Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

03/02/2018 01:00 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:05:06 PM Start
01:06:15 PM HB285 || HB286
01:09:16 PM Public Testimony: Juneau
02:49:41 PM Public Testimony: Sitka, Petersburg, Delta Junction, Unalaska, Glennallen, and Tok
04:02:16 PM Public Testimony: off Net Sites
05:34:39 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
1:00 - 2:30 PM Juneau
2:45 - 3:45 PM Sitka, Petersburg, Delta Junction,
Unalaska, Glennallen, & Tok
4:00 - 5:00 PM Bethel, Cordova, Kotzebue, Nome,
Valdez, & Wrangell
5:00 - 6:00 PM Off Net sites
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
- Please arrive 30 min. prior to end of allotted
time or testimony will close early
- Select a spokesperson if you are part of a
group with the same message
- All Off Net callers must hang up immediately
after testifying to keep lines open
- Continue to access meeting through akleg.gov
- The hearing may be televised on Gavel to Gavel,
please check listings
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
Send written testimony to housefinance@akleg.gov
before 3/3/18 at 1:00 PM
- Please call 465-4648 to obtain call-in number
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 285                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 286                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;  making   supplemental  appropriations;                                                                    
     making  appropriations  under   art.  IX,  sec.  17(c),                                                                    
     Constitution  of   the  State   of  Alaska,   from  the                                                                    
     constitutional budget  reserve fund; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
1:06:15 PM                                                                                                                    
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: JUNEAU                                                                                                     
1:09:16 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF  SHORT,  JUNEAU  SCHOOL DISTRICT  BOARD  OF  EDUCATION,                                                                    
JUNEAU, testified in support of  education funding. He asked                                                                    
the  legislature to  increase  the  Base Student  Allocation                                                                    
(BSA) by $100.  He relayed that inflation had  resulted in a                                                                    
reduced  budget  of  approximately $600  per  student  since                                                                    
2008; the  losses had led to  a $3 million shortfall  in the                                                                    
district's budget in the current  year. He stressed that the                                                                    
district  did an  excellent job  educating its  students. He                                                                    
shared that students  from low income and  violent homes and                                                                    
those without homes struggled in  school. He underscored the                                                                    
importance of  keeping up with  inflation. He  reasoned that                                                                    
the  state could  either  reinvest in  education  now or  it                                                                    
could  spend much  more in  the future  on social  services,                                                                    
prisons, and rebuilding the middle class.                                                                                       
1:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  asked about the  year mentioned.  Mr. Short                                                                    
replied 2008 (based on the Anchorage CPI).                                                                                      
1:12:04 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNDA  WATTS,  SELF  AND RECOVERY  POPULATION,  JUNEAU,  she                                                                    
shared her history with alcoholism,  PTSD, and sexual abuse.                                                                    
She had  thought of herself  as the black sheep  of society.                                                                    
She was  receiving counseling through  JAMI and  worked with                                                                    
NAMI  and the  Juneau  Reentry Coalition.  She shared  other                                                                    
treatment programs  she was using.  All of the  services had                                                                    
empowered her  to overcome past  trauma that had led  to her                                                                    
alcoholism. She wanted  to be the best  recovered person she                                                                    
could become. She  spoke in support of  community safety net                                                                    
services,  reentry  and  rehabilitation  services,  and  $18                                                                    
million  proposed   to  expand  substance   abuse  treatment                                                                    
statewide. She thanked the committee for its time.                                                                              
1:15:14 PM                                                                                                                    
JEREMY  D.  SIMILE,  JUNEAU  ALASKA  HOPE  DEALERS,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
shared  his personal  story. He  worked in  construction and                                                                    
shared that  he was  in long-term  recovery. His  mother had                                                                    
been murdered when he was  seven years old. He detailed that                                                                    
he   had  undergone   multiple  substance   abuse  treatment                                                                    
programs that had  enabled him to live  successfully. He was                                                                    
working with the  Juneau Reentry Coalition. He  spoke to the                                                                    
difficulty of  breaking the criminal tide  without treatment                                                                    
support.  He  believed  the  coalition  was  imperative  for                                                                    
incarcerated  individuals to  become successful,  productive                                                                    
members of  society. He asked  the committee to  support the                                                                    
governor's  request of  $375,000  to  reduce recidivism  and                                                                    
prepare  individuals   for  reentry  and  $18   million  for                                                                    
substance abuse treatment.                                                                                                      
Representative  Guttenberg  shared  that he  was  a  retired                                                                    
laborer and  asked Mr. Simile  to hang in there.  Mr. Simile                                                                    
thanked him.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton relayed  that the public was  free to answer                                                                    
or not answer any questions from the committee.                                                                                 
1:18:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SHASTA MYERS,  SELF, PERSON IN RECOVERY,  JUNEAU, shared her                                                                    
personal story. She lived at  Haven House and had been sober                                                                    
for 90  days. She detailed  she had spent  time incarcerated                                                                    
and  on probation.  She  recently  graduated from  inpatient                                                                    
treatment through  Rainforest Recovery. She shared  that she                                                                    
was doing  long-term outpatient treatment  through Gastineau                                                                    
Human Services and  other programs such as  JAMI and others.                                                                    
Doors  had opened  to  her  because she  was  sober and  had                                                                    
undergone treatment.  She would  be released  from probation                                                                    
the  following  week.  She  supported  recidivism  reduction                                                                    
funding and treatment funds.                                                                                                    
1:20:09 PM                                                                                                                    
KARA NELSON,  SELF, DIRECTOR, HAVEN HOUSE,  JUNEAU, spoke in                                                                    
support  of  $375,000  for treatment  and  $18  million  for                                                                    
substance  abuse  treatment. She  is  a  woman in  long-term                                                                    
recovery.  She  stressed  that  the  support  services  were                                                                    
imperative to  heal Alaska. She  testified as a mother  of a                                                                    
daughter who  was actively using  drugs. She wanted  to know                                                                    
the  support services  would be  available. She  thanked the                                                                    
1:21:36 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG FITCH,  SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in support  of funding                                                                    
for  mental  health  services  and  funds.  He  thanked  the                                                                    
committee for  work the legislature  was doing.  He believed                                                                    
he was a good living example  of good mental health and what                                                                    
a  good  system could  do.  He  stressed the  importance  of                                                                    
investing in  people. The  public counted  on the  funds and                                                                    
the legislature.                                                                                                                
1:23:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JOY LYON,  DIRECTOR, ASSOCIATION FOR THE  EDUCATION OF YOUNG                                                                    
CHILDREN  SE   ALASKA,  JUNEAU,  testified  in   support  of                                                                    
education funds.  She spoke to the  importance of increasing                                                                    
the  state's  revenue  in order  to  continue  investing  in                                                                    
children.  She  detailed  that two  out  of  three  children                                                                    
coming into  kindergarten were not prepared  for school. She                                                                    
asked the committee  to consider all the  trauma that people                                                                    
were  hearing about  and to  think about  what a  difference                                                                    
strong support  for young children and  their families could                                                                    
1:24:41 PM                                                                                                                    
STELLA TALLMON,  JUNEAU DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL,  JUNEAU, shared                                                                    
that she is currently a  sophomore at JDHS. She supported an                                                                    
increase in the Base  Student Allocation (BSA). She stressed                                                                    
the state  could not afford  to neglect its  public schools.                                                                    
Increasing operating costs had  forced school boards to make                                                                    
cuts  to vital  programs. She  stated that  flat funding  of                                                                    
education  would hurt  schools.  She  underscored that  kids                                                                    
from lower  socioeconomic backgrounds would be  hit hardest.                                                                    
Investing  in education  would only  benefit the  state. She                                                                    
believed that increasing the BSA  was the greatest thing the                                                                    
legislature could do for the state's future.                                                                                    
1:26:12 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM  CHARD,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  BEHAVIORAL  HEALTH                                                                    
ASSOCIATION,   JUNEAU,  thanked   the   committee  and   the                                                                    
individuals sharing  their personal stories. He  stated that                                                                    
behavioral health grants were  flat funded in the governor's                                                                    
budget.  The  current funding  for  Medicaid  was at  FY  15                                                                    
levels.  The  funding  allowed providing  access  to  mental                                                                    
health and  treatment services. He understood  the state was                                                                    
facing  challenges beyond  the typical  demand -  the opioid                                                                    
crisis.   He   appreciated   the  governor's   $18   million                                                                    
supplemental  request  by  the governor  that  helped  build                                                                    
capacity  for services.  He thanked  the  committee for  its                                                                    
1:27:53 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIN WALKER-TOLLES,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  CATHOLIC COMMUNITY                                                                    
SERVICE, JUNEAU, spoke in favor  of funds for child advocacy                                                                    
centers. She shared information  about the organization that                                                                    
provided  services to  seniors throughout  Southeast Alaska.                                                                    
The organization also ran a  safe child advocacy center. She                                                                    
detailed  the center  did forensic  interviews for  children                                                                    
referred  by law  enforcement and  the Office  of Children's                                                                    
Services  for suspected  sexual abuse,  physical abuse,  and                                                                    
neglect.   The  organization   had  seen   a  dramatic   and                                                                    
disturbing increase  in the number  of cases (59  percent in                                                                    
the current year). She shared  that the services were funded                                                                    
through the  Department of Health  and Social  Services with                                                                    
federal  TANF  funding. There  was  a  dramatic increase  in                                                                    
prosecutions as well. She asked  the legislature to increase                                                                    
funding to child advocacy centers statewide.                                                                                    
1:29:43 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIN  LAUGHLIN,  STUDENT,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA  SOUTHEAST,                                                                    
JUNEAU,   provided  detail   about   her   studies  at   the                                                                    
University. She asked the committee  to fully fund the Board                                                                    
of Regent's  request of $341  million. She shared  her story                                                                    
about  moving to  Alaska. She  implored  the legislature  to                                                                    
fully  fund  the  University to  provide  opportunities  for                                                                    
schools. She shared  that she had postcards  of support from                                                                    
other students.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Seaton  recognized Representative Dave  Talerico in                                                                    
the room.                                                                                                                       
1:31:37 PM                                                                                                                    
DON HABEGER, COORDINATOR,  JUNEAU REENTRY COALITION, JUNEAU,                                                                    
spoke  to  the  need  for reentry  services,  which  reduced                                                                    
recidivism  rates.   He  shared  a  story   related  to  the                                                                    
importance  of  boots  on  the   ground  pertaining  to  the                                                                    
reduction of  recidivism. He shared that  the individual had                                                                    
fallen  off the  grid  and had  a  substance abuse  relapse.                                                                    
Fortunately, due  to treatment  services the  individual was                                                                    
back  on track.  It was  an  example of  smart justice.  The                                                                    
coalition   thanked  the   legislature  for   its  continued                                                                    
investment  in  recidivism  reduction  and  substance  abuse                                                                    
1:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SEAN STRAUSS,  SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in favor of  a state                                                                    
income  tax. He  shared that  he respected  all the  state's                                                                    
elected officials, but he wanted  to illuminate an important                                                                    
boundary that  if crossed  would have  natural consequences.                                                                    
He supported  the implementation  of a  state income  tax by                                                                    
the end  of the  current session.  He believed  that without                                                                    
one the state would face  the consequences of various things                                                                    
including   social  dysfunction.   The   governor  had   cut                                                                    
Permanent  Fund Dividends,  which had  received disapproval.                                                                    
He  continued  that the  governor  could  not implement  and                                                                    
income  tax.  He stressed  that  no  income tax  perpetuated                                                                    
uncertainty.  He implored  the committee  members to  get an                                                                    
income tax done. He thanked the committee.                                                                                      
1:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES  DEGNAN, SELF,  JUNEAU,  provided  detail about  his                                                                    
life in Alaska.  He stated that individuals  living in rural                                                                    
villages  took turns  helping each  other.  He stressed  the                                                                    
importance  of  considering   where  individuals  lived.  He                                                                    
detailed that  most individuals living  in the  state relied                                                                    
on subsistence.  He stated  the state  had a  penalty giving                                                                    
government.  Things  had  become  illegal  in  rural  Alaska                                                                    
including  nonsensical  bag  limits  and  open  seasons.  He                                                                    
stressed the  importance of helping  people in  the smallest                                                                    
communities first. He represented  a student of hard knocks.                                                                    
He stated that  taxes were the basic  necessities of keeping                                                                    
the  state   operational.  He  thanked  the   committee  for                                                                    
listening. He supported an income tax.                                                                                          
1:42:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  thanked Mr. Degnan  for his service  to the                                                                    
Mr.  Deganan added  that all  the males  in his  family were                                                                    
1:42:36 PM                                                                                                                    
JUNE  DEGNAN,  PRESIDENT,  HAVEN  HOUSE,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of  a graduated  statewide  income  tax, which  she                                                                    
believed  would be  the most  fair.  She shared  information                                                                    
about  her  Native  heritage. She  stated  that  Alaska  had                                                                    
wonderful  resources that  needed to  be protected.  She did                                                                    
not  support borrowing  money to  fill the  state's deficit.                                                                    
She  believed it  was  necessary to  look  at other  funding                                                                    
resources  outside of  oil. She  stressed the  importance of                                                                    
incorporating tribes  and people who cared  about the state.                                                                    
She  asked the  legislature to  ask for  help if  there were                                                                    
things the community could do.                                                                                                  
1:45:35 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE FULLER,  SELF, JUNEAU,  supported funding  for schools,                                                                    
counseling, and treatment options  especially for teens. The                                                                    
state of  the world raised  many questions for her,  but she                                                                    
believed  what should  be done  was  known. She  had paid  a                                                                    
school  and income  tax in  the past  and believed  that was                                                                    
possible. She supported AMHS,  schools, libraries, and well-                                                                    
funded  justice agencies.  She spoke  to the  possibility of                                                                    
living  healthy lives  and helping  neighbors. She  stressed                                                                    
the importance of taking care of the state's children.                                                                          
1:47:28 PM                                                                                                                    
TONY DELGADO, SELF, JUNEAU, showed  a photo of his family to                                                                    
the  committee. He  relayed that  he had  been in  long-term                                                                    
recovery. He shared  that the individual in  the picture had                                                                    
shot herself  in front of  him. He elaborated that  a person                                                                    
who committed suicide  needed help and had  not received it.                                                                    
He spoke to the importance  of services to help individuals.                                                                    
He had been  in the Army, but  he was not afraid  to cry any                                                                    
longer. He stated that a  bill in the legislature could have                                                                    
helped the  individual. He would  give anything to  have the                                                                    
individual  back with  his  daughter.  He shared  additional                                                                    
detail  about  his  life.  He  stated  that  money  was  not                                                                    
everything. He supported funding in the governor's budget.                                                                      
1:52:13 PM                                                                                                                    
BREANNA WALKER,  STUDENT, UAS, JUNEAU, testified  in support                                                                    
of  funding  for the  University  at  the Board  of  Regents                                                                    
request  of $341  million. She  shared  that the  University                                                                    
provided  an  educated  workforce. She  had  received  great                                                                    
opportunity at the University. Full funding ensured a well-                                                                     
staffed  university   with  excellent  classes.   She  would                                                                    
provide  copies of  other students'  requests. She  detailed                                                                    
that the university had lost funding over recent years.                                                                         
1:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY FERRY, SELF, JUNEAU, introduced  her second graders to                                                                    
the committee.  She spoke in  support of a  robust education                                                                    
budget.  Flat funding  represented a  cut to  education. She                                                                    
noted that  the district was looking  at a $3 million  to $5                                                                    
million cut.  She had been  encouraged by  earlier testimony                                                                    
supporting an income tax. She  also supported an income tax.                                                                    
She believed  the problem was solvable  with political will.                                                                    
She  encouraged the  legislature to  do the  hard work.  The                                                                    
state needed the legislature's support.  She shared that her                                                                    
children  had  testified in  support  of  an education  bill                                                                    
earlier in session.                                                                                                             
1:58:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton shared  that the House had  passed an income                                                                    
tax over to the Senate [the previous session].                                                                                  
BRENDA TAYLOR,  SELF, JUNEAU, spoke in  support of education                                                                    
funds.  She  brought attention  to  the  importance of  STEM                                                                    
[Science,  Technology,  Engineering,  Math]  education.  She                                                                    
shared that  STEM education  was instrumental  in developing                                                                    
adults  who  could collaborate  and  innovate  and who  were                                                                    
ready  for  STEM specific  jobs.  She  stated that  children                                                                    
needed practice solving complex  problems that were reality-                                                                    
based. The  STEM Coalition  was working  to get  outdoor and                                                                    
hands-on  experience  in  classrooms. She  shared  that  the                                                                    
district  had  funded  an integration  specialist,  but  the                                                                    
candidates who would have been  wonderful had no longer been                                                                    
available  because of  the late  passage of  the budget  the                                                                    
previous  year.  The  school was  talking  about  cutting  a                                                                    
librarian  position and  from two  counselors  to one,  they                                                                    
were  also talking  about cutting  CTE positions.  She hoped                                                                    
the  committee understood  the importance  of education  for                                                                    
the long-term.                                                                                                                  
2:02:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MAGGIE WINSTON,  KEY COALITION,  KENAI, she  provided detail                                                                    
about   the  Key   Coalition.   She   stated  that   helping                                                                    
individuals to  receive services  and live  independently in                                                                    
their communities  was a  passion of  hers. She  stated that                                                                    
the current  fiscal situation was creating  uncertainty. She                                                                    
asked the  legislature to  think about  disabled individuals                                                                    
and about what cuts could mean for people like her.                                                                             
2:04:23 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  PARADY, ACSA,  JUNEAU, thanked  the committee  for the                                                                    
opportunity to  testify. She  shared that  school districts'                                                                    
highest  priority  was  timely  and  adequate  funding.  She                                                                    
thanked  the  committee  for  its   work  to  provide  early                                                                    
funding. She supported the work  of the finance subcommittee                                                                    
for the  Department of Education and  Early Development. She                                                                    
spoke  about tragedy  related to  school safety.  She stated                                                                    
that  it  was  important  to support  school  districts  and                                                                    
students'   social  and   emotional  needs.   She  supported                                                                    
counselors  in  schools  for   support.  She  supported  the                                                                    
University  as  well.  The  two  systems  had  never  worked                                                                    
together as they were presently for the whole state.                                                                            
2:07:24 PM                                                                                                                    
DENNIS HAAS,  KEY COALITION, KENAI, thanked  the legislature                                                                    
for  its   hard  work.  He   shared  that  because   of  the                                                                    
legislature his  daughter was alive -  she received services                                                                    
through  the  Medicaid  waiver. He  saw  agencies  having  a                                                                    
difficult  time  to provide  quality  care.  He was  worried                                                                    
about  what  would  happen  to  his  daughter  if  something                                                                    
happened  to him.  He had  paid state  income tax  in Alaska                                                                    
when it  had existed.  He supported a  tax. He  would rather                                                                    
lose  money than  see the  system continue  to erode.  There                                                                    
were  800  people  who  qualified   for  service  that  were                                                                    
waiting. The state  had vowed to cut the list  by 200 people                                                                    
per  year,  but that  number  had  been  reduced to  50  the                                                                    
previous  year. He  did not  believe some  of the  cuts were                                                                    
thoughtful. He asked  the legislature to do  the right thing                                                                    
and help achieve a sustainable  budget to care for the needs                                                                    
of all citizens.                                                                                                                
2:10:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG DAHL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, JUNEAU                                                                    
(via teleconference),  shared that the University  had dealt                                                                    
with  major cuts.  He supported  a strong  university system                                                                    
that was  the backbone of  the state's future  workforce. He                                                                    
stressed  the critical  nature of  training a  workforce for                                                                    
the  future.  The  business   community  expected  a  highly                                                                    
trained  workforce. The  University was  one of  the largest                                                                    
community employers  in Juneau.  He discussed  the important                                                                    
role UAS  played in teacher education,  maritime safety, and                                                                    
other. He  urged the committee  to support  the University's                                                                    
budget request in full.                                                                                                         
2:13:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  HUTCHINGS,  KEY  COALITION,  JUNEAU,  testified  in                                                                    
support  of the  Medicaid waiver  program that  provided the                                                                    
ability for him  to be more independent in  terms of housing                                                                    
and other  things. He  spoke against to  cuts to  funding to                                                                    
services.  He wanted  to be  known as  Michael who  did many                                                                    
things  and  happened  to  be in  a  wheelchair  instead  of                                                                    
Michael who was in a wheelchair.                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz asked  for more  detail about  day-hab                                                                    
services Mr. Hutchings received.                                                                                                
Mr.  Hutchings answered  that the  services  allowed him  to                                                                    
visit his parents, go to coffee,  go to the pool, and other.                                                                    
With  assistance being  reduced  to  12 hours  significantly                                                                    
impacted his daily life.                                                                                                        
Representative Ortiz  surmised that the net  impact would be                                                                    
an  increased number  of people  more home-bound  because of                                                                    
the reductions.                                                                                                                 
Mr.  Hutchings replied  in  the  affirmative. He  elaborated                                                                    
that it  took more time -  there were people who  needed the                                                                    
assistance. He  stressed the importance of  quality of life.                                                                    
He shared that he would provide a letter to the committee.                                                                      
2:17:47 PM                                                                                                                    
TALEA  KELLAR,  PARENTS  AS TEACHERS,  JUNEAU,  thanked  the                                                                    
committee  for its  support for  early childhood  education.                                                                    
She stressed  the value  of support  early on  in children's                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton relayed  the  committee  would break  until                                                                    
2:45 p.m. to hear testimony from additional communities.                                                                        
2:19:42 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:46:18 PM                                                                                                                    
2:46:59 PM                                                                                                                    
HEATHER   MOUNTCASTLE,   SUPPORT,  MR.   FUBAO   GOLDSBERRY,                                                                    
introduced herself.                                                                                                             
FUBAO  GOLDSBERRY, SELF,  JUNEAU,  testified  in support  of                                                                    
Medicaid funding. He  stated that the cuts  to Medicaid with                                                                    
impact those  with individuals with disabilities.  He shared                                                                    
that he was disabled, so he used Medicaid funding.                                                                              
^PUBLIC  TESTIMONY:   SITKA,  PETERSBURG,   DELTA  JUNCTION,                                                                  
UNALASKA, GLENNALLEN, and TOK                                                                                                 
2:49:41 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:02:01 PM                                                                                                                    
3:02:33 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM ABBOTT, SELF, PETERSBURG  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support of  public broadcasting  funding, the  Alaska Marine                                                                    
Highway,  and public  education  funding.  He supported  the                                                                    
governor's  proposal for  public  broadcasting. He  remarked                                                                    
that public  broadcasting had recently  received significant                                                                    
cuts.  He  remarked  that  the  Alaska  Marine  Highway  was                                                                    
important,  not only  for Southeast  Alaska, but  across the                                                                    
state.  He felt  that it  was a  more cost-efficient  way to                                                                    
travel than  air travel. He  stressed that education  was an                                                                    
investment in the future.                                                                                                       
3:05:44 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:26:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  announced that there  was no one  signed up                                                                    
to testify,  so he would  wait for  three minutes to  see if                                                                    
anyone signed  up. If there  was no additional  testimony he                                                                    
would take a longer recess from 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.                                                                          
3:27:17 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:31:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  stated  that   there  were  no  additional                                                                    
testifiers, so he would recess until 4:00 p.m.                                                                                  
3:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
4:01:40 PM                                                                                                                    
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: BETHEL,  CORDOVA, KOTZEBUE, NOME, VALDEZ,                                                                  
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: OFF NET SITES                                                                                              
4:02:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHY   LONG,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,   CORDOVA  CHAMBER   OF                                                                    
COMMERCE, CORDOVA (via  teleconference), read testimony from                                                                    
the president, Jim  Cash. He relayed that  the Alaska Marine                                                                    
Highway System advocated for a  functional ferry system that                                                                    
supported  the economy,  food  security,  health, and  well-                                                                    
being  of  its citizens.  Otherwise,  those  things were  in                                                                    
serious  jeopardy.   People in  Cordova were  very concerned                                                                    
about the  short funding  of AMHS.  The ferry  transport was                                                                    
Cordova's livelihood  and a  basic infrastructure  which had                                                                    
to remain intact. She thought  AMHS had been addressed as an                                                                    
afterthought   in  the   current   budget   draft.  It   was                                                                    
unacceptable that  the primary ferries in  Cordova would not                                                                    
be  operating in  the fall.  She  reemphasized that  Cordova                                                                    
needed the ferry service and asked for full funding.                                                                            
4:04:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Ortiz asked Ms. Long  about the change in the                                                                    
AMHS service.                                                                                                                   
Ms. Long thought  the ideal service would be  comprised of a                                                                    
fast ferry  in the summer and  a slower ferry in  the winter                                                                    
months.  She spoke  to the  difficulty  of interruptions  in                                                                    
service. She mentioned the importance  of being able to plan                                                                    
things in  advance. There were  businesses dependent  on the                                                                    
ferry service.                                                                                                                  
4:07:20 PM                                                                                                                    
PETE   HOEPFNER,   CORDOVA   SCHOOL  BOARD,   CORDOVA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  favor of  education funding.  He                                                                    
spoke of  the need for  increased BSA funding.  He mentioned                                                                    
the fiscal  issues occurring  in small  cities. He  spoke of                                                                    
unfunded  mandates  such  as   school  safety  training.  He                                                                    
surmised that  the underfunding  is affecting  the education                                                                    
of  students.  He  thanked  members  for  their  efforts  in                                                                    
resolving the state's fiscal issue.                                                                                             
4:09:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MORGAN    JOHNSON,    CITY    OF   AMBLER,    AMBLER    (via                                                                    
teleconference),   advocated    for   community   assistance                                                                    
funding.  He thanked  the legislature  for its  work on  the                                                                    
supplemental  budget and  community assistance  funding. The                                                                    
village  was struggling  with existing  funding. Like  other                                                                    
villages,  Ambler  was suffering  for  lack  of funding.  He                                                                    
thanked the committee for its funding.                                                                                          
4:11:22 PM                                                                                                                    
HATTIE  KELLER, SELF,  NOME (via  teleconference), advocated                                                                    
for funding  for pre-kindergarten grants and  education. She                                                                    
detailed  that he  City of  Nome  funded 75  percent of  its                                                                    
school compared  to 100  percent in  Valdez. The  school was                                                                    
currently looking at  budget cuts and cuts  to teachers. She                                                                    
was looking  at increasing  the number of  Inupiaq immersion                                                                    
schools. She  spoke of the  importance of giving  children a                                                                    
good start in life.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair   Seaton   relayed   there   were   no   additional                                                                    
individuals signed up to testify.  The committee would break                                                                    
until 4:25 p.m.                                                                                                                 
4:13:06 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
4:26:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SUE  STEINACHER,  NOME  EMERGENCY SHELTER  TEAM,  NOME  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke  in   support  of   the  governor's                                                                    
proposed $18  million to  expand substance  abuse treatment.                                                                    
She  relayed a  personal  story related  to her  affiliation                                                                    
with  the  Nome  Emergency  Shelter Team.  She  spoke  of  a                                                                    
patient  coming  out  of treatment  into  homelessness.  She                                                                    
recently   died  from   acute   alcoholism.  She   supported                                                                    
continued investment in treatment  followed by an investment                                                                    
of  housing   and  case   management.  She   emphasized  the                                                                    
importance of the governor's proposed  funding for the items                                                                    
in addition to treatment.                                                                                                       
4:30:01 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
4:30:43 PM                                                                                                                    
RUTHIE   KNIGHT,   CITY   OF  VALDEZ/PWSEDD,   VALDEZ   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  She  advocated  for full  funding  of  the                                                                    
Alaska  Marine Highway  System. Although  Valdez had  access                                                                    
via  road, air,  and  ferry, better  ferry  service lead  to                                                                    
greater  economic  development.  She suggested  placing  the                                                                    
funding in the fast track  supplemental bill. She noted that                                                                    
there  was significant  support  for  an additional  revenue                                                                    
stream including an income tax.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Seaton  remarked that money  was in the  fast track                                                                    
supplemental bill  which would be  voted on the  House Floor                                                                    
shortly. He  reported that there were  no testifiers online.                                                                    
The committee would  break for 5 minutes, at  which time, if                                                                    
there  was no  one else  online, the  committee would  break                                                                    
until 5:00 p.m.                                                                                                                 
4:33:55 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
4:39:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton indicated  no  one was  online to  testify;                                                                    
therefore, the meeting would stand at ease until 5:00 p.m.                                                                      
4:39:30 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
5:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  OXEREOK,   BERING  SEA   ELDERS  GROUP,   WALES  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke about the high  cost of living in the                                                                    
area. He  shared that  recently the  community had  lost two                                                                    
young people  to suicide.  The village  had no  resources to                                                                    
help  families  that had  been  impacted.  He detailed  that                                                                    
resources  that  could  help   young  people  were  next  to                                                                    
nothing.  He  furthered that  older  children  had no  after                                                                    
school activities.  He stressed  that the young  people were                                                                    
the future  of the community.  He stated that  the community                                                                    
had  lost a  generation  of young  people  primarily due  to                                                                    
illegal marijuana  sales - there were  two marijuana dealers                                                                    
operating openly because  of a lack of law  enforcement.  He                                                                    
was  concerned  about the  young  people  in the  community.                                                                    
There was no law enforcement  in the region. He relayed that                                                                    
99  percent  of  the  households in  the  region  did  their                                                                    
laundry at a  laundry mat that needed  replacement pumps. He                                                                    
explained   that  the   community   had  a   high  cost   of                                                                    
construction.  The  community  had a  honey  bucket  system.                                                                    
There was a  lack of jobs in the community.  He wondered how                                                                    
some people in the community survived.                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Seaton conveyed  condolences for  the loss  of the                                                                    
young people in the community.                                                                                                  
5:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM LAKOSH, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), asked the                                                                    
legislature  to make  it clear  that the  governor or  court                                                                    
could not  use veto to  change what  had been passed  by the                                                                    
legislature pertaining  to the  Permanent Fund  Dividend. He                                                                    
believed the  state's supreme court had  errored in allowing                                                                    
the governor  to use  a line item  veto to  change statutory                                                                    
language pertaining to distribution  of the PFD. He believed                                                                    
$1,000 had been stolen from  residents two years earlier. He                                                                    
believed the bill's language was  binding on the corporation                                                                    
unless amended in statute.                                                                                                      
5:11:16 PM                                                                                                                    
IDA  NELSON,  SELF,  IGIUGIG (via  teleconference),  was  in                                                                    
support  of  adding  funds   for  pretrial  officers,  state                                                                    
troopers,  and Village  Public Safety  Officers (VPSO).  She                                                                    
supported an  increase to the  BSA. She did not  believe the                                                                    
fisheries budget  needed any further  cuts. She  shared that                                                                    
the  Lake   and  Peninsula   School  District   had  already                                                                    
shortened its school  year by four weeks to  save money. She                                                                    
stressed  that the  district  could not  afford  to cut  two                                                                    
additional weeks  of school. The  funding that had  been cut                                                                    
had  already  dramatically  impacted predictions  of  salmon                                                                    
returns because they no longer had the data.                                                                                    
5:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM  PHILIPS, SELF,  HAINES (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  support   of  Parents  as  Teachers.   She  thanked  the                                                                    
committee for  its past support.  She provided  detail about                                                                    
her work  as a parent  educator. The program had  received a                                                                    
superb  rating.  She shared  that  she  had observed  parent                                                                    
educators - the program built  on family strengths. She gave                                                                    
further  detail  about  the benefits  of  the  program.  She                                                                    
underscored  the   value  of  the  program   that  supported                                                                    
families.   Group  activities   were  provided   to  prevent                                                                    
children  from   being  isolated.  The   program  encouraged                                                                    
parents to take an active role in their children's lives.                                                                       
5:17:54 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  ALLEN,  RURAL  CAP, HAINES  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in favor  of  funding for  Parents  as Teachers.  She                                                                    
thanked the  committee for  support it  had provided  to the                                                                    
program.  She  emphasized  the value  of  the  program.  She                                                                    
stressed the  importance of investing in  young children and                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  relayed  that the  committee  would  break                                                                    
until  5:30 p.m.  and would  adjourn at  that time  if there                                                                    
were no additional callers.                                                                                                     
5:19:30 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
5:29:59 PM                                                                                                                    
EVELYNN TREFON, SELF, NEW  HALEN (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of education funding.  She wanted her daughter to                                                                    
have all the educational  opportunities she had. She relayed                                                                    
that fisheries  management had  not been  adequately managed                                                                    
in the  area. She stated that  if funding had been  in place                                                                    
ahead  of  time  the  fish  would  have  been  counted.  She                                                                    
implored the  committee to fund  the Department of  Fish and                                                                    
Game in full. She asked  the committee to fund public safety                                                                    
and  troopers. She  discussed the  lack of  troopers due  to                                                                    
budget cuts. She  often felt that unless  someone was killed                                                                    
a trooper could not come  to the village. She encouraged the                                                                    
committee  to protect  community assistance  and Power  Cost                                                                    
Equalization.  She  did  not support  special  sessions  and                                                                    
encouraged the  legislature to  do its work  within a  90 to                                                                    
5:33:05 PM                                                                                                                    
HB  285  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
HB  286  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton reviewed  the  schedule  for the  following                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 286 DOC Response Q Pre-trial EM locations.pdf HFIN 3/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 286
HB 286 Supporting Document STEM Program.pdf HFIN 3/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 286
HB 286 OpBudget3.2.18 Public Testimony emails letters .pdf HFIN 3/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 286