Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

02/25/2015 09:00 AM FINANCE


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09:10:10 AM Start
09:11:32 AM SB27
09:12:03 AM Overview: Fy 16 Department of Corrections
09:55:24 AM Overview: Fy 16 Department of Fish and Game
10:31:52 AM Overview: Fy 16 Department of Public Safety
10:53:38 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 27 Presentation: Overview FY17 Operating Budget TELECONFERENCED
Departments: Environmental Conservation and
Departments: Corrections, Public Safety, and Law
Department of Fish and Game
<Above Agenda Item Rescheduled from 02/23/14>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 25, 2015                                                                                          
                         9:10 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:10:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly  called the Senate Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:10 a.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice-Chair                                                                                              
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ron Taylor, Commissioner,  Department of Corrections; Remond                                                                    
Henderson, Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of Corrections;                                                                    
Sam  Cotten,  Commissioner,  Department of  Fish  and  Game;                                                                    
Kevin Brooks,  Deputy Commissioner,  Department of  Fish and                                                                    
Game;  Kelly Howell,  Director,  Division of  Administrative                                                                    
Services,   Department  of   Public  Safety;   Gary  Folger,                                                                    
Commissioner, Department of Public Safety.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 27     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          SB 27 was was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                         
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
FY 16 BUDGET OVERVIEWS:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                                             
          DEPARTMENT OF FISH and GAME                                                                                           
          DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                                           
SENATE BILL NO. 27                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain    programs,    capitalizing   funds,    making                                                                    
     reappropriations, and making  appropriations under art.                                                                    
     IX, sec.  17(c), Constitution of  the State  of Alaska,                                                                    
     from  the  constitutional   budget  reserve  fund;  and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:11:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^OVERVIEW: FY 16 DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:12:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RON   TAYLOR,  COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT  OF   CORRECTIONS,                                                                    
presented Slide 2, "Mission":                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
      The  Alaska  Department  of Corrections  enhances  the                                                                    
     safety   of   our   communities.  We   provide   secure                                                                    
     confinement,  reformative programs,  and  a process  of                                                                    
     supervised community reintegration.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Taylor  joked that  the department was  good at                                                                    
secure confinement.  He added that  the department  had been                                                                    
working  diligently  at  helping  people  be  successful  at                                                                    
community reintegration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:12:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REMOND   HENDERSON,  DEPUTY   COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                    
CORRECTIONS, referred to Slide  2, "Corrections Comparison -                                                                    
FY2015 Management  Plan to FY2016  Work In  Progress", which                                                                    
reflected the adjustments  that were made between  the FY 15                                                                    
management plan  and the Work  In Progress  budget submitted                                                                    
by the governor. He shared  that the department had taken an                                                                    
overall 6  percent reduction between FY2015  and the amended                                                                    
budget. He made note  of the individual reductions, pointing                                                                    
out that  the first  was the  Physical Health  Care/PFD Fund                                                                    
Change, the reduced  GF would be replaced  with PFD criminal                                                                    
funds and  totaled approximately $9.5 million.  He explained                                                                    
that under  AS 43.23.005(d),  individuals were  not eligible                                                                    
for   a   permanent  fund   dividend   if   they  had   been                                                                    
incarcerated,  convicted  of a  felony,  or  convicted of  a                                                                    
misdemeanor with a  prior history of a  felony. He continued                                                                    
that  the  slide  reflected  and  increase  in  the  vacancy                                                                    
factor; historically, throughout  the institutions there had                                                                    
been  carried a  zero percent  vacancy factor,  a 2  percent                                                                    
vacancy factor had been  allocated throughout each component                                                                    
in  the  institutions,  totaling   roughly  $3  million.  He                                                                    
pointed to  the next deduction,  which was a  $601.2 million                                                                    
reduction in the Fairbanks  Community Residential Center. He                                                                    
said  that the  contract that  the department  had with  the                                                                    
center had  been reduced  by 20  beds to  more appropriately                                                                    
reflect actual usage. He spoke  to the reduction in regional                                                                    
and community jail contracts, which  had been reduced to the                                                                    
FY  14 level  of $283.2  million, removing  the CPI  and the                                                                    
geographical increase that had been received in FY 15.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:15:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly asked  whether  the  residential center  was                                                                    
Northstar Center in Fairbanks.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson replied in the affirmative.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:16:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson stated  that the bottom of Slide  2 listed the                                                                    
allocation   from   the    Governor's   Budget   in   secure                                                                    
confinement, supervised  release, and  reformative programs.                                                                    
The slide reflected a 3.8 percent reduction in UGF.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:16:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  moved to Slide  3, which moved from  the Work                                                                    
In Progress  budget to the  FY2016 Governor's  Budget, prior                                                                    
to  amendments. He  said that  the first  reduction was  for                                                                    
$316,000  and   would  reduce  excess  authority   that  the                                                                    
department had  in agency receipts.  The next  reduction was                                                                    
$28.4  million   and  would  eliminate  CIP   receipts.  The                                                                    
department no longer  had capital dollars in  the budget for                                                                    
prison expansion.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:17:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dunleavy  asked  about the  3.8  percent  reduction                                                                    
reflected at the bottom of Slide 2.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  responded that the  3.8 reduction was  in the                                                                    
UGF;  the $11,423.0,  divided by  the beginning  balance was                                                                    
equal to 3.8 percent.                                                                                                           
Senator Dunleavy  clarified that  the overall  reduction was                                                                    
0.5 percent, as reflected at the bottom of the slide.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson replied yes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:18:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson returned  to Slide 3. He said  that the $339.9                                                                    
reduction  in  GF  program receipts  would  more  accurately                                                                    
reflect  what was  actually being  collected. He  identified                                                                    
the   GF  reduction   for  Medicaid   expansion;  citing   a                                                                    
nationwide study  that estimated  that 80  to 90  percent of                                                                    
the inmates  within the institutions  would be  eligible for                                                                    
Medicaid; the  department had  conducted research  using its                                                                    
own  facility numbers  and discovered  the possible  savings                                                                    
through the expansion.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:20:47 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:21:32 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:21:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  surmised that  the slide worked  under the                                                                    
assumption  that  the  state   would  be  choosing  Medicaid                                                                    
expansion.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson responded in the affirmative.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  asked whether  there would  be legislation                                                                    
that would explain the whole concept of Medicaid expansion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson replied  that the  Department  of Health  and                                                                    
Social Services  (DHSS) would offer  a broad  perspective on                                                                    
the  entire  Medicaid  expansion  during  that  department's                                                                    
budget overview.                                                                                                                
9:22:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman asked  whether  the department  anticipated                                                                    
the expansion to be implemented on  July 1, 2015, or a later                                                                    
date.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  he said that  the numbers on the  slide spoke                                                                    
to  what the  department projected  over the  course of  one                                                                    
year. He  deferred further explanation  to DHSS. He  did not                                                                    
believe that the savings would begin on July 1, 2015.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman surmised  that  if the  expansion began  in                                                                    
January  of 2016,  half of  the projected  savings could  be                                                                    
expected.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson understood that even  if the expansion did not                                                                    
begin on  July, 1, 2015,  the department had the  ability to                                                                    
bill  for services  90 days  retrograde  once the  expansion                                                                    
took effect.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:23:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  understood that  there had been  a legal                                                                    
challenge  concerning the  department billing  Medicaid. She                                                                    
felt that,  beyond the  Medicaid expansion  discussion there                                                                    
was the  issue of  whether DOC could  even bill,  and recoup                                                                    
any money from,  Medicaid. She requested a  legal opinion on                                                                    
the matter.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  understood that it  had not been  the federal                                                                    
regulations or Alaska Statutes that  had been preventing DOC                                                                    
from  billing Medicaid,  rather  it was  the regulations  of                                                                    
DHSS. He  relayed that  DOC had been  working with  DHSS and                                                                    
the  Department  of  Law  (DOL)   in  order  to  change  the                                                                    
regulations  to  enable  DOC  to  become  eligible  for  the                                                                    
Medicaid  expansion.  He  noted that  regulations  had  been                                                                    
drafted but had not yet been  put out for public comment. He                                                                    
offered to provide further information on the issue.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:25:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Kelly   queried   whether  the   department   any                                                                    
alternative plan if the state  failed to expand Medicaid. He                                                                    
asked whether  a supplemental request  would be made  by the                                                                    
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Henderson  replied  that if  the  department  took  the                                                                    
reduction,  and  the  state failed  to  expand  Medicaid,  a                                                                    
supplemental request would be imminent.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:25:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson continued  to the next item on  Slide 3, which                                                                    
he  characterized as  the most  difficult  reduction in  the                                                                    
budget: Regional  & Community Jail  Contracts. He  said that                                                                    
the  roughly  10.3 million  reduction  was  not intended  to                                                                    
close  community  jails,  but  to  eliminate  contracts.  He                                                                    
opined that what had been  discovered was that the reduction                                                                    
would cause major issues with  community jails. He said that                                                                    
all of the contracts were  under scrutiny and that the funds                                                                    
had been  intended to  fund a portion  of the  operations of                                                                    
those jails.  He stated  that the funding  had been  used to                                                                    
pay  for   up  to   20  percent   of  police   officers  and                                                                    
dispatchers,  as  well as  utilities  and  clothing for  the                                                                    
facilities.   He   explained   that   the   department   had                                                                    
discovered, while  intending to  reduce the portion  that it                                                                    
was providing to  operate the jails, that  the reduction had                                                                    
caused a significant strain on  the communities. He revealed                                                                    
that this  was what had  led to the Governor's  Amendment to                                                                    
put $7  million back  into the  budget to  address community                                                                    
contracts.  He stressed  that the  department had  looked at                                                                    
simply closing  institutions, but that  closing institutions                                                                    
was not easy.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:28:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly  requested  a brief  overview  of  community                                                                    
jails and how they operated.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor said  that community  jails were  where                                                                    
people  were  held at  the  point  of arrest;  local  police                                                                    
departments   and  communities   had   contracts  with   the                                                                    
department  for   people  arrested  for  state   crimes.  He                                                                    
furthered  that people  were brought  into custody  and held                                                                    
for  up to  30 days,  depending  on the  location, and  then                                                                    
transferred to one of the  larger institutions. He disclosed                                                                    
that half  of the beds  were underutilized and there  were a                                                                    
number  of  communities  outside   of  the  community  jails                                                                    
structure that  the Department of  Public Safety  (DPS) used                                                                    
as emergency guard services.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:30:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman felt  that the  problem was  with the  cost                                                                    
shift;  the  question was  what  happened  when people  were                                                                    
arrested and could  not be detained in a  community jail. He                                                                    
related  that  Kotzebue  had closed  their  community  jail,                                                                    
which  led  to  an  increase in  the  overall  state  budget                                                                    
through DPS  because troopers  had to  transport individuals                                                                    
back and forth  from city to city. He added  that members of                                                                    
the courts had  required travel as well, in  order to ensure                                                                    
due process  for offenders.  He concluded  that cuts  in the                                                                    
DOC budget would  often become additions to  the DPS budget.                                                                    
He reiterated that the judicial  system needed to be able to                                                                    
represent in all communities.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:32:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson  returned to  Slide 3. He  pointed out  to the                                                                    
committee  the  $1 million  increase,  which  had been  made                                                                    
necessary because the 24 hour  utility component funding for                                                                    
fuel  trigger had  been eliminated.  He asserted  that there                                                                    
had  not been  a reduction  in community  jails to  fund the                                                                    
line item, although it was  listed as a Regional & Community                                                                    
transfer to 24-hr. Utility Component.  He explained that the                                                                    
listing was  a technical  way of  showing what  had happened                                                                    
without the allowance of increments.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:32:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  contended that energy  costs were  higher for                                                                    
community jails in rural areas.  He wondered how much of the                                                                    
$1 million was for the heating of community jails.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson replied that he did not know.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:33:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy asked whether  the department had discussed                                                                    
the  idea of  a  25  percent overall  reduction  in the  DOC                                                                    
budget within the next three years.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Taylor  responded that  it had  been discussed.                                                                    
He  lamented that  a  25 percent  overall  reduction in  the                                                                    
department  would  most  likely  result in  the  closing  of                                                                    
institutions and the shipment of inmates out-of-state.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:34:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly requested  a projected  timeline that  could                                                                    
plot when the state would  reach capacity and need to either                                                                    
build  a  new facility  or  begin  shipping inmates  out-of-                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor responded  that the  projected timeline                                                                    
was  2016-2017.  He opined  that  128  beds had  been  taken                                                                    
offline at Point MacKenzie. He  said that the department was                                                                    
working toward  shifting some minimum security  inmates from                                                                    
the  institutions and  into  halfway  houses and  electronic                                                                    
monitoring  situations.   He  thought   that  by   the  next                                                                    
legislative session  the department would be  able to report                                                                    
back  with  solid  numbers.   He  assumed  that  legislative                                                                    
recommendations would  impact how the department  served its                                                                    
population.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:36:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Hoffman  asked   which  facility   was  the   most                                                                    
overcrowded  and what  the department  was doing  to rectify                                                                    
any issues of overcrowding at facilities.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Taylor  said that  he would  need to  check the                                                                    
most recent counts sheet and  get back to the committee with                                                                    
the information.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman confirmed  that  the  state's most  crowded                                                                    
facility was  the Yukon  Kuskokwim Correctional  Facility in                                                                    
Bethel. He shared  that he had toured the  facility with the                                                                    
previous   commissioner  and   had   been   told  that   the                                                                    
overcrowding  would  be  rectified   with  the  Goose  Creek                                                                    
Correctional  Facility. He  asserted  that  Goose Creek  was                                                                    
online  and the  problem had  still not  been rectified.  He                                                                    
bemoaned that  Goose Creek had  not been the  "magic bullet"                                                                    
that many people had thought that it would be.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:37:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Micciche  suggested  that  the  daily  cost  for                                                                    
institutions  was  less  than half  at  the  community  jail                                                                    
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson responded in the affirmative.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Micciche surmised that  the daily cost of out-of-                                                                    
state institutions was 30 percent less than in-state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson replied that that was correct.                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Micciche  asked whether an overall  evaluation of                                                                    
the  cost efficiency  of  running  the state's  correctional                                                                    
system  could be  made available.  He understood  that there                                                                    
had been  support in the  past to bring home  Alaskan's that                                                                    
were  incarcerated   out-of-state,  but   that  it   was  an                                                                    
expensive  proposition.  He  presumed   that  a  25  percent                                                                    
reduction  in   the  department's  budget  would   make  the                                                                    
community  jails and  in-state institutions  an unattractive                                                                    
expense.                                                                                                                        
9:39:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Henderson returned  to Slide 3 to explain  that the $1.5                                                                    
million reduction in  the center in Palmer was  the first of                                                                    
several  steps required  to close  an institution.  He noted                                                                    
that if DOC  was going to achieve a 25  percent reduction in                                                                    
4  years  as  previously   mentioned,  it  would  result  in                                                                    
multiple facilities being closed.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:40:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly  queried the cost  of switching  some inmates                                                                    
to electronic monitoring.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor  estimated  that   the  daily  cost  of                                                                    
electronic monitoring was approximately  $24 to $25 per day.                                                                    
This  service  was contracted  out  and  was not  a  capital                                                                    
expenditure.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:41:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon asserted  that a huge cost  driver in the                                                                    
DOC budget was labor.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Taylor answered in the affirmative.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  for a  comparison of  labor costs                                                                    
in-state to labor costs out-of-state.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor  replied  that such  a  comparison  had                                                                    
never been done.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  requested the comparison. She  said that                                                                    
there had to be a  reason that out-of-state facilities could                                                                    
offer  incarceration  at  lower  cost  value  that  made  it                                                                    
beneficial for Alaska to ship people out of state.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor  contended   that  the  department  was                                                                    
dealing   with  older   facilities   that  required   costly                                                                    
maintenance and  that out-of-state-facilities  enjoyed newer                                                                    
technologies unavailable to in-state facilities.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon said  that  she hoped  for a  percentage                                                                    
comparison number.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:43:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Micciche spoke  to Slide 11. He  asked whether it                                                                    
had been  a policy call  by the legislature to  drive toward                                                                    
the  most  expansive  option,  or   had  the  decision  been                                                                    
departmental.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor replied  that  the  department did  not                                                                    
have the ability to make  policy decisions; the decision had                                                                    
been made through  a combination of the  legislature and the                                                                    
governor's office.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:44:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly  noted that it  had been a  legislative issue                                                                    
in the 1990's.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Micciche  lamented that  there was a  400 percent                                                                    
difference  in cost  between out-of-state  incarceration and                                                                    
in-state community  jails. He  encouraged the  department to                                                                    
look  into  options  that  would  make  incarceration  costs                                                                    
manageable  into the  future. He  felt that  the legislature                                                                    
could offer suggestions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly agreed. He  suggested that low-risk prisoners                                                                    
should be put on electronic monitoring.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Taylor stated  that DOC  did have  the ability                                                                    
for  electronic  monitoring;  however,   it  would  mean  an                                                                    
increased  risk  to  the  public.  He  warned  that  reentry                                                                    
management required a delicate balance.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:46:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson recognized that the  issue of privatization of                                                                    
correctional facilities was contentious.  He shared that the                                                                    
desire  to bring  down  the recidivism  rate  in Alaska  had                                                                    
driven  policy decisions  in  the  past concerning  in-state                                                                    
incarceration. He  believed that  it would  be short-sighted                                                                    
to  ignore  that  past  work. He  spoke  of  the  comparison                                                                    
between   community  jails   and   the   cost  of   in-state                                                                    
incarceration. He  stated that two different  functions were                                                                    
at  work;  community  jails were  intended  to  hold  people                                                                    
temporarily  until the  next step  in the  legal process,  a                                                                    
holding  facility would  be cheaper  to run  day-by-day, but                                                                    
rural  areas  needed community  jails  to  use as  temporary                                                                    
holing cells to  protect their residents. He  feared for the                                                                    
safety of rural communities that lacked community jails.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  spoke  if  the  $7  million  that  had  been                                                                    
reinstated in the budget, and  wondered whether his district                                                                    
would  benefit from  it.  He said  that  communities in  his                                                                    
district were on hold with  developing their budgets for the                                                                    
next year because they did  not know whether they were going                                                                    
to receive  the necessary  supplemental funding  to continue                                                                    
to stay open.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:50:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Taylor  replied   that  the   department  had                                                                    
examined the  FY 11 numbers  with the understanding  of what                                                                    
the rural communities were facing.  He explained that the FY                                                                    
11 budget numbers were the  baseline for what was awarded to                                                                    
the  communities;   $6.4  million.  He  stated   that  those                                                                    
communities would receive the funding.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:51:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly  hoped that the department  could come before                                                                    
the committee again in the future.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:52:50 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:54:49 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^OVERVIEW: FY 16 DEPARTMENT OF FISH and GAME                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAM  COTTEN,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  FISH  AND  GAME,                                                                    
commented    that   the    department   faced    challenging                                                                    
relationships with several  different federal agencies whose                                                                    
mission statements  differed from that of  the Department of                                                                    
Fish  and  Game  (DF&G).  He   shared  that  DF&G's  biggest                                                                    
challenge  was  the  ability  to  have  adequate  management                                                                    
information through  stock assessment and research  in order                                                                    
to allow  the public access  to the resources. He  felt that                                                                    
the  department benefited  through  their  ability to  raise                                                                    
funds  through user  fees. He  believed that  a lot  of user                                                                    
groups  were  realizing  and accepting  responsibility  that                                                                    
pay-as-you-go  might be  something that  would be  common in                                                                    
the future.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:56:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dunleavy  suggested   the  department  begin  their                                                                    
presentation on Slide 6.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:57:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN BROOKS,  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  FISH AND                                                                    
GAME,  referred  to  Slide 6,  "FY2016  Budget  By  Division                                                                    
($214,975.5)".  He pointed  out to  the committee  the three                                                                    
largest  management  divisions  illustrated  on  the  slide:                                                                    
Commercial  Fisheries,  Wildlife   Conservation,  and  Sport                                                                    
Fisheries, constituted 80 percent  of total funding. He said                                                                    
that smaller  divisions and entities  made up  the remaining                                                                    
budget  balance. He  turned to  Slide 7,  "FY2016 Budget  By                                                                    
Funding  Source ($214,975.5)".  He  stated  that GF  dollars                                                                    
constituted  $71,245.6 million  (40 percent),  federal funds                                                                    
were  $66.853.9  (30  percent),  and  Fish  and  Game  funds                                                                    
derived from hunting and  fishing licenses totaled $24,287.7                                                                    
(11 percent).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:58:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  queried the $109.7 million  for IA/Oil Haz                                                                    
reflected on the slide.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brooks replied that the  funds were a small inner-agency                                                                    
agreement with the  Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                    
(DEC), and came in through the Division of Habitat.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  asked whether  the funds  came out  of the                                                                    
Spill Prevention and Response (SPAR) budget.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brooks replied in the affirmative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:59:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brooks  moved to Slide  8, "FY2016  Budgeted Positions".                                                                    
He explained  that DF&G had  a very seasonal  workforce; 922                                                                    
full-time positions,  1683 total  positions. He  stated that                                                                    
the  department  doubled  in  size  during  the  busy  field                                                                    
season, and  the majority  of the  positions resided  in the                                                                    
aforementioned three large management divisions.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:59:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brooks  presented Slide 9,  "FY2016 Operating  Budget by                                                                    
Division," noting the negotiated  salary increases had grown                                                                    
the budget  by $2.7  million overall and  were a  mixture of                                                                    
funding sources, half  of which was UGF.  He highlighted the                                                                    
small reduction  in healthcare costs  and the  $810 thousand                                                                    
UGF reduction  for three temporary increments  that had been                                                                    
added in  previous years and  were scheduled to roll  off at                                                                    
the  end  of 2015;  $300  thousand  of  which was  in  sport                                                                    
fisheries, and $510 thousand in commercial fisheries.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:00:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  understood there was an  increase over the                                                                    
previous year's budget.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Brooks  replied  that  the increase  was  only  in  the                                                                    
adjusted base.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:00:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman   asked  why  the  health   insurance  rate                                                                    
reductions  were not  proportionate to  the amount  of money                                                                    
that the  department received in  general, federal  and fish                                                                    
and game funds.  He asked about the  increases in contracts;                                                                    
over 50  percent of the  increases were from  general funds,                                                                    
but general funds was only  one-third of the charted funding                                                                    
sources.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brooks explained  that the adjustments were  tied to the                                                                    
detailed  budget put  out by  the Office  of Management  and                                                                    
Budget (OMB) and that each  specific position control number                                                                    
(PCN) had a funding source ratio.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:02:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brooks  moved to Slide  10, which took the  numbers from                                                                    
the  previous  slide  and  adjusted   them  to  reflect  the                                                                    
governor's endorsed budget. He  pointed out small reductions                                                                    
in  commercial  and  sport fisheries,  and  in  the  smaller                                                                    
divisions   of   administrative   services,   habitat,   and                                                                    
subsistence   research.  He   summarized   that  there   was                                                                    
approximately  $7.3  million  in  UGF  reductions  and  some                                                                    
proposals  to  off-set  with   available  revenue  from  the                                                                    
Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission, as  well  as  some                                                                    
federal receipts.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:03:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Brooks presented  slide  11,  "Highlights in  Operating                                                                    
Budget":                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
022515 ADF&G Senate Finance Overview FY2016.pdf SFIN 2/25/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 27
022515 DPS Budget Overview.pdf SFIN 2/25/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 27
022515 DOC Budget Overview.pdf SFIN 2/25/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 27
022515 LAW Budget Overview.pptx SFIN 2/25/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 27