Legislature(2005 - 2006)

05/02/2005 10:36 AM FIN

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     SENATE BILL NO. 46                                                                                                         
     "An Act making capital appropriations and appropriations to                                                                
      capitalize funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                   
This  bill  had  previously   been  heard  in  the  Senate   Finance                                                            
GINGER BLAISDELL,  Staff to Co-Chair Green, prefaced  her remarks by                                                            
stating  that  the committee  substitute  work  draft,  Version  24-                                                            
GS1074\F,  being  explained  would require  additional  amending  to                                                            
correct  spelling and other  errors. Requests  from Legislators  are                                                            
continuing to be incorporated.                                                                                                  
Ms. Blaisdell  stated that  the first 72 pages  of Version  "F" list                                                            
"standard"  capital budget projects,  broken out by agency.  Sec. 4,                                                            
page 73 through  page 88, would address  the projects that  are also                                                            
included  in SB 155-APPROP:  SCHOOLS/UNIV/VIROLOGY  LAB/MUSEUM.  The                                                            
introductory  language in SB 46 specifies  that were SB 155  to fail                                                            
passage,  the projects  included  in that  bill would  be funded  by                                                            
general  funds  (GF) rather  than  by the  Permanent  Fund  Earnings                                                            
Reserve Account  as specified  in SB 155.  She pointed out  that the                                                            
lone difference  between the language  in SB 155 and that  of Sec. 4                                                            
is that  SB 155  has a "general  appropriation  of $141,000,000  for                                                            
school maintenance projects",  whereas SB 46 identifies each project                                                            
by school name.                                                                                                                 
2:17:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green stated  that that  would account  for the number  of                                                            
pages in the section. This  detailed information would be helpful to                                                            
2:18:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell  stated that  the list includes  each school  that was                                                            
identified  on the Department of Education  and Early Development's                                                             
maintenance  list. A few other school  projects were also  included.                                                            
Ms. Blaisdell  noted  that Sec.  6 on  page 89  would address  those                                                            
projects that  would funded by the interest earnings  of the Amerada                                                            
Hess Fund in the Permanent  Fund via the Alaska Capital Income Fund.                                                            
There  would be  a few  corrections  to this  list, as  it had  been                                                            
developed from an older list version.                                                                                           
2:18:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell commented  that the majority of the projects in Sec. 6                                                            
were  included   in  Governor   Frank   Murkowski's  transportation                                                             
initiatives and Roads to Resources endeavor.                                                                                    
2:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell  stated  that Sec.  7 on  page 89  contains  "standard                                                            
language" that  is included in every capital bill.  It would include                                                            
such things  as federal  program receipts.  This section would  also                                                            
include  language  pertaining   to projects   that  were  originally                                                            
included in SB 97-SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS/CBR.                                                                              
Ms. Blaisdell  pointed out that the  Alaska Gas Pipeline  project is                                                            
included in  the bill on page 94.  That project had been  previously                                                            
vetoed in the Fast Track Supplemental bill.                                                                                     
2:20:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell  continued that Reappropriations, which  are listed by                                                            
House District, are included  in Sec. 36 beginning on page 104. Most                                                            
of these were projects  that were "highlighted" to Committee Members                                                            
by the Department  of Commerce, Community and Economic  Development.                                                            
2:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  conveyed that that is the traditional  procedure for                                                            
any money that has not been utilized.                                                                                           
2:20:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell  stated that  a reappropriation  could consist  of any                                                            
money that  had been appropriated  in an earlier fiscal year  and is                                                            
being reappropriated  into a following fiscal year.  The funds could                                                            
be reappropriated to support  an entirely different use. These funds                                                            
could  include such  things  as extended  lapse  dates  or scope  of                                                            
project changes.                                                                                                                
2:21:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green communicated  that the reappropriation projects would                                                            
provide for projects  "across the State and every  district probably                                                            
has something  going …" either at  the request of the district  or a                                                            
2:21:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Blaisdell  mentioned  that  the  projects  prefaced  by  "House                                                            
District  are typically"  advanced  by the Department  of  Commerce,                                                            
Community and Economic Development.                                                                                             
2:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell  communicated that a  few projects that were  included                                                            
in the  Supplemental  Bill are  provided for  in the Appropriations                                                             
sections of the bill.                                                                                                           
2:22:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Blaisdell stated  that  the final  pages  of the  bill  contain                                                            
contingency language  to the effect of specifying  that, were SB 155                                                            
to fail, money  for the projects in that bill would  be provided for                                                            
through  this bill.  In other  words, language  in  this bill  would                                                            
negate duplication  of funding  those projects  specified in  SB 155                                                            
were SB 155 to pass. Similar  language is included in regards to the                                                            
Amerada Hess Capital Income Fund projects.                                                                                      
2:22:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Blaisdell concluded  her  testimony  by specifying  that  lapse                                                            
dates and effective dates  are included in the final sections of the                                                            
2:22:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green pointed out  that, other than  the inclusion  of the                                                            
Amerada  Hess  interest   earning  projects,  this   bill  would  be                                                            
characterized  as a typical  capital budget  bill in regards  to its                                                            
fund sources.                                                                                                                   
2:22:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Blaisdell concurred.  Efforts  were made  to  provide a  fairly                                                            
traditionally  formatted bill. "Past  precedence" was adhered  to as                                                            
much as possible.                                                                                                               
2:23:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green asked whether  some of the items she had mentioned in                                                            
her initial review of Version "F" had been altered.                                                                             
2:23:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell  clarified that the  contents of Version "F"  have not                                                            
been changed. The work  draft does contain some typographical errors                                                            
and incorrect  numbers; corrections  are being made and a  corrected                                                            
committee substitute would be provided.                                                                                         
2:23:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green asked Members  to communicate  any corrections  they                                                            
might find to Ms. Blaisdell.                                                                                                    
Ms. Blaisdell expressed  that she had identified ten items requiring                                                            
corrections.  In addition,  the Division of  Legislative Finance  is                                                            
addressing changes relating to Legislators' requests.                                                                           
2:24:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Hoffman  asked whether  a  capital  budget total  has  been                                                            
Co-Chair Green replied that a total has not yet been determined.                                                                
2:24:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dyson  asked regarding language  in Sec. 12, page  91, lines                                                            
12 and 13.                                                                                                                      
2:25:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green responded  that that language  is standard  in every                                                            
piece of legislation  pertaining to marine vessels;  specifically it                                                            
would allow for vessel retrofitting.                                                                                            
2:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dyson asked  whether  that  language could  be  used as  "a                                                            
2:26:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green replied "absolutely".                                                                                            
2:26:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Blaisdell  stated  that  the  language  in  question  typically                                                            
pertains to Department  of Public Safety and Department  of Fish and                                                            
Game vessels.  She noted that "the  average amount for the  sale and                                                            
resale" of those vessels is $250,000 to $300,000 per year.                                                                      
2:26:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson asked the reason that this loophole is not closed.                                                                
2:26:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green responded that  with a fleet,  over the course  of a                                                            
year, it might  be necessary to discard  and/or sell parts.  Some of                                                            
the resulting  income  might be  used to rehabilitate  or  refurbish                                                            
another vessel, airplane,  or helicopter in the fleet. This language                                                            
is the traditional language  in this regard. She stated that Senator                                                            
Olson, being an airplane owner, would understand this.                                                                          
2:27:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson voiced being  aware of the issue. However, his concern                                                            
is that,  as aircraft are  sold and new  ones bought, the  situation                                                            
builds  on itself.  This  is  evidenced  by the  request  for a  new                                                            
hangar. That hanger  would be filled, and then another  hangar would                                                            
be required. He disagreed with such progression.                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  asked whether the concern is in regards  to the fact                                                            
that increasing the number  of aircraft in the fleet would require a                                                            
Senator Olson  stated that his concern  pertained to the  Department                                                            
of  Public  Safety  request for  a  hangar  that  was in  excess  of                                                            
$6,000,000.  That hangar  would be  filled and  then another  hangar                                                            
would be requested. This cycle would continue to escalate.                                                                      
Co-Chair Green  asked whether Senator  Olson had observed  a request                                                            
for a six million dollar hangar in this legislation.                                                                            
Senator Olson  responded that  his concern  is to "the mentality  on                                                            
that absurd request".                                                                                                           
2:28:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green   reiterated  that  the  language   in  question  is                                                            
identical  to  that  of previous   bills. It  would  allow  for  the                                                            
continuance  of efforts.  To that  point, she stated  that it  would                                                            
also support  the efforts  being exerted  by the Governor  Murkowski                                                            
Administration  in regards  to reducing the  number of aircraft  and                                                            
marine vessels  in State operations. Some would argue  that there is                                                            
an insufficient  number of  aircraft and  vessels in State  service.                                                            
Others would argue that there are too many.                                                                                     
2:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green  asked  whether  there   were  any  other  Committee                                                            
questions or concerns. None were forthcoming.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green  reiterated that a new committee substitute  is being                                                            
2:29:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Blaisdell  specified  the  timeframe  in  which  Members  could                                                            
communicate any "technical  corrections" to her. Members' amendments                                                            
that might incur significant  changes to the bill could be developed                                                            
with the assistance  of Members' own  staff or with the Division  of                                                            
Legislative Legal and Research.                                                                                                 
2:30:11 PM                                                                                                                    
The bill was HELD in Committee.                                                                                                 
2:30:27 PM                                                                                                                    

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