Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/03/1994 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 400 - PFD ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS                                      
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened discussion on HB 400 and introduced                    
  REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN.                                                    
  Number 257                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, sponsor of HB 400, stated MELINDA                  
  GREENING from his staff, was available to present HB 400 to                  
  the committee.                                                               
  Number 260                                                                   
  an overview of HB 400.  She said HB 400 was prepared because                 
  of complaints received from constituents regarding the                       
  length of time to process PFD appeals.  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN                 
  felt the length of time some of his constituents have had to                 
  wait in the appeals process was unacceptable.  The length of                 
  time to process appeals is directly related to the high                      
  number of appeals received.  She stated, HB 400 addresses                    
  the huge number of appeals filed.  As of January 1, 1994,                    
  there were 9,579 appeals pending, the highest number since                   
  the PFD program's inception.  She knew of one District 10                    
  resident who has waited 18 months and others may have waited                 
  longer.  Currently there are ten permanent full-time                         
  employees in the PFD Division and three appeals officers, in                 
  the commissioners' office, who are working on processing the                 
  appeals.  Because there is no cost to appeal, other than .29                 
  cents for a stamp, people who are clearly unqualified                        
  protest their denials because they have the opportunity to                   
  do so at no cost or risk to themselves.  The 1994 denial                     
  rate was 64 percent, lower than in previous years.                           
  MS. GREENING said HB 400 would implement a $25 filing fee                    
  for individuals protesting the denial of their permanent                     
  fund appeal application.  The fee would be refundable if the                 
  appeal is successful, and nonrefundable if the denial is not                 
  overturned.  She said it is anticipated the implementation                   
  of a filing fee would discourage individuals clearly                         
  unqualified from appealing, thereby reducing costs, which                    
  are deducted from the amount of the dividend, and making the                 
  appeal process shorter for those with legitimate claims.                     
  Since the administrative costs are deducted out of each                      
  recipients PFD check, the reduced cost would mean a larger                   
  check for each eligible Alaskan.                                             
  Number 314                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY heard no questions and asked the pleasure of                  
  the committee.                                                               
  Number 317                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS moved to pass HB 400 from committee                  
  with individual recommendations.                                             
  Number 319                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY recognized the motion, the secretary called                   
  the roll, and HB 400 passed from the House State Affairs                     
  Committee with individual recommendations.                                   

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