Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/19/2015 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:05:56 AM Start
09:07:01 AM Fy 16 Budget Overview: Department of Environmental Conservation
09:41:32 AM Fy 16 Budget Overview: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
10:35:04 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 26 Presentation: Overview FY17 Operating Budget TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Departments: Environmental Conservation and TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 19, 2015                                                                                            
                         9:05 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:05:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice-Chair                                                                                              
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Thomas   Cherian,  Director,   Division  of   Administrative                                                                    
Services,  Department  of Environmental  Conservation;  Bill                                                                    
Griffith,   Facilities   Program  Manager,   Department   of                                                                    
Environmental Conservation;  Bryan Butcher,  Chief Executive                                                                    
Officer  and  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Housing  Finance                                                                    
Corporation,  Department of  Revenue;  Les Campbell,  Budget                                                                    
Director, Alaska Housing  Finance Corporation, Department of                                                                    
Revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mark  Romick, Director,  Planning  and Program  Development,                                                                    
Alaska Housing  Finance Corporation, Department  of Revenue;                                                                    
John  Anderson, Director,  Research  and Rural  Development,                                                                    
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Department of Revenue.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 26     BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB 26 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
FY 16 BUDGET OVERVIEWS:                                                                                                         
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION                                                                                        
ALASKA HOUSING FINANCE CORPORATION                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 26                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          "An Act  making appropriations,  including capital                                                                    
          appropriations  and  other appropriations;  making                                                                    
          appropriations to capitalize  funds; and providing                                                                    
          for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
^FY   16  BUDGET   OVERVIEW:  DEPARTMENT   OF  ENVIRONMENTAL                                                                  
CONSERVATION                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:07:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS   CHERIAN,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT OF  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION  (DEC),                                                                    
showed  a presentation  dated March  19, 2015.  He addressed                                                                    
slide 2,  "FY 2016  Endorsed Capital Request,"  and reported                                                                    
that the department's  FY 16 capital budget  request was $64                                                                    
million. He noted that 71  percent was from federal receipts                                                                    
and  other funds.  He furthered  that about  29 percent  was                                                                    
unrestricted general  fund (UGF), primarily used  as a match                                                                    
for  federal grants  or local  communities.  He pointed  out                                                                    
that  the amount  was DEC's  lowest capital  request in  the                                                                    
last 10 years.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian listed three capital requests from slide 2:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
   FY2016 Appropriations:                                                                                                       
    · Village Safe Water and Wastewater Infrastructure                                                                          
        Projects: $51,500,000                                                                                                   
     · Municipal Water, Sewage, and Solid Waste Facilities                                                                      
        Grants: $9,988,605                                                                                                      
     · Alaska Drinking Water Capitalization Grant - Subsidy                                                                     
        Funding: $2,526,300                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:09:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian  presented slide  3, "Historical  Capital Budget                                                                    
Comparison," which  depicted DEC's  budget from 2004  to the                                                                    
2016 request,  and broke down  the funding  into categories.                                                                    
He noted that a substantial  portion of past capital budgets                                                                    
were  comprised of  federal dollars.  He  observed that  the                                                                    
budget had been declining, with  the exception of 2009, when                                                                    
the department  received approximately $25 million  from the                                                                    
American Recovery  and Reinvestment  Act (ARRA)  [a stimulus                                                                    
package  enacted  by the  111th  United  States Congress  in                                                                    
February 2009].                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:09:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian discussed  slide 4,  "FY 2016  Endorsed Capital                                                                    
Request," and  outlined the first  budget request  for $51.5                                                                    
million:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   · Village Safe Water and Wastewater Infrastructure                                                                           
     Projects                                                                                                                   
        o First Time Service Projects                                                                                           
        o Expansion, Upgrade, and Replacement of Existing                                                                       
          Service                                                                                                               
   · $42,250,000 Federal                                                                                                        
   · $8,750,000 General Fund Match                                                                                              
   · $500,000 Statutory Designated Program Receipts                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian  pointed out that  the Village Safe  Water (VSW)                                                                    
projects  were  heavily  funded   with  federal  grants.  He                                                                    
detailed that  the projects  provided financial  support for                                                                    
water and sewer projects.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  how to  evaluate maintenance  and                                                                    
longevity   when   considering   replacement   of   existing                                                                    
services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BILL  GRIFFITH, FACILITIES  PROGRAM  MANAGER, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION,  explained  that  most  systems                                                                    
were originally  designed with  a lifetime  of approximately                                                                    
30  years, although  they were  typically  required to  last                                                                    
much  longer  due  to  lack  of  funding  to  replace  major                                                                    
components. DEC evaluated how  systems were being maintained                                                                    
in a  number of ways.  He related that  when DEC made  a new                                                                    
funding  request, efficacy  and maintenance  of systems  was                                                                    
considered  and   communities  that  could   demonstrate  an                                                                    
adequate job were prioritized.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:12:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bishop   asked  who  designed  the   projects.  Mr.                                                                    
Griffith  related that  the  projects  were administered  by                                                                    
state-employed engineers at the  VSW Program or by engineers                                                                    
at the  Alaska Native  Tribal Health Consortium  (ANTHC) who                                                                    
were federally-employed  or employed  by the  consortium. He                                                                    
furthered  that  if  projects   were  designed  by  the  VSW                                                                    
program,  the design  was contracted  out to  private sector                                                                    
engineering  companies.  If  the  project  was  designed  by                                                                    
ANTHC, most of the design was done in-house.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bishop  wondered  how   much  local  knowledge  was                                                                    
considered as  part of the  design process. He  referenced a                                                                    
community that got a new  laundromat with more capacity than                                                                    
was requested,  resulting in higher costs  for the community                                                                    
than  expected.  He  considered local  knowledge  to  be  an                                                                    
important consideration in project development.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy asked what might  happen if the request was                                                                    
not funded.  Mr. Griffith referred to  a multi-year priority                                                                    
list, and  explained that if  some of the projects  were not                                                                    
funded it  would be possible that  active construction would                                                                    
stop until additional funds were available.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:14:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson asked  about repairs  that were  planned, and                                                                    
wondered what the effects would  be if they were not funded.                                                                    
He used  the example  of issues related  to VSW  projects to                                                                    
repair  systems after  freezing, and  wondered if  villagers                                                                    
would have to  resort to using honey-buckets  if the repairs                                                                    
were  not funded.  Mr.  Griffith related  that  most of  the                                                                    
freezing  problems  that  occurred   over  the  winter  were                                                                    
operational problems,  and there  were programs in  place to                                                                    
get  the  affected systems  up  and  running. Those  systems                                                                    
needing  major improvements  and  upgrades  to keep  running                                                                    
would be affected by lack  of funding. He continued that DEC                                                                    
did have some projects that fit the criteria.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  used the example  of Mountain  Village, where                                                                    
an aging system  froze and relegated the  community to using                                                                    
honey-buckets. Mr.  Griffith believed that service  had been                                                                    
restored to the  village, yet the system was  tenuous and in                                                                    
need  of a  number  of upgrades  to  remain operational.  He                                                                    
stated that the department was  working with the village and                                                                    
it was  a good  example of  a system  that could  not remain                                                                    
running much longer without being upgraded.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked  if the problem was due  to the original                                                                    
system or  lack of  proper maintenance. Mr.  Griffith stated                                                                    
that Mountain Village had an  older system that had exceeded                                                                    
its  design life.  Parts of  the  system were  well over  30                                                                    
years  old, including  pipe in  the ground  that had  frozen                                                                    
multiple  times and  was not  originally  made to  withstand                                                                    
freezing, as  well as older components  and pumping systems.                                                                    
The  upgrades  would  include  pipe  replacement  and  other                                                                    
improvements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:16:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy asked about  life-safety issues in existing                                                                    
infrastructure that may be in  jeopardy, and wondered if the                                                                    
department  could detail  project  requests accordingly.  He                                                                    
thought  it  would  be disappointing  to  encounter  project                                                                    
requests beyond  life and  safety issues.  He referred  to a                                                                    
department that he  had been working with,  and thought that                                                                    
it  had done  a good  job prioritizing  and down-sizing  its                                                                    
budget. He  hoped that  other departments  would be  able to                                                                    
recognize the  fiscal situation  and do  the same.  He asked                                                                    
for  all departments  to help  the committee  in identifying                                                                    
what  items were  truly a  "need" (items  if unfunded  would                                                                    
result in catastrophe) and what items could wait.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon pointed  out that  there  was a  1 to  5                                                                    
federal match  for the safe  water and  wastewater projects.                                                                    
She  supported Senator  Dunleavy's  comments and  recognized                                                                    
that the  federal government was  $18 trillion in  debt held                                                                    
by other  nations. She asked  what would occur if  the state                                                                    
did not  fund the approximately  $9 million in  general fund                                                                    
(GF). Mr. Griffith  stated that the majority  of the federal                                                                    
funds  in  the budget  required  state  matching funds,  and                                                                    
would not  be available  otherwise. He qualified  that there                                                                    
was a  portion of the funding  that would come to  the state                                                                    
without the matching funds, but most were contingent.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:19:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop  asked if the  federal funds would  revert to                                                                    
another  state if  Alaska did  not take  them. Mr.  Griffith                                                                    
related that  the funds were  appropriated to Alaska  on the                                                                    
condition of  matching funds. Initially the  funds would not                                                                    
be available to another  state, but congress would reexamine                                                                    
them if there was no match.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop  asked if  the funds  would be  available the                                                                    
following  year if  unmatched in  the upcoming  fiscal year.                                                                    
Mr.  Griffith was  unable  to forecast  the  outcome of  not                                                                    
matching the funds in FY 16.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked  if there had ever been a  time when the                                                                    
state was  unable to match  the federal funds.  Mr. Griffith                                                                    
replied in the negative.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked  about the  timeline  of  funding                                                                    
allocated to the state. Mr.  Griffith relayed that there was                                                                    
a five-year  limit on the use  of the federal funds,  but he                                                                    
would  need  more  research  to determine  if  there  was  a                                                                    
limitation  on providing  the matching  funds. He  continued                                                                    
that federal  funds were  made available  on October  1, and                                                                    
the state was  expected to have the  funds obligated through                                                                    
state award within a year.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:22:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked   about  the  yearly  expectation                                                                    
related  to matching  funds. Mr.  Griffith related  that the                                                                    
federal  government  expected  the  state to  begin  to  use                                                                    
federal  matching funds  and spend  them within  a five-year                                                                    
period,  but there  was no  absolute percentage  imposed for                                                                    
state  matching funds  in subsequent  years. He  shared that                                                                    
there  was inquiry  when funds  were  not begun  to be  used                                                                    
within a two or three year time period.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked about  federal funds that  did not                                                                    
require a  state match, and  requested that DEC  provide the                                                                    
committee  with the  details. She  additionally asked  for a                                                                    
list of  budget request  items that  prioritized life-safety                                                                    
issues,  and  included  the  amount   of  federal  match  if                                                                    
required.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian  continued on slide  4 and explained  that there                                                                    
were    two   allocations    requested   within    the   VSW                                                                    
appropriation;  60 percent  (approximately  $30 million  for                                                                    
first-time service  projects, and  the remaining  40 percent                                                                    
(approximately  $20  million)  for  expansion,  upgrade  and                                                                    
replacement of existing service.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian  presented slide  5,  "Rural  Alaska Water  and                                                                    
Sewer,"  which provided  more detail  about the  funding DEC                                                                    
had  been receiving  from federal  agencies. He  pointed out                                                                    
previous  substantial  funding  from federal  agencies  that                                                                    
declined from  2012 to  2014. He  continued that  within the                                                                    
last 10 years, funding  for rural Alaska sanitation projects                                                                    
had declined by over 64 percent ($61 million).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian  discussed the ramifications of  reduced funding                                                                    
listed on slide 5:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Reduced funding means making choices:                                                                                      
     · First time water and sewer service where feasible                                                                        
     · Upgrades or replacement of existing systems to                                                                           
        address significant health threats                                                                                      
     · Stretching limited funds                                                                                                 
          o Prioritize for greatest need and biggest impact                                                                     
          o Extend life with targeted improvements, limited                                                                     
             scope                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:25:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian  moved to  slide  6,  "Alaska Water  and  Sewer                                                                    
Challenge":                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   · Innovative international research and development                                                                          
     effort                                                                                                                     
   · Goal is to significantly reduce the capital and                                                                            
     operating costs of in-home running water and sewer in                                                                      
     rural Alaska homes                                                                                                         
   · Recently launched Phase 2                                                                                                  
   · Focus is on "Decentralized" approaches                                                                                     
        o Household based systems                                                                                               
        o Water re-use technologies                                                                                             
   · To date $4 million in State and Federal funds have                                                                         
     been secured, but there may be a future request to                                                                         
     support completion                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian  explained  the challenge  the  department  was                                                                    
facing with regard  to increased need in  combination with a                                                                    
declining  budget and  greater  costs. In  response DEC  had                                                                    
embarked on a project to find alternatives and options.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Griffith  emphasized  the importance  of  the  program,                                                                    
citing   recent   studies   that  showed   the   significant                                                                    
difference in  communities that  had running  water compared                                                                    
to communities  that still had  to haul water and  use honey                                                                    
buckets.  He highlighted  the  health  benefits of  bringing                                                                    
water  and  sewer  to rural  communities,  and  referred  to                                                                    
problems such  as skin and respiratory  infections that were                                                                    
shown  to be  5 to  10 times  higher in  communities without                                                                    
piped water  and sewer.  While considering  declining funds,                                                                    
the department  was trying to  utilize available  funding to                                                                    
keep  older  systems  running when  possible,  such  as  the                                                                    
previously mentioned Mountain Village.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Griffith   noted  that  the  Alaska   Water  and  Sewer                                                                    
Challenge was  a multi-year project, and  was private sector                                                                    
based. There were  currently six teams competing  to come up                                                                    
with ideas  on how to  significantly reduce the  capital and                                                                    
operating costs of in-home running  water and sewer in rural                                                                    
Alaska homes.  He thought there  was potential use  for some                                                                    
of the  approaches in other  areas statewide, such  as homes                                                                    
with  poor quality  wells  and soil  that  could not  handle                                                                    
septic  systems. He  stated there  was currently  $4 million                                                                    
available from  previously awarded  state funds, as  well as                                                                    
federal funds  that had  been secured.  He added  that there                                                                    
would possibly  be a future request  to support continuation                                                                    
of the project.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:28:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian presented  slide 7,  "FY 2016  Endorsed Capital                                                                    
Request,"  which  he  explained  was  for  water  and  sewer                                                                    
projects under the Municipal Matching Grants Program:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
   FY2016 Endorsed Capital Request                                                                                              
     · Municipal Water, Sewage, and Solid Waste Facilities                                                                      
        Grants                                                                                                                  
        o Juneau - Water Treatment Improvements, Phase II                                                                       
        o Homer   -    Water   Storage    and   Distribution                                                                    
          Improvements                                                                                                          
        o North Pole - Sewer Improvements, Phase II                                                                             
       o Naknek-Sewer Relocation and System Upgrade                                                                             
   · $9,988,605 General Fund                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian presented slide  8, "Municipal Matching Grants,"                                                                    
and  detailed   that  the  community  match   depended  upon                                                                    
population: 15 percent  match for a population  up to 1,000;                                                                    
30 percent  match for 1,001 up  to 10,000; and a  40 percent                                                                    
match  for any  population  over 10,000.  He explained  that                                                                    
projects were  prioritized based on public  health need, and                                                                    
statewide priority.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson discussed the high  maintenance costs of rural                                                                    
water and  sewer systems, and  asked about the  Alaska Rural                                                                    
Utility  Cooperative.   Mr.  Griffith  explained   that  the                                                                    
cooperative  had  provided  a   good  opportunity  for  some                                                                    
communities  that  had  struggled to  operate  and  maintain                                                                    
their  systems.  He  furthered  that there  were  25  to  30                                                                    
communities who had joined the  cooperative, and it had made                                                                    
a  big  difference  and helped  improve  the  operation  and                                                                    
maintenance of the systems.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  clarified that he  wondered whether  the fees                                                                    
collected  helped  in trying  to  maintain  water and  sewer                                                                    
integrity  in  the  communities. Mr.  Griffith  stated  that                                                                    
maintenance of the existing systems  was the sole use of the                                                                    
collected funds.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:31:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian moved  to slide  9, "FY  2016 Endorsed  Capital                                                                    
Request," for the Drinking Water Loan Fund:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   FY2016 Endorsed Capital Request                                                                                              
     · Drinking Water Capitalization Grant - Subsidy                                                                            
        Funding                                                                                                                 
     · $2,526,300 Alaska Drinking Water Loan Fund                                                                               
     · Federally required loan forgiveness                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian explained that the  Drinking Water Loan Fund was                                                                    
established with an annual  federal capitalization grant. He                                                                    
continued  that there  was 30  percent loan  forgiveness for                                                                    
communities   with  economic   disadvantage,  which   was  a                                                                    
requirement for receiving the grant.  The criteria for being                                                                    
considered   economically   disadvantaged   was   a   median                                                                    
household  income  less  than   the  state  average,  or  an                                                                    
unemployment rate higher than the state average.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:33:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Cherian  directed  attention  to  slide  10,  "FY  2015                                                                    
Capital Appropriation Status Summary":                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
FY2015 Capital Appropriation Status Summary                                                                                     
   · 295 total active DEC appropriations                                                                                        
        o Non-Facility Construction: 11                                                                                         
        o Village Safe Water: 180                                                                                               
        o Municipal Matching Grant: 104                                                                                         
   · Down from 499 in FY2014                                                                                                    
   · Anticipate another 160-200 will be closed after this                                                                       
     year                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cherian noted  that there were currently  295 active DEC                                                                    
appropriations,  about  284 of  which  for  water and  sewer                                                                    
projects. There  were 11 non-facility  construction projects                                                                    
that   included   deferred   maintenance   for   the   state                                                                    
environmental  health  lab in  Anchorage,  as  well as  some                                                                    
appropriations for  contaminated sites.  He added  that most                                                                    
of the  projects were completed,  and the department  was in                                                                    
the final phase of closing out the documents.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon reiterated the  request for two pieces of                                                                    
information for the committee: a  list of federal funds that                                                                    
did  not require  a match,  and a  refined list  of requests                                                                    
with specific public safety and health risks indicated.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:35:04 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:41:25 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^FY 16 BUDGET OVERVIEW: ALASKA HOUSING FINANCE CORPORATION                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:41:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN  BUTCHER,   CHIEF  EXECUTIVE  OFFICER   AND  EXECUTIVE                                                                    
DIRECTOR,   ALASKA  HOUSING   FINANCE  CORPORATION   (AHFC),                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF REVENUE,  presented slide  1, and  noted that                                                                    
for the  first time  in a number  of years,  AHFC's dividend                                                                    
had increased from  $7.5 million in the  current fiscal year                                                                    
to $19 million  for the upcoming fiscal year.  He noted that                                                                    
even though the current low  interest rates limited what the                                                                    
corporation could earn,  increased activity had led  to a 10                                                                    
percent increase of the mortgage portfolio.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Butcher  showed  slide  2,  "FY  2016  Capital  "Budget                                                                    
Program," and pointed  out that a little over  50 percent of                                                                    
the  AHFC capital  request  was federal  funds,  and it  was                                                                    
much smaller  than in years  past. He recounted that  the FY                                                                    
15    capital   budget    was   about    $75   million    in                                                                    
AHFC dividend  and state  funds; whereas  the FY  16 request                                                                    
was  for  about $28  million,  a  little over  one-third  of                                                                    
previous  requests.   He  noted  the  absence   of  programs                                                                    
including  senior housing  and major  maintenance for  1,600                                                                    
public housing  units; explaining that they  were multi-year                                                                    
programs  that  would not  go  away  if  not funded  in  the                                                                    
current year.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:44:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  inquired about the $2  million in Alaska                                                                    
Permanent Fund Dividend funds (shown  on slide 2) for use in                                                                    
Rental Assistance  for Victims,  and wondered  if it  was an                                                                    
appropriate use  of the money.  Mr. Butcher shared  that the                                                                    
decision  to  use  the  funds  was made  at  the  Office  of                                                                    
Management and  Budget after AHFC  had submitted  its board-                                                                    
approved budget.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LES  CAMPBELL,  BUDGET   DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  HOUSING  FINANCE                                                                    
CORPORATION,  DEPARTMENT OF  REVENUE,  outlined the  project                                                                    
request on slide 3. He  discussed the new Affordable Housing                                                                    
Development Program,  which had  been added as  an amendment                                                                    
to the  governor's budget. The  program allowed AHFC  to use                                                                    
federal authority in  order to be ready and  able to develop                                                                    
housing units when the opportunity  arose. The federal funds                                                                    
would  be leveraged  with other  funds such  as the  Capital                                                                    
Fund Program  (from the Public  Housing Program);  Moving to                                                                    
Work program  fund flexibility in the  operating budget; the                                                                    
tax  credit   program;  and  other  private   sources.  When                                                                    
sufficient   funds  were   realized,   AHFC  would   advance                                                                    
affordable housing  projects through  a bidding  process and                                                                    
form  a  production  team with  experience  in  multi-family                                                                    
development as well as multi-layered financing packages.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell  continued that AHFC expected  the developments                                                                    
to be  produced by private  entities, and owned  and managed                                                                    
by  the   Alaska  Corporation  for  Affordable   Housing  (a                                                                    
subsidiary of AHFC), which would  be the managing partner of                                                                    
the  housing  units.  He expected  the  funding  to  produce                                                                    
between  60 and  100  units, depending  on  where they  were                                                                    
located within the state. He  discussed expansion of Loussac                                                                    
Manor, and the development of  San Roberto and Mountain View                                                                    
projects.  He stated  that AHFC  had made  $22.4 million  in                                                                    
Federal funds  available; the  commission did  not currently                                                                    
have all  the monies, but  expected it  to come in  when the                                                                    
projects  were ready  to move  forward. The  funds would  go                                                                    
toward production  of new affordable housing  throughout the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:47:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked how  much federal receipt authority                                                                    
AHFC currently had. Mr. Campbell  stated that currently AHFC                                                                    
had $57 million  in the operating budget, most  of which was                                                                    
housing assistance payments. The rest  of the funds were for                                                                    
low-rent  projects, Section-8  new  projects, and  operating                                                                    
funds to manage the programs.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell added  that AHFC  had  been appropriated  just                                                                    
under  $6 million  in UGF  for the  San Roberto  project; to                                                                    
date $2  million had  been expended and  the rest  was under                                                                    
contract. The units would be completed later in the fall.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell  moved  to  slide  4,  "Rental  Assistance  to                                                                    
Victims  - Empowering  Choice  Housing Program,"  explaining                                                                    
that the rental assistance  program currently resided in the                                                                    
Department  of Public  Safety (DPS).  The  commission had  a                                                                    
reimbursable services  agreement (RSA)  in order to  run the                                                                    
program. He pointed out that  the funding request was for $2                                                                    
million  from the  Alaska Permanent  Fund Dividend  Criminal                                                                    
Fund. He noted  that it was the fourth year  of the program,                                                                    
and AHFC had allocated 254  vouchers on a referral basis. He                                                                    
continued  that the  program was  $182,000 under  lease, and                                                                    
AHFC expected  the funds to  be depleted  by the end  of the                                                                    
year.  Additionally, AFHC  expected  to  deplete the  second                                                                    
year  of  funding  as  well,   with  the  funding  for  2015                                                                    
remaining.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell moved  to slide 5, discussing  the Housing Loan                                                                    
Program,  noting  that  it had  an  appropriation  with  two                                                                    
allocations in it. The first  allocation was for the Housing                                                                    
Loan Program;  to increase housing for  teachers, and health                                                                    
and  public   safety  professionals  in  rural   Alaska.  He                                                                    
explained that  the allocation  had $3,691,400  in corporate                                                                    
dividends, and  gave an incentive  for communities  to build                                                                    
housing  to  bring  professionals  into the  area  to  stay.                                                                    
Currently  there  was about  289  units  of teacher  housing                                                                    
being built.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:50:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  informed  the committee  that  she  had                                                                    
received  a letter  from the  Rasmuson Foundation,  offering                                                                    
$1.95  million in  matching funds  Housing Loan  Program for                                                                    
teacher, health, and public safety.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  stated that the committee  would be asking                                                                    
departments  to provide  a  list  of high-priority  projects                                                                    
with  a  life-safety component.  He  referred  to a  program                                                                    
funded previously  that dealt with  services for  victims of                                                                    
violence,  and  suggested  he would  elevate  it  above  the                                                                    
Housing Loan Program.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  noted that she  had not had a  chance to                                                                    
follow  up regarding  the Rasmuson  Grant;  she thought  the                                                                    
committee would support funding  for a one-to-one grant, but                                                                    
the requested $3,691,400 was probably  a little bit too high                                                                    
for  the Senate  to  support considering  all other  funding                                                                    
priorities.  She  stressed  the importance  of  prioritizing                                                                    
budget requests to highlight items  with a health and safety                                                                    
considerations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop  surmised that the duplex  model reflected in                                                                    
the slide could be utilized to  have a teacher housed on one                                                                    
side  and a  Village  Public Safety  Officer  (VPSO) on  the                                                                    
other side.  Mr. Butcher  stated that AHFC  did not  put out                                                                    
Request for  Proposals (RFPs) until funding  was secured. If                                                                    
the Housing Loan  Program did not go forward  in the current                                                                    
year, it  would not go  away. He clarified that  the housing                                                                    
was offered  for health professionals, teachers,  and public                                                                    
safety professions;  and AHFC strove  to make sure  that the                                                                    
community  was working  together to  determine the  need. As                                                                    
the  program  had  evolved,  the   need  for  the  specified                                                                    
occupations in rural Alaska had grown.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:54:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked  if  there  was  a  prototype  or                                                                    
standardized design  components for  the housing,  and noted                                                                    
that  after examining  the proposals  she noticed  there had                                                                    
been  a unique  design  requested for  every community.  Mr.                                                                    
Butcher  related  that  there was  no  standardized  design,                                                                    
however frequently  the same developer was  used on multiple                                                                    
projects. He  pointed out the  different building  needs for                                                                    
different areas of the state.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon stated that  for future presentations, it                                                                    
would be  important for AHFC  to provide salient  details on                                                                    
alignment,  standardization  of  process, and  economies  of                                                                    
scale.  She   referred  to  a   study  being  done   by  the                                                                    
administration  that  asked  engineers if  the  state  could                                                                    
benefit  from having  prototype schools  or facilities.  She                                                                    
opined  that  a prototypical  design  would  save the  state                                                                    
money  and ensure  energy efficiency.  She spoke  to meeting                                                                    
the needs  of communities quickly and  efficiently. She used                                                                    
the example of a school  built in her district that utilized                                                                    
$1  million  in  cost  savings after  using  the  design  of                                                                    
another recently built school.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:57:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  echoed the statements of  Co-Chair MacKinnon,                                                                    
and asked what percentage  of housing was built specifically                                                                    
for teachers versus  VPSOs and others. Mr.  Campbell did not                                                                    
have the  figures, but stated that  AHFC had sent a  list of                                                                    
units  built  to  the committee  two  weeks  previously.  He                                                                    
thought there had  been about 15 VPSOs, and  the majority of                                                                    
the remaining  houses went to  teachers with about 12  to 15                                                                    
units for health professionals.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked what the  process was for initiating the                                                                    
program. Mr.  Butcher stated that  there was a  $25,000 pre-                                                                    
development  grant  available  for communities  to  get  the                                                                    
process going. AHFC worked with  the communities that needed                                                                    
help  to  work  through  the  entire  approval  process.  He                                                                    
explained  that there  was a  scoring  process, and  related                                                                    
that  the cost  of  the  proposed unit  factored  in to  the                                                                    
score, as well as anything  the community might bring to the                                                                    
table (such  as available  land). He added  that communities                                                                    
did  not always  get approved  for housing  in the  first or                                                                    
even  second year,  but ultimately  working with  AHFC, they                                                                    
would get the housing.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson clarified  that the  first  point of  contact                                                                    
would be AHFC. Mr. Butcher concurred.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell added that there  was no standard design on the                                                                    
structures, but they were required to be energy efficient.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon referred  to her  work on  the Renewable                                                                    
Energy   Fund   Advisory   Committee,   and   thought   that                                                                    
standardized  mechanical   systems  would  be   helpful  for                                                                    
maintenance and to extend the life of the properties.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:00:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell  explained  slide 6,  "Housing  Loan  Program:                                                                    
VPSO,"  explaining that  the second  allocation  was for  $1                                                                    
million specifically set aside  to provide for housing units                                                                    
for VPSOs. He  reported that as of June 30,  2014 there were                                                                    
four units being used and another nine under construction.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  if  the FY  16  request had  been                                                                    
awarded. She added that 100  percent of the funds from prior                                                                    
years had been expensed or encumbered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Butcher  remarked that  AHFC  had  changed the  way  it                                                                    
administered programs  over the years;  there was a  time in                                                                    
the 1990s when things were done  in phases due to the budget                                                                    
crunch.  He   recounted  that  as   a  result,   there  were                                                                    
incomplete housing  units for  seniors in  some communities;                                                                    
and  it  had  placed  a   great  deal  of  pressure  on  the                                                                    
legislature   to  appropriate   funds  for   completing  the                                                                    
projects. After that time, AHFC  did not administer projects                                                                    
until all the money was in hand.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell clarified that there  was no additional funding                                                                    
required to finish the prior years' projects.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell showed slide 7,  "Cold Climate Housing Research                                                                    
Center,"  explaining  that  the  project  was  formerly  the                                                                    
Energy  Efficiency Monitoring  Research  Center. He  relayed                                                                    
that the request was for  $1 million of corporate dividends,                                                                    
for a designated grant to  the Cold Climate Housing Research                                                                    
Center  in   Fairbanks  to  conduct   construction  research                                                                    
analysis  and  disseminate  information to  the  public  and                                                                    
housing industry. He furthered  that the center continued to                                                                    
gather data  and do  analysis on  its own  and for  AHFC. He                                                                    
detailed  that the  prior budget  showed  $170,000 had  been                                                                    
expensed  and $580,000  was encumbered  and  expected to  be                                                                    
spent by the end of June 30, 2015.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:03:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell discussed  slide 8,  "HUD  Federal HOME  Grant                                                                    
Program," and shared  that the program had  funded 51 rental                                                                    
projects,  comprising  898  new  units  and  537  low-income                                                                    
homes.   The  program   assisted   another  761   low-income                                                                    
households   to  purchase   homes  and   had  provided   328                                                                    
households with  rental assistance to  prevent homelessness.                                                                    
He  furthered that  through the  program,  AHFC ran  voucher                                                                    
programs including  the Prisoner Reentry Program  as well as                                                                    
a program for kids aging out of foster care.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dunleavy asked  about the  maximum income  level to                                                                    
qualify for the HUD program.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  ROMICK, DIRECTOR,  PLANNING  AND PROGRAM  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
ALASKA  HOUSING FINANCE  CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT  OF REVENUE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), replied  that  the qualifying  income                                                                    
level was 60 percent of the  median income based on the area                                                                    
of  the state  and family  size. He  quantified that  in the                                                                    
community of Juneau,  60 percent of the median  income for a                                                                    
family of 4 would be $45,000, which would be the upper cap.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:05:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell  continued  discussing the  HUD  Federal  Home                                                                    
Grant Program, and  noted that the request  was for $750,000                                                                    
in-state  GF   and  $3,750,000   in  federal   receipts.  He                                                                    
specified that the program required the state match.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked if $750,000 was  the match amount,                                                                    
or  minimum.  Mr.  Campbell stated  that  $750,000  was  the                                                                    
specific  match  amount;  the  $3  million  of  the  federal                                                                    
receipts  was   AHFC's  appropriation  and   the  additional                                                                    
$750,000 was  recycling of old  prior years  program funding                                                                    
that came back.  Mr. Butcher added that  the Municipality of                                                                    
Anchorage  received  its  own  federal  Home  Grant  Program                                                                    
funds;  AHFC administered  the program  for the  entirety of                                                                    
the state with the exception of Anchorage.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell showed slide 9,  "Federal and Other Competitive                                                                    
Grants,"  which overviewed  a request  for  $1.5 million  in                                                                    
state GF, and  $3 million in federal  receipts. He explained                                                                    
that the  program gave AHFC  the opportunity to  apply (when                                                                    
funding became available) for  funding that targeted housing                                                                    
needs  and supportive  services  of low  income groups  with                                                                    
special needs. He  explained that the match was  not a solid                                                                    
match but  rather some  programs required  it, and  some did                                                                    
not.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:08:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked if  AHFC  could  apply for  extra                                                                    
corporate dividends  to use  as matching  funds for  some of                                                                    
the grants  listed on slide  9. Mr. Campbell  specified that                                                                    
AHFC  could use  a prior  year's appropriation  of corporate                                                                    
dividends if there was excess available.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Micciche thought  the HUD  programs seemed  very                                                                    
specific and  wondered if they  were all separate  from each                                                                    
other due  to the criteria  of the applicants.  Mr. Campbell                                                                    
answered  in the  affirmative and  mentioned a  recent grant                                                                    
for people with disabilities.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Micciche expressed that  he would like a specific                                                                    
list of HUD  programs. Mr. Campbell relayed  that AHFC would                                                                    
provide   the   information.   He  mentioned   the   Housing                                                                    
Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:09:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell presented  slide 10,  "Competitive Grants  for                                                                    
Public  Housing,"  explaining that  it  was  similar to  the                                                                    
previous request,  but was directed  towards the  tenants in                                                                    
AHFC's public  housing units. The grants  included HUD funds                                                                    
that became  available for a  particular use  and frequently                                                                    
had a  match requirement; there  was no specific  grant, but                                                                    
there  was an  ability to  apply  for them.  He listed  past                                                                    
grant   programs  such   as   the  Family   Self-Sufficiency                                                                    
Coordinators,   Senior   Services   Coordinators,   Resident                                                                    
Opportunities and Support Services,  and other programs that                                                                    
dealt with public housing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:11:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Butcher  relayed that the Competitive  Grants for Public                                                                    
Housing  would be  critical  in the  success  of their  Rent                                                                    
Reform  Program,  a program  which  would  help many  public                                                                    
housing  residents out  of the  AHFC system  into their  own                                                                    
apartments.  He relayed  that ten  years prior,  the average                                                                    
length  of stay  in the  public housing  units was  3 years;                                                                    
whereas currently  the average length  of stay was  8 years.                                                                    
The rent  reform program dealt  with work-able  residents to                                                                    
help  them transition  out of  public housing  so that  AHFC                                                                    
could get to the thousands of  Alaskans on the wait list. He                                                                    
continued that  the program  would include  a great  deal of                                                                    
self-sufficiency work,  to ensure  that individuals  had the                                                                    
skills necessary to help transition.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  mentioned a  recent conversation  in the                                                                    
Department of Revenue subcommittee  on the operating budget,                                                                    
which  suggested   that  the  federal  government   was  not                                                                    
allowing the state  to move people out  of assisted housing.                                                                    
She wondered  about the motivation  for individuals  to move                                                                    
out  of subsidized  housing, and  questioned as  to how  the                                                                    
scenario  was benefitting  the state.  Mr. Campbell  relayed                                                                    
that there  was no  time limit for  seniors and  people with                                                                    
disabilities; however if  individuals were work-able, people                                                                    
went  into the  step  program, which  had  a five-year  time                                                                    
limit. He  detailed that each  year of the step  program the                                                                    
rent increased  and at the  culmination of the  time period,                                                                    
the rent was at market rate.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dunleavy asked  if at  that  point the  individuals                                                                    
were no longer subsidized by  the state. Mr. Campbell stated                                                                    
yes,  the individuals  would  move off  of  the program.  He                                                                    
reiterated  that  AHFC   was  concerned  with  transitioning                                                                    
people out  of public  housing in order  to give  others the                                                                    
opportunity to get help.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dunleavy asked  about AHFC's  $19 million  dividend                                                                    
and wondered where  it went. Mr. Butcher  clarified that the                                                                    
first $10 million  went to debt service  on previous capital                                                                    
project  bonds that  had sold  over  the last  20 years.  He                                                                    
furthered that  OMB had always  requested the  additional $9                                                                    
million  be  used  for  capital   project  requests  of  the                                                                    
corporation. He  thought it was administratively  easier for                                                                    
AHFC to administer its own projects with its own funds.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:14:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell explained slide 11,  "HUD Capital Fund Program"                                                                    
(CFP),  specifying  that  the   program  was  a  grant  AHFC                                                                    
received from  HUD to help  modernize or renew units  in the                                                                    
low   rent  program.   He  detailed   that  the   funds  had                                                                    
flexibility under the  Moving to Work Program,  and AHFC had                                                                    
used some  in the past  to contribute to  Affordable Housing                                                                    
Development  Program expenses.  He added  that there  was no                                                                    
match  required, and  the request  totaled  $2.5 million  in                                                                    
federal receipts.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell spoke  to slide  12, "AHFC  Energy Programs  -                                                                    
Weatherization," which  detailed a  $6.6 million  request in                                                                    
state GF  and a  $1.5 million  request in  federal receipts.                                                                    
The funds  would provide cost-effective  energy improvements                                                                    
to low  income families.  The program  provided efficiencies                                                                    
to  upgrade, using  the latest  building science  tools, and                                                                    
targeted heat-loss  areas of homes.  The program  was mostly                                                                    
used in rural  areas but was also available  in urban areas.                                                                    
He added that  AHFC had about $33 million;  $27 million from                                                                    
the  previous  year's  appropriation, and  a  carry-over  of                                                                    
about $6  million from  prior awards  that would  be awarded                                                                    
April  1, 2015.  After that  date, all  of the  prior year's                                                                    
funds  would  be  encumbered. Mr.  Butcher  added  that  the                                                                    
timing had  to do with  the specific construction  season in                                                                    
rural  Alaska. He  continued that  the FY  15 funds  had not                                                                    
currently been expended but would be in a few weeks.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon   asked  if  there  was   a  legislative                                                                    
representative on  the AHFC board. Mr.  Butcher responded in                                                                    
the negative.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:17:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell  moved  to  slide  13,  detailing  the  second                                                                    
project of the  energy program - the Home  Energy Rebate. He                                                                    
elaborated  that the  FY 16  request was  for $3  million in                                                                    
corporate   dividends,  which   would  provide   rebates  to                                                                    
homeowners  as  an   incentive  to  making  energy-efficient                                                                    
improvements to  their homes. He detailed  that for existing                                                                    
homes, the rebate  amounts were determined by  the point and                                                                    
step  increases that  were achieved  by the  as-is and  post                                                                    
energy ratings of the dwelling.  Funds were awarded based on                                                                    
how many  positive rating steps  were achieved.  The current                                                                    
balance  from   prior  years  was  close   to  $30  million,                                                                    
[encumbered for the program participants utilizing the 18-                                                                      
month time period to make  energy improvements] which left a                                                                    
balance  of about  $28 million  that was  available for  the                                                                    
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  shared that she had  participated in the                                                                    
program and that the AHFC  team had done an outstanding job.                                                                    
She relayed  that she  lived in  a small  zero-lot-line, and                                                                    
she completed the process with  her neighbor. She benefitted                                                                    
from the  program and saw  a 30  to 40 percent  reduction in                                                                    
her energy  consumption. She discussed the  different levels                                                                    
of   reimbursement    and   the   choices    available   for                                                                    
weatherization materials.  She wondered  if the  program was                                                                    
restructured and expanded so  more individuals could qualify                                                                    
for the rebate.  Mr. Campbell relayed that  AHFC had tweaked                                                                    
the program, but it was essentially the same.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  ANDERSON, DIRECTOR,  RESEARCH  AND RURAL  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
ALASKA  HOUSING FINANCE  CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT  OF REVENUE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  to  minor  adjustments to  the                                                                    
program, citing  changes to the software  used to administer                                                                    
the program. He  shared that the current program  was a six-                                                                    
star  point system,  but  the base  and  points achieved  to                                                                    
reach the maximum rebate remained much the same.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  how many  steps the  program had.                                                                    
Mr. Campbell stated that there were five steps.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:22:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell  presented   slide  14,  "Homeless  Assistance                                                                    
Program (HAP)" from  the mental health bill.  He pointed out                                                                    
the $6 million  request in state GF, as well  as $850,000 in                                                                    
GF/Mental Health funds and $850,000  in Alaska Mental Health                                                                    
Trust  Authority Receipts.  He  explained  that the  program                                                                    
provided  grants  to  local   communities  and  agencies  to                                                                    
support  programs designed  to reduce  homelessness, provide                                                                    
services that prevent displacement,  and assist the homeless                                                                    
to transition back to permanent  housing. The funds would be                                                                    
comingled to achieve program goals.  He furthered that there                                                                    
were  about 13,000  people affected  by the  funding in  the                                                                    
previous  fiscal year.  He  cited a  2009  ten-year plan  to                                                                    
reduce   homelessness  in   Alaska,  which   identified  the                                                                    
activities and cost savings to  reducing homelessness in the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell continued to discuss  slide 14, mentioning that                                                                    
the most  recent grantees had  utilized HAP funds  to expand                                                                    
shelter facilities,  develop supportive  transition housing,                                                                    
provide case management and  rental assistance services, and                                                                    
develop   supportive  housing   for   mental  health   trust                                                                    
beneficiaries. The funds would  be combined and administered                                                                    
by AHFC; with  a portion being used to  support the planning                                                                    
and  operation  of  the  Alaska  Coalition  on  Housing  and                                                                    
Homelessness as well as the  '211' statewide information and                                                                    
referral system.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Campbell discussed  the  program  monies, stating  that                                                                    
AHFC had program funds that  were not expensed or encumbered                                                                    
under contract, but ready to go  out in the following 4 or 5                                                                    
months.  The  funds  had  not  been  awarded,  but  were  on                                                                    
schedule to be awarded.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Campbell turned to slide  15, discussing the Beneficiary                                                                    
and Special  Needs Housing Program,  with a request  of $1.5                                                                    
million  in state  GF/Mental Health  funds. The  program had                                                                    
developed  195  housing  units  since   FY  00,  and  was  a                                                                    
continuing  program   to  serve  populations   with  special                                                                    
housing  needs.   He  pointed  out  that   there  were  many                                                                    
similarities  between   the  program   and  HAP;   with  the                                                                    
Beneficiary and Special Needs Housing  Program doing more of                                                                    
the  "brick   and  mortar"  work   as  well   as  supporting                                                                    
developments that were already in place.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:25:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop  asked if the program  was individually site-                                                                    
specific or could it be  used for individuals with differing                                                                    
needs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Romick  relayed that the  program housing was  not site-                                                                    
specific, noting  that the largest  project had 46  units in                                                                    
Anchorage. He furthered that the  program helped a number of                                                                    
different people; trust beneficiary  groups were the program                                                                    
target but it helped other disability groups as well.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bishop wondered  if individuals  cycled out  of the                                                                    
program   facilities.   Mr.    Romick   responded   in   the                                                                    
affirmative.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:27:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson referred  back to slide 14, and  asked why the                                                                    
fund  source was  the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust Authority                                                                    
(AMHTA). Mr. Campbell stated  that traditionally AHFC worked                                                                    
with AMHTA on homelessness programs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked why AHFC  did not utilize  more funding                                                                    
from  the trust.  Mr. Butcher  suggested the  question would                                                                    
necessitate   a  conversation   with  AMHTA.   He  discussed                                                                    
reductions  and  subsequent  conversations  with  the  trust                                                                    
regarding  priorities and  where  funds were  best and  most                                                                    
responsibly spent.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  commented that AMHTA  might not  be operating                                                                    
under  the  same  conception  of the  fiscal  gap  that  the                                                                    
legislature was.  He referred to  slide 13, and  asked about                                                                    
the aforementioned  remaining balance of funds.  He wondered                                                                    
if the  program, which was  important but not  income based,                                                                    
could  be suspended  for a  year. Mr.  Butcher relayed  that                                                                    
AHFC gathered  information in the fall  regarding the number                                                                    
of  people  who  had  started  the  initial  energy  ratings                                                                    
process, trying to determine how  many would not utilize the                                                                    
program.   He   furthered    that   AHFC's   first   request                                                                    
(internally)  was  about $20  million,  and  the amount  was                                                                    
reduced after more information was gathered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:30:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  clarified  that  her  earlier  comments                                                                    
regarding the  energy rebate program  did not  indicate that                                                                    
she supported the allocation being requested.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  thought there were  a number of  members that                                                                    
had benefitted from the program.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reiterated  the  blanket  request for  a                                                                    
prioritized project  list from  all departments.  She shared                                                                    
that the  governor and his  administration had  provided the                                                                    
legislature  with a  significantly  reduced capital  budget,                                                                    
however she  foresaw the  need for more  cuts. She  spoke to                                                                    
the deficit and referred to  future potential draws from the                                                                    
state's savings; and  asserted that it was up  to the Senate                                                                    
Finance   Committee  to   make  a   recommendation  to   the                                                                    
legislative body.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:32:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dunleavy   spoke  to  the  federal   and  municipal                                                                    
matching  funds,   and  called   for  greater   scrutiny  of                                                                    
spending. He  discussed the debt ceiling,  which been raised                                                                    
34   times  since   1980.  He   pointed   out  the   federal                                                                    
government's $18.2  trillion debt, which was  $1 trillion in                                                                    
1982. He  pointed out  that the  current federal  budget was                                                                    
$3.9 trillion, with $3.3 trillion  coming from taxes and the                                                                    
remainder  from  borrowing.  He summarized  by  saying  that                                                                    
example does not indicate the wisdom of an action.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB  26  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
10:35:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
031915 Village Safety Water Multi Year Priority List.pdf SFIN 3/19/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 26
031915 DEC FY2016 Municipal Matching Grants List.pdf SFIN 3/19/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 26
031915 DEC Capital Budget Overview.pdf SFIN 3/19/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 26
031915 AHFC Budget Senate FIN - FY2016 - 3-19-15-view-version.pdf SFIN 3/19/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 26