Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/06/2016 01:00 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:05:34 PM Start
01:06:39 PM SB138
01:06:57 PM Public Testimony
03:03:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
Heard & Held
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+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 6, 2016                                                                                            
                         1:05 p.m.                                                                                              
1:05:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 1:05 p.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 Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Dave Donley, Hope Community  Resources, Juneau; Eric Gurley,                                                                    
Senior  Manager,   Services  and  Support,   Hope  Community                                                                    
Resources, Juneau; Callie  Conerton, Student Body President,                                                                    
University   of  Alaska,   Southeast;   Paul  Fuhs,   Marine                                                                    
Exchange,  Juneau;  Ed   Page,  Executive  Director,  Marine                                                                    
Exchange, Juneau.                                                                                                               
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Lois Epstein, Director,  The Wilderness  Society, Anchorage;                                                                    
Rick  Koch,  City  Manager,  City   of  Kenai,  Kenai;  Greg                                                                    
Meissner,  Wrangell Port  and  Harbor Department,  Wrangell;                                                                    
Anne  Biberman,   Self,  Fairbanks;  Katie   Baxter,  Chair,                                                                    
Library  Advocacy  Committee,  Alaska  Library  Association,                                                                    
Kodiak;   Jill  Yordy,   Self,  Fairbanks;   Steve  Ribuffo,                                                                    
Director,  Port  of  Anchorage, Anchorage;    Paul  Kendall,                                                                    
Self, Anchorage.                                                                                                                
SB 138    BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
          SB 138 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 138                                                                                                           
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations,     reappropriations,     and     other                                                                    
     appropriations;  making  appropriations  to  capitalize                                                                    
     funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
1:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY                                                                                                             
1:06:57 PM                                                                                                                    
LOIS EPSTEIN, DIRECTOR,  THE  WILDERNESS SOCIETY,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), shared  that  she was  the author  of                                                                    
many state  transportation and mega projects.  She testified                                                                    
against  four  projects:  Knik  Arm  Bridge;  Juneau  Access                                                                    
Project; Ambler  Road; and  the Susitna  Dam. She  felt that                                                                    
there was substantial money in  the capital budget allocated                                                                    
for  those  projects that  could  be  used for  other  state                                                                    
infrastructure projects.  She felt  that the money  could be                                                                    
considered "new  revenue", and stressed that  Alaskans could                                                                    
be put to work immediately.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon  encouraged Ms.  Epstein to  complete her                                                                    
testimony.  Ms.  Epstein  felt  that  one  or  more  of  the                                                                    
projects should be cancelled to  allow for state money to be                                                                    
used as match for federal transportation dollars.                                                                               
1:11:07 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  KOCH,   CITY  MANAGER,  CITY  OF   KENAI,  KENAI  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in support  for SB 138. He shared                                                                    
that  he had  been a  city manager  and engineer  working in                                                                    
large scale projects in the state.  He did not feel that the                                                                    
budget  would support  a sustainable  construction industry.                                                                    
He shared an anecdote from  Kenai related to contracting. He                                                                    
urged the committee  to create a long  range healthy capital                                                                    
budget  proposal.   He  thanked  the  committee   for  their                                                                    
1:13:40 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG   MEISSNER,  WRANGELL   PORT  AND   HARBOR  DEPARTMENT,                                                                    
WRANGELL (via  teleconference), testified in support  of the                                                                    
Matching  Grant  Harbor  Programs.  He shared  that  he  had                                                                    
attended a  budget presentation, and he  had conversed about                                                                    
the   importance   of   harbors    to   a   holistic   state                                                                    
infrastructure. He stressed that  ports and harbors enhanced                                                                    
community  economies. He  stated  that  the current  funding                                                                    
would  not  fund  the  port   in  Wrangell,  and  urged  the                                                                    
committee to provide more funding  for the port projects. He                                                                    
shared that  Wrangell had developed  the projects,  with the                                                                    
expectations of state funds.                                                                                                    
1:16:25 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE  DONLEY, HOPE  COMMUNITY  RESOURCES,  JUNEAU, spoke  in                                                                    
support of the inclusion of  $115,000 to the capital budget.                                                                    
He stated  that the request  was included in  the governor's                                                                    
amended  request.  He  stated the  housed  individuals  were                                                                    
entitled  to  the Medicaid  services  by  law. He  explained                                                                    
that, without the  homes, the state would need  to build new                                                                    
state facilities to house the  individuals. He stressed that                                                                    
the  request was  intended  to  maintain the  organization's                                                                    
basic functions.                                                                                                                
1:18:54 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIC  GURLEY, SENIOR  MANAGER,  SERVICES  AND SUPPORT,  HOPE                                                                    
COMMUNITY RESOURCES,  JUNEAU, shared his  experience working                                                                    
for Hope Community Resources. He  stated that the additional                                                                    
funding   of   $115,000    would   keep   the   organization                                                                    
functioning.  He thanked  the committee  for their  previous                                                                    
support in years past.                                                                                                          
1:20:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CALLIE CONERTON, STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT,     UNIVERSITY   OF                                                                    
ALASKA, SOUTHEAST,  testified in support of  funding for the                                                                    
University  of  Alaska  (UA).   She  specifically  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of the  engineering building  at the  University of                                                                    
Alaska Fairbanks  (UAF). She stressed that  the project cost                                                                    
an  additional  $3  million  every  year  of  delay  of  the                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  wondered  whether  the  university  had                                                                    
bonding  authority  to  complete the  engineering  building.                                                                    
Ms. Conerton agreed to provide that information.                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  understood the importance  of completing                                                                    
the engineering building.                                                                                                       
1:23:34 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  FUHS, MARINE  EXCHANGE, JUNEAU,  spoke  in support  of                                                                    
$600,000  to maintain  the antenna  sites using  cruise ship                                                                    
head tax funds.                                                                                                                 
1:24:04 PM                                                                                                                    
ED  PAGE,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,  MARINE  EXCHANGE,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
stated  that  there  back  up  documents  to  highlight  his                                                                    
1:25:33 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
1:25:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Page  stated that the  cruise ship  representatives were                                                                    
in support of the use of the funds.                                                                                             
Mr. Fuhs looked at a slide in a presentation.                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon  explained that public testimony  was not                                                                    
typically a presentation.                                                                                                       
Mr. Fuhs  shared that the system  was used for a  variety of                                                                    
1:29:00 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
1:29:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  stated that  she  would  take a  recess                                                                    
until 1:45pm.                                                                                                                   
1:30:39 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:08:16 PM                                                                                                                    
2:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE   BIBERMAN,  SELF,   FAIRBANKS  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in   support  of  the   completion  of   the  new                                                                    
engineering building at UAF. She  stressed that the building                                                                    
only became more expensive with  each year that the building                                                                    
remained unfinished. She also  pointed out that the building                                                                    
cost  $500,000  per year  to  maintain.  She also  spoke  in                                                                    
support of implementing a state  income tax. The project was                                                                    
originally intended to educated  and create new engineers to                                                                    
contribute   to   Alaska's   economy.  She   stressed   that                                                                    
completion  of the  building would  be a  positive move  for                                                                    
Alaska's  fiscal  future.  She  stated  that  UAF  graduates                                                                    
continually get  jobs in  the state  to enhance  the state's                                                                    
engineering-related industries.                                                                                                 
2:11:35 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:32:46 PM                                                                                                                    
2:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
KATIE  BAXTER,  CHAIR,  LIBRARY ADVOCACY  COMMITTEE,  ALASKA                                                                    
LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, KODIAK  (via teleconference), requested                                                                    
full funding  for the Online  with Libraries  (OWL) program.                                                                    
She  stated   that  the  OWL  program   provided  dependable                                                                    
internet to  Alaskans. She stated  that the funding  was not                                                                    
included  in the  operating budget,  so  she was  requesting                                                                    
that  the  funds be  included  in  the capital  budget.  She                                                                    
stated that  $325,000 would  be enough  to keep  the library                                                                    
internet  through OWL  intact.  She stated  that  OWL was  a                                                                    
primary critical program.                                                                                                       
2:36:06 PM                                                                                                                    
JILL YORDY, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
against funding for the Ambler Road.                                                                                            
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  queried   the  road   Ms.  Yordy   was                                                                    
referencing. Ms. Yordy replied that it was the Ambler Road.                                                                     
2:38:27 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE RIBUFFO,  DIRECTOR, PORT OF ANCHORAGE,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support  of funding  the $290                                                                    
million   for  the   completion   of   the  Anchorage   Port                                                                    
Modernization  Project.   He  stressed  that  the   Port  of                                                                    
Anchorage was  essential and  beneficial to  the surrounding                                                                    
communities. He  stressed that the  current facility  had no                                                                    
prevention against a significant  earthquake. He stated that                                                                    
the project  was currently  in phase  1, and  explained that                                                                    
there  needed   further  funding  to  complete   the  entire                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon stated  that  the  meeting would  recess                                                                    
until 2:55pm                                                                                                                    
2:41:17 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
2:55:35 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL   KENDALL,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support of a $2 billion budget model.                                                                              
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
3:00:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dunleavy remarked  that the  OWL program  testimony                                                                    
was proper testimony.  He echoed the remarks  of Mr. Kendall                                                                    
about  the time  that it  takes  to fix  the state's  budget                                                                    
problems.  He  stressed  that  the  state  needed  to  fully                                                                    
examine the state's budget.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  MacKinnon shared  that there  were 24,000  current                                                                    
state  employees,   and  the  committee  had   reviewed  the                                                                    
contracts. She  stated that  that the  state was  allowed to                                                                    
proceed  without a  constitutional  amendment. She  stressed                                                                    
that the  committee had engaged in  conversations related to                                                                    
the  concerns  from  Mr. Kendall,  and  those  numbers  were                                                                    
available to committee members.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed the following meeting's                                                                            
SB 138 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
3:03:15 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:03 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 138 Public Testimony Packet 1.pdf SFIN 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
SB 138
SB 138 Public Testimony Packet 2.pdf SFIN 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
SB 138
SB 138 LAW Kasayulie Letter.pdf SFIN 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
SB 138