Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/16/2017 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:03:51 AM Start
09:07:52 AM SB22 || SB24
09:09:03 AM Public Testimony: Juneau
01:04:48 PM Public Testimony: Glennallen, Seward, Homer
02:03:30 PM Public Testimony: Statewide Offnet
03:34:51 PM Public Testimony: Anchorage
05:06:20 PM Public Testimony: Kenai, Kodiak, Dillingham
05:55:27 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 22 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 24 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Public Testimony on SB 22 and SB 24:
Written Comments for the Official Public Record
Can be Sent to Finance.Committee@akleg.gov
9:00 - 10:30 Juneau
Break for Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Glennallen, Seward, Homer
2:00 - 3:30 Statewide Offnet
3:30 - 5:00 Anchorage
5:00 - 6:00 Kenai, Kodiak, Dillingham
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 16, 2017                                                                                            
                         9:03 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:03:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman   called  the  Senate   Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Sarah  Hargrave,  Alaska  Nurses Association,  Juneau;  Stan                                                                    
Lujan,  Self,   Juneau;  Ken  Weber,  Association   for  the                                                                    
Education  of  Young  Children, Juneau;  Lesley  Kalbrenner,                                                                    
Parents  as  Teachers,  Juneau;  Talea  Kellar,  Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers, Juneau;  John Bennett, Alaska Center  for Resource                                                                    
Families, Juneau; Linda Miller,  Self, Juneau; Jorden Nigro,                                                                    
Self, Juneau;  Kirk Duncan, Coast Alaska,  Juneau; Joy Lyon,                                                                    
Association  for the  Education of  Young Children,  Juneau;                                                                    
Averyl  Veliz, Self,  Juneau;  Melinda Messmer,  Association                                                                    
for  the Education  of Young  Children, Juneau;  Nikki Love,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau;  Aliza  Kazmi,  Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                                    
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault,  Juneau;  Elizabeth  Siddon,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau; Blue  Shibler, Self,  Juneau; Alyson  Currey,                                                                    
Planned  Parenthood, Juneau;  JoAnn  Quigg, Association  for                                                                    
the  Education  of  Young Children,  Juneau;  Niamh  Dardis,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau;  Jonathan   Estes,  Self,  Juneau;  Christine                                                                    
Culliton, Self,  Juneau; Corey  Gilmore, Self,  Juneau; Mark                                                                    
Miller,  Juneau School  District,  Juneau; Debrah  Clements,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau;  Richard  Cole, Self,  Juneau;  Gabi  Flaten,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau; Kayla  Wisner,  Self,  Juneau; Lily  Pothier,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau;  Paul  Beran, Self,  Juneau;  Brenda  Taylor,                                                                    
Self,   Juneau;    Tyroan   Rediske,   Alaska    Youth   for                                                                    
Environmental  Action,  Homer; Karl  Pfeiffenberger,  Alaska                                                                    
Youth for  Environmental Action,  Seward; Josey  Shaw, Self,                                                                    
Glenallen;  Carly  Dennis,  Alaska Youth  for  Environmental                                                                    
Action,  Anchorage;   Jade  Sparks,  Self,   Kenai;  Addison                                                                    
Downing,  Self, Kenai;  Beth Rivest,  Self, Juneau;  Senator                                                                    
Pete Kelly.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Connie  Caprio, Self,  Seward; Charlotte  Nicolet, Advocate,                                                                    
Independent Living  Center, Seward;  Bryan Zak,  Mayor, City                                                                    
of  Homer; Jim  Hornaday,  Member,  Kenai Peninsula  College                                                                    
Council,  Homer; Lisa  Asselin Martin,  Member, Homer  Early                                                                    
Childhood   Coalition,   Homer;    Dave   Lewis,   Employee,                                                                    
Independent   Living    Center,   Homer;    Pam   VanHoozer,                                                                    
Participant,   Independent   Living  Center,   Homer;   Anne                                                                    
Wieland,  Self,  Homer;  Ann Dixon,  Homer  Public  Library,                                                                    
     Homer; Joyanna Geisler, Independent Living Center,                                                                         
Homer; Kate  Finn, Self, Homer;  Carol Shuler,  Self, Homer;                                                                    
Willard    Dunham,    Self,   Seward;    Hannah    Bengtson,                                                                    
Representative,  Parents   as  Teachers,   Glennallen;  June                                                                    
Doepken,  Self,  Seward;   William  Deaton,  Self,  Cordova;                                                                    
Anthony   Habra,  Superintendent,   Haines  Borough   School                                                                    
District,  Haines; Elizabeth  Tyson, Self,  Skagway; Evelynn                                                                    
Trefon, Self,  Newhalen; Tim Bauer,  Superintendent, Annette                                                                    
Island  School District,  Metlakatla;  Ginger Fortin,  Self,                                                                    
Ketchikan;   Jennifer   Shockley,  Self,   Unalaska;   Karen                                                                    
Murdoch,  Self,  Homer;  Marilyn  Doucette,  Adult  Disabled                                                                    
Child in Juneau, Maine; Joan  McBeen, Self, Tenakee Springs;                                                                    
Geoff  Widdows,  Self,   Yakutat;  Kay  Andrews,  President,                                                                    
Southwest   Region  School   District,  Aleknagik;   Jessica                                                                    
Sutton,  Self,  Juneau;  Simon  Vansintjan,  Self,  Skagway;                                                                    
George Pierce,  Self, Kasilof; Robert Purcell,  Self, Homer;                                                                    
Cheri Smith, Self, Kenai; Alex  Matsov, Self, Skagway; Nicki                                                                    
Shelton,  Self,  Hoonah;  David Boyle,  Executive  Director,                                                                    
Alaska  Policy   Reform,  Anchorage;  Melanie   Lesh,  Self,                                                                    
Gustavus; Sabra Anckner, Board  Member, Alaska Public Health                                                                    
Association, Anchorage; Jeanne  Gerhardt-Cyrus, Self, Kaina;                                                                    
Mary Deihl, Self, Homer; Stacy  Cedgwick, Self, Juneau; Mark                                                                    
Larsen, Self, Skagway; Karil  Lopez, Self, Anchorage; Austin                                                                    
Roof, Self,  Sand Point;  Deborah Holland,  Self, Anchorage;                                                                    
Ashlyn Antonelli, Self,  Anchorage; Trever Storrs, Executive                                                                    
Director,   Alaska   Children's   Trust,   Anchorage;   Teri                                                                    
Elizabeth   King,  Self,   Juneau;   Charles  McKee,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Deena Bishop,  Superintendent, Anchorage  School                                                                    
District,  Anchorage;   Mr.  Tam   Agosti-Gisler,  Anchorage                                                                    
School District, Anchorage;  Starr Marsett, Anchorage School                                                                    
District, Anchorage; Jim  Anderson, Chief Financial Officer,                                                                    
Anchorage  School   District,  Anchorage;   Michael  Bailey,                                                                    
President, Alaska  Association on  Development Disabilities,                                                                    
Anchorage; Dave Donley,  Hope Community Services, Anchorage;                                                                    
Steve  Hennessey,  Self,   Anchorage;  Emily  Cross,  Public                                                                    
Broadcasting   KNBA,   Anchorage;    Carol   Waters,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Drew  Hansen, Rural CAP and  Parents as Teachers,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Amy Simpson,  Self,  Anchorage; Meghan  Johnson,                                                                    
Director, Learn and Grow,  Anchorage; Panu Lucier, Director,                                                                    
System  for  Early  Education Development,  Anchorage;  Hope                                                                    
Finklestein,   Self,   Anchorage;  Deena   Mitchell,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;   Abbe   Hensley,    Executive   Director,   Best                                                                    
Beginnings, Anchorage; Ronnie  Brown, Head Start, Anchorage;                                                                    
Abby  Beltz, Self,  Anchorage; Mildred  Parker, Professional                                                                    
Development  Specialist, Thread,  Anchorage; Michelle  Jero,                                                                    
Guardian,  Anchorage;  Brenda  Moore, Alaska  Mental  Health                                                                    
Trust Board,  Anchorage; Cat  Coward, Self,  Anchorage; Ryan                                                                    
Buchholdt,   Self,   Anchorage;    Chris   Truletes,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Carl Berger, Self,  Anchorage; Mary Geddes, Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Mark  Carr,  Self, Anchorage;  Darius  Kasprzak,                                                                    
Self,  Kodiak;   Dan  Dunaway,  Self,   Dillingham;  Suzette                                                                    
Mizelle,  Self,   Kenai;  Penny  Bearden,   Self,  Nanwalek;                                                                    
Margaret  Gilman,  Parent,  Kenai Peninsula  Borough  School                                                                    
District,   Kenai;   Sean   Dusek,   Superintendent,   Kenai                                                                    
Peninsula Borough  School District, Soldotna;  Tana Otcheck,                                                                    
Assisted  Living Home,  Kenai; Daniel  Bowen, Parent,  Kenai                                                                    
Peninsula  Borough School  District,  Kenai; Dave  Brighton,                                                                    
Kenai Peninsula Education  Association, Kenai; James Harris,                                                                    
Kenai,  Peninsula Borough  School  District  Teacher of  the                                                                    
Year, Soldotna; Jenny Neyman, Self,  Kenai;   LaDawn  Druce,                                                                    
Self, Sterling;  Fred Sturman,  Self, Soldotna;  Dave Jones,                                                                    
Kenai  Peninsula  Borough  School District,  Soldotna;  Mary                                                                    
Toutonghi,  Self, Soldotna;  Jesse Bjorkman,  Self, Nikiski;                                                                    
Heather  Foxworthy, Parent  Educator,  Parents As  Teachers,                                                                    
Kodiak; Marilyn Rosene, Self,  Dillingham; Jim Cedeno, Self,                                                                    
Community of  Old Harbor; Jennifer Sychra,  Advocate, Kodiak                                                                    
Women's Resource Center, Kodiak.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 22     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          SB 22 was heard and HELD in Committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 24     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          SB 24 was heard and HELD in Committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  discussed housekeeping. He  explained that                                                                    
the current version  of the budget had  no contained funding                                                                    
for   public  education   because  the   Senate  was   still                                                                    
contemplating the size of the  reduction to public education                                                                    
funding.  He  relayed  that the  Senate  planned  to  reduce                                                                    
funding  to public  health, transportation,  the University,                                                                    
and public education  by 5 percent. He  asserted that public                                                                    
education had  received the second lowest  budget reduction,                                                                    
of  any department,  over the  past  4 years;  less than  10                                                                    
percent, which other departments  saw 30 percent reductions.                                                                    
He  lamented  that the  state  was  facing difficult  fiscal                                                                    
times, which the committee had  partially addressed with the                                                                    
passage  of SB  26, but  that  more cuts  were necessary  in                                                                    
order to address the deficit  of the state. He expressed the                                                                    
hope  to establish  a long-term  fiscal  plan, but  stressed                                                                    
that the legislature was still  tasked with passing an FY 18                                                                    
Operating Budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:07:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Hoffman   outlined  the   legislative   budgetary                                                                    
process. He  bemoaned that  tapping into  the Constitutional                                                                    
Budget Reserve  (CBR) would require a  three-fourths vote of                                                                    
the legislature, which he thought unlikely.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman OPENED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 22                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;   repealing    appropriations;   making                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations and  reappropriations, and                                                                    
     making  appropriations  under   art.  IX,  sec.  17(c),                                                                    
     Constitution  of   the  State   of  Alaska,   from  the                                                                    
     constitutional budget  reserve fund; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: JUNEAU                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:09:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman noted that each  testifier would be allowed                                                                    
two minutes to share their testimony with the committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:09:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH   HARGRAVE,   ALASKA   NURSES   ASSOCIATION,   JUNEAU,                                                                    
testified in strong  opposition to cuts to  funds for public                                                                    
health nursing.  She contended that  cuts to  public nursing                                                                    
would  result   in  the  loss  of   critical  public  health                                                                    
services, particularly  in rural  Alaska. She  asserted that                                                                    
public  health  nursing  was not  duplicative  of  community                                                                    
health centers  or tribal health. She  testified that public                                                                    
health  nursing  played  an   important  role  in  families,                                                                    
schools, homes, and workplaces, and  was not confined to the                                                                    
walls of  clinic buildings. She stressed  that public health                                                                    
nursing  was  the  backbone of  the  Alaskan  public  health                                                                    
infrastructure.  She  identified   that  the  public  health                                                                    
nursing budget  had be reduced  by 20 percent over  the last                                                                    
two fiscal  years. She  warned that  further cuts  would put                                                                    
the health and security of  all Alaskans at risk. She stated                                                                    
that  access to  the  critical services  provided by  public                                                                    
health nurses  was an imperative component  to the stability                                                                    
and health  of the state as  a whole. She relayed  that cuts                                                                    
to  public  health  in  other states  had  resulted  in  the                                                                    
outbreak  of  preventable  diseases. She  said  that  public                                                                    
health nursing was not duplicative  of primary care; without                                                                    
consistent, local, reliable, and  high quality public health                                                                    
services, and presence in the  form of public health nurses,                                                                    
Alaska  would  find itself  at  the  precipice of  a  health                                                                    
crisis.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:11:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STAN  LUJAN,  SELF,  JUNEAU,  spoke   in  support  of  early                                                                    
childhood education.  He discussed his 40-year  history as a                                                                    
teacher and  superintendent in the  state. He  urged support                                                                    
of  Pre-K programs,  Best Beginnings,  Parents as  Teachers,                                                                    
and the Imagination Library. He  believed that funding early                                                                    
learning programs  was critical for the  educational success                                                                    
of Alaska's  children. He  offered several  facts pertaining                                                                    
to the negative impact of  illiteracy on society as a whole,                                                                    
and  asserted  that  90  percent   of  the  state's  welfare                                                                    
recipients were high school drop-outs.  He concluded that it                                                                    
was  imperative  for the  state  to  continue funding  early                                                                    
childhood education.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:14:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN WEBER, ASSOCIATION FOR THE  EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN,                                                                    
JUNEAU, testified in support of  funding for early childhood                                                                    
education. He relayed that he  was a former teacher, and had                                                                    
observed the positive effects  of early childhood education.                                                                    
He considered early childhood education  to be an investment                                                                    
in the  community. He felt  that an income tax  would better                                                                    
serve  the   state,  rather  than  further   cuts  to  early                                                                    
childhood programming.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:15:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LESLEY  KALBRENNER, PARENTS  AS TEACHERS,  JUNEAU, spoke  in                                                                    
support of funding for the  Parents as Teachers program. She                                                                    
echoed the  comments of the  previous speaker.  She asserted                                                                    
that the  program had  positively affected  her relationship                                                                    
with  her son  on a  holistic  level. He  described how  the                                                                    
program had  maintained value in  her life as her  child had                                                                    
grown. She appealed to the  committee to provide funding for                                                                    
the Parents and Teachers program.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:17:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TALEA  KELLAR, PARENTS  AS  TEACHERS,  JUNEAU, testified  in                                                                    
support of funding for the  Parents as Teachers program. She                                                                    
shared  that she  was a  home visitor  for the  program, and                                                                    
highlighted that there  were families that did  not have the                                                                    
ability to make  it to testify before the  committee; it was                                                                    
for these families she was  testifying. She believed that as                                                                    
a  home visitor  she was  in  the unique  position to  build                                                                    
strong  relationships with  the  families  she worked  with,                                                                    
which  was  especially  important   to  families  that  were                                                                    
isolated or  experiencing stress  in their lives.  She added                                                                    
that  for  some   families  the  program  was   a  way  gain                                                                    
information and empower positive change.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:19:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BENNETT,  ALASKA CENTER FOR RESOURCE  FAMILIES, JUNEAU,                                                                    
testified  in   support  of  funding  for   early  childhood                                                                    
education.  He relayed  that  children  were most  malleable                                                                    
during their first  4 years of life, and  were most affected                                                                    
by both  adverse and positive experiences.  He asserted that                                                                    
early childhood  programs would produce better  citizens and                                                                    
save the state  money in the future. He  understood that the                                                                    
state currently  faced a budget  crisis, but  expressed that                                                                    
every  dime spent  on early  childhood  programs would  save                                                                    
dollars in the future, while also saving hearts and minds.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:20:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  MILLER, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke  in support  for funding                                                                    
for early  childhood education. She  relayed that she  was a                                                                    
retired teacher,  and had many  teachers in her  family. She                                                                    
discussed differing  levels of preparation  for kindergarten                                                                    
age children. She  pointed out that 9:00 a.m.  on a Thursday                                                                    
morning was  not a time  that teachers could  take advantage                                                                    
of to  testify. She expressed  appreciation for the  work of                                                                    
the  committee. She  expressed that  Alaska's children  were                                                                    
the state's  most important resource.  She spoke  in support                                                                    
of an income tax.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman relayed  that anyone who could  not make it                                                                    
to testify  before the committee during  the times scheduled                                                                    
could submit written testimony to the committee.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:23:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JORDEN NIGRO, SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in support of funding                                                                    
for  public broadcasting.  She discussed  her upbringing  in                                                                    
rural Alaska  and the  positive effects  of public  radio in                                                                    
her  pursuit of  critical  thinking on  complex issues.  She                                                                    
spoke  in  support  of  an income  tax.  She  mentioned  the                                                                    
Permanent Fund  Protection Act (PFPA) which  had been passed                                                                    
in the  Senate the previous  day. She stressed the  need for                                                                    
revenue-based  solutions to  combat the  fiscal crisis.  She                                                                    
urged the committee  to do what was right, and  not what was                                                                    
popular; and to  address the budget problem  in a meaningful                                                                    
and sustainable manner.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:25:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIRK  DUNCAN,  COAST ALASKA,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in support  of                                                                    
public radio.  He recognized the  financial distress  of the                                                                    
state and that cuts to  the state budget were necessary, but                                                                    
asked the committee to leave  public broadcasting funding at                                                                    
the  same  level as  the  previous  year. He  discussed  the                                                                    
positive  effects  of  public   broadcasting.  He  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  an income tax.  He urged the committee  to avoid                                                                    
draconian cuts to the budget.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:27:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOY LYON,  ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION  OF YOUNG CHILDREN,                                                                    
JUNEAU, testified in support of  funding for early childhood                                                                    
education.  She shared  that she  was the  president of  the                                                                    
Association  for  the  Education of  Young  Children  (AEYC)                                                                    
Southeast. She  read from  article VII  of the  Alaska State                                                                    
Constitution:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1. Public Education                                                                                                
     The  legislature shall  by  general  law establish  and                                                                    
     maintain  a  system  of  public  schools  open  to  all                                                                    
     children  of  the  State, and  may  provide  for  other                                                                    
     public educational institutions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Lyon  argued  that  "all  children"  mentioned  in  the                                                                    
constitution  would  include  children ages  birth  to  five                                                                    
years old. She  noted that other state  constitutions had an                                                                    
age  set in  writing, and  thought that  the writers  of the                                                                    
Alaska   constitution   had   been   forward-thinking.   She                                                                    
discussed  evidence  that  showed the  importance  of  early                                                                    
childhood  education.  She  discussed her  personal  history                                                                    
working  in  early  childhood  education  and  working  with                                                                    
underprepared  children.  She   discussed  adverse  outcomes                                                                    
after  not having  proper support  in  early childhood.  She                                                                    
asserted that  cutting early  childhood programs  would cost                                                                    
more money  in the future.  She relayed that the  AEYC board                                                                    
had passed a resolution in support of an income tax.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:30:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AVERYL VELIZ, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in support of the Parents                                                                    
as Teachers  and Best Beginnings  programs. She  stated that                                                                    
her  family was  part of  a  pilot program  with Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers;  which  had  included  periodical  evaluations  to                                                                    
evaluate  verbal,  gross  motor,  fine  motor,  and  social-                                                                    
emotional skills.  She acknowledged the  Imagination Library                                                                    
and thought  it had  enhanced her family's  literacy skills.                                                                    
She discussed  her son's performance  in school  and thought                                                                    
it  had demonstrated  the effectiveness  of  the Parents  as                                                                    
Teacher's program. She thought  all children should have the                                                                    
same opportunity  for kindergarten  readiness. She  spoke in                                                                    
support of an income tax or a state sales tax.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:32:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELINDA  MESSMER, ASSOCIATION  FOR  THE  EDUCATION OF  YOUNG                                                                    
CHILDREN,  JUNEAU, testified  in support  of the  Parents as                                                                    
Teachers  program. She  discussed services  provided by  the                                                                    
program.  She relayed  that she  had anecdotally  found that                                                                    
parents   found  helpful   emotional  support   through  the                                                                    
program. She urged the committee to support the program.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:34:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NIKKI LOVE,  SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in support of  funding for                                                                    
early  childhood  education.  She  stated  that  she  was  a                                                                    
community  engagement coordinator  with  AEYC,  and a  child                                                                    
nutrition   advocate.  She   discussed   the  challenge   of                                                                    
isolation as a  parent. She echoed comments  of the previous                                                                    
speakers in support of early  childhood education. She spoke                                                                    
in support of an income tax.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:35:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALIZA KAZMI, ALASKA NETWORK ON  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL                                                                    
ASSAULT, JUNEAU, testified in  opposition to Amendment 13 in                                                                    
the  budget  for  the  Department   of  Public  Safety.  The                                                                    
amendment  proposed to  transfer funds  from the  Council on                                                                    
Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault  (Undesignated General                                                                    
Funds [UGF])  to fund a  new Alaska State  Trooper position.                                                                    
She asked  members to reference  her written  testimony. She                                                                    
commended  legislators for  prioritizing public  safety. She                                                                    
discussed victim's  services; which included  sexual assault                                                                    
response, shelter  and immediate safety,  advocacy services,                                                                    
and crisis lines. She mentioned  the Sexual Assault Response                                                                    
Team  (SART),  which  included law  enforcement,  a  medical                                                                    
provider, and an advocate.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:37:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH SIDDON,  SELF, JUNEAU, testified in  opposition to                                                                    
cuts  to  Medicaid  waiver  services  for  individuals  with                                                                    
developmental disabilities  (IDD). The cuts would  limit the                                                                    
number  of day-habilitative  services  that  a person  could                                                                    
receive to  8 hours  per week.  She relayed  that she  had a                                                                    
young son who  experienced cerebral palsy who was  on an IDD                                                                    
waiver, through which  he was able to go  into the community                                                                    
with a caregiver and interact.  She informed that she served                                                                    
on the Governor's Council on  Early Intervention, the Alaska                                                                    
Early   Childhood  Coordinating   Council,  and   the  Early                                                                    
Childhood  Coordinating  Systems  Council. She  had  learned                                                                    
about behavioral  supports and the importance  of the social                                                                    
and   emotional  development   of   children.  Through   the                                                                    
governor's council  she had attended  a conference  at which                                                                    
there was a cross-state  learning collaborative that focused                                                                    
on the social and emotional  development of children. If the                                                                    
subject  was  a  priority  for the  state,  she  considering                                                                    
limiting  the  hours  of  day-habilitative  services  to  be                                                                    
counter-intuitive.  She understood  that if  the change  was                                                                    
made  to  the  Medicaid  waiver, the  state  would  have  to                                                                    
justify that it would not cause harm to individuals.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:39:36 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:39:39 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Siddon continued discussing  how limiting the IDD waiver                                                                    
hours would  be detrimental to  those on the waiver  as well                                                                    
as caregivers and parents.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman   understood  that  the  money   had  been                                                                    
restored in the Senate's budget.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:40:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche  relayed  that  he had  checked  with  the                                                                    
Department of  Health and Social  Services, and  the average                                                                    
number  of waiver  hours was  11, and  the subcommittee  had                                                                    
increased  the  day-habilitative  hours  from 8  to  12.  He                                                                    
continued that  there was still  a cut, but  understood that                                                                    
the  limit was  the average  hours that  the typical  waiver                                                                    
recipient received.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Siddon  stated that  the IDD waivers  served a  range of                                                                    
ages and ranges  of disabilities. She struggled  to know how                                                                    
to represent  the breadth of  people who were served  by the                                                                    
waivers. She  argued that  putting a hard  cap on  the hours                                                                    
was not appropriate  and would be better  left to individual                                                                    
plans of  care. She  noted that  DHSS Senior  and Disability                                                                    
Services  was  already  scrutinizing plans,  and  the  hours                                                                    
limit could be done on an individual basis.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche stated  that  the  committee had  received                                                                    
hundreds of calls and  emails pertaining to day-habilitation                                                                    
services.  He asserted  that there  was  not a  hard cap  on                                                                    
hours  before, and  there was  not currently.  The level  of                                                                    
funding  had bene  brought up  to  12 hours,  but was  still                                                                    
managed on an individual case load.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:42:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BLUE SHIBLER, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in support of funding for                                                                    
day-habilitative services.  She discussed the  importance of                                                                    
social  and  emotional  learning  for  young  children.  She                                                                    
relayed that she was the  chair of AEYC board, and supported                                                                    
funding   for  early   childhood  programs   such  as   Best                                                                    
Beginnings and Parents as Teachers.  She supported an income                                                                    
tax.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:44:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSON  CURREY,  PLANNED  PARENTHOOD, JUNEAU,  testified  in                                                                    
opposition to  cuts in the  Department of Health  and Social                                                                    
Services funding for  medically necessary abortion services.                                                                    
She reminded that  in 2001 the Alaska  Supreme Court ordered                                                                    
the  department  and the  state  to  pay for  the  services,                                                                    
citing that  blocking funding violated the  equal protection                                                                    
clause  of  the  Alaska  Constitution.  She  continued  that                                                                    
removing  the   funding  for  the   budget  would   put  the                                                                    
department in the  position of either violating  the law, or                                                                    
cutting other  important healthcare programs to  pay for the                                                                    
services. She  urged the committee to  support birth control                                                                    
and preventive  care. She  spoke in  support of  funding for                                                                    
public  health nursing.  She remarked  that  Alaska led  the                                                                    
nation in rates of  sexually transmitted diseases (STD). She                                                                    
mentioned  an  HIV outbreak  in  the  Bristol Bay  area  the                                                                    
previous  year.  She  opposed   proposed  cuts  to  domestic                                                                    
violence  and  sexual  assault victim's  services;  such  as                                                                    
sexual assault response teams,  immediate shelter, and other                                                                    
support services.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:46:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOANN  QUIGG,   ASSOCIATION  FOR  THE  EDUCATION   OF  YOUNG                                                                    
CHILDREN,  JUNEAU, spoke  in support  of  funding for  early                                                                    
childhood education.  She discussed her  personal challenges                                                                    
with  being the  mother of  twins and  a four-year-old.  She                                                                    
discussed  her  personal  experience  with  the  Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers  program  and  the  Best  Beginnings  program.  She                                                                    
encouraged the  committee to consider  an income  tax rather                                                                    
than cutting funding for programs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:48:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NIAMH DARDIS, SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in support of funding                                                                    
for  disability services.  She discussed  the challenges  of                                                                    
families  with children  that experienced  disabilities. She                                                                    
asserted that  children with disabilities  had the  right to                                                                    
equal  access to  the  community, and  could  do so  through                                                                    
access  to  skilled  providers.  She  maintained  that  many                                                                    
opportunities  for  young  people   in  the  community  were                                                                    
already under-resourced. She thought  that increased cuts to                                                                    
disability  support services  would  force  parents to  have                                                                    
increased dependency  on other  state benefit  programs. She                                                                    
had  observed an  increase in  the number  of families  with                                                                    
children  with disabilities  that  had open  cases with  the                                                                    
Office of  Children's Service's.  She had worked  with three                                                                    
families in the previous year  that had a child removed from                                                                    
the home after the family was  unable to care for the child.                                                                    
Two of  the three  children she mentioned  had to  leave the                                                                    
community  of Juneau.  She urged  the  committee to  restore                                                                    
funding for  1915 Medicaid waivers,  and asked that  no hard                                                                    
caps be put on services.  She emphasized the each family had                                                                    
individual needs.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:51:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN ESTES,  SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in support  of funding                                                                    
for disability  services. He  relayed that  he was  a foster                                                                    
parent, and had a  daughter that experienced an intellectual                                                                    
disability. He  discussed his experience with  utilizing the                                                                    
services  of REACH,  Inc., which  had helped  immensely with                                                                    
communication and social skills,  and had provided access to                                                                    
the  community. He  urged the  committee to  support funding                                                                    
for children with disabilities.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:53:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE CULLITON,  SELF, JUNEAU,  testified in  support of                                                                    
funding for  disability support  services. She  relayed that                                                                    
she   was   the  parent   of   a   child  with   significant                                                                    
disabilities.  She discussed  the drastic  steps her  family                                                                    
had  to take  to  secure services  for  their daughter.  She                                                                    
discussed her  experience with  agencies. She  discussed the                                                                    
15  hour  cap  on   day-habilitation  as  applied  to  those                                                                    
individuals residing in group  homes. She was concerned that                                                                    
there might not be in  transparency in the language provided                                                                    
by the department. She expressed  concern about the "average                                                                    
hours"  discussed in  the context  of a  group home  plan of                                                                    
care.  She  was  concerned  that   a  cap  would  result  in                                                                    
individuals  being  moved  to   facilities  outside  of  the                                                                    
community. She  urged the  committee to  follow up  with the                                                                    
department  and  ask  hard questions  about  the  caps.  She                                                                    
supported an income tax.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:56:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COREY  GILMORE,  SELF,  JUNEAU,   testified  in  support  of                                                                    
funding for disability support  services and opposed putting                                                                    
a cap on the allowed  hours for day-habilitation. He relayed                                                                    
that he had  been in Juneau for five years,  after living in                                                                    
Maine,  where   there  had   been  no   day-habilitation  or                                                                    
supported living services available.  He stated that he used                                                                    
22.5  hours  per  week  of  day-habilitation  services  that                                                                    
enabled him  to get out  in the community. He  discussed his                                                                    
personal experience with needing  assistance to navigate due                                                                    
to  low  vision.  He  thought it  was  hypocritical  to  cut                                                                    
services while offering a PFD.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:59:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK MILLER,  JUNEAU SCHOOL  DISTRICT, JUNEAU,  testified in                                                                    
opposition to  cuts to education. He  reminded the committee                                                                    
of its  constitutional obligation to establish  and maintain                                                                    
a system  of public schools.  He informed that  the district                                                                    
budget was due  in two weeks. He reminded  that the district                                                                    
had  already   committed  funds   to  re-hire  all   of  the                                                                    
district's  tenured teachers.  He asserted  that significant                                                                    
cuts  to education  after funds  were already  dedicated was                                                                    
hugely problematic. He thought  cuts to education would hurt                                                                    
kids  and would  not make  a significant  difference to  the                                                                    
fiscal gap. He supported the PFPA and an income tax.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:01:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEBRAH  CLEMENTS,  SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke  in  support of  the                                                                    
Parents  as Teachers  program.  She shared  that  she was  a                                                                    
business  owner   and  a  new  parent.   She  discussed  the                                                                    
challenge of being  a parent and shared that  the Parents as                                                                    
Teachers program  had been extremely helpful.  She supported                                                                    
a cut to the dividend to pay for state services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:03:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  COLE,  SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke  in  support of  public                                                                    
media.  He   considered  pubic  media  to   be  particularly                                                                    
important in  Alaska. He discussed the  importance of access                                                                    
to  impartial  and  accurate  news.   He  used  examples  of                                                                    
important public  media functions such as  daily local news,                                                                    
emergency   safety   information,    and   local   community                                                                    
engagement. He  discussed the importance of  public media in                                                                    
the lives  of state residents, particularly  in rural areas.                                                                    
He urged the committee to fund public media.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:06:06 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GABI FLATEN, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke in support  of funding for                                                                    
disability  services. She  discussed the  experience of  her                                                                    
son,  who had  a traumatic  brain injury  and experienced  a                                                                    
myriad of disabilities, and who  was a recipient of the home                                                                    
and  community-based  Medicaid  waiver.   She  worked  as  a                                                                    
service coordinator  for individuals with  medically complex                                                                    
disabilities. She was in favor  of restoring all funding for                                                                    
day-habilitation  services, and  opposed any  caps. Her  son                                                                    
had received  14 to  20 hours  per week  of day-habilitation                                                                    
services, depending upon his  school schedule. She discussed                                                                    
the  advantage of  her  son's  community experience  enabled                                                                    
through  day-habilitation.   She  discussed   the  long-term                                                                    
importance  of   her  son  being   in  the   community.  She                                                                    
emphasized  that if  day-habilitation services  were capped,                                                                    
it would limit the ability  of individuals to work, and gain                                                                    
and achieve skills  needed to be an adult  in the community.                                                                    
She  thought  it would  be  counterintuitive  to change  the                                                                    
waivers,  and thought  hours  of  day-habilitation would  be                                                                    
better assessed through individual plans of care.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:11:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KAYLA WISNER, SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in support of funding                                                                    
for  early  childhood  education. Her  family  had  received                                                                    
support  from  the  Imagination  Library.  She  referred  to                                                                    
previous   testifiers  who   spoke   in   support  of   day-                                                                    
habilitation services. She discussed  the benefits of having                                                                    
children with disabilities integrated in the community.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:13:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LILY POTHIER, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  in support of funding for                                                                    
the Parents as  Teachers program. She spoke  of the benefits                                                                    
her family had received from  the program. She discussed her                                                                    
son's difficulty  with language and identified  services she                                                                    
had  received  from  Parents  as  Teachers  and  REACH.  She                                                                    
discussed  the benefit  of  early  intervention. She  shared                                                                    
that  she and  her  husband had  been  well-equipped by  the                                                                    
program. She urged  the committee to leave  funding in early                                                                    
childhood education program.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:15:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PAUL BERAN,  SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in favor of  an income                                                                    
tax.  He asserted  that the  people of  the state  favored a                                                                    
state  income  tax. He  thought  an  income tax  would  give                                                                    
individuals a greater sense  of ownership and responsibility                                                                    
for the government.  He referred to an email he  had sent to                                                                    
the  committee. He  referenced the  bible.  He supported  an                                                                    
income tax.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:17:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA TAYLOR, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke in support  of an income                                                                    
tax.  She   relayed  that  she   was  heavily   involved  in                                                                    
volunteering in  education. She echoed  the comments  of the                                                                    
previous testifier. She  supported an income tax.  She was a                                                                    
member  of the  Juneau  Science  Technology Engineering  and                                                                    
Math (STEM)  Coalition, and  participated with  Great Alaska                                                                    
Schools.  She  was a  co-chair  of  the Juneau-Douglas  High                                                                    
School  Site Council.  She referred  to cuts  to the  Juneau                                                                    
School District over  the previous 6 years.  She referred to                                                                    
the inability of  middle school classes to  do hands-on labs                                                                    
due to  the size of  the class,  and the lack  of materials.                                                                    
She  discussed   a  new   science  curriculum   that  needed                                                                    
materials and  a coordinator.  She suggested  that even  a 5                                                                    
percent  cut would  be  problematic  for future  educational                                                                    
opportunities.  She discussed  engineering courses  that had                                                                    
been planned for  the summer but were cancelled  due to lack                                                                    
of resources.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman thanked  the  testifiers  and thanked  the                                                                    
community  of  Juneau  for  welcoming  the  legislature.  He                                                                    
stated  that   the  committee  would  be   "at  ease"  until                                                                    
additional people wanted to provide public testimony.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:20:42 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:33:07 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  relayed that the committee  would stand at                                                                    
recess until 1:00 p.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:33:20 AM                                                                                                                   
RECESSED                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:02:54 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  restated that there  was no money  yet for                                                                    
the DEED  budget, but anticipated  a 5 percent  reduction in                                                                    
the DEED budget.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: GLENNALLEN, SEWARD, HOMER                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:04:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CONNIE CAPRIO, SELF,  SEWARD (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  funding for the  Independent Living  Center. She                                                                    
felt that the Independent Living  Center had helped her live                                                                    
a full life.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:06:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLOTTE  NICOLET,  ADVOCATE,  INDEPENDENT  LIVING  CENTER,                                                                    
SEWARD  (via teleconference),  testified in  support funding                                                                    
for  the Independent  Living Center.  She shared  that there                                                                    
were  many  items  available  for  those  in  need  such  as                                                                    
wheelchairs and crutches. She stated  that the Mental Health                                                                    
Trust grants  helped to provide funding  for the Independent                                                                    
Living  Center.  She  stressed that  there  was  a  positive                                                                    
outcome,  because  of  the  funding  that  was  historically                                                                    
provided. She remarked  that there was also  a tax deduction                                                                    
program in line with the Independent Living Center.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:08:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN ZAK, MAYOR, CITY OF  HOMER (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support of  public  radio, Best  Beginnings, the  Alaska                                                                    
State Library,  and behavioral  health funding.  He stressed                                                                    
that  the  budget reduction  affected  jobs.  He hoped  that                                                                    
there would be  other solutions such as a  state income tax.                                                                    
He remarked  that there  were many  workers from  outside of                                                                    
the  state, who  did  not contribute  to  the state  economy                                                                    
through income taxes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:10:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  HORNADAY,  MEMBER,  KENAI  PENINSULA  COLLEGE  COUNCIL,                                                                    
HOMER (via  teleconference), spoke in support  of the budget                                                                    
submitted  by  the  University   of  Alaska  (UA)  Board  of                                                                    
Regents. He  remarked that UA  had experienced a  $3 million                                                                    
reduction, and  cut 329 positions.  He felt that  there were                                                                    
many  local residents  in the  Kenai  Peninsula Borough  who                                                                    
contributed greatly  to the college. He  remarked that there                                                                    
were  important   courses  offered   by  the   college,  and                                                                    
continually evolved to serve the community.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:12:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA   ASSELIN  MARTIN,   MEMBER,   HOMER  EARLY   CHILDHOOD                                                                    
COALITION, HOMER (via teleconference),  spoked in support of                                                                    
early  childhood education  program  funding.  She spoke  in                                                                    
support of  Best Beginnings, Parents as  Teachers, Statewide                                                                    
Pre-K,  and the  Imagination Library.  She shared  that many                                                                    
books were delivered  to children under the age  of 5 across                                                                    
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:14:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE LEWIS, EMPLOYEE, INDEPENDENT  LIVING CENTER, HOMER (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke against  reducing the  mental health                                                                    
budget.  He  felt that  the  budget  would affect  the  most                                                                    
vulnerable in the state. He  spoke in support of a statewide                                                                    
income tax.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:15:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM  VANHOOZER,  PARTICIPANT,   INDEPENDENT  LIVING  CENTER,                                                                    
HOMER (via teleconference), spoke  in support of funding for                                                                    
the  Independent  Living Center.  She  shared  that she  was                                                                    
newly  blind and  was able  to learn  to use  a cane  at the                                                                    
Independent Living  Center. She asserted that  the knowledge                                                                    
she learned  from the Independent  Living Center  had helped                                                                    
her become a functioning member of society.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  WIELAND, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of funding  for public radio. She  stressed that the                                                                    
radio  provided information.  She  remarked  that Homer  had                                                                    
some  serious   wildfires,  and  the  local   radio  station                                                                    
provided  information  regarding  the  wildfires  and  other                                                                    
weather  warnings.  She  felt that  the  public  radio  news                                                                    
provided balanced  points of view.  She urged  the committee                                                                    
to restore 100  percent of the essential  services of public                                                                    
radio.  She  remarked  that  Representative  Don  Young  had                                                                    
announced that  public radio was  one of the  most essential                                                                    
services for Alaskans.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:18:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANN DIXON, HOMER PUBLIC LIBRARY,   HOMER                (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  favor of  the  Online  with                                                                    
Libraries (OWL) program. She stated  that many relied on the                                                                    
library to  access the internet.  She also spoke  in support                                                                    
of early  childhood education programs.  She also  urged the                                                                    
committee to restore funding for public broadcasting.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:20:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYANNA  GEISLER,  INDEPENDENT  LIVING  CENTER,  HOMER  (via                                                                    
teleconference), requested that full  funding be restored to                                                                    
the  Independent Living  Center.  She remarked  that no  one                                                                    
lived at the  center, but rather provided  support for those                                                                    
who  wanted to  live in  the  homes of  their choosing.  She                                                                    
remarked that  many of the  employees working at  the center                                                                    
were also  experiencing disabilities. She remarked  that the                                                                    
center  helped  transition  individuals from  nursing  homes                                                                    
back  into  the community.  She  stressed  that any  further                                                                    
reductions  would  sorely  impact the  services  across  the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:22:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  FINN,  SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference),  urged  the                                                                    
committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting. She                                                                    
shared  that  she relied  on  public  radio for  information                                                                    
related  to   marine  weather   warnings  and   other  local                                                                    
announcements. She  stressed that  the radio was  a personal                                                                    
safety  information  center.  She  stressed  that  continued                                                                    
federal funding  was required to continue  public radio. She                                                                    
understood the financial situation,  and spoke in support of                                                                    
partial  use of  the  permanent fund  dividend  and a  state                                                                    
income tax.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:25:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  SHULER,  SELF,   HOMER  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against funding  for full-price airplane tickets  for health                                                                    
consultants, and  full price payments of  medical equipment.                                                                    
She spoke in  support of Medicaid waiver  services. She felt                                                                    
that the  waiver services  provided individuals  with travel                                                                    
services to function within the community.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:27:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLARD DUNHAM, SELF, SEWARD  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of  public safety,  public  health,  and roads.  He                                                                    
testified  in support  of  an increased  alcohol  tax and  a                                                                    
statewide income  tax. He felt  that the  legislature should                                                                    
create a fiscal strategy.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:29:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HANNAH  BENGTSON,   REPRESENTATIVE,  PARENTS   AS  TEACHERS,                                                                    
GLENNALLEN  (via   teleconference),  spoke  in   support  of                                                                    
funding for  Parents as Teachers. She  explained the Parents                                                                    
as Teachers  program. She shared  that the  program enhanced                                                                    
family,  and  provided  information  to  prevent  abuse  and                                                                    
neglect.  The program  used screening  tools should  a child                                                                    
need special  services. She remarked that  the funding would                                                                    
provide more  opportunity for  independence for  families in                                                                    
Glennallen.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche  introduced Monica  Henson Wilson,  who was                                                                    
shadowing Senator Micciche.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman  wondered  whether Ms.  Wilson  wanted  to                                                                    
testify. Ms. Wilson declined.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bishop  introduced  Amber Chamberlain,  who  was                                                                    
shadowing Vice-Chair Bishop.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:33:16 PM                                                                                                                    
RECESS                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:41:46 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:42:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TYROAN  REDISKE,  ALASKA  YOUTH  FOR  ENVIRONMENTAL  ACTION,                                                                    
HOMER, spoke against DEED budget  reductions. He stated that                                                                    
he hoped to obtain the Alaska Performance Scholarship.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bishop  queried Mr. Rediske's college  major. Mr.                                                                    
Rediske replied that he hoped to major in marine biology.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARL PFEIFFENBERGER, ALASKA  YOUTH FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION,                                                                    
SEWARD, spoke  against the budget  reduction for  the Alaska                                                                    
Performance  Scholarship. He  shared  that he  knew of  many                                                                    
college  students  who  relied  on  the  Alaska  Performance                                                                    
Scholarship.  He felt  that  it was  important  for many  to                                                                    
continue their education.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSEY  SHAW,  SELF,  GLENALLEN, spoke  against  DEED  budget                                                                    
reductions. He  spoke in support  of the  Alaska Performance                                                                    
Scholarship.  He remarked  that further  cuts to  DEED would                                                                    
increase  class  size  and  limit the  time  to  access  the                                                                    
teachers in a personal manner.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RECESS                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:00:54 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:01:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUNE DOEPKEN,  SELF, SEWARD  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of  funding for DEED.  She remarked that  the larger                                                                    
classrooms made it difficult for  students to have access to                                                                    
their teachers. She stressed that  teachers would only spend                                                                    
more of their  own money to pay for education.  She spoke in                                                                    
support of the gasoline tax and statewide income tax.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: STATEWIDE OFFNET                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM DEATON, SELF,  CORDOVA (via teleconference), opposed                                                                    
the current budget.  He felt that there  should be continued                                                                    
budget  reductions.  He  spoke  against funding  for  a  new                                                                    
ferry. He spoke against the  legislators' per diem. He spoke                                                                    
against an income  tax. He felt that  all nonessential items                                                                    
in the  budget should be  reduced. He spoke against  the OWL                                                                    
program,  because it  did not  impact  classrooms. He  spoke                                                                    
against funding for the marine  highway. He did not want the                                                                    
state to become a "nanny state."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:06:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY   HABRA,  SUPERINTENDENT,   HAINES  BOROUGH   SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT, HAINES  (via teleconference), spoke against  the 5                                                                    
percent reduction  to the Base Student  Allocation (BSA). He                                                                    
shared  that   his  district   had  reduced   its  personnel                                                                    
significantly in  the previous year. He  felt that education                                                                    
funding cuts would negatively affect classrooms.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:07:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH TYSON,  SELF, SKAGWAY (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.                                                                    
She  remarked  that  public  radio  provided  essential  and                                                                    
emergency information services.  She spoke against increased                                                                    
military spending.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:08:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EVELYNN TREFON,  SELF, NEWHALEN (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against a state  sales tax. She spoke in support  of a state                                                                    
income tax.  She shared that  an income tax would  put money                                                                    
back into  the state economy.  She also spoke in  support of                                                                    
limiting the  PFD to $1000.  She felt  that the oil  and gas                                                                    
tax credits  should be  rewritten. She  spoke in  support of                                                                    
the community sharing funding, and  felt that it should be a                                                                    
reliable  funding source.  She urged  the committee  to find                                                                    
new revenue sources.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:12:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM BAUER,  SUPERINTENDENT, ANNETTE ISLAND  SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                    
METLAKATLA  (via   teleconference),  spoke  against   the  5                                                                    
percent reduction  to the BSA.  He remarked that  there were                                                                    
positions that  must be  filled, but  the reduction  did not                                                                    
allow  for appropriate  funding for  qualified teachers.  He                                                                    
stressed  that unqualified  teachers  would  be required  to                                                                    
teach outside  of their expertise,  and the  education would                                                                    
suffer.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GINGER FORTIN,  SELF, KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of funding  for  ferry  service from  Homer  to                                                                    
Ketchikan  in the  winter. She  felt that  cross gulf  ferry                                                                    
service  was  needed  at  least once  or  twice  during  the                                                                    
winter. She also urged the  committee to restore funding for                                                                    
public  broadcasting.   She  felt  that  public   radio  was                                                                    
essential for islands and small communities.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:16:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  SHOCKLEY,  SELF,  UNALASKA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
urged   the  committee   to  restore   funding  for   public                                                                    
broadcasting.  She pointed  out  that over  one-half of  the                                                                    
population  lived in  rural communities,  and  did not  have                                                                    
access to  high speed internet. Those  communities relied on                                                                    
public  radio   for  community  information   and  emergency                                                                    
services  information.   She  stressed  that   public  media                                                                    
provided  quality  education   programs  for  children.  She                                                                    
remarked that  the public  broadcasting network  provided an                                                                    
opportunity to  learn more about the  legislature, therefore                                                                    
providing an educational opportunity.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:19:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN MURDOCH,  SELF, HOMER (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                    
committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting. She                                                                    
stated  that   the  local  public  radio   station  provided                                                                    
wildfire,  earthquake, and  tsunami emergency  warnings. She                                                                    
felt  that the  public radio  provided critical  information                                                                    
for  statewide issues.  She  did not  feel  that the  public                                                                    
radio  budget reduction  would not  balance the  budget. She                                                                    
spoke in  support of an income  tax, and hoped that  her tax                                                                    
would support public radio.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:20:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARILYN  DOUCETTE, ADULT  DISABLED  CHILD  IN JUNEAU,  MAINE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  against the  budget reductions                                                                    
for funding  for her disabled  child. She  testified against                                                                    
the cap  of 12 hours  for disability assistance.  She shared                                                                    
that her  son and his  partner each had cerebral  palsy. She                                                                    
remarked  that  her son  may  become  depressed, if  he  was                                                                    
forced to stay indoors.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:23:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOAN  MCBEEN, SELF,  TENAKEE  SPRINGS (via  teleconference),                                                                    
urged   the  committee   to  restore   funding  for   public                                                                    
broadcasting.  She  remarked  that   the  public  radio  was                                                                    
essential to  her small community.  She shared that  she was                                                                    
on the  Tenakee Springs City  Council, and spoke  in support                                                                    
of  revenue sharing.  She stated  that the  program provided                                                                    
funding for projects in her  community. She spoke in support                                                                    
of a  statewide income  tax. She  testified against  oil tax                                                                    
credits.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:24:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEOFF  WIDDOWS, SELF,  YAKUTAT  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                    
the committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.                                                                    
He  understood the  dire fiscal  situation.  He shared  that                                                                    
Yakutat experienced  poor internet  and cell  phone service,                                                                    
so   the  public   radio  was   often  the   only  form   of                                                                    
communication in his community.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:26:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAY  ANDREWS, PRESIDENT,  SOUTHWEST REGION  SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                    
ALEKNAGIK (via teleconference), spoke  against the 5 percent                                                                    
reduction  to the  BSA. She  felt that  the reduction  would                                                                    
result  in  a  personnel  reduction.  She  stated  that  the                                                                    
teachers and  other staff would experience  a greater burden                                                                    
than their current situation. She  stressed that there would                                                                    
be a  major cut to the  school district, but noted  that she                                                                    
lived in the largest geographic area in the state.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA  SUTTON, SELF,  JUNEAU  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against the cap  to the day services. She  remarked that her                                                                    
son was autistic, and it was  difficult for her to be a mom,                                                                    
to work, and  go to school. She hoped that  the cap would be                                                                    
removed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:30:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SIMON VANSINTJAN, SELF,  SKAGWAY (via teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.                                                                    
He stated  that the local radio  station already experienced                                                                    
significant cuts  in the  year prior.  He stressed  that the                                                                    
public radio station in  Skagway was significantly important                                                                    
to  the  community.  He  announced  that  the  public  radio                                                                    
station was the only source of news in the town.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:31:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  PIERCE,  SELF,  KASILOF (via  teleconference),  felt                                                                    
that the budget was unacceptable.  He urged the committee to                                                                    
restore funding for public  broadcasting. He understood that                                                                    
there should  be at  least 25 percent  budget cuts  to state                                                                    
agencies.  He  felt  that  allocating  money  to  the  state                                                                    
agencies  would  waste  money.  He  spoke  against  cuts  to                                                                    
essential services.  He felt that  the legislature  was only                                                                    
concerned  with special  interest groups.  He spoke  against                                                                    
limiting  the  PFD.  He felt  that  the  legislature  should                                                                    
listen to the residents of Alaska.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT PURCELL, SELF, HOMER  (via teleconference), urged the                                                                    
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  He                                                                    
stated that he  had been involved in  disaster relief across                                                                    
the  country. He  had  seen the  critical  role that  public                                                                    
radio  played  in  preparing and  informing  communities  of                                                                    
disaster  events.   He  stressed   that  public   radio  was                                                                    
essential  in communicating  with the  public. He  felt that                                                                    
the  state should  be a  partner with  local communities  in                                                                    
providing public radio.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:36:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERI  SMITH,   SELF,  KENAI  (via   teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  the  transfer  of  funding   from  the  Council  on                                                                    
Domestic Violence  and Sexual  Assault fund  to a  new state                                                                    
trooper position.  She appreciated the public  safety in the                                                                    
state,  but  remarked that  victims  of  crime came  to  the                                                                    
shelters. She felt  that the funding should  remain in place                                                                    
for  the shelters.  She understood  the budget  situation in                                                                    
the state, but  stressed that taking money  from the council                                                                    
took money  from the  agencies. She stated  that she  had to                                                                    
recently reduce  her staff by two  advocates, and encouraged                                                                    
the  committee to  look elsewhere  to fund  the new  trooper                                                                    
position.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:39:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEX MATSOV,  SELF, SKAGWAY (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                    
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  He                                                                    
remarked that the local radio  station was essential to stay                                                                    
informed and  active in the  community. He felt  that public                                                                    
radio was essential to Skagway.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:40:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NICKI SHELTON,  SELF, HOONAH (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of funding for Parents  as Teachers, Pre-K programs,                                                                    
Best Beginnings,  and the Imagination Library.  She stressed                                                                    
that early  childhood education had  a strong link  to brain                                                                    
development.  She   felt  that   the  programs   focused  on                                                                    
literacy. She  remarked that  Hoonah did  not have  a public                                                                    
library, so the programs provided  the only source for books                                                                    
in young  children's homes.  She remarked  that there  was a                                                                    
profound impact by  the programs on children  before the age                                                                    
of  five.  She stressed  that  the  programs provided  early                                                                    
intervention, which  made it possible for  children to enter                                                                    
kindergarten without additional services.  She also spoke in                                                                    
support of a state income tax.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:43:20 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:33 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:43:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  BOYLE,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  POLICY  REFORM,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  highlighted additional cuts                                                                    
he felt should  be made to the budget: page  3, line 33, The                                                                    
Alaska  Land-Mobile Radio,  $4.4 million;  page 6,  line 16,                                                                    
Alaska Gasline Development  Corporation, $10.3 million; page                                                                    
10, line  19, Department of  Education IT, $1  million; page                                                                    
10, line  31, Pre-K $2 million;  page 11, line 5,  1 percent                                                                    
for Art  Council, $2.8 million;  page 11, line 25,  WAMI, $3                                                                    
million; page  11, line 27, Alaska  Performance Scholarship,                                                                    
$11.8  million; page  19, line  19, performance  bonuses for                                                                    
Department  of   Health  and  Social  Services   (DHSS),  $6                                                                    
million;  page 20,  line 17,  adult  preventative dental  in                                                                    
DHSS  Medicaid;   page  22,   line  19,   Alaska  Vocational                                                                    
Technical  Center,  $15 million;  page  25,  line 8,  Alaska                                                                    
Aerospace  Corporation,  $11  million;  page  27,  line  24,                                                                    
Alaska State  Troopers special projects, $2.6  million; page                                                                    
29,  line 29,  prisoner  transport, $2.3  million; page  36,                                                                    
line  13, Fairbanks  organized research  UAF, $155  million;                                                                    
page 10,  line 11,  foundation formula, delete  the harmless                                                                    
provision  and  reduce other  factors;  and  page 10,  early                                                                    
learning  coordination, $8.6  million. He  stressed that  he                                                                    
wanted  "hard cuts."  He stressed  that the  Medicaid reform                                                                    
and criminal justice reform did not reduce any costs.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:46:14 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:46:43 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman handed the gavel to Vice-Chair Bishop.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE LESH, SELF, GUSTAVUS  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of  the  public  services  budget.  She  urged  the                                                                    
committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting. She                                                                    
echoed  the  remarks  of  Senator Egan  in  regards  to  the                                                                    
importance of funding for  public broadcasting. She stressed                                                                    
that public  radio was essential  to small  communities. She                                                                    
remarked that  public radio connected the  entire state, and                                                                    
felt    that   the    reduction   would    damage   existing                                                                    
infrastructure.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:49:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SABRA   ANCKNER,   BOARD   MEMBER,  ALASKA   PUBLIC   HEALTH                                                                    
ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   spoke  in                                                                    
support of public  health nurses. She explained  some of the                                                                    
services  provided by  public  health  nurses. She  remarked                                                                    
that  many public  nurses  provided  continued education  to                                                                    
nurse  practitioners and  nurses.  She  stressed that  there                                                                    
were  cuts  in  the   federal  budget  to  vaccinations  and                                                                    
essential  air  services,  so   the  public  health  nursing                                                                    
services were even more essential to the state.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:51:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEANNE  GERHARDT-CYRUS,  SELF, KAINA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke against  cuts to community services  and Medicaid. She                                                                    
stressed  that the  cuts may  help  in the  short term,  but                                                                    
stressed that  the cuts would  see an increase  in emergency                                                                    
services  and   crisis  intervention.  She   announced  that                                                                    
emergency  services   and  crisis  intervention   were  more                                                                    
expensive were cumbersome to administer.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:53:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY DEIHL, SELF, HOMER  (via teleconference), urged funding                                                                    
for a  cross gulf  ferry service in  the winter.  She shared                                                                    
that she  could not drive  to visit her friend,  because the                                                                    
roads did not allow it in the winter.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:54:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACY  CEDGWICK, SELF,  JUNEAU  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against funding for  day home services. She  stated that she                                                                    
knew of someone who would not  be able to participate in the                                                                    
community without the day home services.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:55:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK LARSEN,  SELF, SKAGWAY (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                    
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  He                                                                    
remarked that  most of  the small  communities in  the state                                                                    
only  had one  option  for radio.  He  stressed that  public                                                                    
radio was critical in providing  unbiased news and emergency                                                                    
information. He  stressed that the radio  provided access to                                                                    
the outside world.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:57:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARIL  LOPEZ, SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against the  reduction to funding for  Medicaid waivers. She                                                                    
shared that  she had  a child with  a disabilities,  and was                                                                    
active  in various  disability advocacy  groups. She  stated                                                                    
that   parents   of    children   with   disabilities   were                                                                    
resourceful.  She remarked  that  there was  a long  waiting                                                                    
list  for Medicaid  waivers. She  hoped  that the  committee                                                                    
would identify additional revenue to close the budget gap.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bishop handed the gavel to Co-Chair Hoffman.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:59:32 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:15:25 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:15:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AUSTIN ROOF,  SELF, SAND  POINT (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.                                                                    
He stressed that public broadcasting  played a critical role                                                                    
in  his  community.  He  stressed   that  the  public  radio                                                                    
provided  essential   emergency  services   information.  He                                                                    
stressed  that   state  funding  was  critical   for  public                                                                    
broadcasting. He  felt that  it was a  small portion  of the                                                                    
budget. He  spoke in  support of  funding for  education. He                                                                    
stressed  that education  was not  a place  that should  see                                                                    
additional reductions.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:18:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH  HOLLAND,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of additional  budget cuts. She  felt that                                                                    
the  rural areas  should  be taxed.  She  remarked that  the                                                                    
urban centers  of Alaska  paid to cover  the costs  in rural                                                                    
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:19:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ASHLYN  ANTONELLI,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of funding  for  education. She  remarked                                                                    
that   many  high   school  graduates   were  entering   the                                                                    
university under  college level. She felt  that there should                                                                    
also be continued funding for  UA. She stressed that raising                                                                    
the cost of tuition for  UA was detrimental to students. She                                                                    
felt  that   the  university  could  not   continue  to  cut                                                                    
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:21:02 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bishop handed the gavel to Co-Chair Hoffman.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TREVER STORRS, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA CHILDREN'S TRUST,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   spoke  in   support  of                                                                    
Alaska's  children.   He  provided  information   about  the                                                                    
organization  that was  focused on  the prevention  of child                                                                    
abuse  and  neglect.  He  emphasized   the  best  return  on                                                                    
investment  was to  invest in  children earlier  on in  life                                                                    
rather  than later.  He did  not  support the  legislature's                                                                    
solution to cut  the budget. He shared there  was a solution                                                                    
that  was better  for  Alaskans.   He  quoted the  economist                                                                    
James  Heckman  who  believed  that   in  an  era  of  tight                                                                    
government  budgets the  real question  was how  to use  the                                                                    
available  funds wisely.  The  best  evidence supported  the                                                                    
policy to  invest in the  very young. He spoke  to struggles                                                                    
later  in children's  lives. For  every  dollar invested  in                                                                    
early childhood  education, $7 dollars  was saved  later. He                                                                    
underscored  that  the  ages  zero to  five  were  the  most                                                                    
critical time  in a child's life.  Early childhood education                                                                    
combatted adverse  experiences. He  did not support  cuts to                                                                    
pre-K, Best Beginnings, and other programs.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERI  ELIZABETH  KING,  SELF, JUNEAU  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
provided   information  about   her   personal  and   career                                                                    
background.  She  shared  that  her  young  son  had  Down's                                                                    
syndrome. She  emphasized the importance of  programming for                                                                    
children to learn  adaptive skills. She spoke  in support of                                                                    
funding for  children's education programs. She  stated that                                                                    
social services  had been  great in  the community.  She did                                                                    
not   want  to   see  the   services  disappear.   Cognitive                                                                    
development   was  imperative   for  children   who  learned                                                                    
differently.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: ANCHORAGE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:34:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES   MCKEE,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
addressed   birth  certificates   and  trust   accounts.  He                                                                    
remarked  that former  Governor Wally  Hickel had  said that                                                                    
Alaska was an  owner state. He believed Alaska  was a public                                                                    
corporation  and a  commodity along  with its  resources. He                                                                    
shared that  he had provided  written testimony as  well. He                                                                    
stated the  Bar Association  had taken  control and  ran the                                                                    
state's credit out the back  door. He stated the legislature                                                                    
could  fund the  government on  its  own. He  referred to  a                                                                    
document he would provide the committee related to credit.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:37:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEENA  BISHOP,  SUPERINTENDENT, ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   spoke  in   support  of                                                                    
education.  She understood  the budget  problems facing  the                                                                    
state. She  emphasized the importance of  investing where it                                                                    
mattered.  Investing in  the future  meant investing  in the                                                                    
knowledge and  skill capacity of  the people in  Alaska. She                                                                    
stressed that schools, teachers,  and other workers felt the                                                                    
pressure of  outcomes. She underscored that  the system must                                                                    
ensure better  outcomes for students. The  district had made                                                                    
major changes to support the  state, while expecting quality                                                                    
education.  She stated  that the  district had  an agreement                                                                    
for  shared  services  for  the   first  time,  which  would                                                                    
eliminate   redundant  work.   The   district  had   changed                                                                    
boundaries of students and had  closed schools. The district                                                                    
had  a $15  million deficit;  it was  changing practices  to                                                                    
address the  issue. She noted  the deficit was with  the BSA                                                                    
flat funding.  She underscored  the importance  of education                                                                    
for  the state.  She urged  the committee  to avoid  further                                                                    
cuts to  the BSA. She  supported creating new ways  to bring                                                                    
in revenue and other.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:40:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAM AGOSTI-GISLER,  ANCHORAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in  support of funding  for the                                                                    
BSA, bond  debt reimbursement,  and busing.  She stated  a 5                                                                    
percent reduction to the BSA  would mean $27 million in cuts                                                                    
to education in  the district. She stated the  impact to the                                                                    
ASD  would be  $16  million if  the  foundation formula  was                                                                    
underfunded  without changing  the BSA.  She emphasized  the                                                                    
numbers  were  frightening.  Further reductions  would  most                                                                    
likely  result in  class size  increases. She  spoke to  the                                                                    
average  costs  of a  full  time  employee. She  stated  the                                                                    
district  had  cut 100  non-school  based  personnel at  the                                                                    
education  center,  in information  technology,  purchasing,                                                                    
and  other,   which  accounted  for  25   percent  of  their                                                                    
reductions. She  spoke to  one person  being expected  to do                                                                    
the  job of  three people.  She addressed  declining student                                                                    
enrollment and position eliminations.  The district had also                                                                    
made  reductions to  individuals in  special education.  She                                                                    
emphasized that  the district  had increased  efficiency and                                                                    
had made  cost reductions. She  added that the  district had                                                                    
established    shared   services    agreements   with    the                                                                    
Municipality of Anchorage.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:43:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STARR  MARSETT, ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL  DISTRICT, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support of education.  She stated                                                                    
that reductions  to pre-K grants would  result in unprepared                                                                    
students.  She spoke  to increased  costs  related to  pupil                                                                    
transportation. She  opposed a  5 percent cut  to education,                                                                    
which would cost ASD $27.2  million. She shared that a total                                                                    
of 393 full time positions  had been reduced. She provided a                                                                    
breakdown of  the reduced positions.  The district  had used                                                                    
savings to pay the $10.8  million in debt reimbursement that                                                                    
had been taken  by the governor. She stated  that if funding                                                                    
continued  as  is the  district  would  continue to  face  a                                                                    
deficit and reduce positions.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:45:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  ANDERSON,  CHIEF  FINANCIAL OFFICER,  ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),   spoke   in                                                                    
opposition   to  cuts   to  education.   He  addressed   the                                                                    
governor's past  veto of bond debt  reimbursement, which had                                                                    
forced ASD to  use savings to cover the  shortfall of nearly                                                                    
$10.8 million. The district did  not have funds to cover the                                                                    
deficit  in the  coming year.  Decisions by  the legislature                                                                    
would be made  after the district had  developed its budget.                                                                    
He  stressed that  moving  responsibility  for education  to                                                                    
taxpayers did not decrease the  cost of education, it merely                                                                    
shifted the cost. He stated  that the foundation formula had                                                                    
a max cap  cities could provide to the  district - Anchorage                                                                    
historically  had met  the  cap annually,  but  it would  be                                                                    
unable to  provide additional resources  to make up  any new                                                                    
cuts within  the foundation formula. He  urged the committee                                                                    
to  consider the  impact  of amendments  being  made at  the                                                                    
national level as  well. The district could get  hit at both                                                                    
levels.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:48:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARLY  DENNIS,   ALASKA  YOUTH  FOR   ENVIRONMENTAL  ACTION,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE, spoke about  her love for Alaska  and shared that                                                                    
the group  was focused  largely on conservation  issues. She                                                                    
encouraged  committee  members  to preserve  the  state  for                                                                    
future  generations. She  supported  teachers, schools,  and                                                                    
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:49:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL   BAILEY,    PRESIDENT,   ALASKA    ASSOCIATION   ON                                                                    
DEVELOPMENT  DISABILITIES,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of funding  for  senior and  disabilities                                                                    
Medicaid  services. He  supported  an  amendment offered  by                                                                    
Senator  Micciche that  added funding  to partially  restore                                                                    
service   levels.   He    shared   information   about   the                                                                    
association.  He  spoke  to  the  impact  of  reductions  in                                                                    
communities across the state.  He understood that reductions                                                                    
had  to  be  made  to  address  the  budget  shortfall.  The                                                                    
association  remained committed  to recalibrate  appropriate                                                                    
levels  of service  in  a manner  consistent  with a  shared                                                                    
vision for the system.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:50:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  DONLEY,   HOPE  COMMUNITY  SERVICES,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support  of funding  for Hope                                                                    
Community  Services.  The organization  greatly  appreciated                                                                    
the  budget   subcommittee's  increment  reducing   cuts  to                                                                    
services.  Hope supported  a unified  vision to  address the                                                                    
critical needs  of disabled  Alaskans. He  supported finding                                                                    
good outcomes for disabled Alaskans.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:52:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  HENNESSEY,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
pointed out  that the  highest form  of mental  wellness was                                                                    
the  ability   to  self-advocate.   He  stressed   that  the                                                                    
individuals were  not able to  advocate for  themselves when                                                                    
someone took  something from them. He  thanked the committee                                                                    
for  restoring  some  funding for  day  habilitation  mental                                                                    
health services. He stressed  that the individuals receiving                                                                    
the services  were a return  on investment because  they got                                                                    
jobs and worked their hearts  out. He asked the committee to                                                                    
reconsider the mental health budget.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:53:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY  CROSS,  PUBLIC   BROADCASTING  KNBA,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  opposition to  cuts  to  public                                                                    
broadcasting.  She  stressed  that   cuts  would  result  in                                                                    
reduced  radio services  across  the state.  The cuts  would                                                                    
impact 95 percent  of the state's population  and would have                                                                    
a domino effect by  severely impacting the station's ability                                                                    
to  administer  and  attract  25  percent  federal  matching                                                                    
funds.  The  return  on  the  state's  dollar  invested  was                                                                    
approximately  $6 to  $1. She  asked for  support of  public                                                                    
broadcasting.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:54:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  WATERS, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of education  funding. She  provided information                                                                    
about   her  professional   background  in   education.  She                                                                    
stressed  it  was imperative  to  increase  funding for  the                                                                    
education of  the state's children.  She believed  it should                                                                    
be  the  state's  top   priority.  She  supported  increased                                                                    
funding  for  early  childhood,  secondary,  and  university                                                                    
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:56:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DREW HANSEN,  RURAL CAP AND  PARENTS AS  TEACHERS, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  in  support of  the Rural  CAP                                                                    
Parents as Teachers  program. He spoke to  the cost benefits                                                                    
of  early  childhood  programs. He  stated  that  for  every                                                                    
dollar  invested in  Parents as  Teachers  a $3.29  monetary                                                                    
benefit  was realized  for  participants  and taxpayers.  He                                                                    
shared  detailed information  about the  finding. He  shared                                                                    
that Rural  CAP was  a community  action program  across the                                                                    
state and had  the ability to screen and  assess children in                                                                    
Head  Start  who  had  transitioned   from  the  Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers  program.  Data  showed that  Parents  as  Teachers                                                                    
children entering  their next educational setting  were more                                                                    
on target  developmentally and had  more skill  sets related                                                                    
to school readiness.  He stated it was possible  to only cut                                                                    
to a certain depth.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:58:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY   SIMPSON,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  opposition  to  cuts  to  pre-K,  Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers, and Best Beginnings. She  was saddened by the cuts                                                                    
because it would make education  more difficult for children                                                                    
to  enter prepared  for kindergarten  and  their ability  to                                                                    
learn.  She  spoke to  the  return  on investment  of  early                                                                    
childhood  programs. She  believed the  cuts would  have far                                                                    
reaching  impacts on  students later  on. She  proposed that                                                                    
Alaska should stop  depending on one funding  source for all                                                                    
revenue.  She  supported  an  income tax  to  help  pay  for                                                                    
services -  it would not  be easy or without  sacrifice. She                                                                    
had also heard  the state needed people  from outside Alaska                                                                    
for  its workforce.  She stressed  education to  improve the                                                                    
state's  workforce.  She  asked  the  committee  to  restore                                                                    
funding to education.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:01:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN  JOHNSON, DIRECTOR,  LEARN AND  GROW, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support  of early  education                                                                    
for children. She shared  information about the organization                                                                    
that  provided  resources to  all  early  care and  learning                                                                    
programs.  She  asked the  committee  to  consider what  its                                                                    
values were related to children  and families in Alaska. She                                                                    
spoke to the critical  investment provided by early learning                                                                    
programs. She  spoke to  the importance  of access  to early                                                                    
childhood education.  The early care and  learning community                                                                    
was working very hard to align  its systems in order to have                                                                    
a comprehensive, quality,  affordable, and accessible system                                                                    
for all  of the  state's young  children. She  stressed that                                                                    
for many of  Alaska's families it was not an  option to stay                                                                    
home for  care. She spoke  in support of Head  Start, pre-K,                                                                    
and  licensed childcare  programs. There  was ample  data to                                                                    
show that the high quality  education made a difference. She                                                                    
spoke to the dramatic impact on the economy in the future.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:04:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PANU   LUCIER,   DIRECTOR,   SYSTEM  FOR   EARLY   EDUCATION                                                                    
DEVELOPMENT,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   spoke  in                                                                    
support of  a long-term fiscal  plan that invested  in young                                                                    
children  and families.  She supported  diverse revenues  to                                                                    
minimize  the  use of  the  budget  reserve. She  urged  the                                                                    
committee to make budget  decisions that maintained services                                                                    
and support for  young children and their  families. She did                                                                    
not  want   to  jeopardize   leveraged  revenue   for  early                                                                    
learning. She  spoke to the unintended  consequences of cuts                                                                    
to education  including increased  dropout rates  and other.                                                                    
She emphasized the  state could invest now or  pay the price                                                                    
later.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:05:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOPE  FINKLESTEIN,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
stressed that taxes  were not a dirty  word. She underscored                                                                    
that she was willing to pay  to live in Alaska. She reminded                                                                    
the committee  that people in  the state  experienced crisis                                                                    
including suicide, domestic violence,  drug abuse and other.                                                                    
She stressed it was not possible  to cut the state's way out                                                                    
of the deficit. She did  not support balancing the budget on                                                                    
the backs  of the state's vulnerable  citizens including the                                                                    
poor, elderly, and  disabled. She did not want  to give away                                                                    
the  state's precious  natural  resources.  She thanked  the                                                                    
committee for investing  in the health and  education of the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:07:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEENA MITCHELL, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of  funding for education. She  was concerned the                                                                    
formula funding  for education and pupil  transportation had                                                                    
not  been included  in the  bill. She  spoke to  the drastic                                                                    
increase in medical  costs in the past ten  years, which had                                                                    
resulted  in the  need  to cut  school  budgets. All  school                                                                    
districts  statewide  had  made significant  cuts  to  their                                                                    
budgets that  impacted students.  She referred  to testimony                                                                    
from the  ASD that significant  cuts were coming if  the BSA                                                                    
remained  at its  current level.  She emphasized  that class                                                                    
sizes would  increase and  critical support  positions would                                                                    
be eliminated.  She did  not support the  cut to  the school                                                                    
bond  debt reimbursement  would  have the  same impact.  She                                                                    
implored  the committee  to  create  a comprehensive  budget                                                                    
plan. She  stated a compromise included  broad based income.                                                                    
She strongly  supported a state income  tax. She underscored                                                                    
the  importance  of  maintaining   investment  in  the  next                                                                    
generation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:10:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBE   HENSLEY,   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,   BEST   BEGINNINGS,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  spoke  in   support  for                                                                    
funding  for Best  Beginnings. She  discussed that  children                                                                    
were all  unique, which was  the reason it was  important to                                                                    
have  early development  programs such  as Best  Beginnings,                                                                    
Parents  as Teachers,  and pre-K  grants. She  spoke to  the                                                                    
value of  investment in the  early years of a  child's life,                                                                    
which  reduced  the  need  for  investments  later  on.  She                                                                    
provided information about the  program worked to ensure all                                                                    
children begin school ready to  succeed. Since the program's                                                                    
inception 10  years earlier, the program  had partnered with                                                                    
Department of  Education and Early Development  in the work.                                                                    
She  provided further  information  about the  organization.                                                                    
She  spoke  in support  of  the  Imagination Library,  which                                                                    
provided books to  children between birth and  five years of                                                                    
age - the  program had spent $548,000 on books  in 2016; the                                                                    
estimated market  value of  the books  was over  $1 million,                                                                    
which represented a savings of about $1 million.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:14:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RONNIE  BROWN, HEAD  START, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of  pre-K, Parents  as Teachers,  and Best                                                                    
Beginnings.  She  shared a  personal  story  about her  life                                                                    
experience.  She had  Head Start  to thank  for helping  her                                                                    
child be  a successful student.  She spoke to the  desire to                                                                    
have  successful children,  but people  did not  always know                                                                    
how  to  make that  happen.  The  programs provided  parents                                                                    
tools to help their families and children.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:16:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBY BELTZ,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition   to  major   cuts  proposed   to  programs   for                                                                    
individuals with disabilities. She  shared a personal story.                                                                    
She  had  worked as  a  special  education teacher  to  help                                                                    
people  with cognitive  impairment. She  had worked  to help                                                                    
individuals with  disabilities play an active  role in their                                                                    
community. She  had been shocked  and horrified  by proposed                                                                    
major cuts  that would limit  client services to  only eight                                                                    
hours per  week. She noted  that thankfully it  had recently                                                                    
changed in the bill. She  believed the cuts went against the                                                                    
grain   of  celebrating   Alaska's   diversity.  She   asked                                                                    
committee members to imagine they  were only able to get out                                                                    
of  their homes  for eight  hours  per week.  She asked  the                                                                    
committee to consider  that many people did  not have family                                                                    
support systems  to step in  and help. She provided  a quote                                                                    
by  Gandhi: "The  true measure  of any  society can  only be                                                                    
found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MILDRED   PARKER,   PROFESSIONAL   DEVELOPMENT   SPECIALIST,                                                                    
THREAD,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  testified   in                                                                    
support   of  early   childhood   education.  She   provided                                                                    
information  about  the  organization that  worked  to  help                                                                    
children achieve life-long success.  She had been working in                                                                    
the  field for  over 18  years. She  urged the  committee to                                                                    
support early  education programs such as  pre-K. She stated                                                                    
if  the  goal was  to  improve  high school  graduation  and                                                                    
performance, it was important to invest in children.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:20:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  JERO,  GUARDIAN, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support of  funding  for  disabled services.  She                                                                    
expressed  gratitude to  Senator  Micciche  for hearing  the                                                                    
voiced of many  families who had been saved  by the Medicaid                                                                    
waiver. She was  proud of Alaska for  closing an institution                                                                    
and  for standing  strong to  say  that all  members of  the                                                                    
community belonged in the community.  She spoke to increased                                                                    
social skills, access to  work opportunities, socialize, and                                                                    
other.  She  was  grateful  for  the  alliance  between  the                                                                    
provider agencies,  Key Coalition  and the trust.  She urged                                                                    
the  committee   to  look  at  an   integrated  approach  of                                                                    
additional  revenue and  using the  Permanent Fund.  She was                                                                    
willing to pay  her share in order to  maintain services for                                                                    
those in need.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:22:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA MOORE,  ALASKA MENTAL  HEALTH TRUST  BOARD, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in opposition  to  cuts  that                                                                    
would   impact   children,   disabled   individuals,   Adult                                                                    
Temporary Assistance, and  other. She knew the  cuts had not                                                                    
been proposed  lightly. She  hoped the  committee understood                                                                    
that many of  the proposed cuts would increase  the need for                                                                    
acute and  costly care. The  board was urging  the committee                                                                    
to develop  a fiscal  plan that  provided enough  revenue to                                                                    
provide fiscal certainty.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:24:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAT COWARD,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of Alaska  public schools and public  media. She was                                                                    
extremely  concerned about  the complete  cut of  funding to                                                                    
public  media  and  the exclusion  of  formula  funding  and                                                                    
transportation   amounts  to   the  schools'   budgets.  She                                                                    
stressed  that children  and public  media  were not  perks,                                                                    
they  were  fundamental  to  the  state's  communities.  She                                                                    
supported an income tax and  access to the Permanent Fund in                                                                    
order  to  maintain  a  vibrant  community.  She  asked  the                                                                    
committee to restore funding to public media and schools.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:25:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYAN BUCHHOLDT, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of the  governor's request  of $325  million UGF                                                                    
for the University of Alaska.  He provided information about                                                                    
his education  and professional career.  He stated  that the                                                                    
proposed reduction would hinder  the university's ability to                                                                    
respond to  its fiscal  reality; even a  flat budget  was an                                                                    
effective cut  in the face  of fixed cost increases  such as                                                                    
utility  increases. He  urged the  committee to  restore the                                                                    
university's budget.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:27:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS TRULETES, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of  the governor's budget for  the University. He                                                                    
supported  a sustainable  budget  that did  not destroy  the                                                                    
state's economy and the future  of Alaskans. He was in favor                                                                    
of  an  income  tax  and  use  of  the  Permanent  Fund.  He                                                                    
discussed  the desire  to have  industry in  Alaska. He  was                                                                    
concerned if cuts  went too deep jobs and  families would be                                                                    
lost. The  university was  vital to  the state's  future. He                                                                    
spoke in support of public media, education, and other.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:29:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL   BERGER,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified on behalf of the  restoration of funding to public                                                                    
broadcasting.  He had  lived in  rural Alaska  for 31  years                                                                    
prior to moving to Anchorage.  He stressed the importance of                                                                    
public  broadcasting in  rural communities.  He shared  that                                                                    
the zeroed out  funding to radio and  television amounted to                                                                    
approximately  $2.7  million. There  was  no  way a  station                                                                    
could operate  with the reduced  funding; there was  only so                                                                    
much  that could  be done  on a  local level.  He urged  the                                                                    
committee to restore the funding.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:32:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  GEDDES, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), shared                                                                    
information  about her  personal experience  in Alaska.  She                                                                    
did not believe the proposed  bill reflected the values that                                                                    
were  important.   She  addressed   proposed  cuts   to  the                                                                    
Department of  Health and Social Services  budget and stated                                                                    
the bill would radically alter  how people lived and some of                                                                    
the cuts would  result in greater cost in  the long-run. She                                                                    
emphasized that she and her  husband supported an income tax                                                                    
rather than the  proposed budget. She thought  the cuts were                                                                    
penny wise  and pound  foolish. She  noted she  had provided                                                                    
written testimony as well.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  addressed the  schedule for  the remainder                                                                    
of the meeting.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:35:26 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:04:38 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:05:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK CARR,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                    
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  He                                                                    
felt that the  public radio and television  was essential to                                                                    
his community.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: KENAI, KODIAK, DILLINGHAM                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:06:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JADE SPARKS, SELF,  KENAI, spoke in support  of full funding                                                                    
for  public education.  He stated  that he  was involved  in                                                                    
many different extracurricular activities.  He felt that the                                                                    
proposed   cuts    would   threaten    the   extracurricular                                                                    
activities. He  stressed that those activities  enhanced the                                                                    
student culture.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:07:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADDISON DOWNING,  SELF, KENAI,  spoke in support  of funding                                                                    
for education. He remarked that  it was difficult to measure                                                                    
future funding for education. He  stressed that the cuts had                                                                    
a negative effect  on teachers and classrooms.  He urged the                                                                    
committee  to  maintain  the  same   level  of  funding  for                                                                    
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche   wondered  where  Mr.   Downing  attended                                                                    
school. Mr. Downing  replied that he was  from Soldotna High                                                                    
School.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:09:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARIUS  KASPRZAK, SELF,  KODIAK (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.                                                                    
He stressed  that he  depended on public  radio as  a direct                                                                    
link  to community  information and  emergency services.  He                                                                    
remarked   on  the   importance   public   media  in   small                                                                    
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:11:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  DUNAWAY, SELF,  DILLINGHAM (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.                                                                    
He echoed the  remarks of Mr. Kasprzak. He  felt that public                                                                    
radio  provided  an  essential  source  of  information.  He                                                                    
stressed that  public radio  provided important  weather and                                                                    
emergency  warnings.  He  stated that  commercial  fisheries                                                                    
relied heavily  on the announcements  from public  radio. He                                                                    
pointed out  that zeroing the  budget would cause a  loss of                                                                    
federal  funding, and  jeopardize  the  access to  satellite                                                                    
broadcasting.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:13:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZETTE MIZELLE, SELF,  KENAI (via teleconference), remarked                                                                    
that she had experienced terrible  budget cuts in the 1980s,                                                                    
and felt  that UA  could not  continue to  experience budget                                                                    
cuts.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:14:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PENNY  BEARDEN, SELF,  NANWALEK (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against   funding  for   education.   She  understood   that                                                                    
education  funding  seemed  like  a  large  portion  of  the                                                                    
budget,  but stressed  that  cutting  education was  cutting                                                                    
resources for students. She stressed  that young people were                                                                    
the most valuable resource in Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET  GILMAN,  PARENT,  KENAI PENINSULA  BOROUGH  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT, KENAI  (via teleconference),  spoke in  support of                                                                    
maintaining the  status quo funding for  education. She felt                                                                    
that  the lack  of  inclusion  in the  DEED  budget was  for                                                                    
political reasons.  She assumed  that there was  an intended                                                                    
budget  reduction  of  5 percent,  and  spoke  against  that                                                                    
budget  reduction. She  remarked  that her  daughter was  on                                                                    
track for  the Alaska Performance Scholarship,  but with the                                                                    
unknown future  of the scholarship,  it may be  more prudent                                                                    
for her daughter to attend college out of state.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche wondered  why DEED was not  included in the                                                                    
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman  announced  that   DEED  funding  was  not                                                                    
included  in  the budget,  but  there  was an  intention  to                                                                    
reduce  the  budget  by  5 percent  for  UA,  Department  of                                                                    
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities, and  Department  of                                                                    
Education and Early Development.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:19:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SEAN DUSEK,  SUPERINTENDENT, KENAI PENINSULA  BOROUGH SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT, SOLDOTNA  (via teleconference),  testified against                                                                    
a further reduction  for DEED. He announced  that his school                                                                    
had already experienced  significant reductions, and further                                                                    
cuts  would negatively  impact  its  students. He  announced                                                                    
that his school  district was one of  the highest performing                                                                    
districts in  the state. He  remarked that he was  unable to                                                                    
provide  contracts to  new teachers  because of  the unknown                                                                    
budget reductions. He stressed  that many Soldotna residents                                                                    
were prepared  to pay for  essential services. He  felt that                                                                    
it was  also important  to address the  high cost  of health                                                                    
care.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TANA   OTCHECK,    ASSISTED   LIVING   HOME,    KENAI   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support  of funding for  home and                                                                    
community  based  services.  She   shared  that  her  foster                                                                    
daughter volunteered  at the Salvation Army,  and she relied                                                                    
on  the   day  services   hours.  She  stressed   that  many                                                                    
participants   in  day   services  were   active  in   their                                                                    
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:22:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL  BOWEN,   PARENT,  KENAI  PENINSULA   BOROUGH  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT, KENAI  (via teleconference),  spoke in  support of                                                                    
funding for public  education. He spoke against  a 5 percent                                                                    
cut to DEED.  He shared that he was  a kindergarten teacher,                                                                    
and he  had seen that  reduction in education  funding would                                                                    
force larger  classrooms. He stressed that  it was difficult                                                                    
for  teachers to  address  the needs  of  children in  large                                                                    
classrooms. He stated that Title  1 made it possible to have                                                                    
personal time with students.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:25:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE BRIGHTON, KENAI  PENINSULA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, KENAI                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  against budget  reductions for                                                                    
DEED.  He felt  that cuts  were  not enough  to balance  the                                                                    
budget.  He remarked  that  there  were already  significant                                                                    
cuts  to the  Kenai Peninsula  School District.  He remarked                                                                    
that  the  status  quo  budget would  already  result  in  a                                                                    
reduction  in  teachers.  He   requested  fully  funding  of                                                                    
education. He  spoke in support  of a  sales tax and  use of                                                                    
the Permanent Fund earnings reserve.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:27:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  HARRIS,  KENAI,  PENINSULA  BOROUGH  SCHOOL  DISTRICT                                                                    
TEACHER   OF  THE   YEAR,  SOLDOTNA   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified against  the 5  percent cut  to education.  He did                                                                    
not believe  that it was  a creative solution to  the budget                                                                    
problem.  He remarked  that many  teachers  were leaving  to                                                                    
other states  to "retire with  dignity." He felt  that there                                                                    
had been poor decisions and  bad choices by the legislature.                                                                    
He did  not believe that  cutting the budget would  help the                                                                    
students in the state.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNY NEYMAN,  SELF, KENAI  (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                    
committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting. She                                                                    
stated that her local station  had hired a contractor to fix                                                                    
the transmitter. She  stressed that state funding  was not a                                                                    
luxury  for  public radio.  She  stated  that state  funding                                                                    
simply  kept the  radio on  the air.  She remarked  that the                                                                    
public radio provided news and emergency information.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:30:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LADAWN  DRUCE, SELF,  STERLING  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against the  contemplated 5 percent reduction  to education.                                                                    
She  felt  that education  cuts  would  directly impact  the                                                                    
students.  She stressed  that it  was not  possible to  turn                                                                    
away students.  She remarked that teachers  were expected to                                                                    
continue  to provide  a high  quality of  students, even  in                                                                    
higher classroom sizes. She remarked  that some teachers may                                                                    
not be able to provide  quality feedback on assignments with                                                                    
the proposed cuts.  She testified in support of  a sales tax                                                                    
and a statewide income tax.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:33:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED STURMAN, SELF, SOLDOTNA  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of  continued budget  cuts.  He  spoke against  the                                                                    
funding  for 25,000  state employees.  He  noted that  there                                                                    
were only  17,000 state checks  paid to state  employees. He                                                                    
remarked that the  state budget had increased  by 97 percent                                                                    
from 2006  to 2016.  He did  not believe  that the  Knik Arm                                                                    
Bridge would  be built, so  those employees did not  need to                                                                    
continue to  work for the  state. He felt that  the Division                                                                    
of Motor Vehicles  (DMV) could be eliminated.  He also spoke                                                                    
against a private chef.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:35:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  JONES,   KENAI  PENINSULA  BOROUGH   SCHOOL  DISTRICT,                                                                    
SOLDOTNA  (via teleconference),  spoke against  the proposed                                                                    
cuts to education  funding. He stated that,  with status quo                                                                    
funding,  his  district  would see  a  $3.2  million  budget                                                                    
deficit.  He   remarked  that   there  would   be  teachers,                                                                    
coordinators,  custodial  positions,  and  tutors  would  be                                                                    
eliminated  in his  district. He  remarked  that the  school                                                                    
board would  see an approximate  $1 million fund  balance to                                                                    
achieve those  personnel cuts. He  remarked that  there were                                                                    
two main cost  drivers for increased costs:  health care and                                                                    
costs related to intensive needs  students. He remarked that                                                                    
the reduction  would be highly  detrimental to  the students                                                                    
in his  district. He stressed  that the BSA  reduction would                                                                    
be detrimental to the borough.  He thanked the committee for                                                                    
previous funding.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:39:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY TOUTONGHI,  SELF, SOLDOTNA (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of funding  for schools and disability assistance                                                                    
programs. She requested that the  oil credit funding be used                                                                    
to  pay for  those programs,  because she  felt that  people                                                                    
should  use alternative  sources  of energy.  She felt  that                                                                    
children should be the most  important investment. She spoke                                                                    
against the cuts of early childhood education programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:42:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSE   BJORKMAN,   SELF,  NIKISKI   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support of new  revenues to the state. He spoke                                                                    
against a 5  percent cut to education. He  stated that there                                                                    
would  be  an elimination  of  many  essential services  for                                                                    
students.  He remarked  that  there would  be  a 52  teacher                                                                    
reduction  in  his  district.  He  urged  the  committee  to                                                                    
examine alternative revenue sources.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER  FOXWORTHY, PARENT  EDUCATOR,  PARENTS AS  TEACHERS,                                                                    
KODIAK  (via teleconference),  spoke in  support of  funding                                                                    
for Parents AS Teachers. She  remarked that she assisted any                                                                    
family that may be in need  of help with their children. She                                                                    
stressed that  many of  the families  that she  assisted did                                                                    
not  feel a  common "needy"  description. She  remarked that                                                                    
for  every one  dollar spent  on early  childhood education,                                                                    
the  state saved  7  to 10  dollars in  other  parts of  the                                                                    
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:47:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARILYN  ROSENE,  SELF,   DILLINGHAM  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of education and  prevention programs. She                                                                    
stated  that education,  health,  safety, and  communication                                                                    
were  essential  services  in rural  Alaska.  She  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  an income tax.  She also  spoke in support  of a                                                                    
state sales tax.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:49:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH  RIVEST,  SELF,  JUNEAU,  spoke  against  the  cuts  to                                                                    
education  funding. She  felt that  education and  self-care                                                                    
were   the  foundational   principles  for   functioning  in                                                                    
society.  She  urged  stable   funding  for  education.  She                                                                    
stressed that  there should be  a sense of  expectation, and                                                                    
rely on  relationships. She shared  that her son did  not do                                                                    
well in the school system,  and felt that stable funding may                                                                    
provide the support for his different way of learning.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:51:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM   CEDENO,   SELF,   COMMUNITY   OF   OLD   HARBOR   (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged the committee  to restore funding for                                                                    
education. He did not believe  that the state could afford a                                                                    
5 percent reduction in its  children. He stressed that there                                                                    
should not be a gamble for children's' future.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:53:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER SYCHRA,  ADVOCATE, KODIAK WOMEN'S  RESOURCE CENTER,                                                                    
KODIAK (via  teleconference), spoke against the  transfer of                                                                    
funding  from the  Council on  Domestic Violence  and Sexual                                                                    
Assault  for funding  for a  new state  trooper. She  stated                                                                    
that her  center provided many  tools and resources  to help                                                                    
families have a safe place  to stay. She stated that without                                                                    
the center's services,  many people would be  stuck in their                                                                    
homes and continue to face domestic abuse in their homes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB  22  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB  24  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
5:55:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.