Legislature(2009 - 2010)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/15/2010 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 266 VIOLENT CRIMES EMERGENCY COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 266 Out of Committee
+= SJR 21 CONST. AM: INCREASE NUMBER OF LEGISLATORS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SJR 21 Out of Committee
+ SB 144 MUSK OXEN PERMITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 215 PIONEERS HOME RX DRUG BENEFIT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 219 TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY:PROGRAM/MEDICAID TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 238 MEDICAID FOR MEDICAL & INTERMEDIATE CARE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 226 CRIME LAB; LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 15, 2010                                                                                            
                         9:02 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:02:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman   called  the  Senate   Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Tim   Benintendi,  Staff,   Senator   Olson;  Senator   Bill                                                                    
Wielechowski; Shelly Morgan,  Staff to Senator Wielechowski;                                                                    
Dave  Cote,   Division  of  Alaska  Pioneer   Homes;  Thomas                                                                    
Obermeyer,   Staff  to   Senator  Davis;   Denise  Daniello,                                                                    
Executive   Director,  Alaska   Commission  on   Aging;  Jon                                                                    
Sherwood, Director, Office of  Program Review, Department of                                                                    
Health  and Social  Services (DHSS);  Senator Bettye  Davis;                                                                    
Esther Cha,  Staff to Lesil McGuire;  Jill Hodges, Executive                                                                    
Director,  Alaska  Brain  Injury  Network;  Angela  Salerno,                                                                    
Executive Director,  National Association of  Social Workers                                                                    
Alaska Chapter;  Deven Mitchell, Executive  Director, Alaska                                                                    
Municipal Bond Bank Authority,  Department of Revenue; Jerry                                                                    
Burnett,   Deputy   Commissioner,  Division   of   Treasury,                                                                    
Department   of  Revenue;   Joseph  Masters,   Commissioner,                                                                    
Department  of Public  Safety; Don  Etheridge, Alaska  State                                                                    
AFL  CIO; Frank  Richards, Deputy  Commissioner, Highways  &                                                                    
Public Facilities,  Department of Transportation  and Public                                                                    
Facilities;  Matt  Tanaka,  Project Manager,  Department  of                                                                    
Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Rick Davidge,  President, Vietnam Veterans of  America; Eric                                                                    
Fine, ABATE  of Alaska, Kasilof; Carl  Liebes, Alaska Bikers                                                                    
Advocating  Training   and  Education  (ABATE)   of  Alaska,                                                                    
Nikiski;  Boyd McFail,  Anchorage,  ABATE  of Alaska;  Nancy                                                                    
Burke, AK Mental Health Trust  Authority; Pat Chapman, self,                                                                    
Ketchikan;   Christie    Artuso,   Director   Neurosciences,                                                                    
Providence  Medical  Center;  Kristin  English,  Cook  Inlet                                                                    
Tribal  Council; Sean  Murphy,  self;  Major William  Allen,                                                                    
Marine  Corps;  Myron  Dosch,   University  of  Alaska;  Jay                                                                    
Quakenbush, President,  Fairbanks Building  and Construction                                                                    
Trades;  Lake Williams,  President, Fairbanks  Central Labor                                                                    
Council.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SJR 21    CONST. AM: INCREASE NUMBER OF LEGISLATORS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          SJR 21  was REPORTED out  of Committee with  a "do                                                                    
          pass"    recommendation   and    with   previously                                                                    
          published  fiscal  impact  notes: FN1  (LAA);  FN2                                                                    
          (OOG).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 144    MUSK OXEN PERMITS                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          SB  144  was  HEARD  and  HELD  in  Committee  for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 215    PIONEERS HOME RX DRUG BENEFIT                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB  215  was  HEARD  and  HELD  in  Committee  for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 219    TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY:PROGRAM/MEDICAID                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          SB  219  was  HEARD  and  HELD  in  Committee  for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 226    CRIME LAB; LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          SB  226  was  HEARD  and  HELD  in  Committee  for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 238    MEDICAID FOR MEDICAL & INTERMEDIATE CARE                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          SB was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                        
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 266    VIOLENT CRIMES EMERGENCY COMPENSATION                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          SB 266 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass"    recommendation   and    with   previously                                                                    
          published zero fiscal note: FN1 (DOA).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:02:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 266                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to emergency compensation from the                                                                        
     Violent Crimes Compensation Board."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:04:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas  clarified that  the  limit  of the  overall                                                                    
compensation has  not increased, yet  emergency compensation                                                                    
has increased from $1500 to  $3500. The cap remains the same                                                                    
at $40 thousand for an  individual. He noted that 70 percent                                                                    
of  the  funding is  a  result  of withheld  Permanent  Fund                                                                    
Dividends from  felons while  30 percent  is from  a federal                                                                    
grant.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  pointed  out  one zero  fiscal  note.  He                                                                    
reminded that public testimony was  taken on the legislation                                                                    
this session.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to  report SB  266 out  of Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB  266 was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and with  previously  published zero  fiscal                                                                    
note: FN1 (DOA).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 21                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Proposing amendments  to the Constitution of  the State                                                                    
     of  Alaska relating  to and  increasing  the number  of                                                                    
     members of the House  of Representatives to forty-eight                                                                    
     and the number of members of the senate to twenty-                                                                         
     four.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman explained  that SJR  21 is  proposed as  a                                                                    
constitutional   amendment  to   increase   the  number   of                                                                    
legislators.  He  pointed out  that  today's  is the  second                                                                    
hearing on the  resolution. He noted that  the first hearing                                                                    
was March  8, 2010. He  intends to receive comment  from the                                                                    
committee on the resolution.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson introduced his staff.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
TIM   BENINTENDI,  STAFF,   SENATOR  OLSON   introduced  the                                                                    
resolution  to increase  the size  of  the legislature.  The                                                                    
bill states  that the  senate would  expand by  four members                                                                    
and  the  house  by  eight members.  He  believed  that  the                                                                    
population  discussion was  the  basis  of the  conversation                                                                    
during the bill's former hearing.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  mentioned two fiscal notes  reflecting the                                                                    
cost; one  from the division  of elections for  $1.5 million                                                                    
to cover the  cost of printing a balance  and one reflecting                                                                    
the cost  of adding  12 additional legislators  beginning in                                                                    
FY13, estimated at  $6 million and decreasing  to $4 million                                                                    
in FY14.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson MOVED  to report SJR 21 out  of Committee with                                                                    
individual  recommendations  and   the  accompanying  fiscal                                                                    
notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SJR  21 was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation and  with previously published  fiscal impact                                                                    
notes: FN1 (LAA); FN2 (OOG).                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 144                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to hunting permits and tag fees for                                                                       
     musk oxen."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:09:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson explained  that SB  144 allows  for clean  up                                                                    
action.  The  specifics  are presented  by  Senator  Olson's                                                                    
staff.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Benintendi explained SB 144.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you for  hearing this bill.  At its  core, SB 144                                                                    
     would authorize  a second permit hunt  for resident and                                                                    
     subsistence hunters, for  the taking of musk  oxen.  It                                                                    
     would  double  the chances  of  taking  an animal,  but                                                                    
     would not  change the current  bag limit of  one animal                                                                    
     per year, bull or cow.   Non-resident hunters would not                                                                    
     qualify. If  a hunter did  not harvest a musk  ox under                                                                    
     their  first permit,  a second  permit could  be issued                                                                    
     upon  application, for  another chance  in a  different                                                                    
     hunt  area or  different  Game Management  Unit.   Musk                                                                    
     oxen are the  only game animals in Alaska  to which the                                                                    
     one-permit  restriction still  applies. There  are four                                                                    
     Game Management Units where these  animals are found in                                                                    
     Alaska;  Unit 18  on both  Nunivak and  Nelson Islands,                                                                    
     Units  22  and  23  on  Seward  Peninsula  and  in  the                                                                    
     Northwest, and Unit 26 in  the Northeast. The wild musk                                                                    
     oxen population in Alaska is  currently estimated to be                                                                    
     about 4,400 animals, and annually,  between 325 and 350                                                                    
     are available  for harvest.    Wildlife  biologists and                                                                    
     regulators within the Department  of Fish and Game have                                                                    
     determined  that the  health  and size  of the  state's                                                                    
     herd  is   well  past   the  threshold   for  expanding                                                                    
     opportunities for  Alaskan hunters. They  estimate that                                                                    
     a minimal number of additional  permits would be issued                                                                    
     under this bill,  and perhaps 25 more  animals might be                                                                    
     harvested  annually. Under  SB 144,  the Board  of Game                                                                    
     would  have  the  authority   to  reduce  or  eliminate                                                                    
     subsistence tag  and fee requirements. And,  because SB                                                                    
     144 changes a year  from "calendar year" to "regulatory                                                                    
     year," the  department would be  able to  issue permits                                                                    
     for  seasons  which  straddle   a  calendar  year  end,                                                                    
     without the hunter  having to apply twice  for a single                                                                    
     season. If  passed this legislative session,  these new                                                                    
     provisions would  be in place for  seasons beginning in                                                                    
     August  of this  year.  SB 144  carries  a ZERO  fiscal                                                                    
     note, and has  the support of the  department.  Support                                                                    
     from   the  hunting   community  in   Northwest  Alaska                                                                    
     includes  the   Northern  and  Southern   Norton  Sound                                                                    
     Advisory Committees,  and the Seward Peninsula  Musk Ox                                                                    
     Cooperators'  Group. We  have discovered  no opposition                                                                    
     to this bill                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:12:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman mentioned one zero fiscal note from the                                                                        
Department of Fish and Game.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson explained that musk  ox have been imported and                                                                    
transplanted  in the  state.  They  are treated  differently                                                                    
than other  big game animals.  The bill allows  the clearing                                                                    
of  confusion  that  happens   with  hunters  regarding  the                                                                    
harvesting of musk ox.   He mentioned a requirement to apply                                                                    
twice if the new year does not result in a successful hunt.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB  144  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 215                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  requiring the Department of  Health and Social                                                                    
     Services to  accept federal prescription  drug benefits                                                                    
     or to provide comparable  benefits for residents of the                                                                    
     Alaska Pioneers' Home."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:13:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  explained  that   SB  215  involves  drug                                                                    
benefit for the pioneers' home.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  noted  that there  are  various  methods  of                                                                    
handling.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BILL WIELECHOWSKI delivered the sponsor statement.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  intent  of  SB  215  is  to  ensure  residents  of                                                                    
     Alaska's  Pioneer  Homes   continue  to  receive  their                                                                    
     Federal prescription drug benefits.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This  past   spring,  Veteran  residents   of  Alaska's                                                                    
     Pioneer  Homes   were  caught  in   the  middle   of  a                                                                    
     bureaucratic  dispute. Officials  at the  Pioneer Homes                                                                    
     would  no longer  accept prescription  medications from                                                                    
     the Veterans Administration  because of safety concerns                                                                    
     with how  those medications  are packaged  and labeled.                                                                    
     The VA  will not  change the  packaging or  labeling of                                                                    
     medications sent  to the Pioneer Homes  and the Pioneer                                                                    
     Homes  cannot repackage  the  medications.   Therefore,                                                                    
     Veterans   who    were   unable    to   self-administer                                                                    
     medications  had  no  choice  but to  pay  the  Pioneer                                                                    
     Homes'    pharmacy    out-of-pocket    for    necessary                                                                    
     medications  that they  were  supposed  to receive  for                                                                    
     free from the VA.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Thanks  to a  joint  effort between  the Department  of                                                                    
     Health and Social Services,  the Department of Military                                                                    
     and Veterans Affairs,  local public veterans' advocates                                                                    
     and  state legislators,  a  policy  level solution  was                                                                    
     reached  with  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                                    
     Services.   State administrators found a  way to safely                                                                    
     administer prescription  medications received  from the                                                                    
     VA   and  Veterans   began   to   receive  their   free                                                                    
     medications again.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     SB  215   will  prevent  this  type   of  problem  from                                                                    
     recurring   by  ensuring   that  federal   prescription                                                                    
     benefits will  continue to be honored  into the future.                                                                    
     If  state  administrators  identify  a  safety  concern                                                                    
     associated   with    providing   federal   prescription                                                                    
     benefits,  SB 215  will require  the  Pioneer Homes  to                                                                    
     cover  the  value  of  the   denied  benefit,  so  that                                                                    
     residents  can continue  to receive  the benefits  that                                                                    
     they have earned.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     This  bill would  protect not  only  Veterans, but  all                                                                    
     Pioneer Home  residents receiving  Federal prescription                                                                    
     benefits, including those  from Indian Health Services.                                                                    
     The  Pioneer Homes  have always  worked with  residents                                                                    
     eligible for IHS benefits to  ensure they receive their                                                                    
     medications.   However,  if  something  changes in  the                                                                    
     future  with  the distribution  of  IHS  drugs, SB  215                                                                    
     would   ensure  that   Pioneer  Homes   would  continue                                                                    
     accepting these Federal benefits  or cover the cost for                                                                    
     affected residents.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     With the passage  of SB 215, Veterans  and other groups                                                                    
     who have  earned Federal prescription benefits  will no                                                                    
     longer  have   to  worry  about  not   receiving  their                                                                    
     prescription   medications   because  bureaucrats   are                                                                    
     unable reach, what should be, a simple agreement.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Please  join  me  in  supporting  this  legislation  to                                                                    
     ensure  eligible  Alaskans   continue  to  receive  the                                                                    
     benefits they have earned.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  asked  if  a  record  existed  showing  that                                                                    
veterans had  suffered ill effects or  medical complications                                                                    
as  a   result  of  the   change  in  dispensation   of  the                                                                    
medication.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHELLY MORGAN, STAFF TO  SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI responded that                                                                    
medical  complications were  not reported.  The complication                                                                    
was a  financial one,  where the  veterans were  required to                                                                    
pay for medications  in addition to the  Pioneer Home costs.                                                                    
Senator Olson agreed that  these complications are important                                                                    
to avoid.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  mentioned  the fiscal  note  states  that                                                                    
Pioneer  Homes  allow  residents   who  access  the  federal                                                                    
prescription benefits.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Morgan explained  that the  design  of the  bill is  to                                                                    
prevent  the  complication  from   occurring  again  in  the                                                                    
future.  The concern  is that  with administrative  changes,                                                                    
the problem may occur again.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:19:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman mentioned  the zero  fiscal note  from the                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
RICK DAVIDGE,  PRESIDENT, VIETNAM  VETERANS OF  AMERICA (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in support  of SB 215. He pointed                                                                    
out that although concerns continue  in respect to a variety                                                                    
of  medical  issues,  the legislation  is  a  positive  step                                                                    
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVE COTE, DIVISION OF ALASKA  PIONEER HOMES stated that the                                                                    
department retains  a neutral position  on the  bill because                                                                    
they   already  accept   medications   from  the   veteran's                                                                    
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins asked  how the  bill changes  the situation                                                                    
for Mr.  Cote. Mr.  Cote explained  that the  bill's purpose                                                                    
was to prevent the problem from happening again.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  offered a final comment  regarding the                                                                    
legislation. He  explained that the goal  of the legislation                                                                    
is  prevention  of   any  further  complications  concerning                                                                    
federal  prescription  drug  benefits  for  members  of  the                                                                    
Pioneer Home.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB  215  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:22:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 238                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act amending the  eligibility threshold for medical                                                                    
     assistance  for persons  in a  medical or  intermediate                                                                    
     care facility."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:23:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS OBERMEYER, STAFF TO SENATOR DAVIS delivered the                                                                          
sponsor statement.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     In 2003 the Legislature  changed Alaska Statute Section                                                                    
     47.07.020(b)(6),   the   Medicaid  long-term   services                                                                    
     income  eligibility limit  for  persons  in medical  or                                                                    
     intermediate  care  facilities from  300%  Supplemental                                                                    
     Security  Income (SSI)  to an  equivalent fixed  dollar                                                                    
     amount at  $1,656 per  month.   This change  created an                                                                    
     income  ceiling  for  waiver  eligibility,  effectively                                                                    
     freezing  the  eligibility  limit for  the  last  seven                                                                    
     years,  rather  than  allowing   the  limit  to  adjust                                                                    
     annually in tandem  with the SSI.  The  result was that                                                                    
     small Social  Security cost of living  adjustments have                                                                    
     disqualified  many  needy   disabled  people  from  the                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Near the  end of 2008  many individuals who  were aged,                                                                    
     blind,  or disabled  and  requiring institutional  care                                                                    
     received notices that they would  no longer be eligible                                                                    
     for  the  Home   and  Community-Based  Services  (HCBS)                                                                    
     waivers after  the 2009 Cost of  Living Adjustment went                                                                    
     into effect.  Because  the waiver eligibility limits no                                                                    
     longer increased with  the cost of living,  it placed a                                                                    
     number of  people over the  $1,656 per month  limit, or                                                                    
     300%  of the  2003 SSI  benefit rate.  The 2009  income                                                                    
     equivalent   at  300%   SSI  was   $2,022  per   month.                                                                    
     Alternatives  for preserving  eligibility, particularly                                                                    
     for  those   requiring  lifetime  or   long-term  care,                                                                    
     include  creation  of   a  Medicaid  qualifying  income                                                                    
     trust,  also known  as  a Miller  Trust.   Trusts  have                                                                    
     procedural      drawbacks,      including      numerous                                                                    
     responsibilities  and restrictions,  limited access  to                                                                    
     income,  assistance of  an attorney,  and a  trustee to                                                                    
     manage trust assets.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  Supplemental Security  Income (SSI)  program is  a                                                                    
     federal needs-based  disability program for  low income                                                                    
     adults over age 65, blind,  or disabled.  For an adult,                                                                    
     the SSI disability requirement is  based on the ability                                                                    
     to  work.   An  adult  is  considered disabled  if  the                                                                    
     person cannot do the work  that he/she performed before                                                                    
     the  disability occurred  or cannot  do alternate  work                                                                    
     because of a severe physical  or mental condition.  For                                                                    
     a  child  to  be  eligible,  he/she  must  suffer  from                                                                    
     serious  physical and/or  mental  problems.   For  both                                                                    
     adults and  children, the disability  must last,  or be                                                                    
     expected to last for at least a year.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Medicaid  services are  critical to  the well-being  of                                                                    
     Alaska's most  vulnerable citizens.  Supporting  SB 238                                                                    
     will  ensure that  eligible  Alaskans  can continue  to                                                                    
     receive  nursing home  care  and  in-home services.  It                                                                    
     also will  save the Legislature from  amending statutes                                                                    
     every  year  or  two  as   the  Federal  Poverty  Level                                                                    
     guidelines  and  Supplemental  Security  Income  levels                                                                    
     increase with the cost of living.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:25:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman mentioned  the one  zero fiscal  note from                                                                    
the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:27:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENISE  DANIELLO, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  COMMISSION ON                                                                    
AGING, testified in  support of SB 238. She  stated that the                                                                    
legislation was  important for elderly Alaskans  who receive                                                                    
small cost of living increases  to their social security and                                                                    
other benefit amounts. The impact  from the freeze is that a                                                                    
small  cost  of  living  adjustment  to  a  person's  social                                                                    
security  can move  the  senior over  the  $1,656 limit  and                                                                    
disqualify them  from receiving  Medicaid long  term support                                                                    
services.  These vulnerable  individuals  are  at risk  both                                                                    
financially and with regards to their health.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:31:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JON   SHERWOOD,   DIRECTOR,   OFFICE  OF   PROGRAM   REVIEW,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES  (DHSS), testified                                                                    
that  the   bill  would  raise   the  income   standard  for                                                                    
eligibility for  those people who  qualify for  nursing home                                                                    
or waiver  care under Medicaid. The  department's experience                                                                    
shows  that  individuals  who   exceed  the  current  income                                                                    
standard  use  a  qualifying income  trust  to  qualify.  He                                                                    
stated that the department  does not anticipate that raising                                                                    
the  limit would  increase the  number  of people  receiving                                                                    
Medicaid in these categories. He  pointed out that those who                                                                    
qualify  for Medicaid  under this  category  are subject  to                                                                    
make a cost of care  contribution toward their nursing home.                                                                    
The calculation is separate  and performed after determining                                                                    
eligibility.  Nothing   in  the   bill  would   effect  that                                                                    
calculation.  The department  does  not anticipate  changing                                                                    
the calculation if the bill  passes. Individual cost of care                                                                    
contributions will remain the same.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:33:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS encouraged passing  the bill out of the                                                                    
Senate Finance Committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB  238  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 219                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  establishing a traumatic brain  injury program                                                                    
     and  registry  within  the  Department  of  Health  and                                                                    
     Social  Services; and  relating  to medical  assistance                                                                    
     coverage for traumatic brain injury services."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:35:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ESTHER  CHA, STAFF  TO  LESIL MCGUIRE  outlined the  sponsor                                                                    
statement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The CS for Senate Bill  219E establishes a traumatic or                                                                    
     acquired  brain  injury  program specifically  to  deal                                                                    
     with  brain  injury  and  yet Alaska  has  one  of  the                                                                    
     highest rates in the nation.  Annually, there are about                                                                    
     800  Alaskans  hospitalized   with  a  traumatic  brain                                                                    
     injury  resulting  from  falls, car  crashes,  domestic                                                                    
     violence,  All  Terrain   Vehicle  crashes,  and  show-                                                                    
     machine   crashes,   among  others.   Furthermore,   an                                                                    
     approximately  equal number  of Alaskans  are suffering                                                                    
     from  acquired brain  injuries  resulting from  stroke,                                                                    
     aneurism, or tumors.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Alaskan urban  and rural residents,  including military                                                                    
     are  being  discharged  to   their  homes  with  little                                                                    
     understanding  of brain  injury or  access to  in-state                                                                    
     rehabilitation,  severely   impacting  their  families.                                                                    
     Limited education  about the  injury, learning  to cope                                                                    
     with  a person  who  has  changed, overwhelming  stress                                                                    
     form insurance, bureaucracy,  and financial burdens and                                                                    
     change   in   family    roles   may   render   families                                                                    
     dysfunctional.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     With  appropriate and  available care,  rehabilitation,                                                                    
     community and  family support, even the  individual who                                                                    
     is most  severely injured can  live at home,  return to                                                                    
     school or work, or  engage in meaningful and productive                                                                    
     lives.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Funding a  Traumatic or  Acquired Brain  Injury Program                                                                    
     (T/ABI)  gives authority  to the  Department of  Health                                                                    
     and  Social Services  to collect  data  on the  injured                                                                    
     positioning  the state  to  access  Medicaid funds  for                                                                    
     T/ABI. Medicaid services for T/ABI  will be matched 50%                                                                    
     by  federal funds.  The  bill  allows for  streamlining                                                                    
     department services  and activities that are  unique to                                                                    
     T/ABI.   This   would   better  assist   families   and                                                                    
     individuals  with  T/ABI  in   knowing  how  to  access                                                                    
     services and supports.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Early treatment  may reduce  future medical  and social                                                                    
     costs. Without  appropriate services,  some individuals                                                                    
     with T/ABI may  pose a threat to  themselves or others.                                                                    
     Without assistance,  individuals with TBI often  end up                                                                    
     homeless,  in   jail  or  in  nursing   homes.  Service                                                                    
     coordination,  rehabilitation and  appropriate supports                                                                    
     can help to minimize these risks.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:38:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked if  a demented  patient who  suffered a                                                                    
motor  vehicle  accident  and  subsequent  injury  to  their                                                                    
vasculature  would  be  eligible  for the  waiver.  Ms.  Cha                                                                    
responded  that  under  current Medicaid  waivers  a  person                                                                    
suffering from  dementia can already  apply for  a different                                                                    
waiver  and  address the  issue  attached  to the  traumatic                                                                    
brain injury.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman pointed out one  zero fiscal note from DHSS                                                                    
showing  an  increased  cost of  $494,600  in  general  fund                                                                    
dollars and $774,400 in federal receipts.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:40:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC FINE,  ALASKA BIKERS ADVOCATING TRAINING  and EDUCATION                                                                    
(ABATE) OF  ALASKA, KASILOF (via  teleconference), expressed                                                                    
concerns about SB 219. He stated  that he was not opposed to                                                                    
SB  219, but  he recognized  provisions that  might lead  to                                                                    
unintended  consequences.  He  informed  that  Article  5(a)                                                                    
Section  47.80.500, item  3 reads  "evaluation of  standards                                                                    
and  laws pertaining  to the  prevention of  traumatic brain                                                                    
injury into the  treatment care and support  of persons with                                                                    
traumatic brain injury."  He believed that if  it remains as                                                                    
written it might  lead to a call for  a mandatory motorcycle                                                                    
helmet  law.  He  opined  that Alaska  does  not  see  large                                                                    
numbers  of  motorcyclists  becoming  victims  of  traumatic                                                                    
brain injury because we are not required to wear helmets.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:42:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL   LIEBES,  ALASKA   BIKERS   ADVOCATING  TRAINING   AND                                                                    
EDUCATION (ABATE)  OF ALASKA, NIKISKI  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified in opposition to the legislation as worded.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BOYD    MCFAIL,   ANCHORAGE,    ABATE    OF   ALASKA    (via                                                                    
teleconference)  echoed  the  testimony  of  the  prior  two                                                                    
testifiers.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:45:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  BURKE,   AK  MENTAL   HEALTH  TRUST   AUTHORITY  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  support   of  SB  219.  She                                                                    
explained that the Mental Health  Trust Authority has worked                                                                    
with partners  such as  the Alaska  Brain Injury  Network to                                                                    
establish a  program to assist survivors  of Traumatic Brain                                                                    
Injury  in  the state.  The  Mental  Health Trust  Authority                                                                    
views the  legislation as a  step forward in  assisting them                                                                    
and documenting  the incidence of brain  injury and learning                                                                    
information about survivors of  brain injury and their needs                                                                    
for service delivery.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PAT   CHAPMAN,   SELF,   KETCHIKAN   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of the  legislation. She  stated that                                                                    
she collects the trauma data  for the hospital in Ketchikan.                                                                    
She opined  that the state  must identify the  brain injured                                                                    
person and connect them with a case manager.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:50:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  noted that  accidents that  involve traumatic                                                                    
brain injuries  equal approximately one percent  of reported                                                                    
accidents.  He asked  for  additional information  regarding                                                                    
the  public  funds  dispensed  for   the  citizens  who  are                                                                    
traumatically injured and then  hospitalized for an extended                                                                    
period of time.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTIE ARTUSO,  DIRECTOR NEUROSCIENCES,  PROVIDENCE ALASKA                                                                    
MEDICAL  CENTER (via  teleconference), testified  in support                                                                    
of SB  219. She pointed  out that the bill  allows statutory                                                                    
authority for  DHSS to  address many  of the  serious issues                                                                    
that  have   already  been   identified  as   affecting  the                                                                    
wellbeing  of  Alaskans.  The  legislation  facilitates  the                                                                    
state's  ability  to  provide   essential  services  to  the                                                                    
population of patients with traumatic  brain injury who have                                                                    
been neglected.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN  ENGLISH,  CHEIF   OPPERATING  OFFICER,  COOK  INLET                                                                    
TRIBAL  COUNCIL (via  teleconference), testified  in support                                                                    
of  SB  219.  She  believed  that  increased  attention  for                                                                    
traumatic brain  injury would be beneficial.  She cited that                                                                    
46 percent  of the patients  seen in the  detoxification and                                                                    
in  residential substance  abuse  service  self report  some                                                                    
form of traumatic brain injury.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:56:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SEAN  MURPHY,   SELF  (via  teleconference),   testified  in                                                                    
support of SB 219. He  explained that he was recovering from                                                                    
a  brain  injury. He  explained  that  he  was in  a  skiing                                                                    
accident  two years  ago where  he  hit a  tree. Three  days                                                                    
following the accident  he woke from the coma  and could not                                                                    
talk, walk,  or feed himself.  He stated that SB  219 allows                                                                    
DHSS  many  specifics  to  address  the  issues  related  to                                                                    
traumatic  brain injury  accidents.  He  believed that  case                                                                    
management  services  would  have   aided  in  his  recovery                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:59:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  WILLIAM  ALLEN,  MARINE CORPS  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of   the  legislation.  He  suffered                                                                    
exposure  to  explosive  devices   while  serving  in  Iraq.                                                                    
Effects  on  the brain  when  classified  as mild  can  take                                                                    
months or years to  heal themselves. Following the exposure,                                                                    
he was  able to function at  a high level. The  effects were                                                                    
most apparent  following his return home.  He suffered eight                                                                    
separate blasts and was able to  function at a high level at                                                                    
work, but the symptoms presented  themselves at home when he                                                                    
could relax.  He thought the  additional support would  be a                                                                    
benefit  to  family members  and  veterans  who make  Alaska                                                                    
their residence.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JILL  HODGES,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA   BRAIN  INJURY                                                                    
NETWORK, testified  in support of  SB 219. The  Alaska Brain                                                                    
Injury  Network   travels  around   the  state   talking  to                                                                    
community members  who have suffered brain  injuries. Alaska                                                                    
Trauma  Registry  Data  shows  that over  10,000  have  been                                                                    
hospitalized  with  a  severe  traumatic  brain  injury.  Of                                                                    
those, 72  percent go home without  assistance. Occasionally                                                                    
traumatic   brain  injury   becomes   a  chronic,   lifelong                                                                    
condition that  is often manageable.  She stressed  the need                                                                    
for an educational packet  explaining traumatic brain injury                                                                    
and what to expect. She  explained that SB 219 establishes a                                                                    
foundation  to  give  brain  injury   a  home  within  state                                                                    
government  while  providing  proper investment  of  current                                                                    
funding  for behavioral  health and  corrections. She  cited                                                                    
necessary  steps  as  establishing a  registry,  identifying                                                                    
brain   injury   as   a  chronic   longitudinal   condition,                                                                    
establishing  a   home  within  state  government   to  plan                                                                    
directly for the population.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:06:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  expressed  concerns  of  Alaskans  regarding                                                                    
absurd  regulations  resulting  from the  data.  Ms.  Hodges                                                                    
responded that  the bill's  focus is on  those who  have the                                                                    
injuries at  no fault of  their own. Without  the aftercare,                                                                    
there are  limited chances of  full recovery.  She mentioned                                                                    
that the  number one cause of  brain injury in the  state is                                                                    
falling. She  noted the legislation's  focus on  assault and                                                                    
substance abuse prevention.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:08:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ANGELA SALERNO, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF                                                                    
SOCIAL WORKERS  ALASKA CHAPTER,  testified in  opposition to                                                                    
the legislation as written. She  cited Section 2 of the bill                                                                    
which  gives DHSS  the authority  to seek  a Medicaid  state                                                                    
plan amendment  to add case  management services  for people                                                                    
with  traumatic brain  injury. Section  3 shows  a different                                                                    
definition  of case  management  for  people with  traumatic                                                                    
brain injury, which she sees  as problematic. The definition                                                                    
is not  consistent with the  federal definition  of targeted                                                                    
case management and  it could cause the  federal centers for                                                                    
Medicare  and Medicaid  to  deny any  claims  made for  case                                                                    
management services. She  suggested eliminating the language                                                                    
and replacing it with a  reference to the federal definition                                                                    
that  will stop  any  confusion. She  noted  that Section  4                                                                    
requires DHSS  to serve people  with traumatic  brain injury                                                                    
under a  Medicaid waiver.  A fiscal  note was  not developed                                                                    
for a new  waiver because current waivers  serve people with                                                                    
traumatic brain  injury, who  must be  treated in  a nursing                                                                    
home or institution. People with  mild or moderate traumatic                                                                    
brain injury do not meet that level of need.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman noted  that the bill sponsor  is working on                                                                    
a Committee Substitute.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:11:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Cha commented that this  legislation was not intended to                                                                    
serve as a mandatory helmet law.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB  219  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 226                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  providing for, relating to,  and approving the                                                                    
     issuance  of  certificates  of  participation  for  the                                                                    
     construction, acquisition, and  equipping of the Alaska                                                                    
     Scientific  Crime  Detection Laboratory  in  Anchorage;                                                                    
     providing  notice of  and authorizing  the commissioner                                                                    
     of  the Department  of Administration  to enter  into a                                                                    
     lease-purchase agreement with  the Department of Public                                                                    
     Safety  for  the   Alaska  Scientific  Crime  Detection                                                                    
     Laboratory; providing  for, relating to,  and approving                                                                    
     the issuance  of certificates of participation  for the                                                                    
     design,  construction,  acquisition, and  equipping  of                                                                    
     the  University  of   Alaska  Fairbanks  Life  Sciences                                                                    
     Building   in  Fairbanks;   providing  notice   of  and                                                                    
     authorizing  the  commissioner  of  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Administration   to   enter   into   a   lease-purchase                                                                    
     agreement  with  the  University   of  Alaska  for  the                                                                    
     University of Alaska  Fairbanks Life Sciences Building;                                                                    
     authorizing the  University of Alaska to  issue revenue                                                                    
     bonds for the  construction, acquisition, and equipping                                                                    
     of  the University  of Alaska  Fairbanks Life  Sciences                                                                    
     Building in  Fairbanks; and providing for  an effective                                                                    
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:12:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman   introduced  the   final  piece   of  the                                                                    
governor's    legislation   authorizing    Certificates   of                                                                    
Participation for the  construction of a crime  lab and Life                                                                    
Sciences Building.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DEVEN MITCHELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA MUNICIPAL BOND                                                                       
BANK AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE introduced himself.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked for a definition of participation of                                                                     
certification. He asked about financial packages that could                                                                     
be assembled to move projects forward in the state.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Mitchell delivered the sponsor statement.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     This  legislation  would  authorize the  Department  of                                                                    
     Revenue to issue certificates  of participation for the                                                                    
     construction,   acquisition   and  equipping   of   two                                                                    
     facilities;  the  Alaska   Scientific  Crime  Detection                                                                    
     Laboratory in  Anchorage and  the University  of Alaska                                                                    
     Fairbanks Life Sciences Building in Fairbanks.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Bonding:                                                                                                                 
     It is  time to finance  these projects.  The Department                                                                    
     of Revenue  has based the  payback estimate on  20 year                                                                    
     financing  with  the  State's   AA  credit  rating  for                                                                    
     appropriation  based credit.   In  the current  market,                                                                    
     the  Department of  Revenue  estimates  that the  State                                                                    
     will  be  able to  achieve  a  total interest  cost  of                                                                    
     approximately  4.2  %   using  tax  exempt  securities.                                                                    
     However,   through   a   combination  of   tax   exempt                                                                    
     securities  for shorter  maturities  and Build  America                                                                    
     Bonds or  BABs (Taxable  securities with a  35% federal                                                                    
     subsidy)  for the  longer  term  maturities, the  State                                                                    
     could  achieve  a rate  as  low  as  3.5%.   The  final                                                                    
     structure  will be  designed to  result  in the  lowest                                                                    
     cost  at   the  time  of  issuance.   Authorization  to                                                                    
    participate in BAB's will close at the end of 2010.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Crime Laboratory:                                                                                                        
     Alaska needs  a crime  laboratory to prevent  crime and                                                                    
     protect Alaskans. The proposed  laboratory is the right                                                                    
     size, the right  cost and it will  benefit Alaskans now                                                                    
     and  long  into  the  future. The  benefits  from  this                                                                    
     project include:  1) convicting the guilty  before they                                                                    
     commit  other  crimes;  2) protect  the  innocent  from                                                                    
     false  accusation; 3)  reduce rape;  4) reduce  violent                                                                    
     crime;  5) process  evidence from  home burglaries;  6)                                                                    
     solve  more  cases  with   new  techniques  and  faster                                                                    
     output; and more.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Building the  crime lab will provide  an economic boost                                                                    
     to Anchorage  by providing for  170,000 labor  hours in                                                                    
     250  jobs for  Alaskans. $12  million in  Alaska wages,                                                                    
     $20 million to materials  supplied by local vendors and                                                                    
     business  for approximately  15 Alaska  subcontractors.                                                                    
     The  facility  will  be  84,000 SF  on  Tudor  Road  in                                                                    
     Anchorage. $16.8  million spent  to date on  design and                                                                    
     site work on  15 acres leased from  the Municipality of                                                                    
     Anchorage at  $1 per year  for 50 years with  an option                                                                    
     to  extend.  The  crime  lab is  planned  to  meet  the                                                                    
     state's needs for growth beyond 75 years.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     University Life Science Building:                                                                                        
     The  UA Life  Science Facility  is Important  to Alaska                                                                    
     and  Alaskans.  This   facility  (approximately  97,700                                                                    
     square  feet)  will  meet  critical  needs  for  modern                                                                    
     classrooms  and   teaching  laboratories   and  provide                                                                    
     critical research  space to allow for  continued growth                                                                    
     in   many  successful   life  sciences   programs.  The                                                                    
     proposal includes  approximately 40,000 SF  of teaching                                                                    
     space  and   57,700  SF  of   research  space   in  one                                                                    
     centralized                                   location.                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
     The investment  of $108.4 million ($87.9  m state/$20.6                                                                    
     m  UA revenue  bonds)  yields  long-term dividends;  1)                                                                    
     short-term--Construction will  inject new  dollars into                                                                    
     the  statewide economy  and  provide approximately  370                                                                    
     jobs during  construction, infusing  approximately $170                                                                    
     million  in   direct  and  indirect   economic  output,                                                                    
     including  $80 million  in labor  income; and  2) long-                                                                    
     term--Life  Sciences  research  attracts  'new'  money,                                                                    
     since  research  revenue   comes  mostly  from  federal                                                                    
     science agencies.  Every $1 in state  funds invested in                                                                    
     UA research  yields $6 in  research funding  from other                                                                    
     sources.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The Governor urges your prompt  and favorable action on                                                                    
     this bill.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:22:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman requested testimony from the Deputy                                                                            
Commissioner.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  BURNETT, DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DIVISION  OF TREASURY,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  REVENUE, offered no additional  testimony. He                                                                    
reiterated  the comments  of Mr.  Mitchell and  the need  to                                                                    
address  the Build  America Bonds  (BOB). He  explained that                                                                    
the BOB  and General Obligation  (GO) bond programs  may not                                                                    
exist much longer.  The proposals in congress  are to reduce                                                                    
the  subsidy  from  35  to  28  percent.  Other  states  are                                                                    
utilizing bonds to reduce their  ongoing operating costs and                                                                    
to substitute  for their general fund  revenues. He stressed                                                                    
the seriousness of timing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman asked  about  the option  of cash  payment                                                                    
versus shaving basis points off  of the debt instrument. Mr.                                                                    
Burnett  noted  that the  Office  of  Management and  Budget                                                                    
(OMB) makes the budgeting decisions  on the question of cash                                                                    
or  debt. The  state is  currently observing  interest rates                                                                    
which are  likely to  be near four  percent. He  opined that                                                                    
the  state does  not have  an  excessive amount  of debt  in                                                                    
addition to  savings which allows the  legislature a greater                                                                    
amount of flexibility in the future.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:25:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman recalled the potential  to lose one year of                                                                    
construction if  the Certificates  of Participation  are not                                                                    
chosen. He asked  how many years the project  has been under                                                                    
consideration for construction.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Mitchell responded  that he  was not  an expert  on the                                                                    
project  side  of  the  proposal.   He  explained  that  the                                                                    
Department of  Public Safety's proposal has  been before the                                                                    
legislature in  various committees in  each of the  last two                                                                    
sessions.  He remarked  that he  was not  certain about  the                                                                    
Life Sciences Building.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  believed that  the Life  Sciences Building                                                                    
has  been  proposed  for longer  than  two  years.  Co-Chair                                                                    
Hoffman   agreed   that   the   project   has   been   under                                                                    
consideration for several years.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:27:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas asked  how the quoted 35  percent pertains to                                                                    
the BOBs. Mr. Mitchell clarified that  a bond is issued on a                                                                    
taxable basis  so the  investor receives  a taxable  rate of                                                                    
interest  and the  issuer receives  the benefit  of the  tax                                                                    
exempt  status.  The  35  percent would  flow  back  to  the                                                                    
state's  general  fund  as  debt   service  was  paid  on  a                                                                    
semiannual basis.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Thomas   asked   if    the   subaccount   of   the                                                                    
Constitutional Budget  Reserve (CBR) is earning  an interest                                                                    
rate in  excess of what  is estimated to be  the Certificate                                                                    
of  Participation bonding.  Co-Chair Stedman  clarified that                                                                    
the main account of the CBR is earning interest.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burnett  responded that  the general  investment account                                                                    
and  the  main  account  of the  CBR  historically  earn  an                                                                    
interest rate higher than a  cost of issuance for the state.                                                                    
He  pointed  out  that  the US  government  gives  a  direct                                                                    
payment  to the  state for  the  35 percent  subsidy of  the                                                                    
interest.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman asked about the cash flow mechanism.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:29:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Mitchell noted  that the  state  can pay  a trustee  to                                                                    
undertake the work  for a nominal fee. The  second choice is                                                                    
to submit paperwork with the  Internal Revenue Service (IRS)                                                                    
upon issuance of the bonds.  Notice is filed three months in                                                                    
advance with  the United  States treasury  and reimbursement                                                                    
is received upon  payment. The payment is  supposed to occur                                                                    
the next day.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman   mentioned  the  fiscal  note   from  the                                                                    
Department of  Revenue showing the initial  interest payment                                                                    
of $2,700,000 in general funds for FY11.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:30:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MYRON  DOSCH,  UNIVERSITY  OF ALASKA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
explained   that  he   oversees  debt   functions  for   the                                                                    
University  of  Alaska.  He   expressed  concerns  with  the                                                                    
proposed   financing  structure   for   the  Life   Sciences                                                                    
Building.  He proposed  technical  amendments  to the  bill,                                                                    
which he  believed were overlooked in  the initial drafting.                                                                    
The  University intends  to issue  general revenue  bonds to                                                                    
pay for  a portion  of the  construction cost.  He suggested                                                                    
proposed amendments  for Section  5, Line 18.  Currently the                                                                    
bill states "maximum principal amount  of the bonds that the                                                                    
University of  Alaska may  issue is  $20.6 million,"  but he                                                                    
proposed that  it be  increased to  $24 million.  The change                                                                    
provides  a sufficient  amount to  cover  the bond  issuance                                                                    
cost,  mandatory  debt  service  reserves,  and  capitalized                                                                    
interest if  necessary. The issuance  costs are  included in                                                                    
the bond  and the costs  are paid through debt  service over                                                                    
the life  of the debt.  Leaving the principal  amount capped                                                                    
at $20.6  million takes from  funds needed  for construction                                                                    
costs. He noted  that the interest rate  environment is low,                                                                    
making  the  project palatable  from  a  financing point  of                                                                    
view.  The  second  proposed  amendment  is  in  Section  4,                                                                    
Subsection  C referring  to  the entity  with  title to  the                                                                    
building  following   Certificates  of   Participation  were                                                                    
issued. The  last technical change  is proposed  for Section                                                                    
4,  Subsection A  regarding the  authority to  enter into  a                                                                    
lease purchase agreement.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:35:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JAY   QUAKENBUSH,   PRESIDENT,    FAIRBANKS   BUILDING   AND                                                                    
CONSTRUCTION  TRADES  (via   teleconference),  testified  in                                                                    
favor of SB  226. He stated that the  Life Sciences Building                                                                    
is necessary  and would  secure the  University of  Alaska a                                                                    
spot as one of the  top universities in the nation regarding                                                                    
biological sciences.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:38:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LAKE  WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT,  FAIRBANKS CENTRAL  LABOR COUNCIL                                                                    
(via   teleconference),   testified   in  support   of   the                                                                    
legislation.  He  noted  that   the  proposed  project  will                                                                    
benefit Alaska  in the short  and long term. He  opined that                                                                    
delay of  the project would lead  to additional construction                                                                    
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:40:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH  MASTERS, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                    
testified on  the crime lab  portion of the  legislation. He                                                                    
stressed  the importance  of the  crime lab  for the  state.                                                                    
Currently Alaska is  placed number one in  national rank for                                                                    
sexual  assault   and  nine  in  rank   for  violent  crime.                                                                    
Scientific  analysis  and  evidence is  vital  to  providing                                                                    
prosecutors  the information  necessary  to prosecute  these                                                                    
cases. The proposed  Crime Lab would be  the only accredited                                                                    
crime lab  in the  state and would  service agencies  of the                                                                    
state and  all police  agencies for submission  of evidence.                                                                    
The current lab is overcrowded  and inadequate, which is the                                                                    
single largest limiter in the  lab through put. The lab must                                                                    
therefore  triage and  focus on  the increasing  severity of                                                                    
cases while setting minor crimes  to the side. The new crime                                                                    
lab  would  restore  services  previously  discontinued  and                                                                    
allow  the  addition  of other  critical  services  such  as                                                                    
toxicology.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters  continued  that  the  crime  lab  has                                                                    
evolved over the years. He  pointed out that $18 million has                                                                    
been appropriated  by the legislature in  previous years for                                                                    
the investment,  design, review,  and sight  preparation. He                                                                    
explained that a  delay will occur with the use  of GO bonds                                                                    
leading to a delay in critical services needed today.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:46:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked about operating costs  for the first                                                                    
year  of the  facility.  He asked  about  the new  positions                                                                    
required.  Commissioner Masters  responded that  the initial                                                                    
cost involves  a ten year  plan. New sciences are  added and                                                                    
with them new positions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked what the existing  facility would be                                                                    
used for. Commissioner Masters replied  that the current lab                                                                    
facility   would   require    significant   renovation   and                                                                    
reconstruction  to be  used as  a  laboratory. He  mentioned                                                                    
that  it  could   be  used  as  office   space  without  the                                                                    
renovation.  He pointed  out that  the Department  of Public                                                                    
Safety currently has need of additional facility space.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked the cost  to mothball  the facility.                                                                    
Mr. Masters  replied that restoration of  the facility would                                                                    
require upwards of $10-12 million.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  requested the  department's  expectations                                                                    
regarding staffing levels.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:48:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins pointed out that  20 percent of the building                                                                    
will remain unfinished. Commissioner  Masters pointed out an                                                                    
approach in which  space is shelled out  initially and build                                                                    
in with  added sciences.  Senator Huggins recalled  that the                                                                    
initial  cost of  the project  was $100  million. Today  the                                                                    
cost  is  the  same,  yet  20 percent  of  the  building  is                                                                    
unfinished.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas  commented on  coordination with  lab project                                                                    
experts and  designers. He appreciated  a situation  where a                                                                    
contractor   tempers  the   design  architect's   particular                                                                    
signatures.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:50:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE,  ALAKSA STATE AFL  CIO, testified  in support                                                                    
of the legislation as it  benefits the unemployed as well as                                                                    
crime  lab  employees by  allowing  them  to do  their  jobs                                                                    
properly.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
FRANK  RICHARDS,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER,  HIGHWAYS  &  PUBLIC                                                                    
FACILITIES,   DEPARTMENT   OF  TRANSPORTATION   AND   PUBLIC                                                                    
FACILITIES,  identified  the  benefits   of  the  crime  lab                                                                    
construction  in  calendar  year   2010.  With  the  current                                                                    
funding  package,  construction   could  likely  occur  this                                                                    
spring and summer.  Initiation of the project  would lead to                                                                    
approximately  125-150 new  jobs. The  cost of  delaying the                                                                    
project  by one  year is  an  estimated 4  percent. The  lab                                                                    
costs presented are valid.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MATT TANAKA,  PROJECT MANAGER, DEPARTMENT  OF TRANSPORTATION                                                                    
AND  PUBLIC FACILITIES  stressed that  the project  has been                                                                    
before  the  legislature  for a  considerable  time  and  is                                                                    
"beyond  shovel  ready."  If  funded  with  Certificates  of                                                                    
Participation this  spring, construction will begin  in May.                                                                    
If the project  is delayed due to  General Obligation bonds,                                                                    
the delay will  give rise to $3 million  worth of escalation                                                                    
costs, which  will partially offset  savings that  may arise                                                                    
from alternative funding schemes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SB  226  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:54 AM.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
2009 SB 144 sponsor stmt & sectional.doc SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 144
2010 SB 144 Musk Ox poster.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 144
2010 SB 144 SFC request.PDF SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 144
ADN Nov 3 2009 PROBLEM.PDF SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
ADN Nov 13 2009 SOLUTION.PDF SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
MEMORANDUM STATE OF ALASKA SB 215.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Fact Sheet.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Hearing Request Letter FIN.PDF SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Sponsor Statement FINAL.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215A FINAL Bill.PDF SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
00 Sponsor Statement CSSB219.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
04 Summary of Changes_E.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
05 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
06 Alaska Data Graphs.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
07 TBI Scorecard and Dashboard 032009.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
08 Medicaid BrainInjury Program Costs.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
09 StateofAlaska_Services_Congenital_Degenerative_BrainInjury.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
10 Acquired Brain Injury Definition.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
11 Letters of Support.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 219
test SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238 Copy of Bill - version 26-1362A.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
SB 238 Document - AARP.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
SB 238 Documents.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
SB 238 Fiscal Note dated 1-29-2010.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
SB 238 Request for Hearing Senate Finance 2-3-2010.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
SB 238 Sectional.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
SB 238 Sponsor Statement rev. 2-1-2010.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 238
Hearing Request SB226 COP crime lab univ 20jan10.doc SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 226
SB226 COP crime lab univ section analysis 27jan10.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 226
SB 226 COP crime lab Univ life science sponsor statement 26jan10.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 226
SB 226 COP Univ McDowell Report - Life Sciences 2009.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 226
SB 226 CrimeLab Leg Brief 021810.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 226
SJR21 sponsor statement[1].pdf SFIN 3/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SJR 21
SJR 21 Population Trend 2010 districts[1].pdf SFIN 3/8/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SJR 21
SJR21 sponsor statement.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 2/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
SJR 21
SJR 21 Population Trend 2010 districts.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 2/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
SJR 21
Alaska Supreme Court. redistricting.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 2/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
SJR 21
Sample of Emergency Awards from Fiscal Year 2009.docx SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
Sponsor Statement - SB 266.docx SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
VCCB Awards 2009 graphs - 1.pdf SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
VCCB Awards 2009 graphs - 2.pdf SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
VCCB Claims Chart.pdf SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
VCCB Emergency Awards FACTS (1).pdf SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
VCCB Emergency awards FACTS (2).doc SFIN 3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 266
SB 215 AK State Council Vietnam Veterans of America.pdf SFIN 3/15/2010 9:00:00 AM
SB 215