Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/04/2001 01:52 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 137(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to the allocation of money appropriated                                                                    
     to the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council; and                                                                       
     providing for an effective date.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARY JACKSON,  STAFF, SENATOR  JOHN TORGERSON, noted  that SB
137 would  extend the first  year allocation provisions  of a                                                                   
new  program  enacted in  the  21st  Legislature via  SB  289                                                                   
(Chapter 132 SLA 00).                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Jackson  added that  because the  program established  in                                                                   
2000 was  new and time  consuming development  of regulations                                                                   
regarding its administration were  necessary, funds collected                                                                   
the first year of the program  were directly allocated to the                                                                   
University  of Alaska,  the Alaska  Vocational and  Technical                                                                   
Center,  and  the  Kotzebue Technical  Center.    The  public                                                                   
funded   institutions   provide  technical   and   vocational                                                                   
programs for Alaskans in urban  and rural areas.  A review of                                                                   
the  uses   of  the   first  year   funds  by  these   public                                                                   
institutions clearly shows how necessary those funds are.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Jackson  stated that after  a review of the  expenditures                                                                   
from the first year's collection,  SB 137 extends the date of                                                                   
direct allocation  to the named  public institutions  for two                                                                   
more years.  The  purpose of the extension is  to allow those                                                                   
institutions to properly prepare  their respective facilities                                                                   
for the influx of new students into the system.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde noted that half  of the money would be going                                                                   
to the  University and he  asked if  it would be  included in                                                                   
their  operating budget  request  of $18.4  million  dollars.                                                                   
Ms.  Jackson replied  that all  the funds  would be  "meshed"                                                                   
together and  would be  counted as  part of the  University's                                                                   
request.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft  asked how much the  University received                                                                   
in  the Alaska  Human  Resources Investment  Council  (AHRIC)                                                                   
grants per year.   Ms. Jackson noted that the  University has                                                                   
never  received   money  from   that  grant  program.     The                                                                   
University has  received some  money from the  State Training                                                                   
Employment  Program (STEP) program.   She  noted that  it was                                                                   
intended that  accredited institutions would  receive funding                                                                   
from that program.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft asked  if this  was "new  money".   Ms.                                                                   
Jackson acknowledged that it was.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harris noted for  the record that last year he                                                                   
initially opposed  similar legislation,  however, in  the end                                                                   
he  did  support   it  if  the  University   was  willing  to                                                                   
distribute  the money  to a  number of  institutions that  do                                                                   
vocational educational training.   He pointed out that one of                                                                   
the  institutions in  his district  had not  received any  of                                                                   
those funds for services.  He  reiterated that he did support                                                                   
the effort to put money toward vocational education.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams  stated  that  SB  137 would  be  HELD  in                                                                   
Committee for further consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
#                                                                                                                             
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 P.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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