Legislature(2013 - 2014)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/22/2013 09:00 AM FINANCE


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Audio Topic
09:04:31 AM Start
09:06:05 AM HB65 || HB66
11:22:54 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 65 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 66 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Statewide Public Testimony TELECONFERENCED
(Public testimony may be limited to no more than
3 minutes)
9:00 am Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Unalaska
9:30 am Barrow, Tok, Delta Junction
10:00 am Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg
10:30 am Sitka, Cordova, Valdez
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 65(FIN)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain  programs,   capitalizing  funds,   and  making                                                                    
     reappropriations;  and   providing  for   an  effective                                                                    
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 66(FIN)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive  mental  health   program  and  making  a                                                                    
     reappropriation; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly  discussed  that  public  testimony  on  the                                                                    
operating and  mental health budgets  would be  heard during                                                                    
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:06:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETHEL,  NOME,   KOTZEBUE,  UNALASKA,  BARROW,   TOK,  DELTA                                                                  
JUNCTION                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETSY  BRENNAN,  PRESIDENT,  NOME SCHOOL  BOARD,  NOME  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support of education.  She stated                                                                    
that the goal  of public education was to  help all students                                                                    
to  learn, grow,  and develop.  She  stressed that  students                                                                    
were  the state's  future. She  was proud  of the  education                                                                    
students  in  the  district  received.   She  pointed  to  a                                                                    
decrease in  the district's dropout rate  and increased Work                                                                    
Keys  results. She  emphasized that  Pre-K programs  offered                                                                    
needed preparation  for students  prior to their  entry into                                                                    
the school  system. She  emphasized that  a loss  of funding                                                                    
for  Pre-K  would  significantly  harm  Nome  students.  She                                                                    
relayed that operating costs had continued to increase.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:03 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:11:14 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:12:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SANDY  SOLENBERGER,  VOLUNTEER, IMAGINATION  LIBRARY,  NORTH                                                                    
SLOPE, BARROW (via teleconference),  spoke in support of the                                                                    
Best Beginnings  program. She  shared that  a free  book was                                                                    
sent  to  approximately 85  percent  of  kids on  the  North                                                                    
Slope. She explained that it  was difficult to get books for                                                                    
children  in   remote  villages.  She  stressed   that  Best                                                                    
Beginnings  had enabled  parents to  take action  to improve                                                                    
their  children's  learning  environment.  She  shared  that                                                                    
books provided  by the program  to children  were treasured.                                                                    
She  highlighted that  the key  to success  was the  ongoing                                                                    
organization   and   training   for   volunteers   by   Best                                                                    
Beginnings. She  pointed to  the success of  a DVD  that had                                                                    
been released by  the program that demonstrated  how to help                                                                    
brain  development   in  young   children.  She   asked  the                                                                    
committee  to restore  the Best  Beginnings  and Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers programs to the governor's proposed level.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:16:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SALLY  RUSSELL, ASSISTANT  DIRECTOR,  UAF KUSKOKWIM  CAMPUS,                                                                    
BETHEL  (via teleconference),  testified in  support of  the                                                                    
therapeutic court program primarily  based on public safety.                                                                    
She  discussed accidents  related to  drinking and  driving;                                                                    
individuals  many  times did  not  intend  to hurt  or  kill                                                                    
another person.  She emphasized  that some  individuals used                                                                    
the  therapeutic programs  to  change their  lives and  deal                                                                    
with  addiction  problems;  the programs  provided  valuable                                                                    
tools for individuals.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly explained  that  money  for the  therapeutic                                                                    
court  program was  included in  the Senate  version of  the                                                                    
operating budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:19:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE  TEAGUE,   PARENT,  TOK  (via   teleconference),  urged                                                                    
support for  early childhood education and  development. She                                                                    
discussed  preparation  for  her  daughter's  next  learning                                                                    
environment. She supported the  Parents as Teachers program.                                                                    
She pointed to  the value of the experience  for children in                                                                    
the community.  Supporting children  at an early  age helped                                                                    
with  their   development.  She  urged  support   for  early                                                                    
education programs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:23:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TODD POAGE, SUPERINTENDENT,  ALASKA GATEWAY SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                    
TOK  (via teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  education                                                                    
funding.  He  provided  a brief  background  of  the  school                                                                    
district. He  discussed initiatives the school  district had                                                                    
implemented  to   enhance  student   learning  opportunities                                                                    
including  preschool programs,  reinstatement  of music  and                                                                    
counseling  programs, the  establishment  of a  professional                                                                    
learning community,  and other. He supported  an increase to                                                                    
the  Base Student  Allocation (BSA)  and forward  funding of                                                                    
education. He stated that the  current BSA of $5,680 had not                                                                    
been  increased  since  2010.  The  board  had  supported  a                                                                    
resolution  the   past  year  for  increases   in  education                                                                    
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly  asked about temperatures  in Tok.  Mr. Poage                                                                    
replied  that  Tok had  an  average  temperature low  of  32                                                                    
degrees below zero.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  MACMANUS,  ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT,  ALASKA  GATEWAY                                                                    
SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  TOK  (via teleconference),  testified  in                                                                    
favor  of  increases to  education  funding.  He pointed  to                                                                    
gains made in the school  district. He communicated that the                                                                    
district  was doing  all it  could to  support its  teachers                                                                    
with  tools   needed  to  provide  the   best  education  to                                                                    
students; increased  costs were  making it  more challenging                                                                    
to provide  quality education. He  pointed to high  costs of                                                                    
energy  and heat  in the  district; the  district had  taken                                                                    
steps  to address  the issues  including its  biomass energy                                                                    
and heat  system, upgrades to  lighting systems,  and other.                                                                    
He  mentioned   challenges  related  to   increasing  health                                                                    
insurance,  heating,  fuel  and other  operating  costs.  He                                                                    
pointed to  the difficulty of hiring  quality teachers given                                                                    
that  Alaska  had not  kept  up  with inflation  costs.  The                                                                    
district  was anticipating  decreases  to  programs for  the                                                                    
following year  including staff reductions  and cuts  to the                                                                    
food service program.  He supported an increase  to the BSA.                                                                    
He encouraged  the committee to  include funding  that would                                                                    
allow the district to provide quality funding to education.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly asked about  the district's insurance premium                                                                    
for 52  employees. Mr. MacManus  replied that  the insurance                                                                    
premium was slightly under $1.2 million.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough  remarked   on  the  state's  current                                                                    
fiscal system.  She elaborated  that due  to the  decline in                                                                    
oil production  the state was  in a deficit.  She understood                                                                    
that  education was  critical. She  asked  Alaskans to  come                                                                    
forward to help  the legislature come up with  a solution to                                                                    
the problem.  She noted that  the state had savings  to draw                                                                    
from for a while.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly agreed that "for  a while" was the key point.                                                                    
He  noted   that  the  state's  savings   would  be  largely                                                                    
diminished by 2025.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:34:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIRGINIA  WALSH,   ARCTIC  WOMEN  IN  CRISIS,   BARROW  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  thanked  the  committee  for  including  a                                                                    
$287,500 increment  for in the Council  on Domestic Violence                                                                    
and Sexual Assault. She emphasized  that the increment would                                                                    
help the council  to meet the rising costs  of utilities and                                                                    
transportation  and would  allow  it  to continue  providing                                                                    
basic services such  as shelter and food women  in the area.                                                                    
The  increment  would also  allow  the  council to  continue                                                                    
flying victims from villages to  Barrow for safe shelter and                                                                    
counseling services.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly relayed  that  Senator Olson's  subcommittee                                                                    
recommendations had remained in the budget.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:35:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA   MORROW,  ARCTIC   WOMEN   IN   CRISIS,  BARROW   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  thanked the  committee  and Senator  Olson                                                                    
for  supporting  a $287,500  increment  for  the Council  on                                                                    
Domestic   Violence  and   Sexual   Assault.  She   provided                                                                    
education  services to  village schools  on the  North Slope                                                                    
related to  healthy relationships and other.  She noted that                                                                    
rising  fuel  costs  had  contributed  to  increase  airfare                                                                    
costs. She  accentuated that the  funding would  ensure that                                                                    
services could be maintained for North Slope students.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly  restated  his prior  comment  that  Senator                                                                    
Olson's  subcommittee recommendations  had  remained in  the                                                                    
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:36:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEGGY COWAN, SUPERINTENDENT OF  SCHOOLS, NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH                                                                    
SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  BARROW (via  teleconference),  encouraged                                                                    
the committee to advocate for  the one-time $2 million Pre-K                                                                    
increment.  She thanked  the committee  for maintaining  the                                                                    
item in  its budget. She  pointed to a Pre-K  grant obtained                                                                    
by  the community  that was  dependent on  a match  in state                                                                    
funding.  She  pointed  to  a budget  decrease  due  to  the                                                                    
federal sequestration.  She vocalized  support for  the full                                                                    
funding  of the  One-to-One  Digital  Learning program.  She                                                                    
thanked the committee for its support of education.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson thanked the testifiers  for their comments and                                                                    
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:40:06 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:03:19 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KETCHIKAN, WRANGELL, PETERSBURG                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
NAOMI  MICHALSEN,  WOMEN  IN   SAFE  HOMES,  KETCHIKAN  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  support of  Women  in  Safe                                                                    
Homes,  which  had  provided  safe  shelter  to  victims  of                                                                    
domestic and  sexual assault  for over  34 years.  She noted                                                                    
that  the demands  for services  increased continually.  She                                                                    
thanked the  subcommittee for recommending the  inclusion of                                                                    
the $287.500 increment into the  Department of Public Safety                                                                    
(DPS) budget to  assist the shelter programs  in meeting the                                                                    
increase in  basic shelter costs  such as  utilities, energy                                                                    
and transportation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:05:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GRETCHEN KLEIN,  PRINCE OF WALES  HEALTH NETWORK,  PRINCE OF                                                                    
WALES (via teleconference), testified  in support of funding                                                                    
for the Prince  of Wales Health Network in HB  66. She spoke                                                                    
of collaboration with Sitka, Wrangle,  and Peace Health. She                                                                    
voiced support  for funding for behavioral  health services.                                                                    
The  network provided  the  resources  for people  requiring                                                                    
behavioral  health services  in  Alaska.  She mentioned  the                                                                    
aspect  of  domestic  violence  prevention  offered  by  the                                                                    
network.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:07:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LEAH   CANFIELD,  KETCHIKAN   INDIAN  COMMUNITY   BEHAVIORAL                                                                    
HEALTH,   KETCHIKAN   (via   teleconference),   echoed   her                                                                    
colleagues'  opinions  regarding   the  need  for  increased                                                                    
funding in the FY 14  operating budget for behavioral health                                                                    
services. She spoke about her  programs, which were evidence                                                                    
based and the  need for funding in  the Ketchikan behavioral                                                                    
health department.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:09:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RICK PICKRELL, KETCHIKAN  INDIAN COMMUNITY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH                                                                    
(via  teleconference), testified  in  support of  behavioral                                                                    
health services funding. He echoed  other testimony from his                                                                    
coworkers in  Ketchikan. He highlighted  the efforts  of the                                                                    
governor's Choose Respect Initiative  and the events planned                                                                    
in his community related to the initiative.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CARY    CASE,     PETERSBURG    WAVE,     PETERSBURG    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   funding  for                                                                    
victims  of  domestic  violence   and  sexual  assault.  The                                                                    
organization,  Petersburg  Wave,  operated  on  a  volunteer                                                                    
basis.    She   thanked    the   subcommittee    for   their                                                                    
recommendation of  the inclusion of the  incremental funding                                                                    
in  the  DPS budget  of  over  $200  thousand for  new  non-                                                                    
residential services  for victims  of domestic  violence and                                                                    
sexual assault.  State funding would  allow for  an increase                                                                    
in  services and  strengthening  the  response to  emergency                                                                    
calls related to sexual assault and domestic violence.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:11:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  BRINGHURST,  PETERSBURG  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  PETERSBURG                                                                    
(via teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for                                                                    
K-12  education. He  explained that  the state  provided the                                                                    
source  of  education  funding. He  highlighted  the  middle                                                                    
school and high school  student's access to laptop computers                                                                    
for  use  at home  and  in  the  classroom. He  stated  that                                                                    
special projects in  PowerPoint presentations were essential                                                                    
to modern  education. He supported the  reinstatement of the                                                                    
Digital Learning  Initiative. He  asked for  the restoration                                                                    
of the  governor's recommendation  along with a  much needed                                                                    
increase in BSA.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:14:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KIM KILKENNY, PETERSBURG  MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, PETERSBURG                                                                    
(via  teleconference), testified  in  support of  behavioral                                                                    
health services funding.  She noted that the  support of her                                                                    
program would allow help to  people with addictive behaviors                                                                    
and  victims of  sexual assault  and domestic  violence. She                                                                    
spoke  about  the  services  offered  at  Petersburg  Mental                                                                    
Health  Services. She  stressed that  the budget  cuts would                                                                    
compromise the stability of the services.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:16:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LIZ  CABRERA,   PETERSBURG  ECONOMIC   DEVELOPMENT  COUNCIL,                                                                    
PETERSBURG  (via teleconference),  testified  in support  of                                                                    
the  reintroduction of  $400 thousand  to the  Department of                                                                    
Fish  and  Game (DF&G)  operating  budget.  The funds  would                                                                    
support  the regional  port  sampling  programs, which  were                                                                    
critical  to   the  in-season  management  efforts   of  the                                                                    
department.  Without  the  programs, the  department  cannot                                                                    
accurately  determine  whether   fisheries  should  open  or                                                                    
close.  The  loss  would force  the  department  to  curtail                                                                    
fisheries  resulting in  less  employment,  less revenue  to                                                                    
state  and municipalities,  fewer  Alaskan seafood  products                                                                    
sold, reduced  market share for Alaska  salmon and increased                                                                    
market share for competitors.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:18:03 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:39:20 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SITKA, CORDOVA, VALDEZ                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PETE   HOEPFNER,  CORDOVA   SCHOOLS   BOARD,  CORDOVA   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in favor  of an increase  to the                                                                    
Base Student  Allocation (BSA). He spoke  about the proposed                                                                    
budget   cuts  to   Department   of   Education  and   Early                                                                    
Development (DEED).  He stated that Cordova  School District                                                                    
lost three  excellent teachers because of  the reductions in                                                                    
funding.  He  stated  that  the  future  of  Alaska  was  in                                                                    
jeopardy.  He spoke  in  favor of  funding  for the  Digital                                                                    
Learning Program. He  spoke about the suggested  cuts to the                                                                    
digital  initiative  and  requested reconsideration  of  the                                                                    
budget increment  by the Senate Finance  Committee. He spoke                                                                    
about the benefits of proper technology distribution.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:43:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BARB BRYSON, RETIRED  EDUCATOR, VALDEZ (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support  of funding for Best  Beginnings. She noted                                                                    
that  the   self  sufficiency  of   children  in   the  pre-                                                                    
kindergarten ages.  She highlighted the benefits  of family-                                                                    
centered  activities.  She  recommended  visiting  the  Best                                                                    
Beginning's  website to  obtain data  about the  benefits of                                                                    
early childhood education.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:46:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JUDY ALMY, SPEECH  PATHOLOGIST, VALDEZ (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in   support  of  funding  for   early  childhood                                                                    
education.  She noted  the benefits  of Best  Beginnings and                                                                    
Parents  as Teachers  programs. She  spoke about  the Valdez                                                                    
Imagination Library. She advocated  for reinstatement of the                                                                    
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:48:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BRAD REICH, MAYOR  OF KIANA, KIANA, testified  in support of                                                                    
an extension to the Kiana  runway. They required access to a                                                                    
gravel source.  He requested the  funding for a  runway that                                                                    
would allow certain goods to  be available to the community.                                                                    
He advocated for  funding for Public Safety  for the smaller                                                                    
rural villages. He stated that  Kiana had one Village Public                                                                    
Safety  Officer  and  another would  allow  for  relief.  He                                                                    
requested  $12   million  for   a  dormitory   for  students                                                                    
interested  in  education  that  allowed  for  work  in  the                                                                    
Natural Resources fields.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked about the VPSO support in Kiana.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Reich replied  that more  support would  have prevented                                                                    
the situation.  He stated that  the delay in  resources made                                                                    
the situation more difficult.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:52:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LON  GARRISON, ASSOCIATION  OF ALASKA  SCHOOL BOARD,  SITKA,                                                                    
advocated  for   funding  for  education  and   requested  a                                                                    
challenge  of the  proposed budget  cuts to  DEED. He  spoke                                                                    
about    the   state    evaluation   procedures    and   the                                                                    
identification of  resources needed to meet  the challenges.                                                                    
He noted  that the responsibility of  the evaluation process                                                                    
allowed for fundamental  changes. The idea of  adding to the                                                                    
BSA  was  not  the  only   way  to  modify  and  impact  the                                                                    
districts.  He  voiced  support  for  the  Digital  Learning                                                                    
Initiative.  He advocated  for  innovative  funding to  meet                                                                    
challenges for education. He added  his affiliation with the                                                                    
University  fisheries   technologies  system.   The  program                                                                    
provided an associate's degree that  would allow students to                                                                    
work with the extremely effective program.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:56:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BOBBY  WELLS,  NORTHWEST  ARCTIC  BOROUGH  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,                                                                    
testified in support of education.  He noted that the native                                                                    
Alaskans  learned  from  the  elders  and  he  compared  the                                                                    
practice   to   the   learning  in   modern   schools.   The                                                                    
opportunities  provided  to   children  were  determined  by                                                                    
decisions  made  by  the  legislature.  He  hoped  that  the                                                                    
legislature  would pay  special  attention to  the needs  of                                                                    
children. He  spoke in favor  of early  childhood education.                                                                    
He  stated support  of the  Digital Learning  Initiative. He                                                                    
requested $12  million for a  dormitory for the  high school                                                                    
students. He advocated  for a focus on  education within the                                                                    
legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:00:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JIM KACSH, SELF, CITY OF  CORDOVA, spoke in favor of funding                                                                    
for  the   Digital  Learning   Initiative.  He   noted  that                                                                    
education  benefitted   from  the   use  of   computers.  He                                                                    
advocated  for support  of the  Southeast Regional  Fish and                                                                    
Game funding and revenue sharing for municipalities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bishop  stated  that he  had  visited  the  Cordova                                                                    
School District  and was impressed.  He observed  the fiscal                                                                    
decisions and nutrition program as frugal and efficient.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:03:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICKI D'AMICO,  SITKANS AGAINST FAMILY VIOLENCE,  SITKA (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in support  of funding to DPS for                                                                    
protection of victims of domestic  violence. She spoke about                                                                    
the tragic death of a  thirteen year-old child. She stressed                                                                    
that funding support was crucial  to the rural villages. She                                                                    
stated that  she would  continue to  work within  the social                                                                    
paradigm and appreciated the increase in funding.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:05:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SARAH   BELL,  KETTLESON   MEMORIAL   LIBRARY,  SITKA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for  the                                                                    
Online  with Libraries  (OWL) program.  She stated  that the                                                                    
video  conferencing allowed  a face-to-face  interaction for                                                                    
those interested  in asking  questions of  Governor Parnell.                                                                    
She pointed  out the  cost of the  program and  the benefits                                                                    
resulting  from  increased  broadband.  He  highlighted  the                                                                    
benefits  of the  Live Homework  Help program,  which served                                                                    
fourth  grade to  beginning college  students. She  stressed                                                                    
that  the   online  homework   and  library   services  were                                                                    
beneficial to her community.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:09:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TIM FULTON, SITKA SCHOOL  BOARD, SITKA (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in favor  of funding  for education.  He stated  that                                                                    
Sitka  required help  to continue  to provide  quality early                                                                    
childhood  education. He  spoke  about the  benefits of  the                                                                    
Digital Learning Initiative.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:10:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ED  GRAY,  PARENT  OF  SITKA  SCHOOLS  STUDENT,  SITKA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   testified  in   favor   of  funding   for                                                                    
education. He voiced that  flat funding created difficulties                                                                    
when  operating  a  school  district.  The  reduced  funding                                                                    
impacted the  most needy and  vulnerable students.  He spoke                                                                    
about funding programs in Sitka  that served students within                                                                    
a  low  socioeconomic  status.   He  had  spoken  with  many                                                                    
different  school districts  and  discovered that  educators                                                                    
were frustrated with the funding constraints.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:13:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TRISTAN   GUEVIN,  SITKA   TRIBE  OF   ALASKA,  SITKA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   funding  for                                                                    
education and  behavioral health services. He  advocated for                                                                    
support  of funding  for  early  learning opportunities  and                                                                    
also  women's shelters.  He  advocated  for higher  learning                                                                    
opportunities in  the health-service industry. He  cited the                                                                    
61  percent  graduation for  native  students  in Sitka.  He                                                                    
advocated  for funding  for  early  childhood education.  He                                                                    
supported  the  funding  for domestic  violence  and  sexual                                                                    
assault program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:15:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
NANCY DOUGLAS,  SITKA NATIVE  EDUCATION PROGRAM,  SITKA (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of  increased funding                                                                    
for education in the FY  14 operating budget. She worked for                                                                    
the  Sitka  School District  and  oversaw  the Sitka  Native                                                                    
Education Program.  She spoke about  the need  for increased                                                                    
funding  for school  and noted  that 69  percent of  Sitka's                                                                    
tribal citizens qualified as low  income. Of the 69 percent,                                                                    
38  percent of  the  tribal citizens  were  in preschool  to                                                                    
second grade  age range. Increased funding  would provide an                                                                    
additional classroom.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:16:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MIM  MCCNNELL,  MAYOR,  CITY  AND   BOROUGH  OF  SITKA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   understood   the  difficulties   in   the                                                                    
appropriation of  funding. She shared her  advocacy for K-12                                                                    
education funding  and municipal revenue sharing.  She noted                                                                    
the challenges faced in the  education system because of the                                                                    
lack of  funding and forward  funding. She advocated  for an                                                                    
increase   in  BSA.   She  voiced   the  municipal   sharing                                                                    
benefitted education.  She spoke to the  debilitating effect                                                                    
of  increases in  municipal utilities  and  moorage fees  in                                                                    
Sitka.  She noted  that the  funding for  municipalities was                                                                    
crucial to education.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:19:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JIM   SEELAND,   UAS   FISHERIES  TECHNOLOGY,   SITKA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for  the                                                                    
Seafood Technology Initiative, which  offered the only state                                                                    
training  center for  hatcheries.  He  advocated for  online                                                                    
training funding. He requested support for fishery jobs.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 65 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 66 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 65 Testimony Petersburg.pdf SFIN 3/22/2013 9:00:00 AM
HB 65
HB65 TESTIMONY Stainbrook.pdf SFIN 3/22/2013 9:00:00 AM
HB 65