Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-01-22 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1993-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0126
SB 59                                                                        
SENATE BILL NO. 59 by the Senate Rules Committee by request                    
of the Governor, entitled:                                                     
"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 and              
Social Services Committee and the Finance Committee.                           
Fiscal note from Department of Education and zero fiscal notes from            
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and Department              
of Revenue published today.                                                    
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 22:                                
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
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.                                

1993-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0127
SB 59                                                                        
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 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.                                                  

1993-01-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0128
SB 59                                                                        
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 grant.                                  
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,           
requesting, and using grant money for school facilities.  I urge your          
early and favorable consideration of this important legislation.               
      Walter J. Hickel