Legislature(2005 - 2006)FBX LIO Conf Rm
04/08/2005 09:00 AM FINANCE
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
10:35:31 AM SENATE BILL NO. 155 "An Act making appropriations from the earnings reserve account for construction of an integrated science complex at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, for replacement of the virology laboratory in Fairbanks, for expansion of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, for the major maintenance grant fund, and for other capital projects related to education; and providing for an effective date." This was the first hearing for this bill in the Senate Finance Committee. SENATOR BEN STEVENS, Sponsor of the bill, indicated a proposed committee substitute was distributed. Co-Chair Wilken moved for adoption of CS SB 155, 24-LS0687\S, as a working document. Co-Chair Green objected for discussion purposes. 10:36:53 AM Senator B. Stevens explained the committee substitute inserted a $1.1 million appropriation for the completion of the Delta Elementary School to address population growth resulting from the expansion of Fort Greely. The majority of the funding for this project has been received as federal "impact money". Senator B. Stevens also noted language inserted on page3, line 21 to provide "design and construction" for the University of Alaska for additions to the Matanuska-Susitna campus. 10:37:44 AM Senator Bunde asked if the Department of Education and Early Development provided the list of all the projects contained in this legislation as recommended projects. 10:38:15 AM Senator B. Stevens replied that the list of projects included in Section 2 of the bill was assembled "mainly at the indulgence of the members" and were "pulled off the current capital improvement projects list." 10:38:36 AM Senator Bunde asked if the Delta Elementary School project was included in the list. 10:38:43 AM Senator B. Stevens was unsure, noting the local borough government submitted a request for these funds. He offered to distribute the written request. 10:39:11 AM Senator Bunde understood the project was included in the capital improvement projects list. 10:39:17 AM Co-Chair Green removed her objection and the committee substitute was ADOPTED without further objection. 10:39:45 AM Amendment #1: This amendment inserts a new bill section on page 1 following line 6 of the committee substitute to read as follows. Section 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT FOR SECTIONS 2 AND 3. It is the intent of the legislature that schools funded under secs. 2 and 3 of this Act be adequately maintained and that the Department of Education and Early Development enforce the preventative maintenance plan requirements of AS 14.11.011(b)(1) and (4). Co-Chair Wilken moved for adoption and objected for clarification. Co-Chair Wilken offered a motion to amend the amendment to delete "and (4)" indicating the amended language was technically correct. 10:41:47 AM Co-Chair Green recalled the Committee discussed this matter in a previous session in response to the findings of a deferred maintenance task force. There was no objection and the amendment was AMENDED. 10:42:04 AM Without objection the amended amendment was ADOPTED. 10:42:44 AM Amendment #3: This conceptual amendment deletes the $10,858,662 appropriation for Glennallen Elementary School improvement in REAA 17, Copper River School District on page 2, lines 27 and 28 and the $1,100,000 appropriation for Delta Elementary School Completion in REAA 15, Delta/Greely School District. Co-Chair Wilken moved for adoption and objected to the motion for clarification. Co-Chair Wilken remarked that the two projects identified in this amendment are unique in that they are located in Regional Education Attendance Areas (REAA). He "took great exception" to this grant process that is offered to "folks who don't pay their fair share." Residents of the community of Fairbanks contribute $20 million "to have the privilege of getting State money", Anchorage residents pay $70 million this year for their schools, and Wasilla residents contribute almost $14 million. Residents of the Copper River, Delta and Greely areas are "paying nothing", although both communities have that capacity. State funding for these projects furthers the argument that local governance is not in the best interest of these residents. The State should not continue to "throw money at folks that will not realize their personal responsibilities." Co-Chair Green and Senator Hoffman objected to the adoption of the amendment. 10:44:25 AM Senator B. Stevens remarked that as sponsor of the bill, he hoped that the amendment would not be accepted. The amendment sponsor had made valid points, which he expected would be addressed in other pending legislation. 10:44:52 AM Senator Bunde agreed that SB 112 might address Co-Chair Wilken's concerns. A roll call was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Senator Bunde, Co-Chair Wilken OPPOSED: Senator Stedman, Senator Hoffman, Senator Olson, Co-Chair Green ABSENT: Senator Dyson The motion FAILED (2-4-1) The amendment FAILED to be adopted. 10:45:52 AM Amendment #2: This amendment inserts a $6,200,000 appropriation for Noatak School Relocation for the Northwest Arctic Borough on page 2, line 7. Senator Olson moved for adoption. Senator Bunde objected. Senator Olson explained that the Noatak School is currently 200 percent over its capacity and is projected to have 320 percent over capacity in five years. In addition, SB 142, sponsored by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee relates to lands surrounding the school. He distributed a map, which shows that the current location of the school is infringing on the aviation clearance area according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety regulations. The intent is to relocate the school. 10:47:09 AM Co-Chair Green asked if the future location of the school is indicated on the map. 10:47:15 AM Senator Olson answered it is not. 10:47:17 AM Senator Bunde commented that the school would be located in the Northwest Arctic Borough, and asked if the residents of that jurisdiction contribute to their education funding. 10:47:33 AM Senator Olson replied they do contribute. 10:47:37 AM Co-Chair Wilken affirmed. AT EASE 10:48:17 AM / 10:49:07 AM Amendment #4: This amendment deletes the $10 million appropriation for the Kodiak College in Section 2 on page 2, lines 16 - 18 and inserts similar language in Section 4. UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA., on page 3, following line 25 to read as follows. (g) The sum of $10,000,000 is appropriated from the earnings reserve account (AS 37.13.145) to the University of Alaska for Kodiak College vocational technology addition phase I. Accompanying explanatory language reads as follows. This corrects an error in placement of the project. It should have been included under the University section. Co-Chair Green moved for adoption. 10:49:55 AM Senator B. Stevens outlined the amendment. He stated that the funds should be appropriated to the University rather than the Kodiak Island Borough. Co-Chair Green asked if the local school district is involved with this project. Senator B. Stevens responded that only the University is involved. Co-Chair Green noted that at times, local school districts are involved in projects in conjunction with the University. The amendment was ADOPTED without objection. 10:51:11 AM Co-Chair Wilken asked if at any time every project included in the major maintenance list has been completed. 10:51:48 AM EDDY JEANS, Director, School Finance Division, Department of Education and Early Development, testified he was not aware of the list ever "going to zero". Co-Chair Wilken asked the length of time some projects have been included in the list awaiting action. Mr. Jeans replied that a number of the projects have been on the list for over five years. 10:52:32 AM Co-Chair Wilken offered a motion to report CS SB 155, 24-LS0687\S, as amended from Committee with individual recommendations. There was no objection and CS SB 155 (FIN) MOVED from Committee.