Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/13/1993 10:38 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
     SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE                    
                         April 13, 1993                                        
                           10:38 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman                                               
  Senator Bert Sharp, Vice-Chairman                                            
  Senator Loren Leman                                                          
  Senator Mike Miller                                                          
  Senator Jim Duncan                                                           
  Senator Judy Salo                                                            
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator Johnny Ellis                                                         
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  SJR  30  (SCHOOL  CONSTRUCTION   &  MAINTENANCE  FUND)   WAS                 
  SCHEDULED        BUT NOT HEARD THIS DATE.                                    
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 59                                                           
  "An Act  relating to  school construction  grants and  major                 
  maintenance grants to school districts; providing for school                 
  district participation  in the  cost of school  construction                 
  and  major maintenance; creating  a major  maintenance grant                 
  fund; and providing for an effective date."                                  
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 60                                                           
  "An Act  making appropriations  for  construction and  major                 
  maintenance  of  schools;  and  providing for  an  effective                 
  date."                                                                       
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 180                                                          
  "An  Act relating  to  reimbursement of  school construction                 
  debt; and providing for an effective date."                                  
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 181                                                          
  "An  Act  relating to  grants  for school  construction; and                 
  providing for an effective date."                                            
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
  SJR 30 - No previous action to record.                                       
                                                                               
  SB 59 - See HESS minutes dated 2/3/93 and 2/10/93.                           
                                                                               
  SB 60 - See HESS minutes dated 2/3/93 and 2/10/93.                           
                                                                               
  SB 180 - No previous action to record.                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB 181 - No previous action to record.                                       
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-35, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER  called  the Senate  Health,  Education  and                 
  Social Services (HESS) Committee to order  at 10:38 a.m.  He                 
  said there are  four bills scheduled, SB 59, SB  60, SB 180,                 
  and SB 181.  He said it is not his intention to move SJR 30.                 
  The first  piece of legislation to come before the committee                 
  was SB 60 (APPROP:SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION GRANT FUND).  CHAIRMAN                 
  RIEGER said there is  a HESS committee substitute.   SENATOR                 
  MILLER moved to adopt CSSB 60  (HES).  Hearing no objection,                 
  the motion carried.   SENATOR SALO  said she has a  proposed                 
  amendment  to  delete on  page 2,  lines  4 through  25, and                 
  replace it with "Kenai Peninsula Borough Schools - Tustumena                 
  addition $3,850,000" and "Kenai Peninsula  Borough Schools -                 
  Kenai  Elementary  $7,400,000."   Chairman  Rieger  asked if                 
  there was an objection to the  amendment.  Hearing none, the                 
  amendment was adopted.                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 055                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER moved to pass CSSB  60 (HES), as amended, out                 
  of committee  with individual  recommendations and with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being no objection, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
  Number 062                                                                   
  The next order of business was  SB 59 (SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION &                 
  MAINTENANCE GRANTS)   SENATOR MILLER moved to adopt  CSSB 59                 
  (HES).  Hearing  no objection, the motion carried.  CHAIRMAN                 
  RIEGER  noted  that  the  provisions  of the  Department  of                 
  Education  which  were  suspended  did  not  extend  to  the                 
  matching  grant  provision.    A  matching  grant  is  still                 
  required.  The prioritization measures are suspended.                        
                                                                               
  There  being  no testimony  on  the measure,  SENATOR MILLER                 
  moved  to  pass  CSSB  59  (HES),  out  of   committee  with                 
  individual  recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal notes.                 
  Hearing no objection, the motion carried.                                    
  Number 088                                                                   
  The next piece of legislation the committee heard was SB 180                 
  (SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION  DEBT REIMBURSEMENT).   CHAIRMAN RIEGER                 
  said the bill would  reinstate a 70 percent of  debt service                 
  reimbursement.   He said SB  180 and SB  181 are one  of two                 
  alternatives being sent to the  Senate Finance Committee for                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  consideration.  The  other two bills  are the capital  grant                 
  bills.                                                                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO  referred to  page 4  and said there  is a  new                 
  Section 5  that deals  with prior  debt.   She asked how  it                 
  would work.   CHAIRMAN RIEGER  said the idea  is that  there                 
  would be a  limit on bonded  indebtedness which is based  on                 
  the  population  of that  municipality.   The  limitation on                 
  bonded indebtedness would be higher as the population of the                 
  community was larger.  The amount  of debt which would count                 
  would  be  all other  G.O. debt  and  the portion  of school                 
  construction   G.O.  debt   which   is   not  eligible   for                 
  reimbursement.                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator Salo asked  what the reason was  for including other                 
  municipal   debt.     Chairman   Rieger   said  it   is  his                 
  understanding that the concern is the overall debt burden on                 
  a municipality.   To have  a program that  speaks to  school                 
  debt in isolation,  without consideration of the  other debt                 
  of that municipality, could lead  a municipality into fiscal                 
  trouble.                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER said  he believes  it was the  intent of  the                 
  sponsor to control  debt statewide.  Even  if a municipality                 
  does issue debt,  the state would  probably have to step  in                 
  and pick it  up as there  is probably that moral  obligation                 
  for the debt.                                                                
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER referred  to Section  3, "In evaluating  the                 
  projects,  the  department  shall  consider  at   least  the                 
  following  factors," and  said he would  like to  amend that                 
  wording to  make it  absolutely clear  that  the ranking  of                 
  priorities are not absolute.  He said it might be better for                 
  it to be an  intent statement.  Chairman Rieger  offered the                 
  following amendment:                                                         
                                                                               
  Page 5, lines 7 and 8, replace "at least" with "all of."                     
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger said he  thinks it would make it  clear that                 
  all of the factors are to be considered.                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN also offered to  change "alternate" on page 5,                 
  line 15, to "alternative."                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER  asked  if there  was  an objection  to  the                 
  proposed amendment.  Hearing none, the motion carried.                       
                                                                               
  Number 194                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER moved to pass SB  180, as amended, out of the                 
  Senate HESS  Committee with individual  recommendations, and                 
  with accompanying fiscal  notes.  There being  no objection,                 
  it was so ordered.                                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 202                                                                   
  The last order of business  was SB 181 (SCHOOL  CONSTRUCTION                 
  GRANTS).  CHAIRMAN  RIEGER referred to  page 3, line 3,  and                 
  moved to delete "at least" and replace it with "all of."  He                 
  also moved that  on page 3,  line 9, delete "alternate"  and                 
  replace  with  "alternative."    Hearing no  objection,  the                 
  motion carried.                                                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN said  at the previous  meeting on the bill  he                 
  distributed  a  proposed  amendment  for  page 2,  lines  11                 
  through 17.  The amendment was suggested by an engineer from                 
  Anchorage.  He noted he hasn't had  a chance to speak to the                 
  bill  drafter.    The  amendment   would  provide  that  the                 
  department shall determine where standard specifications are                 
  applicable and if the school district wishes to exceed that,                 
  they may do so at their expense.                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that the  concern is probably addressed                 
  on page 1, where it makes it clear that the department shall                 
  disallow  project budgets for  things which do  not meet the                 
  design criteria.                                                             
                                                                               
  SENATOR  SALO  said she  thinks the  problem  is on  page 2,                 
  Section  4  of the  bill.    She  said she  agrees  that  we                 
  shouldn't  be  building  outlandishly  expensive  or   fancy                 
  schools.  She said she thinks there will be a problem with a                 
  standard  design.   Standard  specifications are  probably a                 
  better approach than  a standard  design.  There  has to  be                 
  some flexibility because we will  find that the same  design                 
  doesn't work in all areas of the state as Alaska is too vast                 
  to have a standard design.                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER suggested  changing page 2 lines  13 through                 
  16   to   say   "standard   and   regional   school   design                 
  specifications  shall  be  developed..."     He  said   also                 
  suggested  changing  line  16  to  say "for  which  standard                 
  regional  school  design  specifications   are  applicable."                 
  SENATOR SALO moved the amendment.  Hearing no objection, the                 
  motion carried.                                                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN  noted  that  DOT/PF currently  has  standing                 
  specifications for construction  projects in the state.   It                 
  doesn't mean  that you  have to  use and  always follow  the                 
  standard specifications.   They become  a guideline and,  in                 
  many cases, they are adopted in  the contract documents.  He                 
  said the amendment addresses a number of his concerns.                       
                                                                               
  There being no objection to the amendment, it was adopted.                   
                                                                               
  Number 287                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  MILLER  moved  to  pass  CSSB  181  (HES),  out  of                 
  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  accompanying fiscal notes.   CHAIRMAN  RIEGER objected.   He                 
  said  he is  willing to  see the  accompanying fiscal  notes                 
  moved with  the  bill, but  believes  the fiscal  notes  are                 
  totally unacceptable.   He removed his  objection.  So  CSSB
  181   (HES,)  moved   out  of   committee  with   individual                 
  recommendations.                                                             
  Number 303                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER adjourned the meeting at 10:55.                              

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