Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/26/1996 03:04 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 506 - UNIVERSITY FIRE FIGHTING PROGRAM                                   
 Number 963                                                                    
 TOM ACKERLY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative           
 Mike Navarre, said that HB 506 attempts to make a separate entity             
 out of the Mining and Petroleum Training Service (MAPTS) which is             
 currently a university program.  The purpose of doing that is to              
 ensure that its funding is secure and not used by other parts of              
 the university program.  In several past sessions there have been             
 stipulations on the university budget that MAPTS would be able to             
 keep at least $150,000 of the money it makes during the course of             
 the year for the purpose of improving its program and keeping it a            
 state of the art program.  Another part of this is they not only              
 need the carry forward ability, but they also need the ability to             
 accumulate funds because some years they may need $50,000 while in            
 other years they may need $200,000.  Representative Navarre was               
 hopeful that through legislative efforts, MAPTS could be made a               
 stand alone, autonomous program still affiliated with the                     
 university, but ensure its perpetual funding.                                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Marylou Burton to present the university's               
 position on HB 506.                                                           
 Number 1083                                                                   
 MARYLOU BURTON, Director of Statewide Budget, University of Alaska            
 Statewide, said the university is neutral on HB 506.  It doesn't              
 appear to expand the university's existing authority to run an                
 effective MAPTS program.  However, the university is supportive of            
 Representative Navarre's intent which they believe is to encourage            
 the industry to support instate training and instate facilities to            
 conduct that training.  The university has no stand on the bill               
 beyond that.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if the MAPTS program collects fees?                     
 MS. BURTON responded affirmatively.                                           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if the fees go into the university budget?              
 MS. BURTON replied yes.                                                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if that gave the MAPTS program some degree of           
 comfort they would be there forever?                                          
 MS. BURTON suspected this bill would give some comfort.  On the               
 other hand, to her knowledge the fees that are collected relative             
 to this program go right into the program.  For example, the                  
 program last year was subsidized with general funds; the amount               
 that was collected relative to the program went into the program,             
 and the university put in approximately another $300,000 last year.           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she would like some assurance that the                   
 university was aware of the program and would indeed continue to              
 fund the program.                                                             
 MS. BURTON said it was her assumption the university would continue           
 to fund the program.                                                          
 Number 1158                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thought this legislation gave a comfort level            
 to the MAPTS program as to their ability to plan.  The                        
 opportunities are becoming more and more abundant as to who they              
 can draw from; their training is becoming necessary worldwide and             
 they've gained the reputation of being able to provide a service.             
 He added that if there is a competitive spirit among the                      
 university, then the best proposal wins.                                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was further testimony.  Hearing none,           
 public testimony was closed.                                                  
 Number 1225                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to pass HB 506 out of committee with            
 individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.  Hearing            
 no objection, it was so ordered.                                              

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