Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS 519

03/05/2020 09:00 AM House FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 15 Minutes Following Session --
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 186 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
HOUSE BILL NO. 197                                                                                                            
     "An  Act extending  the Alaska  Seismic Hazards  Safety                                                                    
     Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
10:29:34 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK, BILL SPONSOR, introduced the                                                                         
bill with a prepared statement:                                                                                                 
     Thank  you for  hearing House  Bill 197  to extend  the                                                                    
     Alaska  Seismic Hazards  Safety Commission.  As we  all                                                                    
     know,  Alaska is  one of  the  most seismically  active                                                                    
     regions  on earth  with  a history  of  very large  and                                                                    
     damaging earthquakes.                                                                                                      
     In  January,  the  Alaska Earthquake  Center  issued  a                                                                    
     summary  of Alaska's  seismic  activity  in 2019.  (The                                                                    
     report is in your packet).                                                                                                 
     Alaska experienced 50,289 earthquakes in 2019.                                                                             
         2nd most in Alaska's history.                                                                                       
         So far this year, there have been 7,050                                                                             
     The State  of Alaska  has worked diligently  to prepare                                                                    
     for  future earthquakes  to ensure  the  safety of  our                                                                    
     people and our infrastructure.                                                                                             
     As  part of  this work,  the state  created the  Alaska                                                                    
     Seismic  Hazards   Safety  Commission  in   2001.  This                                                                    
     Commission  provides   recommendations  on   goals  and                                                                    
     priorities  to  mitigate   seismic  hazards  in  Alaska                                                                    
         Gathering and disseminating information on how to                                                                   
          reduce Alaska's vulnerability to earthquakes; and                                                                     
         Reviewing earthquake recovery and reconstruction                                                                    
          efforts to make recommendations to improve these                                                                      
     The commission is made up  of volunteer experts and key                                                                    
     government    officials   to    "provide   advice    to                                                                    
     policymakers  on  disaster   preparedness  and  seismic                                                                    
     hazard mitigation."                                                                                                        
         The commission is  staffed by  the  Division  of                                                                    
          Geological and Geophysical Surveys.                                                                                   
         The Director of the Division, Steve Masterman, is                                                                   
          on the line if you have any questions.                                                                                
         The latest annual report for the  commission was                                                                    
          included in your bill packet.                                                                                         
         House Bill 197 would extend  the Alaska  Seismic                                                                    
          Hazards Safety Commission through June 30, 2028.                                                                      
         The bill includes  an immediate  effective  date                                                                    
          because the current authorization expires at the                                                                      
          end of this June.                                                                                                     
         A recent audit  of  the  commission  included  a                                                                    
          specific recommendation to extend the commission                                                                      
          until 2028.                                                                                                           
         Kris Curtis, the  legislative auditor,  will  go                                                                    
          through the results of the audit.                                                                                     
         In conclusion,    Alaska   is    threatened   by                                                                    
          earthquakes 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.                                                                            
         The Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission has                                                                    
          played a key role in preparing the public and                                                                         
          private sectors for future earthquakes.                                                                               
         With the passage of House  Bill  197 that  vital                                                                    
          work can continue.                                                                                                    
10:33:07 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Johnston asked to hear a sectional analysis.                                                                           
MIKE MASON,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK,  provided the                                                                    
sectional analysis.  The bill would  amend AS  44.66.010 and                                                                    
change the sunset date from June  30, 2020 to June 30, 2028.                                                                    
The act would take place immediately.                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Johnston  asked  to  hear  from  the  Division  of                                                                    
Legislative Audit.                                                                                                              
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT, referenced  the audit  titled "A  Sunset                                                                    
Review  of  the  Department  of  Natural  Resources,  Alaska                                                                    
Seismic  Hazards Safety  Commission," dated  March 15,  2019                                                                    
(copy on file). She reminded  the committee that the purpose                                                                    
of  a sunset  audit  was  to determine  whether  a board  or                                                                    
commission was serving the publics'  interest and whether it                                                                    
should be extended. The audit  found there continued to be a                                                                    
public   policy   need   for  the   commission's   continued                                                                    
existence.   The  audit   findings  recommended   a  maximum                                                                    
extension  of  eight years.  She  turned  to a  schedule  of                                                                    
expenditures on  page 9 of  the audit. The audit  found that                                                                    
the commission was  a fairly low cost way  of leveraging the                                                                    
volunteer    expertise.   She    elaborated   that    annual                                                                    
expenditures ranged from  over just over $3,500  per year to                                                                    
just over $13,000.                                                                                                              
Ms.  Curtis   turned  to  a  summary   of  the  commission's                                                                    
activities during the audit period  on page 12. The schedule                                                                    
showed the commission to be  very active. She pointed to the                                                                    
third bullet under Strategic Plan  Goal 2 and explained that                                                                    
during  the  audit  period   the  commission  helped  secure                                                                    
Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) grants that were                                                                    
used by  school districts  to assess the  vulnerabilities of                                                                    
school  buildings  susceptible   to  significant  structural                                                                    
damage  during an  earthquake. The  number of  the buildings                                                                    
and specific  locations were  listed at  the bottom  of page                                                                    
Ms. Curtis relayed that the  audit had also reviewed how the                                                                    
commission  helped  respond  to   the  major  earthquake  in                                                                    
November  2018.  She  directed  attention  to  page  14  and                                                                    
highlighted  that   after  the  earthquake   the  commission                                                                    
provided a  list of certified evaluators  who had assessment                                                                    
training to  assist with inspecting  structures. A  total of                                                                    
11  volunteers had  assisted with  damage assessments,  8 of                                                                    
which had completed training sponsored  by the commission in                                                                    
September  2018.  Additionally, several  commission  members                                                                    
helped  with damage  assessments  by  working directly  with                                                                    
state agencies.  The audit recognized that  FEMA reached out                                                                    
to  the commission  after the  earthquake and  requested its                                                                    
assistance  in  generating  a   damage  report  with  future                                                                    
recommendations for preparedness.                                                                                               
Ms.  Curtis  reported  that the  audit  had  identified  two                                                                    
administrative  improvements, which  began on  page 16.  The                                                                    
audit   recommended  that   the  commission   chair  ensures                                                                    
procedures  were  implemented  to  publish  meeting  notices                                                                    
timely  and  accurately.  She  detailed  that  auditors  had                                                                    
tested  25  meetings  during  the audit  period,  5  of  the                                                                    
meetings  were  not public  noticed  or  not public  noticed                                                                    
timely. Second,  the audit recommended the  commission chair                                                                    
ensure  the  strategic  plan  was  updated  to  reflect  the                                                                    
current goals and priorities based on experience (page 17).                                                                     
Ms. Curtis  reported that  responses to  the audit  began on                                                                    
page  27.  The commissioner  of  the  Department of  Natural                                                                    
Resources and  the chair of  the commission agreed  with the                                                                    
findings and recommendations and  corrective action had been                                                                    
HB  197  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 230 Administrative Process for Intensive Management 2.17.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230
HB 186 DOT Response to HFIN 030320.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 186
HB 223
HB197 Supporting Document-Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission Audit.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document-ASHSC 2018 Annual Report.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Additional Documents-2019 Alaska Seismicity Summary 2.01.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Sponsor Statement 1.22.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB 230 Hunting License Surcharge Revenue CY17-CY19 2.4.2020.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB 230 IM FY 19 Activities and Spending 2.7.2020.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB 230 IM Species Determinations 12.17.2019.jpg HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/7/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB 230 Testimony Received by 2.18.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230
HB 230 IM FY 18 Activities and Spending 2.11.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230
HB 230 Administrative Process for Intensive Management 2.17.20.pdf HFIN 3/5/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 230