Legislature(2011 - 2012)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/01/2011 09:00 AM FINANCE


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09:03:34 AM Start
09:04:21 AM HB16
09:12:17 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner Bryan Butcher, Department of Revenue
<Above Item Postponed>
+= SB 94 SECOND VERSE OF ALASKA'S STATE SONG TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 94 Out of Committee
+= HB 16 EXTEND SENIOR BENEFITS PAYMENT PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 16(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 1, 2011                                                                                            
                         9:03 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:03:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman called the Senate Finance Committee                                                                            
meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Lesil McGuire, Vice-Chair                                                                                               
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Darwin Peterson, Staff, Senator Stedman; Representative                                                                         
Mike Hawker.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 94     SECOND VERSE OF ALASKA'S STATE SONG                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          SB 94 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                        
          pass" recommendation and with one new zero fiscal                                                                     
          note from the Senate Finance Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 16     EXTEND SENIOR BENEFITS PAYMENT PROGRAM                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          SCSHB 16 was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do                                                                    
          pass"  recommendation  and  with four  new  fiscal                                                                    
          impact  notes from  the Department  of Health  and                                                                    
          Social Services.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 16                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending senior benefits."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:04:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  proposed committee substitute,  work draft                                                                    
27-LS0135/D.  Co-Chair  Stedman   OBJECTED  for  purpose  of                                                                    
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DARWIN  PETERSON,  STAFF,  SENATOR  STEDMAN,  explained  the                                                                    
Committee  Substitute (CS).  The previous  version of  HB 16                                                                    
was a  one section  bill that extended  the sunset  date for                                                                    
the  senior benefit  payment  program.  Following the  first                                                                    
hearing  on  the  bill,  the  chairman  was  concerned  that                                                                    
certain low income seniors were  ineligible for the program.                                                                    
The  exclusion is  found in  regulation and  states that  in                                                                    
order  to  be  eligible  for  the  senior  benefits  payment                                                                    
program, an  applicant may  not be a  resident of  a nursing                                                                    
home, a  Pioneer home  or a veteran's  home. The  reason for                                                                    
the exclusion  is because low income  residents are required                                                                    
to  contribute most  of their  income to  the cost  of their                                                                    
care. The  additional cost  is subsidized  by the  state and                                                                    
Medicaid.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peterson  continued that  if low  income seniors  in the                                                                    
facilities  receive the  senior  benefit  payment they  must                                                                    
contribute the funds  to the cost of their  care which would                                                                    
result in a net increase  without any benefit to the client.                                                                    
He  mentioned one  option to  hold  harmless senior  benefit                                                                    
payments for  residents of these facilities,  but that would                                                                    
increase  the  fiscal  note by  $1.8  million.  Following  a                                                                    
meeting with  the department,  another option  was presented                                                                    
to  increase  the  existing personal  needs  allowance  that                                                                    
exists in  statute for residents  of nursing  homes, Pioneer                                                                    
homes and  veteran's homes. Currently, residents  of nursing                                                                    
homes receive an  allowance of $75 per  month, and residents                                                                    
of Pioneer  homes and veteran's  homes receive  an allowance                                                                    
of  $100 per  month. For  residents with  an income  such as                                                                    
social security  or a pension,  this provides  the allowance                                                                    
seniors are allowed  to keep prior to  turning the remainder                                                                    
over  for the  cost of  their  care. For  residents with  no                                                                    
income,  the department  pays  the  allowance. The  personal                                                                    
needs allowance for a nursing  home resident has not changed                                                                    
in 30 years. The total cost  to the general fund as a result                                                                    
of increasing  these payments is $522,900.  He mentioned the                                                                    
four  new fiscal  notes from  the Department  of Health  and                                                                    
Social Services (DHSS).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:07:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peterson presented a sectional  analysis. He stated that                                                                    
Section 1  establishes a $200  personal needs  allowance for                                                                    
residents  of  nursing  homes. Currently  the  allowance  is                                                                    
found only in  regulation. The CS codifies  the allowance in                                                                    
statute.  He continued  that Section  2 amends  the existing                                                                    
personal  needs  allowance  in   statute  for  residents  of                                                                    
Pioneer  homes and  veteran's homes  to $200.  Section 3  AS                                                                    
47.55.020(c)   currently    contains   permissive   language                                                                    
allowing the department to  provide personal needs allowance                                                                    
to   residents  with   no  income.   The  CS   requires  the                                                                    
departments to make the payment.  Section 4 exempts the $200                                                                    
personal  needs allowance  from income  that must  be turned                                                                    
over to  the state for  the cost of  care. Section 5  is the                                                                    
original bill which  extends the sunset date  for the senior                                                                    
benefit payment program to 2015.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:08:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted that the  series of  questions asked                                                                    
of the department  have been answered. He noted  that the CS                                                                    
changed the title  and that the title  change resolution was                                                                    
drafted. He mentioned four updated fiscal notes from DHSS.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAWKER,  expressed concern regarding the                                                                    
addition  of the  provision. The  bill  came into  committee                                                                    
with 23  House cosponsors  and 15  Senate cosponsors  and he                                                                    
had personally  committed to the  governor and  all previous                                                                    
committees that the bill would  not expand or create any new                                                                    
entitlement programs.  He promoted the  legislation strictly                                                                    
as  an  extension  of  the sunset  on  the  senior  benefits                                                                    
program.  He considered  that the  addition of  the personal                                                                    
needs  allowance   provisions  ought  to  have   a  separate                                                                    
legislative  process   including  a  review  by   the  human                                                                    
services committees in both the House and the Senate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman MOVED  to report  SB 16  out of  Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SCSHB 16 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                         
recommendation and with four new fiscal impact notes from                                                                       
the Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 94                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act adding a second verse to the official Alaska                                                                       
     state song."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:12:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman MOVED to report SB 94 out of Committee                                                                         
with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal                                                                     
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB 94 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                            
recommendation and with one new zero fiscal note from the                                                                       
Senate Finance Committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 9:16 AM.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 16 Senate Committee Response.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16
HB 16 DHSS Response 2-22-11.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16
HB 16 SCS for HB 16 version D (FIN) 033011.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16
HB016SCS(FIN)-DHSS-AKPH-4-1-11.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16
HB016SCS(FIN)-DHSS-APA-3-31-11.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16
HB016SCS(FIN)-DHSS-SBP-3-29-11.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16
HB016SCS(FIN)-DHSS-SDMS-3-28-11.pdf SFIN 4/1/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 16