committed to working with                                                            
providers  to develop  the needed  capabilities.  However, he  noted                                                            
that some  complicating  factors must  be addressed  to include  the                                                            
fact that  parents of children  who are not  in the State's  custody                                                            
have the right to decide  whether their child would receive in-State                                                            
or out-of-State treatment.  He furthered that another factor is that                                                            
few  Alaskan facilities  provide  "secured,  locked  care" which  is                                                            
required  in  some   situations.  However,  he  attested   that  the                                                            
provision requiring  an assessment to be conducted  on each child is                                                            
an appropriate  one as  it would  enable the Division  to compile  a                                                            
facility needs  list that would propel the State's  system to evolve                                                            
as necessary  with the  goal that eventually  the State's  resources                                                            
would meet all needs.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green asserted that  even though  a child might not  be in                                                            
State  custody,  the  fact  that  the  child  might  be  a  Medicaid                                                            
recipient would provide  the State with the right to determine where                                                            
the child might receive treatment.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Buttcane concurred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green furthered  that a  recent Medicaid  audit [copy  not                                                            
provided] recommended  that requests  for out-of-state and  in-state                                                            
travel  for medical  necessities should  be accompanied  by  written                                                            
justification.  She reiterated that this legislation  is taking what                                                            
is currently  in regulation  and putting it  into statute to  assure                                                            
that the regulations would be implemented.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman  asked how  rural children  would benefit from  this                                                            
legislation  as, he communicated,  and they  would still be  removed                                                            
from their small communities and their families to receive care.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Buttcane responded  that this is a valid concern  as individuals                                                            
from  rural areas  would continue  to  experience  upheaval, and  he                                                            
stated  that  "there  is  no  easy  answer"  to  the  situation.  He                                                            
suggested that,  "the next step" to  address this scenario  would be                                                            
to provide  more  in-state care  options  to keep  the "children  at                                                            
least  that  much  closer to  their  communities."  He  stated  that                                                            
further  action from Native  Health organizations,  State,  federal,                                                            
and private,  non-profit entities  could assist in providing  better                                                            
service to young people.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman  allowed that this bill would enable  rural children                                                            
to be one step closer to  home; however, he concluded that the needs                                                            
of rural children are still being addressed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green agreed that  Senator Hoffman  has a good point.  She                                                            
stated  that  this   bill  would  allow  for  small,   private  care                                                            
facilities  with perhaps  as  few as eight  employees  to locate  in                                                            
rural  areas  where there  is  a need.  She  stressed  that  through                                                            
legislation  such as this, the emphasis  would be to keep  youth in-                                                            
State  "to  create the  synergy  and  the energy  and  the  numbers"                                                            
required  to  encourage  the  private  sector   to  service  smaller                                                            
communities.  She predicted that there  would be "a gradual  growth"                                                            
in this direction.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Olson  asserted   that  mental   health  treatment   is  a                                                            
complicated  process, and  he asked how the  decision regarding  the                                                            
proper  course  of treatment  and  whether  the State  has  adequate                                                            
facilities to provide that treatment would be determined.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Buttcane   told   of  "a  shared   process   of  review   by  a                                                            
interdisciplinary   team"  comprised   of  medical  and   psychology                                                            
doctors,  social workers,  and care providers  who would conduct  an                                                            
inventory  of  State's  programs  and the  needs  of  child,  before                                                            
rendering a recommendation,  and he furthered that  funding would be                                                            
determined  by Medicaid. He  stated that  were someone to  determine                                                            
that the  outcome of  the review  was improperly  derived at;  there                                                            
would be an opportunity for a review.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked whether  a physician or psychiatrist would be on                                                            
the staff of the review board.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Buttcane clarified that there is a psychiatrist on staff.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SFC 03 # 65, Side B 09:54 AM                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  responded that the current regulations  specify that                                                            
a licensed  psychiatrist, a physician,  a clinical social  worker, a                                                            
registered  nurse,   an  occupational  therapist,  a  psychological                                                             
associate, and  representatives from the Division  of Family & Youth                                                            
Services  and the Division  of Juvenile Justice  would comprise  the                                                            
members of the review board.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken informed  the Committee that a question arose in the                                                            
Senate Health Education  and Social Services Committee hearing as to                                                            
whether bringing  children who are  currently being treated  out-of-                                                            
state  back  to  the  State  would  increase  the  State's  Medicaid                                                            
expenses. He  stated that the answer  is no, it would not.  He noted                                                            
that this information is provided in fiscal note #1.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, CS SB 157 (HES) was REPORTED from                                                                     
Committee with previous fiscal note #1 from the Department of                                                                   
Health and Social Services.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECESS TO THE CALL OF THE CHAIR 9:55 AM / 1:25 PM                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green chaired the remaining portion of the meeting.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 35                                                                                  
     "An  Act  making appropriations   for the  operating  and  loan                                                            
     program  expenses of  state government,  for certain  programs,                                                            
     and to capitalize  funds; making appropriations  under art. IX,                                                            
     sec.  17(c), Constitution  of  the State  of  Alaska, from  the                                                            
     constitutional   budget reserve  fund;  and  providing  for  an                                                            
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj fld)                                                                   
     "An  Act  making appropriations   for the  operating  and  loan                                                            
     program  expenses of  state government,  for certain  programs,                                                            
     and to capitalize  funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 36                                                                                  
     "An  Act making appropriations  for the  operating and  capital                                                            
     expenses of the state's  integrated comprehensive mental health                                                            
     program; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 76(FIN)                                                                       
     "An  Act making appropriations  for the  operating and  capital                                                            
     expenses of the state's  integrated comprehensive mental health                                                            
     program; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was the eighth hearing for these bills in the Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green informed the Committee that previously adopted                                                                   
amendments are incorporated into the committee substitutes for                                                                  
these bills.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor moved  to adopt SCS  CS SS HB75  (FIN), Version  23-                                                            
GH1002\Z as the working draft.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection,  Version "Z" was  adopted as the  working                                                            
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor  moved to adopt  SCS CS SS  HB 76 (FIN), Version  23-                                                            
GH1004\U as the working document.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection, Version  "U"  was adopted  as a  working                                                            
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman inquired  to the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR)                                                            
funds that would be required  to support this legislation, excluding                                                            
any revenue sources.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  replied that that information is not  yet available.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman  asked  regarding  the funding  level  required  to                                                            
support the amendments  that were adopted during the seventh hearing                                                            
on this legislation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Green  responded that the amount is slightly  less than one                                                            
billion dollars.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman complimented  the Committee and staff on the caliber                                                            
of  work that  was  provided  in support  of  developing  the FY  04                                                            
operating budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor  moved to report the  committee substitute  for HB 75                                                            
from Committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection, SCS CS  SS HB 75 (FIN) was REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Amendment MH  #1 for HB 76, Version  "U": This conceptual  amendment                                                            
deletes one million dollars  of funding designated for the Fairbanks                                                            
Mental  Health  Detoxification  Unit  Expansion  and  Renovation  as                                                            
specified on page 11, lines 13, 14, and 15.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken  moved to adopt the  amendment. He shared  that this                                                            
amendment is offered "out  of concern" regarding "the wisdom" of the                                                            
planning and  measurement about this  project. He stated  that while                                                            
the project might "be well-intentioned…it  is not well thought out."                                                            
He stated  "that until  good answers" are  forthcoming to  questions                                                            
regarding how to address  the problem of intoxicated individuals; he                                                            
could not support the project.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor  objected to  the amendment.  He voiced concern  that                                                            
"when the state transitioned  public drunkenness" from a crime to an                                                            
illness and  "removed it  from the criminal  statutes and placed  it                                                            
under Title  47 Statutes,  the only way that  police officers  could                                                            
remove someone off the  streets" was a situation wherein they were a                                                            
danger to themselves  or to others. He furthered that  the State has                                                            
never adequately  addressed the problem "with either  funding or the                                                            
staffing  necessary,"   and  as a  consequence,   he  declared  that                                                            
communities  have  had to  assume the  responsibility.  However,  he                                                            
opined, efforts  do not adequately address the root  of problem, and                                                            
he asserted  that the State should  fund the provisions in  Title 47                                                            
to address the problem.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor withdrew his objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair  Wilken echoed Senator  Taylor's  concern, and stated  that                                                            
were adequate  answers to questions  such as how the funds  would be                                                            
utilized; how  the outcomes would  be measured; and how individuals                                                             
would benefit  and improve their quality  of life, he would  be able                                                            
to support the detoxification center funding.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further objection, Amendment MH #1 was ADOPTED.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor  moved to  report HB 76, as  amended, from  Committee                                                            
with individual recommendations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection,  SCS CS SS HB 76  (FIN), as amended,  was                                                            
REPORTED from Committee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 1:35 PM / 1:35 PM                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Lyda Green adjourned the meeting at 01:36 PM.                                                                          

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