Legislature(2021 - 2022)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/18/2021 01:00 PM FINANCE

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01:01:54 PM Start
01:03:06 PM Public Testimony: Fairbanks, Interior, Copper River Valley, and All Other Locations
02:50:20 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Please Note:
All Public Testimony Conducted via Telephone
Juneau (907) 586-9085
Anchorage (907) 563-9085
Elsewhere (844) 586-9085
Written Testimony Will Be Accepted at:
finance.committee@akleg.gov
For Fairbanks, Interior, Copper River Valley &
All Other Locations: Call In/Sign Up by 2:30 p.m.
+= SB 49 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= SB 51 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= SB 50 APPROP: CAP; REAPPROP; SUPP; AMEND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 18, 2021                                                                                            
                         1:01 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:01:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Bishop called the  Senate Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:01 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
Senator Bill Wielechowski (via teleconference)                                                                                  
Senator David Wilson (via teleconference)                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Lucy  Nelson, Mayor  of  Kotzebue,  Kotzebue; Jim  Matherly,                                                                    
City of  Fairbanks, Fairbanks; Sue Sherif,  Self, Fairbanks;                                                                    
Mike  Welch,  Mayor  of  North  Pole,  North  Pole;  Patrick                                                                    
Reinhart,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Mobility  Coalition,                                                                    
Eagle River; Katie Botz, Self,  Juneau; Mat Tekker, Mayor of                                                                    
Kotzebue, Kotzebue;  Laurie Wolf, Foraker  Group, Anchorage;                                                                    
June   Rogers,  City   Council  Member,   Fairbanks;  Krista                                                                    
Maciolek,  Matsu Youth  Court,  Matsu;  Jesse Riehm,  Tanana                                                                    
Chiefs   Conference,  Fairbanks;   Bryce   Ward,  Mayor   of                                                                    
Fairbanks, Fairbanks;  Megan Weston, Anchorage  Youth Court,                                                                    
Valdez;  Sara Irwin  Goudreau, Valdez  Youth Court,  Valdez;                                                                    
Carol  Piscoya, Kawerak  Inc,  Nome;  Miranda Nelson,  Self,                                                                    
Nikiski; Layton  Lockett, City Manager, City  of Adak, Adak;                                                                    
Cindy   Wright,  University   of  Alaska   Fairbanks  Alumni                                                                    
Association,  Fairbanks;   Clay  Walker,  Mayor   of  Denali                                                                    
Borough,  Healy; Carin  Adickes, Self,  Sitka; George  Butt,                                                                    
Klondike  Electric Bicycles,  Skagway; Christian  Scantling,                                                                    
Self, Sitka; Stacey Lucason,  Self, Chugiak; Adam Chinalski,                                                                    
Self, Sitka; Kris Chinalski,  Self, Sitka; Annelise Burgess,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage;  Robert  Radovan,  Self,  Anchorage;  Kate                                                                    
Loewen, Self,  Kodiak; Mickey  Barker, Self,  Sitka; Carolyn                                                                    
Evans, Self,  Sitka; Amy Bethune, Self,  Sitka; Ron Johnson,                                                                    
Self, Fairbanks; Elijah Jackson,  Mayor of Ouvinki, Ouvinki;                                                                    
Laura Bonner, Self, Anchorage; Deb Potter, Self, Skagway.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 49     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          SB 49 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 50     APPROP: CAP; REAPPROP; SUPP; AMEND                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          SB 50 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 51     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          SB 51 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 49                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;    making   reappropriations;    making                                                                    
     supplemental   appropriations;  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. 50                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations,     reappropriations,     and     other                                                                    
     appropriations;  making   supplemental  appropriations;                                                                    
     making   appropriations   to  capitalize   funds;   and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 51                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive    mental    health    program;    making                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations;  and   providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC   TESTIMONY:  FAIRBANKS,   INTERIOR,  COPPER   RIVER                                                                  
VALLEY, AND ALL OTHER LOCATIONS                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LUCY  NELSON, MAYOR  OF NORTHWEST  ARCTIC BOROUGH,  KOTZEBUE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), testified  against  proposed cuts  to                                                                    
the  Community  Assistance  Program (CAP),  the  Power  Cost                                                                    
Equalization  (PCE)  Program),  and  the  School  Bond  Debt                                                                    
Reimbursement Program.  She discussed the importance  of the                                                                    
CAP  to water,  sewer, and  sanitation as  well as  fire and                                                                    
safety for the  borough. She noted that  money saved through                                                                    
the PCE program  was used for basic  expenses. She discussed                                                                    
the  impact  of the  proposed  cuts.  She relayed  that  the                                                                    
consequences of  the proposed  cuts would  be felt  far into                                                                    
the future.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM   MATHERLY,   CITY    OF   FAIRBANKS,   FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  support of  funding the  state's                                                                    
contributions  to the  Public  Employees' Retirement  System                                                                    
(PERS).  He  discussed  Fairbanks' 22  percent  contribution                                                                    
rate towards  the unfunded  liability. He  supported funding                                                                    
for the CAP.  He urged the members to  recapitalize the fund                                                                    
to the  full $90 million  level. He opposed  the prosecution                                                                    
of misdemeanor  crimes by municipalities as  proposed by the                                                                    
Department of Law.  He believed the state  had an obligation                                                                    
to prosecute the crimes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:08:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUE SHERIF, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support of the Alaska  Library Network and restoration of                                                                    
$635,000  to the  Alaska State  Library budget.  The network                                                                    
allowed  libraries in  the state  to collaborate  to achieve                                                                    
efficiencies  of  scale.  She   discussed  benefits  of  the                                                                    
network such  as a  statewide catalog  and access  to online                                                                    
resources.   Libraries   could  pool   resources   negotiate                                                                    
contracts and  make purchases.  She discussed  the important                                                                    
services  the network  provided  during the  year of  mostly                                                                    
online  schooling.  She  thought   support  of  the  library                                                                    
network was a fiscally  responsible and sensible expenditure                                                                    
for a conservative and sustainable budget.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:11:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE   WELCH,  MAYOR   OF  NORTH   POLE,  NORTH   POLE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  funding  for  the                                                                    
unfunded  liability for  PERS and  the Teacher's  Retirement                                                                    
System (TRS).  The City  of North Pole  spent 11  percent of                                                                    
its overall budget towards PERS.  He cited that his city was                                                                    
currently  paying $672,000  for  its  $3.1 million  payroll,                                                                    
which was  11 percent  of its  overall budget.  He discussed                                                                    
unfunded ratios per capita.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK  REINHART,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,   ALASKA  MOBILITY                                                                    
COALITION,  EAGLE RIVER  (via teleconference),  testified in                                                                    
support of a $1 million  capital budget item for the transit                                                                    
match program that helped  transit providers achieve federal                                                                    
matching requirements.  He had submitted  written testimony.                                                                    
He suggested  that the program  be revived as  a needs-based                                                                    
program. He discussed division of  COVID-19 relief funds for                                                                    
rural  transit. He  discussed CARES  Act  funding, of  which                                                                    
funds  had been  split between  the AMHS  and rural  transit                                                                    
providers. He understood there would  be more funding coming                                                                    
in the amount of $57  million. His group supported a funding                                                                    
split  of two-thirds  for rural  transit with  one-third for                                                                    
AMHS. He supported the AMHS.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATIE  BOTZ, SELF,  JUNEAU  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of  full funding for  the mental health  budget. She                                                                    
discussed her personal diagnosis.  She discussed the impacts                                                                    
of COVID-19.  She cited that  many people in the  state were                                                                    
suffering from poor mental health.  She asserted that people                                                                    
did  not  understand  mental  illness  and  depression.  She                                                                    
emphasized the  importance of  understanding the  reality of                                                                    
mental illness.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAT    TEKKER,   MAYOR    OF    KOTZEBUE,   KOTZEBUE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support  of maintaining  PCE                                                                    
payments,  funding  for  PERS   and  TRS,  and  funding  for                                                                    
broadband  assistance. He  supported  increased funding  for                                                                    
regional  jails. He  opposed closures  of Division  of Motor                                                                    
Vehicles (DMV)  offices. He supported outreach  for the Read                                                                    
I.D.  in rural  areas.  He supported  full  funding for  the                                                                    
Community Assistance  Fund. He supported funding  for harbor                                                                    
facility matching  grants. He was  grateful for  the capital                                                                    
bond packing,  including to leverage  federal funds  for the                                                                    
road  project  to Cape  Blossom.  He  was grateful  for  Mt.                                                                    
Edgecombe High School being open for the year.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:24:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE  WOLF,  PRESIDENT,   FORAKER  GROUP,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke    in   support    of   maintaining                                                                    
partnerships  with  non-profits.   She  asserted  that  non-                                                                    
profits  had been  on the  front  lines in  response to  the                                                                    
global pandemic.  She thought non-profits had  operated as a                                                                    
safety  net. She  thought the  pandemic  had heightened  the                                                                    
multi-sector  approach that  worked well  in the  state. She                                                                    
thought  non-profits  would  be  an  integral  part  of  the                                                                    
state's long-term  recovery.   She discussed  federal relief                                                                    
funds.  She encouraged  lawmakers  to  make long-term  plans                                                                    
with the temporary funds.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:26:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUNE   ROGERS,   CITY   COUNCIL   MEMBER,   FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  funding  for  the                                                                    
state's  PERS contribution.  The city  supported maintaining                                                                    
the  22  percent  PERS  contribution rate  to  pay  off  the                                                                    
unfunded  liability. She  opposed  the  Department of  Law's                                                                    
proposed  change  that  would charge  the  municipality  for                                                                    
prosecution  of   misdemeanor  crimes.  She  spoke   to  the                                                                    
importance  of the  CAP and  urged  recapitalization to  the                                                                    
full $90 million. She opined  that the programs former name,                                                                    
Community  Revenue Sharing,  better described  the program's                                                                    
original intent.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:29:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTA   MACIOLEK,    MATSU   YOUTH   COURT,    MATSU   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of funding  for youth                                                                    
courts.  She   refenced  earlier  testimony   regarding  the                                                                    
effectiveness  of  youth  courts. She  proposed  that  youth                                                                    
courts provided  thousands of  community work  service hours                                                                    
to  the local  community. She  mentioned the  low recidivism                                                                    
rate of  juvenile offenders that  participated in  the youth                                                                    
court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:31:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSE  RIEHM,  TANANA   CHIEFS  CONFERENCE,  FAIRBANKS  (via                                                                    
teleconference), supported  maintained funding  for sobering                                                                    
centers across the state. The  sobering center was opened to                                                                    
reduce  use of  the emergency  department. He  discussed the                                                                    
work   of   the  sobering   center   and   cited  its   cost                                                                    
effectiveness. He  asked the  committee to  maintain funding                                                                    
for sobering centers.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:33:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYCE   WARD,    MAYOR   OF   FAIRBANKS,    FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support  of revenue  sharing                                                                    
and funding  the full $90  million for the CAP.  He asserted                                                                    
that  the recovery  of communities  was  dependent upon  the                                                                    
state coming  up with  a stable  plan. He  mentioned impacts                                                                    
such as  school bond  debt reimbursement  and the  timing of                                                                    
municipal and  state budgets. He encouraged  the legislature                                                                    
to  complete  the budget  as  soon  as possible  to  provide                                                                    
stability.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN   WESTON,   ANCHORAGE   YOUTH   COURT,   VALDEZ   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  funding  for  youth                                                                    
courts and  the Division  of Juvenile Justice's  budget. She                                                                    
was  formerly a  member of  the program.  She discussed  the                                                                    
effectiveness  of  youth courts  in  changing  the lives  of                                                                    
young people.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  IRWIN  GOUDREAU,  VALDEZ   YOUTH  COURT,  VALDEZ  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  restored funding                                                                    
for youth  courts and  the DJJ budget.  She had  worked with                                                                    
youth courts for  17 years and believed in the  value of the                                                                    
program. She noted that both  youth offenders and youth peer                                                                    
participants  benefitted  from  youth  court  programs.  She                                                                    
cited  a newspaper  article that  compared  the benefits  of                                                                    
investing in  prisons versus  higher education.  The article                                                                    
cited  Alaska's   high  recidivism  rate.  She   noted  that                                                                    
recidivism  was reduced  when  youth  participated in  youth                                                                    
court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:40:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  PISCOYA,  KAWERAK  INC,  NOME  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support of  increased  funding  for children  and                                                                    
family  services.  She explained  that  Kawarak  Inc. was  a                                                                    
regional  tribal consortium.  She relayed  that Kawarek  had                                                                    
signed on  to the Alaska  Tribal Child Welfare  Compact. She                                                                    
discussed  activities through  the  compact. She  referenced                                                                    
the high turnover rate at  the Office of Children's Services                                                                    
and  requested  increased  funding  for  Kawarek  to  assist                                                                    
children in the region.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:42:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIRANDA   NELSON,   SELF,  NIKISKI   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of the governor's  budget proposal and                                                                    
smaller  government.  She   supported  using  the  statutory                                                                    
formula  to   calculate  PFDs.  She   thought  Covid-related                                                                    
shutdowns  highlighted  what  services were  essential.  She                                                                    
thought  reduced  government  allowed  small  businesses  to                                                                    
flourish.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:44:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAYTON  LOCKETT,  CITY  MANAGER,  CITY OF  ADAK,  ADAK  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in favor  of  the  PCE Program.  He                                                                    
supported  shared fish  taxes, which  contributed to  Adak's                                                                    
operating budget.  Some of the  funds were used to  fund the                                                                    
Village Public  Safety Officer (VPSO) in  Adak. He supported                                                                    
recapitalization  of  the  CAP.  He  asked  for  support  in                                                                    
funding Department of  Transportation and Public Facilities'                                                                    
rural airports. He was concerned  that any impact on funding                                                                    
rural airports would have disastrous  effects because of the                                                                    
lack  of  other  transportation options.  He  discussed  the                                                                    
critical  nature  of  air traffic  in  providing  goods  and                                                                    
services to Adak and the surrounding area.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:47:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CINDY   WRIGHT,  UNIVERSITY   OF  ALASKA   FAIRBANKS  ALUMNI                                                                    
ASSOCIATION,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), testified  in                                                                    
support of  University funding.  She thought  the University                                                                    
was  part  of the  state's  fiscal  solution. She  mentioned                                                                    
additional federal  acres that were  to be allocated  to UA.                                                                    
She supported  the continuation of the  Technical Vocational                                                                    
Education Program (TVEP) program.  She asserted that capital                                                                    
appropriations were  important to stabilize the  budget. She                                                                    
supported addressing deferred maintenance.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:49:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLAY   WALKER,  MAYOR   OF   DENALI   BOROUGH,  HEALY   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  support of  funding the  CAP. He                                                                    
discussed cuts  to the CAP.  He had  served as mayor  of the                                                                    
Denali Borough for  the previous eight years.   He discussed                                                                    
major  maintenance  of  school   facilities.  He  urged  the                                                                    
committee  to support  recapitalization  of the  CAP to  the                                                                    
full  $90   million,  which   would  help   stabilize  local                                                                    
governments.  He asked  for consideration  of  at least  $25                                                                    
million  for   the  state's  share   of  the   major  school                                                                    
maintenance program. He asked  the legislature to considered                                                                    
assistance to communities that would  not receive funds from                                                                    
the  American  Rescue  Plan. He  urged  consideration  of  a                                                                    
balanced approach,  including new revenue and  steps towards                                                                    
a sustainable fiscal plan.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Co-Chair Bishop handed the gavel to Co-Chair Stedman.]                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:51:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARIN ADICKES,  SELF, SITKA (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
increased funding  for the AMHS.  She discussed  the decline                                                                    
of  ferry service.  She discussed  the  importance of  ferry                                                                    
service to  connect to services  in Juneau. She  thought the                                                                    
current ferry schedule was totally unconscionable.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:53:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  BUTT,  KLONDIKE   ELECTRIC  BICYCLES,  SKAGWAY  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of  increased funding                                                                    
for  the  AMHS. He  discussed  the  impact of  the  Covid-19                                                                    
pandemic  on  Skagway  due  to   the  lack  of  tourism.  He                                                                    
discussed  the importance  of ferry  service for  supporting                                                                    
independent   travelers.  He   advocated  for   funding  for                                                                    
municipalities  to   offset  lost  revenues.   He  supported                                                                    
funding for tourism-related businesses.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:54:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTIAN  SCANTLING,  SELF,   SITKA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support  of increased funding for  the AMHS. He                                                                    
discussed  the importance  of  ferry  service for  accessing                                                                    
goods, services,  and healthcare. He urged  the committee to                                                                    
advocate for at least a bi-weekly ferry schedule to Sitka.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACEY  LUCASON, SELF,  CHUGIAK (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support   of  funding   deferred  maintenance   for  the                                                                    
University.  She  disclosed that  she  was  part of  the  UA                                                                    
Alumni   Association.  She   discussed  the   importance  of                                                                    
maintaining  state resources.  She discussed  the importance                                                                    
of the role of UA in workforce innovation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:58:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADAM CHINALSKI, SELF,  SITKA (via teleconference), supported                                                                    
increased funding for the AMHS.  He discussed the importance                                                                    
of  increased ferry  service. He  had been  in Sitka  for 14                                                                    
years and had seen the service decrease significantly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:00:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS CHINALSKI, SELF,  SITKA (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support of increased funding  for the AMHS. The discussed                                                                    
the importance  of round-trip ferry  service to Juneau  in a                                                                    
timely  manner.  She  discussed  purchasing  goods  in-state                                                                    
using ferry service rather than out of state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:01:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNELISE  BURGESS,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support of  restored  funding  for the  Anchorage                                                                    
Youth  Court. She  had  been a  past  Anchorage Youth  Court                                                                    
lawyer and employee  of the youth court.  She discussed what                                                                    
she had learned  working with the youth  court. She asserted                                                                    
that the  youth court  was good  for society.  She discussed                                                                    
reduced rates of recidivism due to the youth court.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:03:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  RADOVAN,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  against  increased  state spending.  He  lamented                                                                    
excess state  spending and used  the example of  the Muldoon                                                                    
Overpass project  and an overpass.  He recommended  that the                                                                    
estate institute  a state  income tax of  15 percent  and do                                                                    
away with all  sales taxes. He pointed out that  a sales tax                                                                    
only  hurt  Alaska  residents, while  an  income  tax  would                                                                    
capture  contributions   from  out  of  state   workers.  He                                                                    
emphasized frugal budgeting.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:05:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  LOEWEN, SELF,  KODIAK (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
increased funding for  the AMHS. She had been  a resident of                                                                    
the state for 50 years.  She discussed the importance of the                                                                    
ferry  for  accessing  services   such  as  healthcare.  She                                                                    
supported  full funding  for UA.  She thought  it should  be                                                                    
affordable  to attend  college in  the state.  She supported                                                                    
reinstatement of a state income tax.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:24:09 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MICKEY BARKER,  SELF, SITKA (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
increased funding for increased  ferry service. He worked as                                                                    
an  engineer for  the AMHS.  He asserted  that Sitka  needed                                                                    
increased ferry service in order  to get to and from Juneau.                                                                    
He had  seen that construction companies  were making supply                                                                    
purchases from  the Lower 48  rather than in Juneau.  He was                                                                    
sure  that  businesses were  losing  money  as a  result  of                                                                    
decreased ferry services.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROLYN EVANS,  SELF, SITKA  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of increased  funding for  the  AMHS and  increased                                                                    
service  from Sitka  to Juneau.  She supported  a round-trip                                                                    
sailing  at least  once per  week  in order  to provide  for                                                                    
shopping, medical services, work, and other needs.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:27:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY BETHUNE, SELF, SITKA  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
support  of increased  funding for  the AMHS.  She supported                                                                    
increased  ferry  system  between   Sitka  and  Juneau.  She                                                                    
discussed the importance of ferry access.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:29:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[Co-Chair Stedman handed the gavel to Co-Chair Bishop.]                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
RON JOHNSON, SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of  maintaining the  current  level  of Percent  of                                                                    
Market Value draw from the  Earnings Reserve Account. He was                                                                    
concerned about the  depletion of the ERA  and the Permanent                                                                    
Fund.  He discussed  federal  stimulus  funds. He  supported                                                                    
educating Alaskans  about the statutory calculation  for the                                                                    
Permanent Fund.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[fix this timestamp to be 5 seconds earlier]                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ELIJAH   JACKSON,    MAYOR   OF   OUZINKI,    OUZINKI   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  against the  governor's proposed                                                                    
budget.  He  cited infrastructure  issues  in  the city.  He                                                                    
relayed   that  the   pandemic  had   pushed  infrastructure                                                                    
projects   out   by  one   to   two   years.  He   supported                                                                    
recapitalization  of the  CAP to  the $90  million level  to                                                                    
provide  stability  for   local  governments.  He  supported                                                                    
reinstatement of local  emergency planning committee funding                                                                    
so local  governments were better  prepared for  crises such                                                                    
as the pandemic. He referenced  a tsunami warning two months                                                                    
previously and the conflict with  positive COVID-19 cases in                                                                    
the tsunami  shelter. He expressed frustration  with limited                                                                    
resources  and funding  available  to deal  with matters  at                                                                    
hand. He felt as though the  voices of rural Alaska were not                                                                    
being heard.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  BONNER, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of a new revenue  sources such as an  income tax                                                                    
and oil and  gas tax changes. She supported  funding for: K-                                                                    
12 education,  UA, Courts,  law enforcement,  the Department                                                                    
of  Corrections,  AMHS, and  the  Department  of Health  and                                                                    
Social Services. She  thought there were few  places left to                                                                    
cut in  the budget.  She thought oil  and gas  were volatile                                                                    
revenue  sources.  She  thought   paying  a  $5,000  PFD  as                                                                    
proposed  was ludicrous.  She did  not  support closing  DMV                                                                    
offices  in rural  areas. She  supported  funding for  vital                                                                    
services.  She  thought the  state  needed  either a  decent                                                                    
capital  budget and/or  general  obligation  bonds to  build                                                                    
infrastructure and for maintenance backlogs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:47:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEB  POTTER, SELF,  SKAGWAY (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
additional funding for  the AMHS. She noted  that 90 percent                                                                    
of Skagway's economy  was from cruise ships.  She noted that                                                                    
the City  of Skagway had been  promoting independent travel,                                                                    
which  required  use  of  the   AMHS.  She  noted  that  the                                                                    
municipality of  Skagway had just  chartered a  private boat                                                                    
for  transportation of  citizens when  the ferry  was broken                                                                    
down.  She  implored  the committee  to  support  the  ferry                                                                    
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:49:28 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
2:50:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 49.51.50 Public Testimony Packet 4.pdf SFIN 3/18/2021 1:00:00 PM
SB 49
SB 49.51.50 2021.3.16.Letter from AFC and ATFM on proposed cuts to DPA.pdf SFIN 3/18/2021 1:00:00 PM
SB 49
SB 49.51.50 Glenn 2022 Budget Complete.pdf SFIN 3/18/2021 1:00:00 PM
SB 49
SB 49.51.50 NAMI Fairbanks Testimony on Governor's Budget 3-20-21.pdf SFIN 3/18/2021 1:00:00 PM
SB 49