Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/20/2018 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 155(FIN) Out of Committee
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 20, 2018                                                                                            
                         9:02 a.m.                                                                                              
9:02:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.                                                                                                   
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Juli  Lucky, Staff,  Senator Anna  MacKinnon; Senator  Kevin                                                                    
Meyer, Sponsor; Senator Mike  Shower, Sponsor; Jake Almeida,                                                                    
Staff, Senator Mike  Shower; Representative George Rauscher,                                                                    
Chairman,  Jonesville Action  Committee; Lynne  Woods, Self,                                                                    
Juneau; Nancy  Meade, General Counsel, Alaska  Court System;                                                                    
Mercedes  Colbert,  Staff,  Representative  Scott  Kawasaki;                                                                    
Monica  Windom,  Director,  Division of  Public  Assistance,                                                                    
Department  of Health  and Social  Services; Bill  Williams,                                                                    
Service  Coordinator,   Southeast  Senior   Services;  Jayne                                                                    
Andreen, Volunteer, AARP, Douglas.                                                                                              
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Jim Sykes,  Assembly Member,  Matsu Borough  Assembly; Patti                                                                    
Barber,  Self,  MatSu;  Kenny  Barber,  Self,  MatSu;  Marty                                                                    
Parsons,  Deputy Director,  Division  of  Mining, Land,  and                                                                    
Water,  Department   of  Natural  Resources;   Hans  Brinke,                                                                    
Director,  Alaska  State  Troopers, Anchorage;  Bruce  Dale,                                                                    
Director, Division  of Wildlife Conservation,  Department of                                                                    
Fish  and  Game, Palmer;  Eric  Philips,  Manager, Land  and                                                                    
Resources,  MatSu Borough,  Wasilla;  Hugh Leslie,  Manager,                                                                    
Parks   and   Recreation,   MatSu  borough,   Wasilla;   Deb                                                                    
Etheridge,   Deputy  Director,   Division   of  Senior   and                                                                    
Disability  Services,   Department  of  Health   and  Social                                                                    
Services, Anchorage; Ken  Helander, Advocacy Director, AARP,                                                                    
Anchorage;  David  Blacketer,  Chair, Alaska  Commission  on                                                                    
Aging, Kodiak;  Gordon Glaser, Member, Alaska  Commission on                                                                    
Aging, Anchorage;  Mike Coons, President, Alaska  Chapter of                                                                    
Association  of  Mature  American Citizens,  Palmer;  George                                                                    
Pierce, Self, Kasilof.                                                                                                          
SB 65     JONESVILLE PUBLIC USE AREA                                                                                            
          SB 65 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SB 155    REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL MNGMT. COMPANIES                                                                                
          CSSB 155 (FIN) was  REPORTED out of committee with                                                                    
          a  "do  pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  new                                                                    
          fiscal   impact  note   from  the   Department  of                                                                    
          Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                         
CSHB 236 (FIN)                                                                                                                  
          EXTEND: SENIOR BENEFITS PAYMENT PROGRAM                                                                               
          CSHB 235 (FIN) was HEARD and HELD in committee                                                                        
          for further consideration.                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 155                                                                                                           
     "An Act relating to the  registration and regulation of                                                                    
     real  estate appraisal  management companies;  relating                                                                    
     to  the  establishment of  fees  by  the Department  of                                                                    
     Commerce,   Community,    and   Economic   Development;                                                                    
     relating  to   the  Board  of  Certified   Real  Estate                                                                    
     Appraisers; and relating to real estate appraisers."                                                                       
9:03:10 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop MOVED  to  ADOPT  the proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for SB  155,  Work  Draft 30-LS1295\O  (Radford,                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                     
9:03:37 AM                                                                                                                    
JULI  LUCKY,  STAFF,   SENATOR  ANNA  MACKINNON,  discussed,                                                                    
"Explanation of Changes   CS for SB 155 (FIN)  version:  30-                                                                    
LS1295\O" (copy on file):                                                                                                       
     ? Reorganizes  and rewords section 4  for clarity (page                                                                    
     3, lines 24-29).                                                                                                           
     ? Removes the requirement  that a controlling person be                                                                    
     certified  as a  real estate  appraiser in  Alaska; the                                                                    
     new CS requires the  controlling person to be certified                                                                    
     in "a state" on page 5, line 25.                                                                                           
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  wondered   whether  there   were  more                                                                    
Ms. Lucky discussed the final change in the bill:                                                                               
     Adds effective date sections starting  on page 10, line                                                                    
     14, to  ensure that the  bill is effective on  the date                                                                    
     required by  the federal  government and,  if possible,                                                                    
     give the department time  to process applications prior                                                                    
     to requiring registration.                                                                                                 
     Specifically, the  bill will take effect  on August 10,                                                                    
     2018  unless the  department  notifies  the revisor  of                                                                    
     statutes that  an extension was granted,  in which case                                                                    
     the   department  would   be  able   to  start   taking                                                                    
     applications  on January  1,  2019 and  the AMCs  would                                                                    
     have to be registered by March 1, 2019.                                                                                    
9:07:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, SPONSOR, supported the  changes in the                                                                    
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair MacKinnon  WITHDREW the  objection. There  being NO                                                                    
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
Ms. Lucky discussed  the new fiscal note  from Department of                                                                    
Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED).                                                                           
Senator  Micciche  surmised  that one-third  of  a  position                                                                    
would   be   partnered    with   several   other   licensing                                                                    
responsibilities,  and used  only  receipt  services in  the                                                                    
fiscal  note.  Ms. Lucky  deferred  to  the department,  but                                                                    
confirmed that  it was  all receipt-supported  services. She                                                                    
stated that one-third or one-half was accurate.                                                                                 
9:09:29 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:10:02 AM                                                                                                                    
9:10:09 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  remarked that  the public  testimony had                                                                    
occurred in a previous meeting.                                                                                                 
Senator  Meyer   felt  that  there   had  been   a  thorough                                                                    
discussion of  the bill. He  remarked that other  states had                                                                    
passed  similar legislation.  He  noted  that the  committee                                                                    
substitute allowed for some flexibility.                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Bishop  MOVED to  REPORT  CSSB  155(FIN) out  of                                                                    
committee with  individual recommendations  and accompanying                                                                    
fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                       
CSSB  155 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out of  committee with  a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation and  with one  new fiscal  impact note                                                                    
from  the Department  of  Commerce,  Community and  Economic                                                                    
9:12:01 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 65                                                                                                            
     "An Act establishing the Jonesville Public Use Area."                                                                      
9:14:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MIKE SHOWER, SPONSOR, introduced the legislation:                                                                       
     The  community  of Sutton  is  home  to the  incredible                                                                    
     "coal hills" which provides Alaskans  with a variety of                                                                    
     outdoor recreational  opportunities.   Due to  the lack                                                                    
     of  defined  activities  zones,  the  area  has  become                                                                    
     dangerous    for    both     users    and    residents.                                                                    
     Unfortunately, the  Sutton/Jonesville area  is commonly                                                                    
     referred to as the Wild West.                                                                                              
     The  recreational  area  has become  a  serious  public                                                                    
     safety issue due to a  multitude of issues from litter,                                                                    
     to drugs, to abandoned  burned and shot-up vehicles, to                                                                    
     the unsafe  discharge of firearms across  hiking trails                                                                    
     and homes,  and the  fatal shooting of  a photographer.                                                                    
     Recognizing  that  it  is   difficult  for  the  Mat-Su                                                                    
     Borough's   36  officers   to  adequately   patrol  the                                                                    
     equivalent  of  West Virginia,  a  public  use area  is                                                                    
     needed to help improve  public safety at this beautiful                                                                    
     recreational site.                                                                                                         
     SB 65  would establish  the Jonesville Public  Use Area                                                                    
     to  protect,  maintain,  enhance,  and  perpetuate  the                                                                    
     current use of the area for:                                                                                               
     ? year-round general public recreation,                                                                                    
     ?  protecting and  maintaining  habitats  for fish  and                                                                    
     wildlife, ? use of off-road vehicles,                                                                                      
     ?  access for  miners and  owners of  private property,                                                                    
     ? other  activities as  designated by  the commissioner                                                                    
     of DNR.                                                                                                                    
     The Jonesville  Public Use  Area would  increase public                                                                    
     safety while  preserving the recreational site  for use                                                                    
     by all Alaskans.                                                                                                           
9:17:36 AM                                                                                                                    
JAKE ALMEIDA, STAFF, SENATOR MIKE SHOWER, discussed the                                                                         
Sectional Analysis (copy on file):                                                                                              
     Section 1                                                                                                                  
          ? Sec. 41.23.280  establishes the purpose of the                                                                      
          public use area                                                                                                       
          ? Sec. 41.23.282                                                                                                      
               o Provides for management of the surface and                                                                     
               subsurface estate to be managed by DNR and                                                                       
               the fish and wildlife to be managed by Fish                                                                      
               o Clarifies that the public use area is not                                                                      
               part of the state park system                                                                                    
          ? Sec. 41.23.284    provides for the  type of uses                                                                    
          that may and may not be prohibited                                                                                    
          ? Sec.  41.23.286   defines the  boundaries of the                                                                    
          public use area                                                                                                       
          ? Sec.  41.23.288   describes who  has enforcement                                                                    
          authority for violations committed                                                                                    
          ? Sec.  41.23.289   states  that the penalty  is a                                                                    
          violation as defined in  AS 11.81.900 and requires                                                                    
          the Supreme  Court to create  a bail  schedule for                                                                    
          those violations                                                                                                      
     Section 2                                                                                                                  
          ? Uncodified  law - directs  the Supreme  Court to                                                                    
          create a  bail schedule  within 90 days  after the                                                                    
          management plan is adopted                                                                                            
9:19:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hoffman  wondered whether  there were roads  in the                                                                    
area, and who were  responsible for maintaining those roads.                                                                    
Senator Shower  replied there  were a  few roads,  but there                                                                    
were  mostly unmaintained  trails.  He stated  that the  one                                                                    
road  was the  Jonesville Road  that exited  from the  Glenn                                                                    
Highway, and was maintained by  the state. That road stopped                                                                    
approximately 200  yards past  the neighborhood,  and became                                                                    
the unmaintained trails.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Hoffman  asked whether  the  trails  were used  by                                                                    
recreational vehicles  (RVs). Senator Shower replied  in the                                                                    
Senator  von   Imhof  looked  at   page  2,  line   6,  "the                                                                    
commissioner  is   responsible  for  the   management."  She                                                                    
wondered whether that was the  commissioner of Department of                                                                    
Natural  Resources  (DNR).  Senator Shower  replied  in  the                                                                    
Senator von Imhof  looked at line 8,  "after adequate public                                                                    
hearings." She  wondered whether those hearings  would begin                                                                    
after the bill  is passed, and it became a  public use area.                                                                    
Senator Shower replied in the affirmative.                                                                                      
Senator von  Imhof noted that  there could be a  long public                                                                    
process,  and  then  incorporate   a  long  public  process.                                                                    
Senator  Shower replied  that  it  would take  approximately                                                                    
three to five years.                                                                                                            
Senator von Imhof wondered whether  there would be a request                                                                    
to  expand  or  upgrade  the  parking  lot.  Senator  Shower                                                                    
responded that,  if the DNR commissioner  decided to execute                                                                    
the  management plan,  there would  possibly be  an attached                                                                    
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
Senator   Micciche   noted   that  the   letter   from   the                                                                    
commissioner stated  that the process would  take five years                                                                    
without  additional   funding,  or   three  years   with  an                                                                    
appropriation of $166,000 for the  next two years to support                                                                    
additional staff  and contract  work. He felt  that Alaskans                                                                    
needed to perhaps adjust to a parking fee.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  MacKinnon announced  that there  were some  people                                                                    
available for questions.                                                                                                        
9:25:26 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:25:41 AM                                                                                                                    
9:25:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE RAUSCHER,  CHAIRMAN, JONESVILLE ACTION                                                                    
COMMITTEE, explained  that there  had been  various attempts                                                                    
to manage the  area. He remarked that  those attempts should                                                                    
have included all  the users in the group.  He remarked that                                                                    
there  were  four-wheelers,   equestrians,  hikers,  hunter,                                                                    
skiers,  etc. He  shared that  the  committee would  connect                                                                    
with the different  groups about how to manage  the area. He                                                                    
noted  that  DNR  had  put  $9  million  into  the  area  to                                                                    
reacclimate the old coal mines  with some infrastructure and                                                                    
9:30:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Bishop  encourage  working  with  the  different                                                                    
funds moving  forward. Representative Rauscher  replied with                                                                    
"thank you."                                                                                                                    
9:31:17 AM                                                                                                                    
JIM  SYKES, ASSEMBLY  MEMBER,  MATSU  BOROUGH ASSEMBLY  (via                                                                    
teleconference), stated  that he  represented the  area with                                                                    
the  Jonesville  Mine in  the  assembly.  He encouraged  the                                                                    
committee  to  support the  legislation.  He  felt that  the                                                                    
management would result  in a more family  friendly area. He                                                                    
felt that the  framework needed to be put in  place in order                                                                    
to  develop  the  management  plan.  He  recognized  various                                                                    
people involved in the process.                                                                                                 
9:36:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche wondered  whether the  area was  20 square                                                                    
miles.  Mr. Sykes  could not  recall the  exact amount,  but                                                                    
agreed  that is  sounded  somewhat accurate.  He noted  that                                                                    
most of it was state land.                                                                                                      
Senator Micciche  asked whether  the damage that  was hoping                                                                    
to be managed  was within a distance of the  parking area or                                                                    
spread throughout the property.  Mr. Sykes replied that most                                                                    
of the  damage was  near the entrance  where the  old mining                                                                    
entrance was located.                                                                                                           
Senator Micciche thanked the  community for coming together,                                                                    
as he had problematic locations in his community.                                                                               
Senator von  Imhof noted that there  was significant support                                                                    
for the public area designation.  She hoped that a nonprofit                                                                    
called, "Friends  of the Jonesville Recreation  Area" may be                                                                    
Senator Stevens  understood the importance  of the  plan for                                                                    
the community.  He wanted  to ensure that  it would  not end                                                                    
the community and assembly's participation  in the plan. Mr.                                                                    
Sykes  replied  that  the  borough  and  land  manager  were                                                                    
committed to the plan.                                                                                                          
9:43:13 AM                                                                                                                    
PATTI  BARBER, SELF,  MATSU (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support of the bill.                                                                                                         
9:44:11 AM                                                                                                                    
KENNY  BARBER, SELF,  MATSU (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of the legislation.                                                                                                     
9:45:32 AM                                                                                                                    
LYNNE WOODS, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke in support of the bill.                                                                        
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
Senator   Micciche  wondered   whether  Marty   Parsons  was                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  Ms. Parsons  for comments  on the                                                                    
9:48:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MARTY PARSONS,  DEPUTY DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  MINING, LAND,                                                                    
AND   WATER,   DEPARTMENT    OF   NATURAL   RESOURCES   (via                                                                    
teleconference), stated that he  had worked closely with the                                                                    
community  on the  bill. He  stated  that it  was a  similar                                                                    
situation to the  Knik Public Use Area. He felt  that it was                                                                    
an admirable program.                                                                                                           
Senator Micciche  wondered whether  it was  problematic that                                                                    
there was no DNR authority if  it's not state park land, and                                                                    
how  it had  worked  in  Knik Arm  for  the department.  Mr.                                                                    
Parsons  replied  that  as part  of  the  bill,  enforcement                                                                    
authority was  provided to  DNR similar  to the  Knik Public                                                                    
Use Area.  He stated  that a  bail schedule  was set  by the                                                                    
Supreme   Court,  and   a  sworn   individual  could   write                                                                    
citations.  He  stated  that  without   the  action  of  the                                                                    
legislature, DNR would not have the authority.                                                                                  
Senator Micciche  wondered whether  there had  been dramatic                                                                    
changes  in authority  in Knik  Arm.  Mr. Parsons  responded                                                                    
that  there was  not a  rapid change,  but it  was a  steady                                                                    
change over time.                                                                                                               
9:51:49 AM                                                                                                                    
HANS  BRINKE,  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA STATE  TROOPERS,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), echoed  some  previous testimony.  He                                                                    
stated  that  he  was  a  commander in  the  Mat  Su  valley                                                                    
previously. He  noted a dramatic  decrease in the  issues in                                                                    
the  Knik Public  Use Area  after change  in management.  He                                                                    
remarked  that   individuals  moved   to  recreate   in  the                                                                    
Jonesville  area. He  agreed with  the issues  about gunfire                                                                    
and  trash.  He  wanted  to   get  the  troopers  there  for                                                                    
proactive  enforcement,  but  there  were  some  recruitment                                                                    
issues that caused limitations.                                                                                                 
9:53:58 AM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE  DALE, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  FISH AND  GAME, PALMER  (via teleconference),                                                                    
introduced himself.                                                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Bishop wondered  whether there  were sport  fish                                                                    
opportunities in the area. Mr.  Dale replied that there were                                                                    
two or  three stocked  lakes in the  area that  were popular                                                                    
for fishing.                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Bishop  asked whether  the lakes were  stocked on                                                                    
an annual basis. Mr. Dale replied in the affirmative.                                                                           
9:55:03 AM                                                                                                                    
NANCY   MEADE,  GENERAL   COUNSEL,   ALASKA  COURT   SYSTEM,                                                                    
introduced herself.                                                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Bishop wondered  whether the  bail schedule  for                                                                    
the Knik Public Use Area  would be similar to the Jonesville                                                                    
schedule.  Ms.  Meade  replied expected  that  it  would  be                                                                    
9:55:59 AM                                                                                                                    
ERIC PHILIPS,  MANAGER, LAND  AND RESOURCES,  MATSU BOROUGH,                                                                    
WASILLA (via  teleconference), provided a letter  of support                                                                    
the  year prior.  He felt  that  it was  still an  important                                                                    
9:56:23 AM                                                                                                                    
HUGH LESLIE,  MANAGER, PARKS AND RECREATION,  MATSU BOROUGH,                                                                    
WASILLA (via teleconference), spoke  in support of the bill.                                                                    
He  stated that  it had  the opportunity  to be  an economic                                                                    
generator  for  the  community through  sales  of  fuel  and                                                                    
Co-Chair   Hoffman   queried   the  establishment   of   the                                                                    
boundaries. Senator Shower replied  that the boundaries were                                                                    
established  with  the  help  of the  Mat  Su  Borough.  The                                                                    
various  communities  involvement  groups  worked  with  the                                                                    
borough land management to find  the boundaries; and plotted                                                                    
around the state boundaries.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hoffman  wondered whether the borough  owned any of                                                                    
the adjoining  properties. Senator  Showers deferred  to Mr.                                                                    
Mr. Sykes  stated that  there was only  40 acres  of borough                                                                    
land  that  was contained  within  the  boundaries, and  the                                                                    
remainder was state land.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Hoffman  wondered whether the borough  owned any of                                                                    
the  adjoining   properties.  Mr.  Sykes  deferred   to  Mr.                                                                    
Mr. Philips could not address the question.                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked for the information.                                                                                   
10:00:21 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative Rauscher  stated that there were  a couple of                                                                    
pieces  of   property,  which   were  mostly   easements  to                                                                    
Usibelli. He stressed  that they were not  large portions of                                                                    
Senator  Shower highlighted  that there  was much  community                                                                    
and borough involvement in the legislation's plan.                                                                              
Senator Micciche  was encouraged by the  community's action.                                                                    
He stated that he had faced similar issues in the Kenai.                                                                        
Vice-Chair Bishop discussed the zero fiscal notes.                                                                              
Co-Chair  MacKinnon announced  that amendments  were due  by                                                                    
SB  65  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
10:05:09 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:12:47 AM                                                                                                                   
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 236(FIN)                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the Alaska senior benefits payment                                                                       
10:13:25 AM                                                                                                                   
MERCEDES  COLBERT,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  SCOTT  KAWASAKI,                                                                    
explained  the bill.  She stated  that it  would extend  the                                                                    
sunset clause to 2024.                                                                                                          
10:16:12 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:16:59 AM                                                                                                                   
10:17:19 AM                                                                                                                   
MONICA  WINDOM,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  PUBLIC  ASSISTANCE,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES,  spoke in support                                                                    
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  for  more  information about  the                                                                    
eligibility  requirements.  Ms.  Windom  responded  that  an                                                                    
individual  who would  want senior  benefits must  submit an                                                                    
application and report their income  to the department. That                                                                    
income was verified several different  ways. She stated that                                                                    
the  social  security  interface would  provide  information                                                                    
about  residency  and  citizenship.   She  stated  that  the                                                                    
information would  allow for determination of  the amount of                                                                    
the eligible benefit.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  MacKinnon queried  a qualification  interface with                                                                    
the  permanent  fund dividend.  Ms.  Windom  replied in  the                                                                    
Senator von  Imhof queried more difficult  to verify income.                                                                    
Ms. Windom replied  that there could be a request  of a copy                                                                    
of the tax return.                                                                                                              
Senator  von Imhof  surmised that  the verification  process                                                                    
would  be determined  based  on  how it  was  listed in  the                                                                    
application. Ms. Windom replied in the affirmative.                                                                             
10:20:18 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  MacKinnon wondered  how many  people received  the                                                                    
program benefits. Ms. Windom replied  that in December 2017,                                                                    
there  were 11,322  individuals  receiving senior  benefits.                                                                    
The level that  currently received $76 per  month were 5,183                                                                    
individuals; the $175 benefit  level had $4,597 individuals;                                                                    
and the $250 benefit had $1,493 individuals.                                                                                    
Senator Stevens queried  the poverty level of  each of those                                                                    
benefit levels. Ms.  Windom replied that 100  percent of the                                                                    
poverty level was approximately $1600 per month.                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wondered whether the program  was at 100                                                                    
percent  poverty level,  or 203  percent poverty  level. Ms.                                                                    
Windom replied that it varied,  because the different levels                                                                    
depended on the level of poverty.                                                                                               
Co-Chair MacKinnon surmised  that it was 175  percent of the                                                                    
poverty level. Ms. Windom deferred to Ms. Colbert.                                                                              
Co-Chair  MacKinnon   queried  the  annual  benefit   for  a                                                                    
qualified  individual,  and  the  percentages  used  as  the                                                                    
criteria to filter the candidates.  Ms. Colbert replied that                                                                    
at 75  percent of  the federal  poverty line,  an individual                                                                    
received  $250 in  monthly payments,  and must  make $11,295                                                                    
annually. She stated  that the 75 percent  poverty level for                                                                    
a married couple was $15,218.  She stated that a 100 percent                                                                    
poverty  line  level  received $175  per  month,  and  their                                                                    
individual  income must  be $15,060;  and  a married  couple                                                                    
would  be  $20,290.  She  shared that  at  the  170  percent                                                                    
poverty line,  at an  individual would  make $26,355;  and a                                                                    
married couple would be $35,508 annually.                                                                                       
10:24:33 AM                                                                                                                   
DEB  ETHERIDGE,  DEPUTY  DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF  SENIOR  AND                                                                    
DISABILITY  SERVICES,   DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH   AND  SOCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),   introduced                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon queried comments  on the legislation. Ms.                                                                    
Etheridge replied that she had no comment.                                                                                      
10:25:22 AM                                                                                                                   
KEN  HELANDER,  ADVOCACY   DIRECTOR,  AARP,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in support  of the reauthorization of                                                                    
the Senior Benefits Program. He  testified in support of the                                                                    
legislation, as a critical safety  net program for thousands                                                                    
of Alaskans  over 65-years-old. He urged  reconsideration of                                                                    
restoration  of  money  taken   from  beneficiaries  as  175                                                                    
percent  of  federal  poverty  level  two  years  prior.  He                                                                    
stressed  that the  175 percent  meant that  they could  not                                                                    
make any more than that level.                                                                                                  
Senator Micciche asked  whether there was a  letter from Mr.                                                                    
Helander on record.                                                                                                             
10:29:56 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID BLACKETER,  CHAIR, ALASKA COMMISSION ON  AGING, KODIAK                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  shared  that  he and  his  wife  had                                                                    
financial  obligations. He  spoke  in support  of the  bill,                                                                    
because it provided money to pay for groceries.                                                                                 
10:31:17 AM                                                                                                                   
GORDON   GLASER,  MEMBER,   ALASKA   COMMISSION  ON   AGING,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  the                                                                    
legislation. He echoed the  previous testifiers. He stressed                                                                    
that  the program  was targeted  toward the  older and  more                                                                    
frail   communities.   He    stressed   that   it   provided                                                                    
independence and dignity.                                                                                                       
Senator  Stevens asked  for thoughts  on  whether those  who                                                                    
were in  an assisted  living homes  receipt of  the benefit.                                                                    
Mr. Glaser  replied that it  was something  worth examining.                                                                    
He stressed that it was difficult to remove a service.                                                                          
10:34:29 AM                                                                                                                   
BILL   WILLIAMS,  SERVICE   COORDINATOR,  SOUTHEAST   SENIOR                                                                    
SERVICES, shared that  he worked with seniors  in Juneau who                                                                    
lived in  public housing. He  tried to help those  people to                                                                    
live more  independently, so  to keep  the burden  away from                                                                    
the  Pioneer Home.  He  spoke  in support  of  the bill.  He                                                                    
remarked that  most of his  clients had senior  benefits. He                                                                    
shared a personal story.                                                                                                        
Senator  Stevens  wondered  whether Section  8  housing  was                                                                    
considered  assisted living.  Mr.  Williams  replied in  the                                                                    
negative. He  stated that Section  8 housing  was government                                                                    
subsisted housing.                                                                                                              
10:39:42 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE  COONS, PRESIDENT,  ALASKA  CHAPTER  OF ASSOCIATION  OF                                                                    
MATURE  AMERICAN  CITIZENS,   PALMER  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support of the bill.                                                                                                   
10:42:10 AM                                                                                                                   
GEORGE PIERCE, SELF, KASILOF  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
10:44:00 AM                                                                                                                   
JAYNE ANDREEN,  VOLUNTEER, AARP,  DOUGLAS, spoke  in support                                                                    
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon announced  that amendments  were due  by                                                                    
Friday  at  5pm.  She also  discussed  the  following  day's                                                                    
CSHB 236(FIN)  was HEARD and  HELD in committee  for further                                                                    
10:46:59 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:46 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 236 Explanation of Changes A to D 7Feb2018.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 236
HB236 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 236
HB236 Consolidated Letters of Support.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 236
HB236 Supporting Document SBP Fact Sheet - Updated August 2017.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 236
SB 155 SCS v. O Explanation.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 155
SB 155 SCS wrok draft v. O.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 155
SB 65 Support Letter Bettine.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 65
SB 65 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 65
SB 65 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 65
HB 236 ACoA Support Senior Benefits.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 236
HB 236 Letter from DPA repgarding AARP proposal 4.6.18.pdf SFIN 3/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 236