Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/08/1994 01:30 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 455 "An Act making and amending operating and capital appropriations and ratifying certain state expenditures; and providing for an effective date." NANCY SLAGLE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF BUDGET REVIEW, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR provided a sectional overview of HB 455. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES * Sec. 39 Highways and Aviation $1,550.0 This is a fund source change from program receipts to general fund dollars to reflect uncollectible rural airport fees. RON LIND, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION explained that the Court ruled that the Department had incorrectly implemented the procedures for rural rate landing fees. Collection of rural landing fees was discontinued. He observed that FY 94 legislative intent stated that "the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities not reinstate the landing fees at the rural airports and that the Department submit for legislative consideration a supplemental 2 appropriation next session to fund the resulting shortfall." In response to a question by Co-Chair Larson, Mr. Lind noted that an additional aviation fuel tax of $0.07 would be need to make up the shortfall. * Sec. 40 Fairbanks International Airport $34.7 This request would pay court ordered reinstatement of PERS for a discharged employee. The request is required by a court settlement. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS * Sec. 41 Inmate Health Care $1,631.3 The request will fund inmate health care requirements for remaining FY 94. SHIRLEY MINNICH, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS discussed cost effective measures instigated by the Department since FY 93. She noted that contractual services have been reduced. Referrals for specialists and surgical procedures have also been reduced. Third party payers are being introduced. There was a $2 million dollar reduction for inmate health care in FY 94. Representative Navarre suggested that outside audits be conducted to discern if further health care savings can be achieved. * Sec. 42 Administrative Services $85.1 This will appropriate funding for an arbitration settlement. It includes salary and benefits for back pay. * Sec. 43 Institutions $39.5 This request funds a court ordered monitor as required by Cleary. In response to a question by Representative Brown, Ms. Minnich clarified that the monitor operated during previous fiscal years. ARTHUR H. SNOWDEN, II, ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA COURT SYSTEM clarified that the position will monitor the settlement agreed to by the executive branch and the 3 plaintiffs. The monitor was requested by the plaintiffs and the defendants during hearings. The monitor has been in existence since the settlement. DIANE SCHENKER, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS added that the monitor was reappointed specifically to review issues related to overcrowding. * Sec. 44 Spring Creek Correctional Center $200.0 This would allow 50 maximum security beds to be operational at the Spring Creek Correctional Center. The request covers remaining FY 94. In response to a question by Representative Therriault, Ms. Minnich explained that the beds are on line. Funding for the beds has been requested in the Department's FY 95 budget. She stressed the importance of additional beds to alleviate overcrowding. Only costs associated with supervision, contractual, supplies and inmate gratuities are included. Ms. Schenker discussed the need for additional beds to meet the courts requirement for staff/inmate ratio. She further explained costs associated with the request. She emphasized that the beds are in place. * Sec. 45 Commissioner's Office $73.0 This requests covers legal expenses owed to the Department of Law related to the growing number and complexity of cases brought by inmates against the state. * Sec. 46 Community Corrections Directors Office This would extend the lapse date on appropriations for community residence center (CRC) beds. In response to a question by Representative Navarre, Ms. Slagle clarified that $688.0 thousand dollars would be extended. Representative Hanley clarified that the funding has already lapsed into the general fund. Representative Navarre suggested that section 46 (a) is confusing. He asserted that the funding should be allowed to lapse and a separate appropriation made. In response to a question by Co-Chair MacLean, Ms. Minnich noted that CRC beds were funded in FY 94 at $6,220.6 million 4 dollars. She clarified that inmates will be moved from hard beds into the soft CRC beds. Representative Hanley pointed out that more money was lapsed than is being extended. Ms. Slagle noted that the Department wants to identify the need for CRC beds in order to verify their FY 95 funding request. (Tape Change, HFC 94-52, Side 1) Members continued discussion regarding the lapsed funding contained in section 46. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION * Sec. 47 Air Quality/Solid Waste Management $36.7 This would reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for disallowed costs determined in federal CERCLA audit. BOB POE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF INFORMATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION explained that the CERCLA agreement was between June 1985 and January 1988. The amount was reduced from $115,988 thousand dollars. UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA * Sec. 49 Fairbanks Campus Physical Plant $220.0 This request funds the installation of an emergency water well. The well will replace the benzine contaminated water system at the Fairbanks campus. Ms. Slagle explained that 470 funding was used for clean up of the contaminated well. Representative Martin asked if the University's risk management account could be used. ALISON ELGEE, DIRECTOR OF BUDGET, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA explained that the risk management pool has been used as an interim measure. She stressed that the risk management pool was not designed to cover this kind of expense. The benzine contamination at the existing site required ground work prior to winter. In response to a question by Co-Chair MacLean, Ms. Elgee noted that the total cost is $320.0 thousand dollars. She noted that the appropriation will not be rolled into the University's base FY 95 request. MISCELLANEOUS CLAIMS AND STALE DATED WARRANTS 5 * Sec. 50 Miscellaneous claims and stale dated warrants. Ms. Slagle explained that payments by the state of Alaska not cashed within two years must be reappropriated. Small miscellaneous claims are also included if they are over two years old. She noted that AS 37.25.010 states that: "An indebtedness arising from a prior year for which the appropriation has lapsed shall be paid from the current year's appropriation, if (1) this expenditure does not exceed the balanced lapsed; and (20 the original obligation date is not more than two years from the requested date of disbursement." HB 455 was HELD in Committee for further discussion. Co-Chair Larson discussed the majority's FY 95 spending plan. Co-Chair MacLean discussed plans for capital project legislation.