Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-01-22 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0131
HB 82                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 82 by the House Rules Committee by request of                   
the Governor, entitled:                                                        

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0132
HB 82                                                                        
"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."                                              
was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education & Social         
Services and Finance Committees.                                               
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Fiscal note, Dept. of Education, 1/22/93                                       
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Revenue, 1/22/93                                    
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities, 1/22/93         
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated January 22, 1993, appears             
"Dear Speaker Barnes:                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am     
transmitting a bill that changes the existing school construction grant        
program in AS14.11.  During 1992 the facilities committee of Alaska            
2000 discussed the existing method of allocating school construction           
grants.  This bill, if enacted into law, divides grants under the program      
into two categories, provides a separate fund for each of the categories,      
and requires school districts to provide a participating share in order        
to obtain a grant.                                                             
The main thrust of the bill is to separate grants under the existing           
program into two categories -- grants for school construction and              
grants for major maintenance of school facilities -- and to create a           
separate grant fund for the major maintenance projects.  Major                 
maintenance projects are those necessary to protect the structure of           
existing school facilities or to correct building code deficiencies that       
require major repair or rehabilitation in order for the facility to            
continue to be used for the educational program.                               
Existing AS14.11.005 creates the school construction grant fund; this          
bill adds a major maintenance grant fund.  Legislative appropriations          
for the two different types of school facility projects will go into the       

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0133
HB 82                                                                        
appropriate fund and will be subject to the existing grant procedures          
in AS 14.11.  The bill makes amendments to those grant procedures to           
acknowledge the separate categories.  The bill also makes conforming           
amendments to AS14.03.150(c) and AS 14.07.020(a)(11).  Separation              
of the two types of projects allows separate prioritization of projects,       
and should result in an improved planning and funding process.                 
The bill also adds a requirement that, in order to receive a school            
construction or major maintenance grant, a school district must provide        
a participating share of the project cost.  The participating share for a      
city or borough school district is based on the full and true value of         
the taxable real and personal property in the district as of a certain         
date, and on the district's average daily membership (ADM).  A                 
district with a relatively higher property value per ADM will have a           
relatively higher percentage participating share.  City and borough            
school districts will be required to provide a participating share             
beginning with grants awarded in fiscal year 1994.                             
A regional educational attendance area (REAA) participating share is           
a set percentage of the project cost, although the commissioner of             
education is authorized to waive all or a portion of the required              
participating share under certain circumstances.  Under the bill, REAAs        
will not be subject to the requirement for a participating share until         
fiscal year 1995.                                                              
In addition, the bill adds a new subsection to AS14.11.017.  Existing          
AS14.11.017(b) authorizes use of grant money under the program to              
pay the cost of certain activities even if the costs were incurred before      
the grant application was approved, the grant was awarded, or money            
was appropriated for the grant.  New AS14.11.017(c) would clarify              
that the Department of Education can establish the time period in              
which those activities must have occurred in order to be paid under the        
These changes in the way the school construction grant program                 
operates should improve the educational environment of our students            
and increase the responsibility of school districts in planning for,           

1993-01-22                     House Journal                      Page 0134
HB 82                                                                        
requesting, and using grant money for school facilities.  I urge your          
early and favorable consideration of this important legislation.               
      Walter J. Hickel