Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124
04/05/2005 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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HB 49-MUNICIPAL AID GRANTS CO-CHAIR THOMAS announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 49, "An Act relating to municipal aid grants; and providing for an effective date." 10:00:27 AM REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, noted that he has reviewed an amendment, labeled 24- LS0192\G.1, Cook, 4/1/05, from Representative Salmon. Representative Rokeberg said that he wants to move the legislation so that he can request a hearing in the House Finance Committee. Representative Rokeberg related his understanding that the aforementioned amendment would add some $10,000 for unincorporated areas. Representative Rokeberg recalled that before revenue sharing was not funded at all, [unincorporated communities] were granted funding that had decreased to the $3,500 level. He left [whether to adopt the amendment] to the committee to decide, but noted that he's trying to manage the fiscal note rather than increase it. 10:01:56 AM REPRESENTATIVE SALMON moved that committee adopt Amendment 1, labeled 24-LS0192\G.1, Cook, 4/1/05, which read: Page 1, line 1, following "grants": Insert "for municipalities and certain unincorporated communities" Page 1, line 7, following "subsection.": Insert "Each fiscal year the department shall pay a municipal aid grant of $10,000 to each community. The department with advice from the Department of Law shall determine whether there is in each community an incorporated nonprofit entity or a Native village council that will agree to receive and spend the grant for the benefit of the community. If there is more than one qualified entity in a community, the department shall pay the grant to the entity that the department finds most qualified to receive and spend the money. The department may not pay the grant to a Native village council unless the council waives immunity from suit for claims arising out of activities of the council related to the grant. A waiver of immunity from suit under this subsection must be on a form provided by the Department of Law. If there is no qualified incorporated nonprofit entity or Native village council in a community that is willing to receive the grant, the grant for that community may not be paid. Neither this subsection nor any action taken under it enlarges or diminishes the governmental authority or jurisdiction of a Native village council." Page 1, lines 10 - 11: Delete "equal grants in the reduced amount to all municipalities" Insert "grants reduced by an equal percentage to all municipalities and eligible communities" Page 1, line 12, following "section,": Insert "(1) "community" means a place in the unorganized borough that is not incorporated as a city and in which 25 or more persons reside as a social unit; (2)" REPRESENTATIVE KOTT objected for discussion purposes. 10:02:10 AM REPRESENTATIVE SALMON explained that Amendment 1 would provide $10,000 to each municipality. He opined that it's unfair to the unorganized and smaller communities that wouldn't receive anything under HB 49. He commented that the $10,000 was [randomly selected], and therefore returning to $3,500 would even be acceptable. 10:03:07 AM REPRESENTATIVE SALMON moved to amend Amendment 1 such that the grant amount of $10,000 would be changed to $3,500. There being no objection, the amendment to Amendment 1 was adopted. Therefore, Amendment 1, as amended, was before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT maintained his objection to Amendment 1, as amended. 10:04:00 AM REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG, in response to Representative Neuman, confirmed that the legislature did pass legislation that added some $6 million for fuel assistance to organized communities throughout the state. CO-CHAIR THOMAS noted a House floor amendment to the aforementioned legislation that would've provided $3,500 to unorganized communities failed. 10:04:57 AM REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG interjected that the legislation wasn't intended as fuel assistance but rather [to provide assistance] with no strings attached. 10:05:26 AM A roll call vote was taken. Representatives LeDoux, Neuman, Cissna, Salmon, and Thomas voted in favor of the adoption of Amendment 1, as amended. Representatives Kott and Olson voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 1, as amended, was adopted by a vote of 5-2. 10:06:09 AM REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN moved to report HB 49, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 49(CRA) was reported from the House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.