Legislature(2007 - 2008)

04/09/2008 10:24 AM FIN


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
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                  SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                       April 9, 2008                                                                                            
                         10:24 a.m.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman called the Senate  Finance Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 10:24:47 AM.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Annette     Kreitzer,     Commissioner,     Department     of                                                                   
Administration;    Kevin   Brooks,    Deputy    Commissioner,                                                                   
Department   of  Administration;   Bruce   Ludwig,   Business                                                                   
Manager,   Alaska   Public   Employees   Association/American                                                                   
Federation  of  Teachers; Darwin  Peterson,  Staff,  Co-Chair                                                                   
Stedman;  Rob   Earl,  Staff,  Representative   Mary  Nelson;                                                                   
Representative Bob Lynn; Renee  Limoge, Staff, Representative                                                                   
Anna  Fairclough; Emily  Beatley,  Staff, Representative  Jay                                                                   
Ramras;  Representative   Jay  Ramras;  Representative   Beth                                                                   
Kerttula;  Eleanor Wolfe, Staff,  Representative Kurt  Olson;                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker; Representative  Gabrielle LeDoux;                                                                   
Sonya  Hymer,  Staff, Representative  Gabrielle  LeDoux;  Tom                                                                   
Wright,  Staff, Representative  Mike  Chenault; Cliff  Stone,                                                                   
Staff, Representative  Peggy Wilson;  Kathy Roemmich,  Marine                                                                   
Transportation   Advisory   Board;   Mary   Siroky,   Special                                                                   
Assistant,   Department   of    Transportation   and   Public                                                                   
Facilities                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Phillip  Tschersich,  Kodiak;  Joe Dinnocenzo,  Kodiak;  Nick                                                                   
Sagalkin,  Kodiak;   Steve  Thomsen,  Kodiak;   Jeff  Wadley,                                                                   
Kodiak;  Tony Price,  Regulatory  Commission  of Alaska;  Bob                                                                   
Murphy,  Kodiak;   Sarah  Fisher-Goad,  Deputy   Director  of                                                                   
Operations,   Alaska   Industrial  Development   and   Export                                                                   
Authority   and  Alaska  Energy   Authority,  Department   of                                                                   
Commerce,   Community   and   Economic   Development;   Bruce                                                                   
Zalnaraitis, Life Alaska; Dave Kensinger, Petersburg                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 2      "An Act relating to the vocational education                                                                          
          account and  appropriations from that  account; and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 152(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          "An  Act establishing  a  renewable energy  project                                                                   
          account and a renewable  energy fund and describing                                                                   
          their uses and purposes."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 152(FIN)  was heard and HELD in  Committee for                                                                   
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 252(STA)                                                                                                                   
          "An  Act requiring paid  leave from employment  for                                                                   
          organ and bone marrow donation."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 252(STA) was REPORTED  out of Committee with a                                                                   
          "do  pass" recommendation and  with fiscal  note #6                                                                   
          by  the  Department   of  Administration  and  with                                                                   
          fiscal  note  #7  by the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                                   
          Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSSSHB 294(TRA) am                                                                                                              
          "An    Act   establishing    the   Alaska    Marine                                                                   
          Transportation  Advisory Board and setting  out its                                                                   
          powers  and duties;  making conforming  amendments;                                                                   
          and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CSSS HB 294(TRA)am was  heard and HELD in Committee                                                                   
          for further consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 296    "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                         
          Board  of Parole;  and providing  for an  effective                                                                   
          date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB  296 was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal  note #2  by                                                                   
          the Department of Corrections.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 334    "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                         
          Council  on Domestic  Violence and Sexual  Assault;                                                                   
          and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          HB  334 was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal  note #1  by                                                                   
          the Department of Public Safety.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 359(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          "An  Act  relating to  the  term of  probation  for                                                                   
          persons   convicted  of   minor  consuming   or  in                                                                   
          possession  or control of  alcohol or repeat  minor                                                                   
          consuming or  in possession or control  of alcohol;                                                                   
          and  relating  to  termination   of  probation  for                                                                   
          certain persons convicted  of minor consuming or in                                                                   
          possession  or control of  alcohol or repeat  minor                                                                   
          consuming or in possession  or control of alcohol."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB  359(FIN) was REPORTED  out of Committee  with                                                                   
          "no  recommendation" and with  zero fiscal  note #1                                                                   
          by  the House Judiciary  Committee and  fiscal note                                                                   
          #2 by the Court System.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 400    "An Act relating to a person who seeks medical                                                                        
          assistance   for  a  person  experiencing   a  drug                                                                   
          overdose."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          HB  400 was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
          pass" recommendation  and with zero fiscal  note #1                                                                   
          by the Department of Administration.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 413    "An Act extending the termination date for the                                                                        
          Real  Estate  Commission;   and  providing  for  an                                                                   
          effective date."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB  413 was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal  note #1  by                                                                   
          the Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 2 was scheduled but not heard.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 417(FIN) am                                                                                                                
          "An  Act relating to  the compensation  for certain                                                                   
          public  officials,   officers,  and  employees  not                                                                   
          covered   by  collective   bargaining   agreements;                                                                   
          relating to  pay increments for longevity  in state                                                                   
          service; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB  417(FIN) am was  heard and HELD  in Committee                                                                   
          for further consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 419(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          "An  Act  relating   to  state  lease-purchases  of                                                                   
          equipment   and   other  personal   property;   and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          SCS  CSHB 419(FIN)  was REPORTED  out of  Committee                                                                   
          with "no recommendation"  and with zero fiscal note                                                                   
          #1   by  the  House   Finance  Committee   for  the                                                                   
          Department  of Administration and zero  fiscal note                                                                   
          #2 by  the House Finance  Committee for  the Office                                                                   
          of the Governor.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS HCR 13(FIN)                                                                                                                  
          Establishing and relating  to the Education Funding                                                                   
          District Cost Factor Commission.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          SCS  HCR 13  (FIN) was  REPORTED  out of  Committee                                                                   
          with "no recommendation"  and with zero fiscal note                                                                   
          #2   by  the  House   Finance  Committee   for  the                                                                   
          Legislature.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:25:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 417(FIN) am                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the compensation  for certain public                                                                   
     officials,  officers,  and   employees  not  covered  by                                                                   
     collective  bargaining   agreements;  relating   to  pay                                                                   
     increments   for  longevity   in   state  service;   and                                                                   
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to ADOPT  SCS CSHB 417(FIN),  labeled                                                                   
25-GH2011\E,  Wayne, 4/6/08, as  the working document  before                                                                   
the Committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  OBJECTED.  He  reported on a  legal opinion                                                                   
which declared  that the amendment  added to the bill  on the                                                                   
House  Floor was  a  violation of  the  separation of  powers                                                                   
doctrine.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, SCS CSHB 417(FIN) was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:28:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ANNETTE     KREITZER,     COMMISSIONER,     DEPARTMENT     OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION, commented  that the bill  is in front  of the                                                                   
Committee  to provide  a  cost of  living  adjustment of  5.5                                                                   
percent,  3 percent,  and 3  percent for  fiscal years  2008,                                                                   
2009,   2010,  for   non-covered  state   employees  in   the                                                                   
executive, legislative and judicial  branches.  Commissioners                                                                   
and other fully  exempt executive branch  employees currently                                                                   
on a  salary override are  not included in this  legislation.                                                                   
The  intent  is to  address  the  issues of  recruitment  and                                                                   
retention.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:30:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN    BROOKS,   DEPUTY    COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT    OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION,  addressed the positions  set in  statute and                                                                   
the sections of the bill:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 adjusts compensation for the commissioners                                                                       
     for the limited entry commission.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 conforms language for the Alaska State                                                                           
     Defense Force.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section  3 changes  the pay  for  the chief  procurement                                                                   
     officer in the Division of General Services.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4   removes  a  statutory  limitation   on  the                                                                   
     appointment of deputy commissioners.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5  readjusts the salary schedule  for classified                                                                   
     and  partially exempt  employees  to reflect  a cost  of                                                                   
     living adjustment effective July 1, 2007.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6  provides for a  3 percent cost of  living for                                                                   
     FY 2009 and Section 7 does the same for FY 2010.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8  makes changes  to the current  longevity step                                                                   
     process for employees who reach Step F.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  9 addresses  pay for  Regulatory Commission  of                                                                   
     Alaska commissioners.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 10 repeal the current longevity step language.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section  11  provides  salary  adjustments  for  certain                                                                   
     exempt officers and employees of the executive branch.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section  12 provides for  judicial employees,  including                                                                   
     magistrates.   Judges  would not  receive a  retroactive                                                                   
     adjustment.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  13 specifies that  employees of the  university                                                                   
     are entitled to salary increases.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  14  is  prospective  language  to  address  the                                                                   
     steps.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 15 is transition language.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Sections 16 and 17 deal with retroactivity.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:37:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman addressed the three fiscal notes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman voiced  appreciation  for the  need to  get                                                                   
beyond a  frozen pay scale.   He wondered  if the  bill would                                                                   
provide research information about  which jobs are needed and                                                                   
how to fund them.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Kreitzer  thought  there  was a  bill  that  deals  with                                                                   
elected officials'  and commissioners' salaries.   She shared                                                                   
historical  information  about  the  matchup.   She  did  not                                                                   
object to Co-Chair Hoffman's suggestion of a salary survey.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Elton emphasized  that  the bill  does not  increase                                                                   
legislators' pay.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:41:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator    Huggins   requested    more   information    about                                                                   
retroactivity.   Mr. Brooks  explained that retroactivity  is                                                                   
applied   where  appropriate   with  non-covered   employees.                                                                   
Senator Huggins asked  what that costs.  Ms.  Kreitzer shared                                                                   
the  intent  to keep  parity  between  the covered  and  non-                                                                   
covered employees.  Mr. Brooks  said the retroactive piece is                                                                   
in another appropriation bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
RECESSED:      10:43:40 AM                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    2:41:16 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  LUDWIG,  BUSINESS  MANAGER,  ALASKA  PUBLIC  EMPLOYEES                                                                   
ASSOCIATION/ALASKA FEDERATION  OF TEACHERS, shared statistics                                                                   
about  his  organization's  membership.   He  emphasized  the                                                                   
difficulty  of  recruiting  and   retaining  employees.    He                                                                   
pointed out that  only exempt and partially  exempt employees                                                                   
will  benefit  from this  bill.    He  thought it  should  be                                                                   
applied to 85 percent of employees instead of 8 percent.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:47:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PHILLIP  TSCHERSICH,  KODIAK,   spoke  as  a  member  of  the                                                                   
supervisory unit  with the Department  of Fish and Game.   He                                                                   
said  he was  disappointed with  contract  negotiations.   He                                                                   
related the  causes for poor retention  rates in Alaska.   He                                                                   
testified in  support of  HB 417 for  all unionized  and non-                                                                   
unionized employees.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:50:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE DINNOCENZO, KODIAK,  said he works for the  Department of                                                                   
Fish  and Game.   He  noted poor  morale  as recruitment  and                                                                   
retention issues grew  over the past 30 years.   He testified                                                                   
in support of HB 417.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:52:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NICK SAGALKIN,  KODIAK, reported that  he also works  for the                                                                   
Department of  Fish and  Game.  He  agreed with the  previous                                                                   
testimony and spoke  in support of HB 417.   He reported that                                                                   
a  salary  study in  the  Department  of  Fish and  Game  was                                                                   
completed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:53:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE THOMSEN,  KODIAK, agreed with the  previous testifiers.                                                                   
He  shared   experience  with  negotiation  issues   such  as                                                                   
retention.  He testified in support of HB 417.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF WADLEY,  KODIAK, an employee  of the Department  of Fish                                                                   
and Game, testified in support of HB 417.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:55:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TONY  PRICE, REGULATORY  COMMISSION  OF  ALASKA, referred  to                                                                   
Section 9 of the bill, which amends  Regulatory Commission of                                                                   
Alaska Commissioner  pay.  He  spoke of the expertise  needed                                                                   
to make rate  decisions and of the need to  attract qualified                                                                   
applicants.    He  maintained  that  the  level  of  pay  for                                                                   
commissioners needed to be raised to range 30.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson asked  if a range 27 is high  enough to attract                                                                   
and  retain desired  employees.   He requested  clarification                                                                   
regarding  the specifics of  range 27.   Mr. Price  discussed                                                                   
steps A-F for range 27.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:59:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB MURPHY,  KODIAK,  testified in  support of  HB 417  as it                                                                   
applies to unionized and non-unionized employees.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:01:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNETTE     KREITZER,     COMMISSIONER,     DEPARTMENT     OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION,  said  Senator   Dyson  was  correct  in  his                                                                   
conclusion  about range  27.  She  explained that  collective                                                                   
bargaining is a  process.  It is difficult when  one piece is                                                                   
turned down.  She described what  led to arbitration with the                                                                   
union.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton summarized his understanding  of Section 9.  He                                                                   
described scenarios where new  commissioners could come in at                                                                   
varying salaries.   Ms.  Kreitzer thought  it would  free the                                                                   
Governor to  offer a  range of salaries  in order  to improve                                                                   
recruitment.     Senator   Elton  thought   there  would   be                                                                   
situations  where  inequity results.    Ms.  Kreitzer saw  it                                                                   
differently.  She  reiterated that the intent  was to provide                                                                   
more  flexibility.   Senator Elton  listed occupations  where                                                                   
recruitment  is  a  problem.   Ms.  Kreitzer  suggested  that                                                                   
disparity  in   salaries  is   acceptable.    Senator   Elton                                                                   
requested  more  information about  recruitment  tactics  and                                                                   
salaries.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:08:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson asked  for  an  explanation of  step  M.   Ms.                                                                   
Kreitzer said that the salary  schedule only goes through A-F                                                                   
because if it were  to go to step N, it would  not fit in the                                                                   
statute  book.   The  language  deals  with that  problem  by                                                                   
saying  that every  two years  there will be  a 3.75  percent                                                                   
increase.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 417(FIN)am was  HEARD and HELD in Committee  for further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:09:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 152(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act establishing a renewable energy project account                                                                    
     and a renewable energy fund and describing their uses                                                                      
     and purposes."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton MOVED  to ADOPT SCS CSHB 152(FIN),  labeled 25-                                                                   
LS0413\J, Kane, 4/8/08.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was so                                                                   
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:10:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARWIN  PETERSON, STAFF,  CO-CHAIR  STEDMAN, highlighted  the                                                                   
changes in  the new SCS.   On page 1,  there was a  change in                                                                   
the title  to accommodate the changes  made in the bill.   On                                                                   
page 1, line 9,  the word "electrical" was removed.   On page                                                                   
2, line  19, the words  "zero fuel costs"  were removed.   On                                                                   
page 2, line 21, the word "can"  was previously "should".  On                                                                   
page 2, lines 23-25, language  was inserted to say that it is                                                                   
the intent of  the legislature to appropriate  $50 million in                                                                   
capital funds per year for the  next five years, which is the                                                                   
sunset date of  the bill.  On page 2, line  26, Section 2 was                                                                   
added.   The previous  section created  the renewable  energy                                                                   
fund.  Mr. Peterson emphasized  that this change was the most                                                                   
substantive change  in the bill.  The references  to the fund                                                                   
were  removed   and,  instead,   a  renewable  energy   grant                                                                   
recommendation program was created.   On page 2, line 31, the                                                                   
words  "achieve  a statewide  balance  of grant  funds"  were                                                                   
added.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peterson continued  to explain that on page  3, line 5, a                                                                   
new subsection  was added to  require that the  Alaska Energy                                                                   
Authority make recommendations  to the legislature for grants                                                                   
to eligible  renewable power projects.   On page 3,  lines 7-                                                                   
10, a  new subsection says  that the recommendations  will be                                                                   
provided  no  later than  10  days  after the  first  regular                                                                   
session of  each legislative  session.  On  page 3,  line 12,                                                                   
after  the  words  "the authority  shall",  the  words  "make                                                                   
recommendations to the legislature" were added.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peterson  related that  page 4, line  11, deals  with the                                                                   
make up of the  advisory committee.  It removes  the Governor                                                                   
from the process so that the President  of the Senate and the                                                                   
Speaker of the  House will make all of the appointments.   On                                                                   
page 4,  lines 14  and 15, the  word "electric" was  inserted                                                                   
prior to the word "utilities".   Page 4, lines 21 & 23, deals                                                                   
with  appointments  of a  member  of  the  House and  of  the                                                                   
Senate.   The two  appointments that  were removed  were from                                                                   
non-profit  environmental  groups   and  non-profit  consumer                                                                   
groups.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Peterson  addressed page  5,  line  10, after  the  word                                                                   
"animal" the  words "or fish  products" were inserted.   Page                                                                   
5, line 13,  determines a five-year sunset.   Page 5, Section                                                                   
4, is a temporary law section  that provides for grants to be                                                                   
made in  FY 09.   The  Alaska Energy  Authority would  submit                                                                   
their list of  recommendations to the Legislative  Budget and                                                                   
Audit (LB  & A) Committee  up to $50 million.   LB &  A would                                                                   
have 45 days to review those recommendations.   Page 6, lines                                                                   
7-9,  is transition  language  that creates  a  tier for  the                                                                   
appointments to the board.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:15:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  asked why coal  is not included.   He referred                                                                   
to page  2, line 4,  cost of fuels,  and maintained  that the                                                                   
cost of coal is also going up.   He also said that coal could                                                                   
be included in line 21.  He maintained  that the list on page                                                                   
5, line 9, was  not renewable energy sources.   He argued the                                                                   
merits of the inclusion of coal.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peterson  reported that the  sponsor continues  to object                                                                   
to the  inclusion of  coal.  He  called the  list on  page 5,                                                                   
line 9, energy sources, but not  necessarily renewable energy                                                                   
sources.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson maintained  that  he does  not understand  the                                                                   
logic of  the argument.   Co-Chair Stedman suggested  he make                                                                   
an amendment to the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:18:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 11 - 12:                                                                                                     
     Delete "jointly by the speaker of the house of                                                                             
     representatives and the president of the senate"                                                                           
     Insert "by the governor"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  OBJECTED  for  discussion  purposes.    He                                                                   
explained that the amendment returns  to the previous version                                                                   
of the bill  where the governor appoints five  members of the                                                                   
council.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.   There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       3:19:27 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    3:20:39 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1:                                                                                                            
     Delete "and,"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4, following "grants":                                                                                      
     Insert  ";  establishing   a  state  heating  assistance                                                                 
     program  in addition to  the federal heating  assistance                                                                 
     program; and providing for an effective date"                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 25, following "in":                                                                                           
     Insert "secs. 3 and 6 of"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 25:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
     "* Sec.  2. AS 36.30.850(b) is  amended by adding  a new                                                                 
     paragraph to read:                                                                                                         
               (46)  contracts for delivery of home heating                                                                     
     assistance under AS 47.25.626."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, following line 12:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
     "* Sec.  4. AS 47 is amended  by adding new  sections to                                                                 
     read:                                                                                                                      
       Article 3A. Alaska Heating Assistance Program.                                                                         
          Sec. 47.25.621. Alaska heating assistance program.                                                                  
     (a)   The   Alaska   heating   assistance   program   is                                                                   
     established  in  the  Department of  Health  and  Social                                                                   
     Services  to  provide expanded  eligibility  for  Alaska                                                                   
     residents  for home  heating assistance,  to the  extent                                                                   
     funds  are  appropriated  by the  legislature  for  that                                                                   
     purpose.                                                                                                                   
          (b)  The heating assistance program established                                                                       
     under this  section is in  addition to the  federal low-                                                                   
     income heating  and energy assistance provided  under 42                                                                   
     U.S.C. 8621  - 8629  (Low-Income Home Energy  Assistance                                                                   
     Act of 1981), as amended,  and implementing regulations.                                                                   
          Sec. 47.25.622. Duties. The department shall                                                                        
               (1)  administer the Alaska heating assistance                                                                    
     program provided under AS 47.25.621;                                                                                       
               (2)  adopt regulations under AS 44.62                                                                            
     (Administrative Procedure  Act) to carry out the purpose                                                                   
     of the program;                                                                                                            
               (3)  coordinate payments among other heating                                                                     
     assistance programs to avoid duplication of payments.                                                                      
          Sec. 47.25.623. Eligibility. An individual is                                                                       
     eligible for home heating  assistance payments under the                                                                   
     Alaska   home   heating   assistance  program   if   the                                                                   
     individual                                                                                                                 
               (1)  is a resident of the state;                                                                                 
               (2)  is physically present and resides in a                                                                      
     home  in  the state  when  the  home heating  costs  are                                                                   
     incurred;                                                                                                                  
               (3)  has gross household income above 150                                                                        
     percent  but that  does not  exceed 225  percent of  the                                                                   
     federal poverty  guideline for Alaska set  by the United                                                                   
     States  Department  of  Health and  Human  Services  and                                                                   
     revised under AS 42 U.S.C. 9902(2);                                                                                        
               (4)  meets other eligibility requirements                                                                        
     specified in regulations adopted under AS 47.25.622.                                                                       
          Sec. 47.25.624. Appeal rights. Except as provided                                                                   
     in  AS 47.25.626(e),   an  individual  who   receives  a                                                                   
     determination from  the department that  denies, limits,                                                                   
     or modifies  home heating payments under  AS 47.25.621 -                                                                   
     47.25.626,   other  than   a   determination  based   on                                                                   
     insufficient  funding  of  the program,  may  request  a                                                                   
     hearing before the department  under regulations adopted                                                                   
     by the department.                                                                                                         
          Sec. 47.25.625. Ability to recover or recoup                                                                        
     improper   home   heating    assistance   payments.   An                                                                 
     individual is liable to the  department for the value of                                                                   
     assistance  improperly paid  under  AS 47.25.623 if  the                                                                   
     improper payment  was based on inaccurate  or incomplete                                                                   
     information  provided  by  the individual.  In  a  civil                                                                   
     action  brought  by  the   state  to  recover  from  the                                                                   
     individual the value of the  assistance improperly paid,                                                                   
     the state may  recover from the individual  the costs of                                                                   
     investigation  and  prosecution  of  the  civil  action,                                                                   
     including  attorney  fees   as  determined  under  court                                                                   
     rules.                                                                                                                     
          Sec. 47.25.626. Regional heating assistance                                                                         
     program.  (a)  The  department may  develop  a  regional                                                                 
     Alaska    heating    assistance    program    for    the                                                                   
     administration  of AS 47.25.621  - 47.25.626 to  provide                                                                   
     home heating assistance in  a uniform and cost-effective                                                                   
     manner  in a region  of this state  if an Alaska  Native                                                                   
     organization  is  authorized  to implement  a  federally                                                                   
     approved  tribal family  assistance  plan that  includes                                                                   
     that  region  and  has  been  awarded  a  tribal  energy                                                                   
     assistance  grant  for  a  program  that  includes  that                                                                   
     region under 42 U.S.C. 8623(d).                                                                                            
          (b)  The department may award contracts to                                                                            
     implement  a   program  developed  under   (a)  of  this                                                                   
     section.  A contract  authorized  for  delivery of  home                                                                   
     heating  assistance  under  a  regional  Alaska  heating                                                                   
     assistance  program under  this section  is exempt  from                                                                   
     the  competitive  bid requirements  of  AS 36.30  (State                                                                   
     Procurement Code). Subject  to appropriation, a contract                                                                   
     under this section must be  in an amount that represents                                                                   
     a  fair and equitable  share of  the money  appropriated                                                                   
     for   the  Alaska  heating   assistance  program   under                                                                   
     AS 47.25.621  - 47.25.626 to  serve the state  residents                                                                   
     specified  in   (a)  of  this  section.   The  authority                                                                   
     provided under  this section to contract  is in addition                                                                   
     to the  authority to contract  in AS 47.05.015  or other                                                                   
     law.                                                                                                                       
          (c)  The department may award a contract under                                                                        
     this section only to an organization that                                                                                  
               (1)  has been awarded a tribal energy                                                                            
     assistance grant  under 42 U.S.C. 8623(d)  for a program                                                                   
     that includes that region;                                                                                                 
               (2)  agrees to administer home heating                                                                           
     assistance  under  AS 47.25.621  -  47.25.626  to  state                                                                   
     residents in the region; and                                                                                               
               (3)  agrees to implement an appeals process                                                                      
     as described in (e) of this section.                                                                                       
          (d)  Records pertaining to recipients of home                                                                         
     heating assistance  under a contract awarded  under this                                                                   
     section are  confidential and not subject  to disclosure                                                                   
     under AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220.                                                                                            
          (e)  An organization that receives a contract                                                                         
     under this  section shall provide an appeals  process to                                                                   
     applicants for or recipients  of home heating assistance                                                                   
     covered by the contract awarded  under this section. The                                                                   
     appeals  process   must  be  the  same   as  the  method                                                                   
     available under  AS 47.25.624, except that  the decision                                                                   
     reached  shall be considered  a recommended  decision to                                                                   
     the  department.  Within   30  days  after  receiving  a                                                                   
     recommended  decision, the  department shall review  the                                                                   
     recommended decision  and issue a decision  accepting or                                                                   
     rejecting  the recommended  decision. If the  department                                                                   
     rejects the  recommended decision, the  department shall                                                                   
     independently  review  the record  and  issue its  final                                                                   
     decision.  The final decision  of the department  on the                                                                   
     matter is appealable to the courts of this state.                                                                          
          (f)  If the department establishes a regional                                                                         
     Alaska heating assistance  program and awards a contract                                                                   
     to provide  home heating assistance under  this section,                                                                   
     a  person applying  for  home heating  assistance  under                                                                   
     AS 47.25.621  - 47.25.626  in  the region  of the  state                                                                   
     covered by the regional home  heating assistance program                                                                   
     may obtain  home heating assistance from  the department                                                                   
     only   through  the  organization   designated   by  the                                                                   
     department to serve the region."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 20:                                                                                                           
     Delete "sec. 2"                                                                                                            
     Insert "sec. 3"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 21:                                                                                                           
     Delete "sec. 2"                                                                                                            
     Insert "sec. 3"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 23:                                                                                                           
     Delete "sec. 2"                                                                                                            
     Insert "sec. 3"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 8:                                                                                                            
     Delete "sec. 2"                                                                                                            
     Insert "sec. 3"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, following line 9:                                                                                                  
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
     "* Sec. 8. The uncodified  law of the State of Alaska is                                                                 
     amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                   
     TRANSITION:      RETROACTIVITY      OF      REGULATIONS.                                                                   
     Notwithstanding  a contrary  provision of  AS 44.62.240,                                                                   
     if  the   Department  of  Health  and   Social  Services                                                                   
     expressly  designates  in  a  regulation  adopted  under                                                                   
     AS 47.25.622(2),  enacted by  sec. 4  of this Act,  that                                                                   
     the  regulation  applies  retroactively  to  November 1,                                                                   
     2007,  and is  necessary to  implement, interpret,  make                                                                   
     specific,  or  otherwise   carry  out  AS 47.25.621  and                                                                   
     47.25.623,   enacted  by  sec.   4  of  this   Act,  the                                                                   
     regulation may apply retroactively  to November 1, 2007.                                                                   
     * Sec. 9.  The uncodified law of the State  of Alaska is                                                                 
     amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                   
     RETROACTIVITY   OF  CERTAIN  PROVISIONS  OF   THIS  ACT.                                                                   
     AS 47.25.621  and 47.25.623, enacted  by sec. 4  of this                                                                   
     Act, are retroactive to November 1, 2007.                                                                                  
     *  Sec. 10.  This  Act  takes effect  immediately  under                                                                 
     AS 01.10.070(c)."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROB EARL, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MARY NELSON, explained                                                                          
Amendment 2:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #2 establishes the Alaska Heating Assistance                                                                     
     Program within the Department of Health and Social                                                                         
     Services (DHSS) to expand eligibility for Alaska                                                                           
     residents for home heating assistance.  The program is                                                                     
     specifically in addition to the federal LIHEAP or Low-                                                                     
     Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  Thirty-three                                                                       
     states currently contribute  LIHEAP money in addition to                                                                   
     the federal assistance dollars - Alaska is not yet one                                                                     
     of them.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Currently, only Alaskans earning less than 150% of the                                                                     
     federal poverty guideline for Alaska are eligible for                                                                      
     the federal LIHEAP assistance program.  Eligible                                                                           
     households receive grants averaging $780 per household                                                                     
     per winter.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #2 will serve an estimated 3800 additional                                                                       
     households state-wide with incomes between 150-225% of                                                                     
     the poverty guideline.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment is intended to give the Department the                                                                      
     authority to provide a lump-sum,  retroactive payment to                                                                   
     eligible recipients to assist with heating costs                                                                           
     incurred during the winter of 2007-2008.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman WITHDREW his OBJECTION.  There being NO                                                                        
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:22:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 3:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page, 5, lines 7-8 are amended to read:                                                                                    
     (A) wind, solar, geothermal,  hydrothermal, wave, tidal,                                                               
     river in-stream, or hydropower;                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton explained that the amendment takes away some                                                                      
of the ambiguity in the list of renewable energy resources                                                                      
beginning on page 5, line 7.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman WITHDREW his OBJECTION.  There being NO                                                                        
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman reported that Amendment 4 was withdrawn by                                                                     
Senator Olson.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:24:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 5:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 1:                                                                                                            
     Add "and matching funds," after "eligibility"                                                                              
     Page 3, lines 3 and 4:                                                                                                     
     After legislature, delete rest of line 3 and 4.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     (1) develop  a methodology for determining  the order of                                                                   
     projects that may receive  assistance and will achieve a                                                                   
     statewide  balance of  grant  funds, including  separate                                                                   
     requirements for  grant eligibility and  matching funds,                                                               
     and adopt  regulations identifying criteria  to evaluate                                                                   
     the  benefit and  feasibility of  projects for  which an                                                                   
     applicant  applies  for  support  from  the  legislature                                                                   
     [WITH SIGNIFICANT  WEIGHT BEING  GIVEN TO THE  AMOUNT OF                                                                   
     MATCHING FUNDS AN APPLICANT  IS ABLE TO MAKE AVAILABLE].                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  FISHER-GOAD,  DEPUTY DIRECTOR  OF  OPERATIONS,  ALASKA                                                                   
INDUSTRIAL  DEVELOPMENT  AND   EXPORT  AUTHORITY  AND  ALASKA                                                                   
ENERGY  AUTHORITY,  DEPARTMENT  OF  COMMERCE,  COMMUNITY  AND                                                                   
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, explained  that the amendment clarifies                                                                   
that matching funds should be  required for the project.  The                                                                   
intent  is to  avoid determining  what  a significant  weight                                                                   
would be.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.   There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:25:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 6:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1:                                                                                                            
     Delete "and,"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4, following "grants":                                                                                      
     Insert "; and establishing an Alaska Renewable Energy                                                                    
     Task Force"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 8:                                                                                                            
     Delete "The"                                                                                                               
     Insert "For secs. 2, 3, 5, and 6 of this Act, the"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 25, following "in":                                                                                           
     Insert "secs. 2 and 5 of"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 25:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
     "(c) For sec. 4 of this Act,  the legislature finds that                                                                   
          (1) energy issues are among the most critical                                                                         
     issues in the state; and                                                                                                   
          (2) a thorough assessment of present and future                                                                       
     state energy needs and requirements is necessary."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, following line 13:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
     "* Sec. 4. The uncodified  law of the State of Alaska is                                                                 
     amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                   
     ALASKA  RENEWABLE  ENERGY   TASK  FORCE.  (a)  There  is                                                                   
     established   in  the   legislative   branch  of   state                                                                   
     government the  Alaska Renewable Energy Task  Force. The                                                                   
     task force  consists of  seven voting members  appointed                                                                   
     as follows:                                                                                                                
     (1) the  speaker of the  house of representatives  shall                                                                   
     appoint    three    members    from   the    house    of                                                                   
     representatives;                                                                                                           
     (2)  the president  of the  senate  shall appoint  three                                                                   
     members from the senate; and                                                                                               
          (3) the governor shall appoint one member.                                                                            
     (b)  The chair of the task  force shall be a legislative                                                                   
     member  selected by a  majority vote  of the members  of                                                                   
     the  task  force.  The  staff of  the  members  who  are                                                                   
    legislators shall serve as staff to the task force.                                                                         
     (c)    The  task  force  shall  prepare  a  report  that                                                                   
     includes                                                                                                                   
          (1) an assessment of future statewide renewable                                                                       
     energy needs; and                                                                                                          
          (2) recommendations for a statewide energy plan to                                                                    
     fulfill the state's renewable energy needs.                                                                                
     (d)    Members  of  the   task  force  are  entitled  to                                                                   
     transportation   expenses   and  per   diem   allowances                                                                   
     provided by law.                                                                                                           
     (e)  The task force shall  meet at least four times. The                                                                   
     task  force may meet  in communities  in the state  that                                                                   
     are using or considering sources of renewable energy.                                                                      
     (f)  The task force shall  submit written reports of its                                                                   
     findings and recommendations to the legislature                                                                            
          (1) before March 1, 2009; and                                                                                         
          (2) before March 1, 2010.                                                                                             
     (g)    The   Alaska  Renewable  Energy   Task  Force  is                                                                   
     terminated on April 16, 2010."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, following line 9:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
     "* Sec. 7. Sections 1(c)  and 4 of this Act are repealed                                                                 
     April 16, 2010."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  explained the  amendment rolls  the CS  for HB                                                                   
404,  as  it  came out  of  Community  and  Regional  Affairs                                                                   
Committee, into HB  152.  It establishes an  Alaska Renewable                                                                   
Energy Task Force.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked how long the task force would run.                                                                       
Senator Olson said two years.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman REMOVED his OBJECTION.  There being NO                                                                         
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:26:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson MOVED to ADOPT a Conceptual Amendment to allow                                                                    
Legislative Legal to conform language as needed.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:27:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted a fiscal  note which reflected  a $50                                                                   
million  appropriation to  the Alaska  Energy Authority.   He                                                                   
asked if  AEA anticipates  the need  for additional  money to                                                                   
operate the program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sarah Fisher-Goad  recommended that the  appropriation be                                                                   
a capital  expense, rather  than an  operating expense.   She                                                                   
reported  that she  has  provided a  version  J fiscal  note,                                                                   
which changed  the funding source  to general fund  away from                                                                   
the new  renewable energy  fund.  With  $50 million  worth of                                                                   
projects,  there  will  be  a  need  for  additional  outside                                                                   
consultants  for   project  evaluation.    The   fiscal  note                                                                   
reflects an additional $100,000  for a consultant for FY 2009                                                                   
and $250,000 for FY 2010 - 2013.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT  new fiscal note CED, 4/9/08,                                                                   
9:16 am.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       3:29:40 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    3:32:23 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, the fiscal note was adopted.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       3:32:45 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    3:40:45 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson MOVED to ADOPT Conceptual Amendment 7:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 4, after "natural gas" add ", clean coal"                                                                     
     Page 2, line 21, after "natural gas" add "and clean                                                                        
     coal"                                                                                                                      
     Page 3, line 15, after "projects" add "and clean coal"                                                                     
     Page 5, move lines 9 & 10 to a new subparagraph (5) Bio                                                                    
     Mass Fuels                                                                                                                 
     Renumber as necessary                                                                                                      
     Page 5, line 12, add "shallow gas"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Dyson   explained   that   the   amendment   brings                                                                   
consistency to the bill.  Clean  coal is added throughout the                                                                   
bill.  Alaska has enough coal  to supply all of North America                                                                   
for the  next 400 years.   Senator Dyson maintained  that bio                                                                   
mass  fuels  are  not  renewable  and  should  be  in  a  new                                                                   
subparagraph.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:43:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton objected  to the page 5, line 9,  change in the                                                                   
conceptual amendment.   He addressed  the issue  of renewable                                                                   
resources.  He  used fish waste as an example  of a renewable                                                                   
resource.  Senator Dyson said  he didn't remove the category,                                                                   
just moved  it to  another area  in the  bill.  He  commented                                                                   
that  stewardship  was  needed   when  considering  renewable                                                                   
energy sources.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Dyson                                                                                                                 
OPPOSED: Elton, Thomas, Stedman, Olson                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION failed (1-4).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       3:47:00 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    6:18:58 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 152(FIN)  was heard  and HELD  in Committee for  further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:20:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 296                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Parole; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, Sponsor,  explained the bill extends                                                                   
the Board of  Parole for another eight years,  as recommended                                                                   
by   Legislative  Audit.     He   shared   the  purpose   and                                                                   
responsibility of the Board.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted the fiscal  note from  the Department                                                                   
of Corrections for $769,100 which  is already included in the                                                                   
operating budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:22:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman MOVED  to REPORT  HB 296  out of  Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  296  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #2 by  the Department of                                                                   
Corrections.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 334                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  extending the termination  date of  the Council                                                                   
     on Domestic  Violence and Sexual Assault;  and providing                                                                   
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RENEE   LIMOGE,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   ANNA   FAIRCLOUGH,                                                                   
explained  the  purpose  of  the   bill  was  to  extend  the                                                                   
termination  date of  the Council  on  Domestic Violence  and                                                                   
Sexual Assault.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to REPORT HB 334 from  Committee with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB  334  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Public Safety.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:25:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 359(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to the  term of probation  for persons                                                                   
     convicted  of  minor  consuming   or  in  possession  or                                                                   
     control  of  alcohol or  repeat  minor consuming  or  in                                                                   
     possession  or  control  of  alcohol;  and  relating  to                                                                   
     termination of  probation for certain  persons convicted                                                                   
     of  minor  consuming  or  in possession  or  control  of                                                                   
     alcohol or  repeat minor  consuming or in  possession or                                                                   
     control of alcohol."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
EMILY BEATLEY,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  JAY RAMRAS  introduced                                                                   
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:26:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAY  RAMRAS, Sponsor, explained  that the bill                                                                   
was drafted as a betterment bill.   The concept originated to                                                                   
help young  people enter  the military.   Those convicted  of                                                                   
minor consuming  or in possession  of alcohol and who  are on                                                                   
probation  cannot join the  armed forces  until they  are 21.                                                                   
This bill would allow those persons  to petition the court to                                                                   
be  allowed to  join the  armed  forces.   He estimated  that                                                                   
there  are  about  3,500  persons  in  this  category.    New                                                                   
probation terms  have been established  for first  and second                                                                   
violations.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked if  any other states  have this  type of                                                                   
legislation.  Ms. Beatley offered to find out.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman  MOVED  to  REPORT  CSHB  359(FIN)  out  of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  359(FIN)  was  REPORTED   out  of  Committee  with  "no                                                                   
recommendation"  and with zero  fiscal note  #1 by  the House                                                                   
Judiciary Committee and fiscal note #2 by the Court System.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:29:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 400                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to a person who seeks medical                                                                             
     assistance for a person experiencing a drug overdose."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BETH KERTTULA,  Sponsor,  explained that  the                                                                   
bill is to encourage  people to dial 911 to save  the life of                                                                   
someone  who may  be suffering  from  a drug  overdose.   She                                                                   
referred to a  constituent's story which led  to the drafting                                                                   
of the bill.  She described the mitigating circumstances.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  requested  a  definition  for  "mitigating                                                                   
factor".   Representative  Kerttula  explained  that after  a                                                                   
trial if  there was a conviction  on a drug-related  offense,                                                                   
and the  defendant  did make an  attempt to  help the  person                                                                   
suffering  the overdose, then  the judge  can take  that into                                                                   
account when sentencing.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:31:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  concluded that  there  would  still be  an                                                                   
arrest made, but  the mitigating factors could  be considered                                                                   
when sentencing.  Representative Kerttula agreed.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  MOVED to REPORT  HB 400 out of  Committee with                                                                   
individual  recommendations  and  accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB  400  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with  zero   fiscal  note  #1   by  the                                                                   
Department of Administration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE        6:33:00 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENE      6:33:43 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 413                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date for the Real                                                                        
     Estate Commission; and providing for an effective                                                                          
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ELEANOR WOLFE, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  KURT OLSON, stated that                                                                   
the  bill was  introduced  at the  request  of Department  of                                                                   
Commerce,   Community  and  Economic   Development   and  the                                                                   
Legislative  Budget  and Audit  Committee.    It extends  the                                                                   
termination date  of the Real  Estate Commission to  June 30,                                                                   
2016.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  noted one  fiscal  note by  Department  of                                                                   
Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman MOVED  to REPORT  HB 413  out of  Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  413  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       6:35:43 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    6:36:27 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 13(FIN)                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Establishing and relating to the Education Funding                                                                         
     District Cost Factor Commission.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAWKER, Sponsor,  explained that the bill                                                                   
was proposed by the joint legislative  education funding task                                                                   
force.   He  shared the  history of  the task  force and  its                                                                   
conclusions.  The bill charges  a task force to work with the                                                                   
legislature,  the  governor, departments,  and  resources  to                                                                   
develop  a   methodology  for  modeling  and   updating  cost                                                                   
factors.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:39:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman noted the fiscal notes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton asked  what the purpose of the  task force was.                                                                   
Representative  Hawker emphasized  that the  language in  the                                                                   
bill was  very important.   It was specifically  "established                                                                   
for the  purpose of examining  school cost differentials  and                                                                   
creating a  valid and  durable model that  can be  updated to                                                                   
accurately reflect the costs of providing education".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas referred  to line 16, page 1, and  lines 1 and                                                                   
2 on page 2, as the specific charges.   Representative Hawker                                                                   
said that is correct.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins  referred to  page 2, line  16, "no  longer a                                                                   
state  legislator".    Representative   Hawker  thought  that                                                                   
wording was changed in the proposed amendment.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:42:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 11:                                                                                                           
     Before "2002," insert: "1983 - 1985, 1999"                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 16:                                                                                                           
     Following "established," insert: "on January 20, 2009,"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 15 - 16:                                                                                                     
     Delete, "a member may continue to serve even if the                                                                        
     member is no longer a state legislator,"                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 16:                                                                                                 
     Insert,  "FURTHER  RESOLVED   that  the  commission  may                                                                   
     submit a preliminary report  of its findings and a draft                                                                   
     model  to  the  governor   and  the  legislature  before                                                                   
     September 30, 2009; and be it"                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman explained  that  the amendment  on page  1,                                                                   
line 11,  inserts "1983-1985, 1999"  before "2002".   Page 2,                                                                   
lines 15 and 16 deletes "a member  may continue to serve even                                                                   
if  the  member is  no  longer  a state  legislator;".    The                                                                   
amendment  also states  that the  commissioner  may submit  a                                                                   
preliminary report  of its findings and a draft  model to the                                                                   
governor and the legislature before September 30, 2009.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.   There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:43:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman MOVED  to  REPORT SCS  HCR  13(FIN) out  of                                                                   
Committee  with individual  recommendations the  accompanying                                                                   
fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SCS  HCR 13(FIN)  was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  "no                                                                   
recommendation"  and with zero  fiscal note  #2 by  the House                                                                   
Finance Committee for the Legislature.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:44:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 252(STA)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act requiring paid leave from employment for organ                                                                     
     and bone marrow donation."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GABRIELLE LEDOUX,  Sponsor, explained that the                                                                   
bill grants paid leave to state  employees for up to 80 hours                                                                   
in order to  make an organ donation or bone  marrow donation.                                                                   
The bill has 11 co-sponsors and 6 zero fiscal notes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman noted only two zero fiscal notes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:45:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked if any states have  similar legislation.                                                                   
Representative  LeDoux   replied  that  thirty   states  have                                                                   
similar laws; 23 apply only to state employees.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE ZALNARAITIS,  LIFE ALASKA,  testified in support  of HB                                                                   
252.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins asked if any organization  are opposed to the                                                                   
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SONYA  HYMER, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  GABRIELLE LEDOUX,  said                                                                   
she was not aware of any.  Positive  statements were received                                                                   
from  the National  Marrow Donor  Program,  Life Alaska,  and                                                                   
Blood Bank of Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:47:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  MOVED to REPORT  CSHB 252(STA)  from Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 252(STA) was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with  zero   fiscal  note  #6   by  the                                                                   
Department of Administration and  with zero fiscal note #7 by                                                                   
the   Department   of  Commerce,   Community   and   Economic                                                                   
Development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       6:48:34 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    6:50:05 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 419(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to state lease-purchases of equipment                                                                     
     and other personal property; and providing for an                                                                          
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins MOVED  to ADOPT SCS  CSHB 419(FIN),  labeled                                                                   
25-LS1567\V, Cook,  4/9/08, as  the working draft  before the                                                                   
Committee.  Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TOM WRIGHT,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE CHENAULT,  explained                                                                   
that the new CS mirrors the bill  that passed from the House.                                                                   
Section 1  clarifies that  lease-purchase agreements  must be                                                                   
for real  property.  Section  2 deals with lease-purchase  of                                                                   
personal  property.   It allows  all agencies  to enter  into                                                                   
lease-purchase  agreements.  If  the agreement is  worth over                                                                   
$100,000 notice must be given.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wright related that Section  3 says that by January 15 of                                                                   
each year  each agency, through  OMB, has to submit  a report                                                                   
of every lease-purchase agreement.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.   There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, SCS CSHB 419 (FIN) was adopted.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stedman  commented   on   a   concern  about   the                                                                   
restrictiveness  of the  bill.   As a  compromise, the  House                                                                   
version of the  bill was adopted.  There will  be an on-going                                                                   
opportunity to  review the outcome  of the bill and  a chance                                                                   
to tighten it up if necessary.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins asked if the sponsor  supports the bill as it                                                                   
is.  Mr.  Wright said he did.   He further explained  the cap                                                                   
option, which  was not incorporated  in the bill.   The issue                                                                   
will be revisited as needed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:54:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas  MOVED to  REPORT  SCS  CS HB  419(FIN)  from                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCS  CSHB 419(FIN)  was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  "no                                                                   
recommendation"  and with zero  fiscal note  #1 by  the House                                                                   
Finance Committee  for the  Department of Administration  and                                                                   
zero fiscal  note #2 by the  House Finance Committee  for the                                                                   
Office of the Governor.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       6:55:22 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    6:56:38 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 294(TRA) am                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  establishing the  Alaska Marine  Transportation                                                                   
     Advisory Board  and setting  out its powers  and duties;                                                                   
     making  conforming  amendments;  and  providing  for  an                                                                   
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CLIFF STONE,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  PEGGY WILSON,  explained                                                                   
that the  bill started off  as a quasi-independent  authority                                                                   
board.    A   compromise  was  worked  out   with  the  House                                                                   
Transportation    Committee    and    the    Alaska    Marine                                                                   
Transportation  Advisory Board  (AMTAB).   The bill  sets the                                                                   
Board into statute.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Stone walked the Committee  through the bill.  On page 1,                                                                   
the Department  of Transportation  and Public Facilities  now                                                                   
has to consult  with AMTAB.  On page 2, the  board makeup has                                                                   
been increased from  9 to 11 members in order  to broaden the                                                                   
scope and create more advocates.   On line 22, it was not the                                                                   
intent of  the bill  sponsors to  create the impression  that                                                                   
there  were two union  seats on  the board.   The  Governor's                                                                   
office  now  understands  the  intent to  have  one  position                                                                   
include someone  with Coast Guard,  Navy, or Merchant  Marine                                                                   
experience.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Stone noted  that at least one member from  the Ketchikan                                                                   
Gateway  Borough  must be  included  on  the board,  and  two                                                                   
members who are  residents of areas not served  by the Alaska                                                                   
marine highway also must be on  the board.  He explained that                                                                   
after  the  commissioner  of the  transportation  and  public                                                                   
facilities  has considered  one  or more  candidates for  the                                                                   
position  of director  or deputy commissioner  of the  Alaska                                                                   
marine  highway system,  the commissioner  shall confer  with                                                                   
the board about the position.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Stone highlighted  the most  popular part  of the  bill,                                                                   
"the  board   may  establish   volunteer  regional   advisory                                                                   
committees".  The sponsors included  this language to broaden                                                                   
the users  of the marine highway  system.  There  is language                                                                   
that a  current AMTAB  board member  could be reappointed  to                                                                   
the board.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Stone said there was a zero fiscal note.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked how the rotation of  the board works.                                                                   
Mr.  Stone referred  to  Section  3 of  the  bill to  explain                                                                   
initial  appointments  and  length   of  service.    Co-Chair                                                                   
Stedman  commented that  the seats are  three-year terms  and                                                                   
there is a staggered start up.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins  referred to  page 3, line  15, and  asked if                                                                   
any  consideration   was  given  for  the  location   of  the                                                                   
meetings.  Mr. Stone said none was given.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:04:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Elton  had concerns  about continuity throughout  the                                                                   
bill.  He  asked about Section  1, page 1, the  initial long-                                                                   
range plan.   He wondered if  the board would be  involved in                                                                   
the update  of the  plan.  He  referred to  page 3,  line 30,                                                                   
where it  says the commissioner  shall confer with  the board                                                                   
regarding  the  candidates.    He voiced  concern  about  the                                                                   
wording.    On page  4,  line  9, he  addressed  the  wording                                                                   
"submit that plan  to the department for  its consideration".                                                                   
He voiced concerns about "lack of teeth" in the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson referred  to the  bottom  of page  2, where  a                                                                   
member of  the Ketchikan borough  is included.  He  asked why                                                                   
Ketchikan was singled  out.  Mr. Stone noted  subsections A-E                                                                   
had specific seats for those communities.   The sponsors felt                                                                   
it important to single out Ketchikan  because it is a gateway                                                                   
to Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:08:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  KENSINGER,  PETERSBURG,   stressed  the  importance  of                                                                   
having a  board that provides  important policy  direction to                                                                   
the marine  highway system.  He  testified in support  of the                                                                   
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:10:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHY   ROEMMICH,  MARINE   TRANSPORTATION  ADVISORY   BOARD,                                                                   
testified in  support of the bill.   She said she  prefers to                                                                   
see  it for  three years.   The  bill would  provide a  solid                                                                   
foundation.  She  especially liked the fact  that it includes                                                                   
people in other parts of the state  not located on the marine                                                                   
highway.  She  thought that having more  communities involved                                                                   
would be a very positive thing.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:13:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY SIROKY, SPECIAL ASSISTANT,  DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION                                                                   
AND PUBLIC FACILITIES,  stated that the bill  meets the needs                                                                   
of DOT.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins wondered  about the effective  date  of five                                                                   
years for the board.  Ms. Siroky  thought that the department                                                                   
would work with the AMTAB no matter  how the bill was worded.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSSS  HB 294(TRA)  am was  heard  and HELD  in Committee  for                                                                   
further consideration.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 2                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the vocational education account                                                                       
     and appropriations from that account; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 2 was scheduled but not heard.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 PM.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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