Legislature(2007 - 2008)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/18/2007 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 53 BUDGET: CAPITAL, SUPP. & OTHER APPROPS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Administration Presentations
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 100 SUBSTANCE ABUSE/MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
Moved CSSB 100(FIN) Out of Committee
= SB 76 TUITION FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN
Moved CSSB 76(HES) Out of Committee
                            MINUTES                                                                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                         April 18, 2007                                                                                       
                           9:05 a.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Bert  Stedman  convened the  meeting  at  approximately                                                               
9:05:17 AM.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Also  Attending:  SENATOR JOHNNY  ELLIS;  GABE  ACEVES, Staff  to                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis; MIKE  LESMANN, Community Relations Manager,                                                               
Office of  Children's Services, Department  of Health  and Social                                                               
Services; MICHAEL  CURRAN, Program  Coordinator, Office  of Faith                                                               
Based  and Community  Initiatives,  Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of Health and Social  Services; JOHN CRAMER, Director,                                                               
Division of  Administrative Services, Department of  Military and                                                               
Veterans  Affairs;  EDDIE  JEANS, Director,  School  Finance  and                                                               
Facilities   Section,   Department   of   Education   and   Early                                                               
Development;  TOM LAWSON,  Director,  Division of  Administrative                                                               
Services, Department  of Fish and Game;  KAREN REHFELD, Director,                                                               
Office  of  Management  and   Budget;  SAMUEL  THOMAS,  Director,                                                               
Division  of  Administrative  Services, Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community and Economic Development;                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Attending  via Teleconference:   From  an offnet  location: JAMES                                                             
LYNCH, University of Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB 100-SUBSTANCE ABUSE/MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The Committee heard from the  sponsor. The bill was reported from                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SB  76-TUITION FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The Committee  heard from the  sponsor, the University  of Alaska                                                               
and the  Department of Health  and Social Services. The  bill was                                                               
reported from Committee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB  53-BUDGET: CAPITAL, SUPP. & OTHER APPROPS                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The Committee heard  overviews on the capital  budget requests of                                                               
the Department  of Commerce, Community and  Economic Development,                                                               
the Department  of Military and Veterans  Affairs, the Department                                                               
of Education  and Early Development,  the Department of  Fish and                                                               
Game, the  Office of the  Governor, the Department of  Health and                                                               
Social   Services,  the   Department  of   Labor  and   Workforce                                                               
Development, and  the Department  of Natural Resources.  The bill                                                               
was held in Committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 100(STA)                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to substance  abuse  and  mental  health                                                               
     disorder prevention and treatment  programs; and relating to                                                               
     long-term  secure   treatment  programs  for   persons  with                                                               
     substance abuse  or co-occurring substance abuse  and mental                                                               
     health disorders."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was the  second hearing for this bill in  the Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  announced  intent  to report  this  bill  from                                                               
Committee. He noted  receipt of a revised fiscal  note to replace                                                               
the two previous fiscal notes.  The new fiscal note indicates the                                                               
cost to implement this legislation would be zero.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:07:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHNNY  ELLIS, Sponsor  of the  bill, testified  that the                                                               
Senate State  Affairs Committee substitute  of this  bill retains                                                               
the  "non-controversial"  provisions  of the  original  bill.  He                                                               
listed  these  as treatment  priority  for  pregnant women,  non-                                                               
discrimination  against faith-based  oriented treatment  programs                                                               
and public  facilities, provided they  meet the same  criteria as                                                               
qualifying  secular programs,  and requirement  of research-based                                                               
and  evidence-based programming  for  substance abuse  treatment.                                                               
The  latter  provision  is  intended  to  ensure  that  effective                                                               
programs  were funded,  and represents  a  national trend.  These                                                               
provisions would update  or provide "fine tuning"  of the State's                                                               
statutes governing substance abuse treatment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:08:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis  told of  the provision  contained in  the original                                                               
version of  the bill  and deleted  from the  committee substitute                                                               
pertaining to  utilization of the current  involuntary commitment                                                               
statute  for  "secure  detox beds".  This  provision  would  have                                                               
allowed  for  a  pilot  project  of  ten  to  12  beds  providing                                                               
detoxification treatment in a secure facility.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ellis  informed  that  he would  convene  a  meeting  of                                                               
"stakeholders"   including  the   Executive  Branch   and  "other                                                               
potential funders, to attempt to  create a "longer term project".                                                               
He  relayed  interest  expressed   by  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                               
members  to   create  an  expanded   rural  program   located  in                                                               
additional communities.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  reiterated that the  revised fiscal note  is in                                                               
the amount of zero.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:09:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked the timeframe  in which a pilot program would                                                               
be instituted.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ellis  indicated intent  that  funding  for the  program                                                               
would be included in the FY  09 operating budget to be considered                                                               
in the  next legislative session.  The delay is  a disappointment                                                               
to  advocates, many  who argue  such a  program should  have been                                                               
implemented  "years  ago".  The  program  would  be  directed  to                                                               
intervene in  situations involving the most  "dangerous substance                                                               
abusers" and those  incurring the highest cost  to government and                                                               
organizations.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:10:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins  offered  a  motion  to  report  the  bill  from                                                               
Committee with individual recommendations and new fiscal note.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There  was no  objection and  CS SB  100(STA), was  REPORTED from                                                               
Committee  with a  new zero  fiscal note  dated 4/17/07  from the                                                               
Department  of  Health  and Social  Services,  Behavioral  Health                                                               
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:11:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 76(HES)                                                                                             
     "An Act establishing a higher  education savings program for                                                               
     eligible  children who  were placed  in out-of-home  care by                                                               
     the state; and providing  for confidentiality of identifying                                                               
     information of a beneficiary under the program."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:11:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  commented that although this  legislation would                                                               
have no  impact on  the adult population,  the benefits  could be                                                               
significant for future generations.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:12:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHNNY  ELLIS, Sponsor of  the bill, testified  that this                                                               
proposal had been offered in  previous legislatures, although had                                                               
not been  passed into law.  The legislation before  the Committee                                                               
had "even stronger support" and  "no known opposition." This bill                                                               
would  create the  A.S.P.I.R.E. Program,  an acronym  of Alaska's                                                               
Youth  Succeed When  People Invest  Resources  in Education.  The                                                               
pilot  program  was  designed   to  connect  churches,  community                                                               
groups,  nonprofit  organizations,  businesses  and  individuals,                                                               
with foster  children for the  purpose of  providing "educational                                                               
opportunities beyond high school".                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ellis  told  of  the  approximately  2,000  children  of                                                               
various  ages who  reside  in  "out of  home  placement" and  are                                                               
commonly referred to as foster  children. Each year approximately                                                               
100  of those  foster children  "age out  of the  system". Foster                                                               
parents could  not be expected  to fund the college  education of                                                               
these youth  given the  expenses these  parents incur  in raising                                                               
the  children.  Nor  could grandparents  or  other  relatives  be                                                               
expected  to  establish  higher  education  funds.  Additionally,                                                               
"government can't do everything."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis stated  that the education of these  youth could be                                                               
addressed  through  a  "non-governmental approach".  These  youth                                                               
have  "very few  educational  opportunities and  some pretty  bad                                                               
outcomes" once they  reach the age of legal adulthood  and are no                                                               
longer served  by the children's  services system and  move "from                                                               
loving homes".                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis advised that the  ASPIRE program utilized a similar                                                               
program administered in  the state of Missouri as a  model, "as a                                                               
way to  connect a lot  of the  compassion and generosity"  of the                                                               
private sector.  Contributors could  essentially adopt  youth for                                                               
educational  purposes. This  legislation "is  making useā€¦  of the                                                               
award   winning,   brilliant,   terrific  529   college   savings                                                               
accounts."  He qualified  that the  aforementioned statement  was                                                               
somewhat misleading because the funding  could be expended at any                                                               
educational  institute  for  any  approved  educational  expense.                                                               
Although administered  by the University  of Alaska,  the funding                                                               
could  be utilized  for any  educational program  in the  nation.                                                               
This would  provide flexibility for  foster children  to "achieve                                                               
their potential."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:15:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  requested further explanation of  how the funds                                                               
contributed to this program could be expended.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:16:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GABE ACEVES, Staff  to Senator Johnny Ellis,  testified that once                                                               
established, the  funds held in  these savings accounts  could be                                                               
expended for  any form of  further education. This  would include                                                               
not only  university costs, but also  vocational institutions and                                                               
community college courses.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:17:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman listed  examples of  vocational occupations  as                                                               
welders, machinists, auto and diesel mechanics and hairdressers.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked the portability  of the savings account in                                                               
the event that  the designated youth opted not to  further his or                                                               
her education.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:17:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves explained that the  accounts would be administered and                                                               
controlled by  the State. If  the youth designated on  an account                                                               
did not utilize the funds, the beneficiary could be changed.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:18:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman pointed out that  the accounts commonly known as                                                               
529   college  savings   plans  are   structured  to   allow  for                                                               
transferability in the  event that the child does  not expend the                                                               
funds.  Therefore,   the  provisions  of  this   bill  would  not                                                               
implement a new procedure and flexibility would be ensured.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:18:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES LYNCH,  University of Alaska, testified  via teleconference                                                               
from an  offnet location that  he was involved with  the creation                                                               
of  the  original  University of  Alaska  college  savings  plan.                                                               
Accounts   established  in   the  regular   plan  typically   are                                                               
transferable to  relatives of  the initial  beneficiary. However,                                                               
accounts  established  by a  faith  based  organization or  as  a                                                               
scholarship  could be  transferred to  any eligible  beneficiary.                                                               
The portability of the ASPIRE  accounts would be permitted to any                                                               
institution  of  higher  education eligible  to  receive  federal                                                               
financial aid funding.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:20:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman understood  the structure  of the  original 529                                                               
college savings plans is intended  to allow parents, grandparents                                                               
or other relatives  to assist in the funding  of their children's                                                               
college education.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:21:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Lynch  affirmed.  Higher education  had  traditionally  been                                                               
funded  through  loans;  however  costs  have  accelerated  at  a                                                               
significantly faster  rate than  income. Those students  of lower                                                               
economic status would qualify for  financial assistance and those                                                               
students of  higher economic status  could afford the  costs. The                                                               
college  savings  plan  system   is  intended  to  address  those                                                               
students from middle income families.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lynch  expressed that  Alaskans receive  discretionary income                                                               
through  the Alaska  Permanent  Fund.  The dividend  applications                                                               
include an  option to  allow recipients to  designate up  to one-                                                               
half of the dividend to  a college savings plan. Approximately 66                                                               
percent of participants  are from families with  an annual income                                                               
of less than $50,000.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:22:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  surmised that this legislation  would model the                                                               
original   college  savings   plan  to   allow  accounts   to  be                                                               
established   for    foster   children   by    corporations   and                                                               
organizations.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:23:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE LESMANN,  Community Relations Manager, Office  of Children's                                                               
Services, Department of Health and  Social Services, testified to                                                               
the  Department's  involvement  and  support  of  this  bill.  He                                                               
continued to read his testimony into the record as follows.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Children that  become wards of  the State are  sometimes not                                                               
     financially prepared to  enroll in postsecondary educational                                                               
     opportunities.   The  ASPIRE   program   would  create   the                                                               
     potential  for  their  community  to  assist  them  in  that                                                               
     endeavor.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     If we believe that our children are our future, then this                                                                  
     is very important legislation to all of Alaska.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:24:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  referenced the  sponsor statement  indicating that                                                               
current statutes  relating to confidentiality must  be amended to                                                               
allow for  the private contributions  for education. He  asked if                                                               
this issue had been a problem in the past.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:25:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lesmann  elaborated that this  bill would amend  AS 47.10.093                                                               
to  allow  the  Department   to  disclose  information  regarding                                                               
children  in  State  custody  to  the  University  of  Alaska  so                                                               
accounts could be established for these children.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:25:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson concluded  therefore  that confidentiality  issues                                                               
had not arisen.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lesmann affirmed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis reaffirmed  that no such problems  had occurred but                                                               
that  the  statutory change  is  necessary  to allow  the  ASPIRE                                                               
program to be implemented.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:26:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL CURRAN,  Program Coordinator,  Office of Faith  Based and                                                               
Community Initiatives, Office of  the Commissioner, Department of                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services,   testified  in  support  of  this                                                               
legislation. He  detailed his credentials working  in the "social                                                               
justice"  and  "community  building"  fields, as  a  teacher  and                                                               
ordained priest. He  shared an experience in  reading an obituary                                                               
for a 21-year old former  student who had committed suicide. This                                                               
person had  been a  foster child,  was "bright  and intelligent",                                                               
aspired to  be an  astronomer, and who  could have  been accepted                                                               
into  any university.  Instead, at  the time  of his  death, this                                                               
person was  homeless and  had had no  opportunity to  receive the                                                               
education "he  deserved." The ASPIRE  program could  have changed                                                               
this.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Curran characterized children  as a "most precious commodity;                                                               
they  are  our future."  Foster  children  should have  the  same                                                               
opportunities as  a child "born  in privilege"  or at least  in a                                                               
"stable home situation".                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:30:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  asked if the  account were considered an  asset to                                                               
the beneficiary  how the  existence of  these funds  would affect                                                               
the ability of that person to secure other financial aid.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:31:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis indicated he would  research the matter and provide                                                               
a response.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:31:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  cited language in subsection  (a)(1) of Section                                                               
47.05.100 Higher  education savings program, inserted  by Section                                                               
1 of  the bill on  page 1, line  10. This provision  required the                                                               
program to  include "a central  office, dedicated  to faith-based                                                               
and  community services,  for development  and  marketing of  the                                                               
program".  He  requested an explanation of  the envisioned office                                                               
and the issues it would address.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:32:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis acknowledged that  the provision "sounds expensive"                                                               
to implement;  however, the program  would be located  within the                                                               
existing Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:32:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves  affirmed. The  existing Office  would be  tasked with                                                               
undertaking outreach  efforts to promote the  program. The Office                                                               
has  extensive   contact  with   churches  and   social  services                                                               
organizations.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:33:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  next referenced  Sec.47.05.400(a)(6) on  page 2                                                               
lines  9 through  11, pertaining  to a  procedure for  monitoring                                                               
success  of the  program. He  asked the  sponsor to  describe the                                                               
intended procedure.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:33:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis  supported the  missions and  measures methodology,                                                               
which applies to  all State agencies. This bill  does not provide                                                               
specifics about the  procedure that would be  implemented for the                                                               
ASPIRE program. However,  he assumed that the  number of accounts                                                               
established, the amount of funds  donated and the number of youth                                                               
participating  would  be  included   in  any  assessment  of  the                                                               
program's success. These factors would be "easy to measure".                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:34:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  suggested that  the  number  of accounts,  the                                                               
appreciation of  the balances of  these accounts, and  the amount                                                               
of donations made by "corporate Alaska" could be utilized.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:35:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ellis anticipated  that the  Office of  Faith Based  and                                                               
Community Initiatives  would benefit from its  efforts to measure                                                               
success, as  the program would  be a "flagship" for  the Office's                                                               
intentions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:35:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman opined  that some  youth were  not prepared  to                                                               
begin postsecondary  education immediately after  graduating from                                                               
high school  and wait until  they are 23  years of age.  He noted                                                               
the deadline  for beneficiaries to  participate would be  the age                                                               
of  30 years.  He asked  what  changes would  be made  to a  fund                                                               
established  for a  person who  does not  attend an  institute of                                                               
higher education by the age of 31 years.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves  responded that  at age 30,  the beneficiary  would be                                                               
changed. Mr. Lynch, the Division  of Legal and Research Services,                                                               
and himself, determined this age  to be appropriate. The existing                                                               
college  savings plan  provides that  a beneficiary  could retain                                                               
the account  indefinitely; however, the intention  for the ASPIRE                                                               
program  would allow  for other  beneficiaries to  participate in                                                               
the event the original beneficiary opted against doing so.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves  qualified that many  youth transitioning  from foster                                                               
care are  not prepared to  immediately continue  their education.                                                               
Many are attempting to establish themselves "in regular life".                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:38:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman understood the regular  "529's" are subject to a                                                               
federal   requirement    that   the   beneficiary    must   begin                                                               
participation by the age of 30 years.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:38:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Aceves  deferred  to  Mr.  Lynch  who  Mr.  Aceves  recalled                                                               
testified  to  a previous  committee  that  the original  college                                                               
savings plan accounts could be held "forever".                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:38:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman stated he would review the issue.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:39:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked if donors  would have options to specify a                                                               
beneficiary or make  a donation that could be  utilized to assist                                                               
multiple foster children.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:39:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis relayed  this issue was addressed  with the program                                                               
administered  by  the  state  of   Missouri.  In  some  instances                                                               
corporations donate a large amount  to the program to be utilized                                                               
for unspecified  foster children.  Other accommodations  could be                                                               
made in the  ASPIRE program for a donation to  be specified for a                                                               
child of certain circumstances, such  as a girl from Rural Alaska                                                               
who was  a victim  of abuse  and neglect.  In other  instances, a                                                               
donor  could  know  a  child   directly  and  choose  to  specify                                                               
contributions to that beneficiary.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves  continued that this  issue was  discussed extensively                                                               
with the Department  and the decision was reached  to establish a                                                               
procedure to allow a donor  to direct contributions to a specific                                                               
child.  In most  cases,  churches and  other organizations  would                                                               
unlikely  have direct  relationships with  specific children  and                                                               
therefore   donations   would   be  to   unnamed   beneficiaries.                                                               
Beneficiaries would  be selected  by administrators based  on the                                                               
age of the child and length  of time before transition from State                                                               
custody.  Additionally, a  mechanism  would  allow for  anonymous                                                               
donors.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:42:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman directed attention  to the fiscal note providing                                                               
for a  $41,400 appropriation to be  expended on set up  costs and                                                               
marketing efforts.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:42:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis  stated the amount  was not significant,  but would                                                               
be necessary. In consultation with  the Office of Faith Based and                                                               
Community Initiatives, he determined that  the costs could not be                                                               
absorbed within  the existing budget.  Funding would  be required                                                               
for  the  program to  be  successful.  Of the  amount  requested,                                                               
$20,000 would  be utilized  for "additional  staff time"  and the                                                               
remainder  would be  expended on  "small  print", television  and                                                               
radio "package" to advertise the program.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:43:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  suggested that information on  the program also                                                               
be provided by the University of Alaska.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:44:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ellis  stated  he  would  approach  the  University  for                                                               
inclusion of ASPIRE information on its website.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:44:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas  understood that  the  funds  would be  disbursed                                                               
directly to  the postsecondary education institution  rather than                                                               
to a third party.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves detailed  that the State would serve as  the holder of                                                               
the account with the University  of Alaska disbursing the funding                                                               
to other institutes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:45:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman asked  if the  funds could  be utilized  to pay                                                               
tuition costs and purchase books and other materials.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Aceves affirmed  and  added that  housing  and other  living                                                               
expenses would qualify as well.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis  assured that the  funds could  not be used  by the                                                               
beneficiary to host a "big party".                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:45:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson   asked  the   accreditation  requirements   of  a                                                               
postsecondary  education  institute  qualified  to  accept  these                                                               
funds and  whether a  private institution  that does  not receive                                                               
federal funding would qualify.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:46:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Aceves  responded that a qualifying  institution must qualify                                                               
to  receive  federal financial  aid  for  its students.  This  is                                                               
unrelated  to   federal  funding  appropriated  directly   to  an                                                               
institution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:46:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman offered  a motion to report  SB 76, 25-LS0443\M,                                                               
from Committee  with individual recommendations  and accompanying                                                               
and new fiscal notes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There  was no  objection and  CS SB  76 (HES)  was REPORTED  from                                                               
Committee  with  zero  fiscal  note #1  from  the  University  of                                                               
Alaska, and a new fiscal note  dated 3/22/07 for $41,400 from the                                                               
Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 9:47:23 AM / 9:52:01 AM                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:52:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE BILL NO. 53                                                                                                         
     "An   Act    making   appropriations,    including   capital                                                               
     appropriations,     supplemental     appropriations,     and                                                               
     appropriations  to capitalize  funds; and  providing for  an                                                               
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  directed that "lessor questions"  on the budget                                                               
requests should be posed after the meeting to his staff.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:55:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  REHFELD,  Director,  Office   of  Management  and  Budget,                                                               
communicated  that   she  would   be  available  to   respond  to                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:56:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Energy Authority Energy Projects                                                                                    
     $30,000,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                               
     $1,200,000 General Fund Match (G/F Match)                                                                                  
     $500,000 Interagency (I/A) Receipts                                                                                        
     Reference No.: 38950                                                                                                       
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Multiple  federally  funded  energy programs  of  Bulk  Fuel                                                               
     Upgrades, Rural  Power Systems Upgrades,  Alternative Energy                                                               
     and Energy Efficiency projects.  This program contributes to                                                               
     the Department's mission of promoting  a healthy economy and                                                               
     strong  communities  by  providing economic  growth  in  the                                                               
     communities it serves.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SAMUEL  THOMAS, Director,  Division  of Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department  of  Commerce,  Community  and  Economic  Development,                                                               
testified to  this item referencing information  contained in the                                                               
accompanying Project Description/Justification, [copy on file.]                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:01:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Community Block Grants                                                                                                     
     $6,030,000 Federal Funds                                                                                                   
     $70,000 G/F Match                                                                                                          
     Reference No.: 38946                                                                                                       
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Multiple  federally-funded  programs, enabling  Commerce  to                                                               
     provide grants  to communities and non-profits  that provide                                                               
     services   and/or  benefit   the  low-   to  moderate-income                                                               
     individuals.  This program  contributes to  the Department's                                                               
     mission   of  promoting   a  healthy   economy  and   strong                                                               
     communities by providing economic  growth in the communities                                                               
     it serves.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:03:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Language Section: NPR-A  [National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska]                                                               
     Impact Grant Program                                                                                                       
     $13,000,000 NPR-A Funds                                                                                                    
     Reference No.: AMD38948                                                                                                    
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Barrow                                                                                                           
     Election District: Arctic                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Grants to  communities for  public facilities  and services.                                                               
     Priority is given to those  communities directly or severely                                                               
     impacted  by  the leases  and  development  of oil  and  gas                                                               
     within   the  National   Petroleum  Reserve.   This  program                                                               
     contributes  to  the  Department's mission  of  promoting  a                                                               
     healthy   economy  and   strong  communities   by  providing                                                               
     economic growth  in the communities it  serves. This project                                                               
     has been amended  to revise the amount  anticipated from the                                                               
     National Petroleum  Reserve fund  from an  original estimate                                                               
     of $40 million to a more current estimate of $13 million.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:05:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Kodiak Launch Complex Infrastructure                                                                                       
     $15,000,000 Alaska Aerospace  Development Corporation (AERO)                                                               
     Receipts                                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: 41789                                                                                                       
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Kodiak                                                                                                           
     Election District: Kodiak                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     The   Kodiak  Launch   Complex  requires   modification  and                                                               
     maintenance  to  adequately  support  the  satellite  launch                                                               
     program.  This  program   contributes  to  the  Department's                                                               
     mission   of  promoting   a  healthy   economy  and   strong                                                               
     communities by providing economic  growth in the communities                                                               
     it serves.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 10:05:58 AM / 10:06:36 AM                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:07:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Manufacturing Extension Program                                                                                            
     $806,401 Business License & Corporate Receipts                                                                             
     $806,401 Federal Receipts                                                                                                  
     Reference No.: 40242                                                                                                       
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     The  Federal  Manufacturing  Extension  Program  (MEP)  will                                                               
     support  Alaska's  small   and  medium  sized  manufacturers                                                               
     throughout   the  state   by   providing   them  access   to                                                               
     knowledgeable   manufacturing   and   business   specialists                                                               
     throughout the  United States.  This program  contributes to                                                               
     the Department's mission of promoting  a healthy economy and                                                               
     strong  communities  by  providing economic  growth  in  the                                                               
     communities it serves.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:08:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Language Section: Electrical Emergencies                                                                                   
     $240,000 General Funds                                                                                                     
     $90,000 Rural Electric Funds                                                                                               
     Reference No.: AMD32590                                                                                                    
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     To provide technical support when  an electrical utility has                                                               
     lost,  or will  lose, the  ability to  generate or  transmit                                                               
     power  to its  customers and  the condition  is a  threat to                                                               
     life, health,  and/or property in the  rural community. This                                                               
     program   contributes  to   the   Department's  mission   of                                                               
     promoting   healthy  economy   and  strong   communities  by                                                               
     providing  economic growth  in  the  communities it  serves.                                                               
     This  amendment  adds  $240,000 in  general  funds  to  this                                                               
     project. Historically,  an average of $330,000  annually has                                                               
     been needed to provide for electrical emergencies.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:09:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Language Section: NPR-A Impact Grant Program                                                                               
     $13,000,000 NPR Fund                                                                                                       
     Reference No.: AMD38948                                                                                                    
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Barrow                                                                                                           
     Election District: Arctic                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Grants to  communities for  public facilities  and services.                                                               
     Priority is given to those  communities directly or severely                                                               
     impacted  by  the leases  and  development  of oil  and  gas                                                               
     within   the  National   Petroleum  Reserve.   This  program                                                               
     contributes  to  the  Department's mission  of  promoting  a                                                               
     healthy   economy  and   strong  communities   by  providing                                                               
     economic growth  in the communities it  serves. This project                                                               
     has been amended  to revise the amount  anticipated from the                                                               
     National Petroleum  Reserve fund  from an  original estimate                                                               
     of $40 million to a more current estimate of $13 million.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:11:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  Energy Authority  - Napakiak-Bethel  Intertie Right-                                                               
     of-Way and Site Control                                                                                                    
     $84,000 General Funds                                                                                                      
     Reference No.: AMD43323                                                                                                    
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Bethel                                                                                                           
     Election District: Bethel                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/6012                                                                           
     The  Alaska Energy  Authority owned  electrical distribution                                                               
     line between Napakiak and Bethel  is in the process of being                                                               
     upgraded from  a single distribution  line to  a three-phase                                                               
     line  through a  federal  grant to  Napakiak Ircinraq  Power                                                               
     Company.  To comply  with the  terms of  the federal  grant,                                                               
     State  funds  are required  to  complete  the right  of  way                                                               
     acquisition  and to  cover  associated  site control  costs.                                                               
     This  amendment  is  being  requested  as  it  was  recently                                                               
     discovered  that  the  right-of-way  filings  had  not  been                                                               
     finalized and needs to be done before the federal project                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:13:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Four Dam Pool Power Agency                                                                                                 
     $28,000,000 AK Cap Inc                                                                                                     
     Reference No.: AMD42941                                                                                                    
     Category: Natural Resources                                                                                                
     Location: Southeast Alaska                                                                                                 
     Election District: Southeast Districts 1-5                                                                                 
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This  amendment   is  a  name  change   from  Alaska  Energy                                                               
     Authority  - Swan  Lake-Lake Tyee  Intertie to  clarify that                                                               
     this appropriation  to the Four  Dam Pool Power  Agency will                                                               
     be a  Grant to Named  Recipient (AS 37.05.316)  through AEA.                                                               
     The Swan  Lake-Lake Tyee Intertie is  a major infrastructure                                                               
     project in  Southern Southeast Alaska. This  57-mile project                                                               
     will connect  the Lake Tyee  hydroelectric project  south of                                                               
     Wrangell  with the  Swan  Lake  hydroelectric facility  near                                                               
     Ketchikan. The project  is a critical link  of the Southeast                                                               
     Alaska Intertie  Project envisioned  to interconnect  all of                                                               
     Southeast  Alaska. When  completed,  a primary  transmission                                                               
     line  will be  in place  and operational  from Ketchikan  to                                                               
     Petersburg.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:15:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center - Construction                                                                 
     $3,000,000 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD40500                                                                                                    
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Fairbanks Areawide                                                                                               
     Election District: Fairbanks Areawide                                                                                      
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project  will provide a  grant for partial  funding for                                                               
     the  construction  of  the   Morris  Thompson  Cultural  and                                                               
     Visitors   Center.   This   program   contributes   to   the                                                               
     Department's mission  of promoting strong  communities. This                                                               
     amendment  is  requested  to help  finish  the  construction                                                               
     phase of this project.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:17:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Data Security and Encryption Information Technology Project                                                                
     $200,000 Receipt Supported Services (RSS)                                                                                  
     Reference No.: AMD42927                                                                                                    
     Category: General Government                                                                                               
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Banking and Securities requires data security and                                                                          
     encryption enhancements.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:19:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked for an explanation of Reference Number                                                                   
#38948.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Thomas    repeated   his   references   to    the   Project                                                               
Description/Justification.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:21:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Institute of the North                                                                                                     
     $100,000 General Funds                                                                                                     
     Reference No.: AMD41953                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Anchorage Areawide                                                                                               
     Election District: Anchorage Areawide                                                                                      
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project  will provide funding  to the Institute  of the                                                               
     North, which  is an  educational organization  that advances                                                               
     issues  related to  economic  growth  and sustainability  in                                                               
     Alaska and throughout the Arctic region.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas testified to this item referencing information                                                                       
contained in the accompanying Project Description/Justification,                                                                
[copy on file.]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:23:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked the reason the initial $40 million                                                                          
appropriation to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A)                                                                  
Grant had been reduced to $13 million.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas responded that he was unfamiliar with the details and                                                                
that "something happened" with regard to "the land issue". He                                                                   
would research the matter and provide additional information.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:24:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:24:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Army Guard Facilities Projects                                                                                             
     $$750,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                                 
     $750,000 G/F Match                                                                                                         
     Reference No.: 42900                                                                                                       
     Category: Public Protection                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     With 237 Alaska Army National  Guard buildings at 96 various                                                               
     locations, with  an average age  of approximately  30 years,                                                               
     deferred maintenance and renewal  and replacement are a high                                                               
     priority. Alaska National  Guard preventative maintenance is                                                               
     performed  on a  schedule,  yet building  components have  a                                                               
     limited life  requiring eventually renewal  and replacement.                                                               
     This project  requests $750,000  federal and  $750,000 state                                                               
     funds  to  be  applied  to  over  $17.4  million  backlogged                                                               
     deferred   maintenance  projects   statewide.  Life   safety                                                               
     enhancements end  results, ability  to protect  our citizens                                                               
     and  infrastructure, will  continue  to  improve within  our                                                               
     performance management framework.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CRAMER,  Director,  Division  of  Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department  of  Military  and Veterans  Affairs  overviewed  this                                                               
item.  The backlogged  deferred  maintenance  projects have  been                                                               
addressed in segments.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:25:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Anchorage Readiness Center Security Compliance                                                                             
     $250,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                                  
     $50,000 G/F Match                                                                                                          
     Reference No.: 42930                                                                                                       
     Category: Public Protection                                                                                                
     Location: Fort Richardson                                                                                                  
     Election District: Military                                                                                                
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Security   modification  of   the   Alaska  National   Guard                                                               
     Readiness Center  located at Ft. Richardson  is necessary to                                                               
     comply with  the Alaska  Army National  Guard Anti-Terrorism                                                               
     Force  Protection  (ATFP)   facility  requirements.  Due  to                                                               
     recent  security  regulations  outlined in  Army  Regulation                                                               
     (Ms. Ryder) 190-11,  the paved road running  parallel to the                                                               
     front  of the  Readiness Center  can no  longer be  used for                                                               
     non-emergency      vehicular     traffic.      Additionally,                                                               
     implementation  of a  security  barrier  is necessary.  This                                                               
     project  is required  to meet  life safety  enhancements and                                                               
     directly relates  to protection  of National  Guard facility                                                               
     infrastructure    within   our    department's   performance                                                               
     management framework.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer explained this project. Use of the roadway would be                                                                  
limited to emergency vehicle access.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:26:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Military  Youth Academy  Deferred  Maintenance, Renewal  and                                                               
     Replacement                                                                                                                
     $1,000,000 General Fund                                                                                                    
     Reference No.: AMD35774                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Fort Richardson                                                                                                  
     Election District: Military                                                                                                
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     Alaska  Military  Youth  Academy  (AMYA)  ChalleNGe  program                                                               
     currently has  22 buildings totaling  61,805 sq feet  and an                                                               
     average building age  of 30 plus years.  The building design                                                               
     function has  become inadequate for the  purpose of training                                                               
     students.  This request  will fund  the modification  of the                                                               
     Academy's ChalleNGe  facilities to improve  technical skills                                                               
     training  and educational  opportunities.  Projects to  meet                                                               
     usable  standards  include  deferred  maintenance,  renewal,                                                               
     replacement and life safety.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer spoke of the increased number of cadets participating                                                                
in the program. The funds would be utilized to upgrade latrines,                                                                
showers and other necessary facilities.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:27:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     State Homeland Security Grant Program                                                                                      
     $9,500,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                                
     Reference No.: 42901                                                                                                       
     Category: Public Protection                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     The  100% federally  funded  State  Homeland Security  grant                                                               
     program  is  annually  awarded by  the  U.S.  Department  of                                                               
     Homeland  Security.   Programs  include   homeland  security                                                               
     planning,  equipment,  training,  and exercises  to  support                                                               
     local    first   responders,    private   sector    critical                                                               
     infrastructure and state  preparedness. Citizen preparedness                                                               
     and life  safety end results  will be enhanced  and improved                                                               
     within our performance management framework.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer overviewed this item.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:27:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     National Guard Counterdrug Support Program                                                                                 
     $100,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                                  
     Reference No.: 42898                                                                                                       
     Category: Public Protection                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This program participates in the  U.S. Department of Justice                                                               
     Asset  Forfeiture Program.  This  federal program's  primary                                                               
     purpose  is  to  deter  crime by  depriving  criminals  from                                                               
     profits and proceeds from  their illegal activities. Citizen                                                               
     protection and life safety end  results will improve without                                                               
     our performance management framework.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer explained that these funds would be expended to                                                                      
purchase equipment to assist in detection and other law                                                                         
enforcement efforts.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:28:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Compliance Cleanup Site Restoration                                                                                        
     $5,000,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                                
     Reference No.: AMD43330                                                                                                    
     Category: Public Protection                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2013                                                                           
     The  Compliance Cleanup  Site  Restoration projects  address                                                               
     soil  and  groundwater   contamination  issues  at  numerous                                                               
     Alaska Army National Guard  facilities throughout the state.                                                               
     The total  current year (FY2007) estimate  of the compliance                                                               
     cleanup liability  is $28.5 million. Program  funds are used                                                               
     to investigate and cleanup  contaminated sites. Projects are                                                               
     100%  federally  reimbursable  through  the  National  Guard                                                               
     Bureau  Army   National  Guard  (ARNG)   compliance  cleanup                                                               
     program   and   effectively    address   the   environmental                                                               
     compliance  liabilities associated  with  ARNG training  and                                                               
     facility  operations  on  federal,  state  and  third  party                                                               
     properties.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer outlined this request.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:29:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman asked if local residents and businesses were                                                                   
employed for the cleanup efforts in rural communities.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:29:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer  replied that local contractors  are utilized whenever                                                               
possible. Requests  for proposals specify a  preference for local                                                               
hire. As most projects are not large, this is frequent.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:29:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman asked  the status of construction  of the Bethel                                                               
Readiness Center.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:30:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cramer noted  the project  was not  included in  the funding                                                               
requests  for  FY  08.  The  Department was  in  the  process  of                                                               
securing federal funding.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:30:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked the expected timetable  for completion of                                                               
the project.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:30:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cramer replied that project  would likely be completed in two                                                               
years  and assured  that the  completion date  would be  no later                                                               
than the year 2011.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:30:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas recalled some projects  in villages located on the                                                               
Seward Peninsula.  In anticipation of those  projects, a training                                                               
program was  implemented to allow  residents to obtain  skills to                                                               
undertake  these  projects.  He  suggested  similar  programs  be                                                               
provided to the  villages in which the Site  Cleanup projects are                                                               
located nearby.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:31:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE  JEANS, Director,  School Finance  and Facilities  Section,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early  Development testified  to the                                                               
seven  projects  submitted  by   the  Department.  Five  projects                                                               
involve school  construction and two involve  renovation. All had                                                               
received  State  funding  previously but  additional  funding  is                                                               
required due to increased costs caused by unforeseen factors                                                                    
such as the impacts of Hurricane Katrina.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:32:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Russian Mission K-12 School Replacement                                                                                    
     $5,082,761 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD43328                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Russian Mission                                                                                                  
     Election District: Interior Villages                                                                                       
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project  will construct a  new 31,891 square  foot K-12                                                               
     facility to  replace the existing facilities,  built between                                                               
     1960  and 1988.  The school  is currently  operating at  182                                                               
     percent capacity and is expected  to increase to 226 percent                                                               
     by  FY  2014.  This  project   was  funded  in  FY  2008  at                                                               
     $18,485,899.  The  original   project  estimates  have  been                                                               
     determined to  be inadequate due to  escalating construction                                                               
     costs associated with  building materials and transportation                                                               
     costs.   Additional   funding   is  required   to   complete                                                               
     construction of the new school.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans described this project.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:33:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Bethel Regional High School Renovation, Phase 2                                                                            
     $4,458,824 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD36594                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Bethel                                                                                                           
     Election District: Bethel                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project  will complete renovation at  the 75,972 square                                                               
     foot facility  built in 1971.  Phase 2 work  includes toilet                                                               
     room  renovations  and interior  work  in  the "B"  and  "D"                                                               
     wings.   Interior   work    includes   mechanical   systems,                                                               
     electrical  systems, and  architectural finishes  demolition                                                               
     and replacement.  The original  project estimates  have been                                                               
     determined to  be inadequate due to  escalating construction                                                               
     costs associated with  building materials and transportation                                                               
     costs.  Additional  funding  is  required  to  complete  the                                                               
     renovation of this school.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans outlined this request.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:34:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Arctic Village K-12 Replacement Completion                                                                                 
     $3,276,004 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD36736                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Arctic Village                                                                                                   
     Election District: Interior Villages                                                                                       
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project  will construct a  16,256 square  foot facility                                                               
     on a  new site. The  2,152 square foot  elementary building,                                                               
     c.  1950  and its  1970  addition  have been  identified  as                                                               
     unsafe and  are in  danger of  roof collapse.  This building                                                               
     will be  demolished. The  high school,  built in  1980, will                                                               
     cease to be  used as an education related  facility and will                                                               
     either be  transferred or converted to  teacher housing. The                                                               
     school is  currently operating at  135 percent  capacity and                                                               
     is projected to  reach 165 percent by FY  2013. The original                                                               
     project estimates  have been determined to  be inadequate to                                                               
     complete  construction  of  this school  due  to  escalating                                                               
     construction  costs associated  with building  materials and                                                               
     transportation costs.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans highlighted this project.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:34:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Howard   Valentine  K-12   School  Replacement   Completion,                                                               
     Coffman Cove                                                                                                               
     $1,923,207                                                                                                                 
     Reference No.: AMD36737                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Coffman Cove                                                                                                     
     Election District: Ketchikan                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This  project   will  build  a   10,304  square   foot  K-12                                                               
     replacement  school.  The   current  elementary  school  and                                                               
     kindergarten classroom  are two portables build  in 1970 and                                                               
     1977  totaling 2,172  square feet.  They are  suffering from                                                               
     dry  rot and  have multiple  deficiencies. The  2,302 square                                                               
     foot secondary school will cease  to be used as an education                                                               
     facility. The  school is currently operating  at 179 percent                                                               
     of  capacity and  is projected  to reach  224 percent  by FY                                                               
     2014.  Planning  and  design  were funded  in  FY  2003  and                                                               
     construction was  funded for FY  2008. The  original project                                                               
     estimates  have  been determined  to  be  inadequate due  to                                                               
     escalating  construction  costs   associated  with  building                                                               
     materials and transportation costs.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans listed this funding request.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:34:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     D.R. Kiunya Memorial School Improvement, Kongiganak                                                                        
     $5,645,676 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD36741                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Kongiganak                                                                                                       
     Election District: Bethel                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project  will construct a  16,404 square  foot addition                                                               
     and renovate  the original 15,617  square foot  school built                                                               
     in 1976.  The school is  currently operating at  181 percent                                                               
     capacity and  is expected to  reach 219 percent by  FY 2014.                                                               
     The  planned  addition  will include  classrooms,  specialty                                                               
     classrooms,  a  gymnasium,  locker  and  shower  rooms,  and                                                               
     storage,  circulation and  mechanical  spaces. The  original                                                               
     project estimates have been determined  to be inadequate due                                                               
     to  escalating construction  costs associated  with building                                                               
     materials  and transportation  costs. Additional  funding is                                                               
     required to complete construction at this facility.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans overviewed this project.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:35:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Fort Yukon Gym Renovation Completion                                                                                       
     $1,442,554 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD36709                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Fort Yukon                                                                                                       
     Election District: Interior Villages                                                                                       
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project will renovate the  11,524 square foot gymnasium                                                               
     built in 1960.  Work includes repairs to  the foundation and                                                               
     superstructure.   The   roof,  interior   doors,   flooring,                                                               
     ceiling, and plumbing fixtures will  be replaced in addition                                                               
     to the  mechanical, electrical, and  communications systems.                                                               
     This project  was previously  funded in FY  2003 and  for FY                                                               
     2006. The  original project  estimates have  been determined                                                               
     to  be  inadequate  due  to  escalating  construction  costs                                                               
     associated  with   building  materials   and  transportation                                                               
     costs.   Additional   funding   is  required   to   complete                                                               
     construction at this facility.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans reviewed this request.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:35:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Kilbuck Elementary Replacement School, Bethel                                                                              
     $6,152,451 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD36710                                                                                                    
     Category: Education                                                                                                        
     Location: Bethel                                                                                                           
     Election District: Bethel                                                                                                  
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This project will replace the  43,843 square foot elementary                                                               
     school  originally  built  in  1960  with  three  subsequent                                                               
     additions, the last in 1968.  The original project estimates                                                               
     have  been determined  to be  inadequate  due to  escalation                                                               
     construction  costs associated  with building  materials and                                                               
     transportation  costs.  Additional  funding is  required  to                                                               
     complete construction at this school.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jeans highlighted this project.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:36:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman suggested new school  construction in both rural                                                               
and  urban  locations  utilize a  prototype  school  design  with                                                               
possibly four options to accommodate  for population and specific                                                               
climates. State  funding for  school construction  is substantial                                                               
and  the  State should  contract  with  an architect  to  develop                                                               
designs that could be replicated in multiple communities.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:38:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jeans informed  that a  bond reimbursement  review committee                                                               
includes two legislators, one of  whom is Co-Chair Hoffman, which                                                               
addresses  this  issue. A  position  paper  found that  prototype                                                               
schools  are feasible  for locations  in Anchorage  and Fairbanks                                                               
because  these  communities  have  multiple  elementary  schools.                                                               
However,  the  different  climates  and  terrains  of  the  state                                                               
prevent the general application of prototype schools.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman requested  the  position  paper, announcing  he                                                               
would talk  with Co-Chair Hoffman  about the matter. The  cost of                                                               
the new school  in Coffman Cove is of concern  to local residents                                                               
because,  in addition  to the  capital costs,  future operational                                                               
costs  would  be  incurred. He  commended  the  prototype  school                                                               
approach.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:41:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jeans noted  that the  Department collaborates  with the  US                                                               
Department  of  Energy  to  secure  the  location  of  new  power                                                               
facilities near  a school to allow  the use of "waste  energy" by                                                               
that school.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  commented that this practice  was also employed                                                               
by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:42:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas considered  the  opportunity  not necessarily  to                                                               
construct "cookie  cutter schools", but rather  to review designs                                                               
to ensure integrity  of roofs and other  structural components as                                                               
well as energy efficiency.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:42:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  pointed out the  cost "escalation" of  the Coffman                                                               
Cove project was  36 percent. He asked whether  the Department of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development  had  attempted to  reconfigure                                                               
this  project, or  any  of  the other  projects,  to contain  the                                                               
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:43:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jeans  told  of  the  cost estimating  program  run  on  all                                                               
projects.  The  impacts  of Hurricane  Katrina  were  unforeseen.                                                               
Additionally  the Legislature  had provided  capital funding  two                                                               
years in  advance, but did  not appropriate funds to  account for                                                               
the increased costs of the out year.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:45:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Department of Fish and Game                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Delete:   Mendenhall  Wetlands   State  Game   Refuge  Lands                                                               
     Conservation                                                                                                               
     $0                                                                                                                         
     Reference No.: AMD42112                                                                                                    
     Category: Natural Resources                                                                                                
     Location: Juneau (Mendenhall Valley)                                                                                       
     Election District: Juneau/Mendenhall Valley                                                                                
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2010                                                                           
     $1,253,500 is currently in the  FY 08 capital budget request                                                               
     for  Mendenhall Wetlands  State Game  Refuge Lands.  Federal                                                               
     funding  was   not  approved  for  this   project  and  this                                                               
     amendment eliminates the funding request.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TOM LAWSON, Director, Division of Administrative Services,                                                                      
Department of Fish and Game, explained the removal of this                                                                      
funding request.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:45:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Sport Fisheries and Recreational Boating Access                                                                            
     $2,100,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                                
     $700,000 Fish/Game Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: 30432                                                                                                       
     Category: Development                                                                                                      
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2013                                                                           
     Provides  funds  to the  Sport  Fisheries  RDU to  construct                                                               
     boating  and support  fishing  access facilities  throughout                                                               
     the  state. The  Sport Fisheries  Restoration (SFR)  program                                                               
     requires that  15% of the  federal funds available  to Sport                                                               
     Fisheries   be   used   for  recreational   boating   access                                                               
     development. If these  funds are not used  for this purpose,                                                               
     they are  lost to the  state. Support for boating  and sport                                                               
     fishing  access facilities  contributes to  the Division  of                                                               
     Sport  Fisheries  outcome  to sustain  recreational  fishing                                                               
     opportunities while optimizing  social and economic benefits                                                               
     from these  opportunities. Access projects  directly address                                                               
     Strategy #5, to maintain access to public resources.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lawson cautioned that if the federal funds were not                                                                         
expended, they would revert to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:47:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Language: Sport  Fisheries Hatchery  Construction Investment                                                               
     Earnings                                                                                                                   
     $3,300,000 Misc Earnings Fund                                                                                              
     Reference No.: 42983                                                                                                       
     Category: Natural Resources                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2010                                                                           
     The Alaska  Sport Fishing Construction Account  (fund 13211)                                                               
     was  established by  law as  per AS  16.05.130(f) after  the                                                               
     sale of State of Alaska  Sport Fishing Revenue Bonds (issued                                                               
     under  AS 37.15.765  -  37.15.799) in  April  of 2006.  This                                                               
     request  would  allow the  Division  of  Sport Fisheries  to                                                               
     utilize  investment earnings  of  the  Alaska Sport  Fishing                                                               
     Construction  Account  for   construction  of  new  hatchery                                                               
     facilities in the Anchorage and  Fairbanks areas, as well as                                                               
     increased king salmon production in Southeast Alaska.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lawson stated this language is necessary to address                                                                         
unanticipated cost increases.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:48:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Statewide  Deferred   Maintenance,  Repair,   Upgrades,  and                                                               
     Equipment                                                                                                                  
     $1,000,000 General Funds                                                                                                   
     Reference No.: AMD43322                                                                                                    
     Category: Natural Resources                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012                                                                           
     This   request   provides   for  repair,   maintenance   and                                                               
     renovation  of department  facilities statewide;  vessel and                                                               
     aircraft  repair and  maintenance;  upgrades to  facilities;                                                               
     and the purchase  of field equipment. An  amendment is being                                                               
     requested  as the  FY  08 capital  budget  does not  include                                                               
     funding for these projects.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lawson pointed out that such projects had been listed                                                                       
individually in previous fiscal year funding requests.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Office of the Governor                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund                                                                                       
     $22,000,000 Federal Receipts                                                                                               
     Reference No.: 33647                                                                                                       
     Category: Natural Resources                                                                                                
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2010                                                                           
     Federal fiscal year  2007 (FFY07) appropriations legislation                                                               
     contains  funding for  the Pacific  Coastal Salmon  Recovery                                                               
     Fund (PCSRF).  Coordination of  individual state  funding is                                                               
     through  the  respective   Governor's  offices.  The  Alaska                                                               
     portion of the FFY07 appropriation  is estimated to be $22.0                                                               
     million. Funding comes to the  state through a Memorandum of                                                               
     Understanding   with  the   U.S.   Department  of   Commerce                                                               
     designating  Alaska  Department  of  Fish and  Game  as  the                                                               
     program manager.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lawson relayed that although this item was categorized as an                                                                
Office of the Governor project, the Department of Fish and Game                                                                 
was requested to provide the overview.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lawson highlighted the Project Description/Justification                                                                    
accompanying this item, which reads as follows.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Federal  fiscal  year 2006  is  the  seventh year  of  PCSRF                                                               
     funding  for  Alaska.  Alaska's program  for  administrating                                                               
     these funds is the Southeast Sustainable Salmon Fund.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  State-Federal  Memorandum  of Understanding  (MOU)  was                                                               
     revised in 2002,  2003 and 2005 to  provide for distribution                                                               
     of  Congressionally designated  projects and  administration                                                               
     of the remaining funds.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The State  intends to  apply the salmon  funds over  a five-                                                               
     year period. The overall objective  is to assure that Alaska                                                               
     salmon and salmon fisheries are  sustainable and continue to                                                               
     provide   jobs  and   income   for   Alaskan  families   and                                                               
     communities.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The  Office  of  the  Governor,   through  the  Division  of                                                               
     Administrative     Services,     will    provide     overall                                                               
     administration  and   accountability  in  accord   with  the                                                               
     general intent  of the federal legislation.  Consistent with                                                               
     applicable  laws  and  regulations,   the  State  may  award                                                               
     grants,  direct funding  to State  agencies,  or enter  into                                                               
     contracts   to   implement  the   priority   recommendations                                                               
     regarding  salmon   habitat  stewardship   and  restoration,                                                               
     salmon  research  and  monitoring, and  increasing  economic                                                               
     opportunities for  salmon fishing communities  and fishermen                                                               
     in Southeast Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     No match is required for these federal funds.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Lawson informed  that most  of the  funding is  dedicated to                                                               
specific projects.  The funds  would be  utilized to  ensure that                                                               
Alaskan salmon and fisheries were  sustainable and would continue                                                               
to provide income.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:51:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton asked why the  appropriation was made to the Office                                                               
of the Governor given that the  Department of Fish and Game would                                                               
be "making decisions" in administering the program.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:51:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Lawson  responded that  this  arrangement  was made  by  the                                                               
federal  government  and  dictated  that  the  funding  would  be                                                               
appropriated  to  the  governors' of  the  participating  Western                                                               
states for allocation to the appropriate agencies.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:52:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton requested a list  of the projects undertaken in the                                                               
past three to four years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Bert Stedman adjourned the meeting at 10:53:11 AM                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects