Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/17/2017 01:30 PM FINANCE

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01:31:48 PM Start
01:33:48 PM Public Testimony: Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Unalaska
03:16:49 PM Public Testimony: Barrow, Tok, Delta Junction
03:24:05 PM Public Testimony: Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg
04:08:13 PM Public Testimony: Sitka, Cordova, Valdez
05:02:09 PM Public Testimony: Fairbanks, Mat-su
06:03:56 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 22 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 24 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Public Testimony on SB 22 and SB 24:
Written Comments for the Official Public Record
Can be Sent to Finance.Committee@akleg.gov
1:30 - 2:30 Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Unalaska
2:30 - 3:15 Barrow, Tok, Delta Junction
3:15 - 4:15 Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg
4:15 - 5:00 Sitka, Cordova, Valdez
5:00 - 6:00 Fairbanks, Mat-Su
SENATE BILL NO. 22                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     loan  program  expenses  of  state  government  and  for                                                                   
     certain    programs;   capitalizing   funds;    amending                                                                   
     appropriations;    repealing   appropriations;    making                                                                   
     supplemental  appropriations  and reappropriations,  and                                                                   
     making  appropriations   under  art.  IX,   sec.  17(c),                                                                   
     Constitution   of  the   State  of   Alaska,  from   the                                                                   
     constitutional  budget reserve  fund; and providing  for                                                                   
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     capital    expenses    of   the    state's    integrated                                                                   
     comprehensive mental  health program; and  providing for                                                                   
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^Public Testimony: Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Unalaska                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:33:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEB  TROBRIDGE, PRE-K,  NOME (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                   
support  of  Pre-Kindergarten  (Pre-K)  funding.  She  was  a                                                                   
foster   care  parent   and  relayed   her  experience   with                                                                   
providing consistency  and stability  through the  Head Start                                                                   
program,  which was  funded with  Pre-K  monies. She  claimed                                                                   
the success  of the  program benefiting  the foster  children                                                                   
in her  care. Foster  children  that were able  to return  to                                                                   
their parents  or were placed  into a  new home were  able to                                                                   
continue in  the Head  Start Program.  She reported  that the                                                                   
Head Start  Program also  supported families  in making  sure                                                                   
their  children's well  child  exams and  immunizations  were                                                                   
done. Kids in  the entire region benefited from  the program.                                                                   
She  mentioned the  partnership  between  Nome Public  School                                                                   
and  the Head  Start Program  - Nome  Public School  provided                                                                   
certified teachers  in the Head Start classrooms  in Nome and                                                                   
the  community  preschool.  She  reported  that  due  to  the                                                                   
partnership  80   children  in  Nome  benefited   from  Pre-K                                                                   
funding. She  listed a  number of  villages where Head  Start                                                                   
classrooms  were   fully  staffed.  She  asked   the  finance                                                                   
committee  to consider how  it could  meet the obligation  to                                                                   
meet the  needs of  the children and  families in  the Bering                                                                   
Straits Region.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:36:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WALRATH,  DIRECTOR,  NORTHWESTERN   ALASKA  CAREER  AND                                                                   
TECHNICAL CENTER  (NACTEC), NOME (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in supporting  funding for the  Nome Youth Facility  and Pre-                                                                   
K. He  agreed that every  dollar spent  resulted in $4  to $6                                                                   
savings  in  the  future.  He  thought  making  cuts  to  the                                                                   
Department of  Education and  Early Development (DEED)  would                                                                   
seemingly  require a greater  investment  in the Division  of                                                                   
Juvenile Justice.  However, the  Nome Youth Facility  funding                                                                   
in the budget  was not enough to deliver  essential services.                                                                   
As a  result, juvenile  offenders  would be  sent out of  the                                                                   
region.  He  spoke  of NACTEC  collaborating  with  the  Nome                                                                   
Youth  Facility  to  deliver   vocational  training  programs                                                                   
since  2010.  The  vocational  center  had  repurposed  heavy                                                                   
equipment  simulators  to  the   youth  facility  for  onsite                                                                   
training. He  mentioned keeping  Nome Youth offenders  in the                                                                   
region  in  order  for  them  to  participate  in  vocational                                                                   
training as  a means  of remediation. He  was willing  to pay                                                                   
an  individual income  tax  to keep  Pre-K  programs so  less                                                                   
funding  would be  needed for  juvenile  justice programs  in                                                                   
the future.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRYSTAL     HENSLEY,     PRE-KINDERGARTEN,      NOME     (via                                                                   
teleconference),   spoke  in  support   of  the   Head  Start                                                                   
Program.  She  worked   for  Head  Start  and   her  daughter                                                                   
attended  the program.  Her daughter  greatly benefited  from                                                                   
the  program,  as she  had  improved  her speech  because  of                                                                   
attending.  She suggested  that  the program  benefited  many                                                                   
children. She urged committee member support.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:41:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEVERLY  HOFFMAN,  PBS/SELF,   BETHEL  (via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in support  of public broadcasting. She  indicated that                                                                   
public broadcasting  remained vital to keeping  in touch. She                                                                   
urged leaders not  to forget those people that  needed public                                                                   
broadcasting.  She  supported  a  statewide  income  tax  and                                                                   
asked the  committee not to  cap the Permanent  Fund Dividend                                                                   
(PFD).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:43:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHY  HANSON,  SELF,  BETHEL   (via  teleconference),  urged                                                                   
members  to   support  public   broadcasting.  She   provided                                                                   
examples   of  the   benefits   of  the   service   including                                                                   
broadcasting  essential emergency  information. She  spoke of                                                                   
funding  provided by  the  region. She  would  gladly pay  an                                                                   
income tax.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  ACTIVE, SELF,  BETHEL  (via teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                   
opposition to  the proposed cuts  to public broadcasting.  He                                                                   
wanted  to see  the  excellent  services provided  by  public                                                                   
broadcasting. He  indicated it was  one of the only  means of                                                                   
staying connected.  He spoke to the benefits  of the service.                                                                   
He   thought  further   cuts   to   the  service   would   be                                                                   
detrimental. He  mentioned the fact that  public broadcasting                                                                   
was  provided  in  both  Yupik   and  English.  He  spoke  to                                                                   
additional benefits of the service.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADRIAN  WAGNER,  SELF,  BETHEL  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
against additional  cuts to  public broadcasting.  He thought                                                                   
the service to  rural Alaska was imperative.  He provided his                                                                   
background in  public radio.  He thought public  broadcasting                                                                   
was  the  one  thing  the  legislature  should  keep  in  the                                                                   
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MATT   SCOTT,   SELF/YKHC,   BETHEL   (via   teleconference),                                                                   
advocated    against   cuts    to   education   and    public                                                                   
broadcasting.  He  thanked  the  committee  for  hearing  his                                                                   
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:52:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH TRESSLER,  SELF/YKHC, BETHEL (via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of  public broadcasting.  She provided  her                                                                   
background  information. She  relayed that  public radio  was                                                                   
used  to reach  listeners about  diabetes.  She relayed  that                                                                   
the region had  approximately 700 individuals  diagnosed with                                                                   
diabetes  and  over  1000  individuals  diagnosed  with  pre-                                                                   
diabetes.  She  suggested  that  losing  public  radio  would                                                                   
impair Yukon-Kuskokwim  Health Center  being able  to provide                                                                   
information  about diabetes  management  and prevention.  She                                                                   
asked  the  committee  to  consider   continuing  to  provide                                                                   
funding for public broadcasting. She thanked the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:54:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JEAN  SIMON,  KYUK, BETHEL  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                   
support of public  broadcasting. She was a  lifelong resident                                                                   
of  Bethel.  She  urged  members  not  to  cut  public  radio                                                                   
because  it was  vital to  the region  to be  able to  access                                                                   
public information.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:55:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  LEFFERTS,  SELF, BETHEL  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
against  further cuts to  public broadcasting.  He relied  on                                                                   
public radio  for local and  statewide news and  information.                                                                   
The  local  radio stations  played  a  critical role  in  the                                                                   
region's  communities. They  played  local basketball  games,                                                                   
aired  city council  meetings,  and hosted  public forums  to                                                                   
discuss  important issues.  He added  that community  members                                                                   
relied on  public radio  for news  and information.  He spoke                                                                   
to  additional advantages  of  the  service and  thanked  the                                                                   
committee for the opportunity to speak.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:56:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARLTON  KUHNS,  ASSISTANT  SUPERINTENDENT,  BETHEL  REGIONAL                                                                   
HIGH   SCHOOL   -  LOWER-KUSKOKWIM   SCHOOL   DISTRICT   (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke in  support of  public education.  He                                                                   
had been  an educator in the  region since 1979 and  had seen                                                                   
funding for  public education  ebb and  flow over the  years.                                                                   
He  had  concerns  with the  state's  current  situation.  He                                                                   
encouraged  further  consideration in  generating  additional                                                                   
revenue  streams  as opposed  to  making the  budget  balance                                                                   
through  cuts. He  relayed  that the  Lower-Kuskokwim  School                                                                   
District  was   the  largest  of  the   Regional  Educational                                                                   
Attendance Areas  (REAAs) in the  state. The school  district                                                                   
served  over 4000  K-12 students.  He mentioned  many of  the                                                                   
challenges  of the  district. He  spoke of  travel costs.  He                                                                   
reported  that a  recent roundtrip  from  Bethel to  Platinum                                                                   
cost $500.  The district  was a major  employer in  the area.                                                                   
He  encouraged  members  to  consider   additional  education                                                                   
funding. He thanked the committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:59:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  ANGAIAK, SELF,  BETHEL  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
against  additional   cuts  to  public  education.   She  was                                                                   
nervous to  hear of another  5 percent decrease  to education                                                                   
funding  which  she  thought   would  likely  result  in  the                                                                   
closure of  certain schools. She  mentioned being  willing to                                                                   
pay a state income tax. She thanked the committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:02:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  WEISS,  SELF, BETHEL  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                   
opposition  to cuts to  education and  to the public  nursing                                                                   
program.  She noted wanting  leadership  in dealing with  the                                                                   
federal  government.  She suggested  that  not  only was  the                                                                   
state legislature  threatening to  gut Alaska's way  of life,                                                                   
the federal government  was also making the  same threat. She                                                                   
hoped the  legislature  would help to  protect Alaskans  from                                                                   
those threats.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK    MARROW,     COMMUNITY    MEMBER,     UNALASKA    (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke in  support  of public  broadcasting.                                                                   
He relayed the  importance of the service provided.  He urged                                                                   
members to fund public broadcasting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ASHLEY  CROWE, PRE-KINDERGARTEN,  NOME (via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of the Head  Start program and  other Pre-K                                                                   
programs. She thanked the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRYSTAL  TAXAC, EARLY  CHILDHOOD/PRE-KINDERGARTEN, NOME  (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke  in  opposition   of  cuts  to  Pre-K                                                                   
programs. She wished the committee well.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:07:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY BOGART,  HEAD START,  NOME (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
members  to  support the  Head  Start  Program. She  saw  the                                                                   
benefits  of  the program,  which  helped  her to  decide  to                                                                   
pursue her  degree in child  development and family  studies.                                                                   
She  spoke  of her  daughter  attending  Head Start  and  the                                                                   
benefits  she was currently  receiving.  The impact of  Pre-K                                                                   
education  on her  child  was amazing.  There  were no  other                                                                   
programs  for early childhood  education  in the region.  She                                                                   
also spoke  of the  benefits of being  able to attend  school                                                                   
herself while her daughter was in school.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:09:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY NANUWAK,  SELF, BETHEL  (via teleconference),  mentioned                                                                   
only  30 days  being  left in  the legislative  session.  She                                                                   
spoke  in favor of  public radio  and urged  members to  fund                                                                   
the  service. She  also spoke  of the  alcoholism and  sexual                                                                   
assault  in her  region. She  supported addiction  assistance                                                                   
and public broadcasting. She thanked the committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  CANNON,  SELF, ANIAK  (via  teleconference),  expressed                                                                   
his concerns  with the potential  loss of funding  for public                                                                   
radio. He  spoke of  the benefits  received by having  public                                                                   
radio.  He was  concerned  about the  runway  being moved  in                                                                   
Aniak  and  thought  there  were better  ways  to  spend  the                                                                   
funding   earmarked  for   that  project.   He  thanked   the                                                                   
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:16:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  KENDALL, SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in  favor of  a 90-day  congress in  Anchorage. He  discussed                                                                   
what  he  thought  were  the  five  most  essential  services                                                                   
including   electricity,  water,   trash,   sewer,  and   the                                                                   
internet.  He thought  everything else  was an  amenity or  a                                                                   
want.  He  thought  there  needed  to  be  only  one  account                                                                   
payable agency.  He felt that  a large percent  of government                                                                   
employees lacked  responsibility. He  also asserted  that the                                                                   
governor  stole  the  people's  money.  He  revealed  several                                                                   
other   complaints.  He   thought   the  legislature   should                                                                   
consider the  possibility of moving  into the BP  building in                                                                   
Anchorage. He  thanked the committee  for the  opportunity to                                                                   
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:21:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATIE ELLANNA,  HEAD START, NOME (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in support  of the  Head Start  program. She  had 5  children                                                                   
who  received many  of the  services provided  by Head  Start                                                                   
and it was very much needed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:22:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  KORENEK-JOHNSON,  PARENT   &  TEACHER,  NOME  (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke in  support of  fully funding  Pre-K,                                                                   
Parents-As-Teachers,  and the  Best Beginnings programs.  She                                                                   
mentioned many of  the benefits students received.  She urged                                                                   
members to support early education funding.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSAY JOHNSON,  STUDENT, NOME  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
to the benefits  of reading. She  was a resident of  Nome and                                                                   
was  9 years  old.  She talked  about  using the  imagination                                                                   
library,  which   helped  her  begin  reading.   She  thought                                                                   
reading  was important  in helping  kids  learn. She  thanked                                                                   
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:25:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  MARTIN,   SELF,  COOPER  LANDING  (via   teleconference),                                                                   
thought government  was inflated. He opposed the  size of the                                                                   
budget  and  thought  the  legislature   should  make  needed                                                                   
reductions.  He opposed  the use  of the  Permanent Fund.  He                                                                   
also  opposed   income  taxes.  He  encouraged   the  further                                                                   
development  of  Alaska's  resources.  He  urged  members  to                                                                   
create  new  wealth.   He  thanked  the  committee   for  the                                                                   
opportunity to testify.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:28:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK ROSEBERRY,  NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH SCHOOL  DISTRICT, BARROW                                                                   
(via  teleconference),  reported he  had  been  working on  a                                                                   
residential learning  center with a residential  program that                                                                   
allowed  students from  villages to take  career courses  and                                                                   
certification  courses  that  were  not  available  in  their                                                                   
villages. He requested  that the Department of  Education and                                                                   
Early   Development-approved   program   be  added   to   the                                                                   
education budget.  He relayed the importance of  the program.                                                                   
The  graduation rate  in the  region  was 54  percent in  the                                                                   
prior  year -  much  lower than  districts  in the  Northwest                                                                   
with  residential  programs  like  NACTEC  and  Star  of  the                                                                   
North.  He   continued  to  provide  details   regarding  his                                                                   
funding request.  He thanked members  for taking the  time to                                                                   
listen.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:31:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  I.  JEFFERY,  SELF,   BARROW  (via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of  public broadcasting.  He mentioned  the                                                                   
benefits  of the  service. He  also  urged continued  support                                                                   
for the  Office of Children's  Services (OCS). He  noted that                                                                   
the services  provided  by OCS helped  to reduce  recidivism.                                                                   
He  was willing  to  pay an  income tax  and  have a  reduced                                                                   
dividend. He urged the passing of a full fiscal plan.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SHULTS,  RESIDENT, BARROW  (via teleconference),  voiced                                                                   
his  support  for  public  radio.   The  service  provided  a                                                                   
plethora  of benefits.  He mentioned  that  public radio  was                                                                   
the  only  way  for  certain   types  of  information  to  be                                                                   
dispersed.  It  was  an  essential  part  of  the  community.                                                                   
Everyone benefited  from public radio.  He would hate  to see                                                                   
funding be slashed. He thanked the committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:37:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIN  HOLLINGSWORTH,   SELF,  BARROW  (via   teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  favor of public  broadcasting. There were  not many                                                                   
options  to get  the word  out  about various  announcements.                                                                   
She also  spoke in favor of  the Online with  Libraries (OWL)                                                                   
program.  She also  advocated  in  favor of  early  education                                                                   
funding  and  urged members  to  fund  Meals on  Wheels.  She                                                                   
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:39:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA PAYTON,  KBRW, BARROW  (via teleconference),  supported                                                                   
public broadcasting.  She thought  village communication  was                                                                   
crucial  to the community.  She  spoke of having  to rely  on                                                                   
batteries  when the  power  went out.  She  asked members  to                                                                   
fund   public   radio.   She  thanked   members   for   their                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY   MCDONALD,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                   
opposed cuts  to public  radio. He  thought the services  was                                                                   
critical  in  rural  Alaska.  He  recommended  giving  people                                                                   
additional time to testify.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman noted  that written  testimony was  another                                                                   
venue for the people to make their wishes known.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:43:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL  HUNNE, SELF,  BARROW (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                   
favor  of  early  childhood  education  including  Parent-As-                                                                   
Teachers, Best  Beginnings and other programs.  She mentioned                                                                   
many  benefits.  She  thanked  committee  members  for  their                                                                   
time..                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY   PUREVSUREN,   SELF,  UNALASKA   (via   teleconference),                                                                   
opposed  cuts  to  public  broadcasting.  She  believed  many                                                                   
folks  relied  exclusively  on   public  radio.  She  thanked                                                                   
members for the opportunity to testify.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman  indicated   there  were  no  other  people                                                                   
online  to  testify.  The committee  would  stand  "at  ease"                                                                   
until 3:15 PM.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:16:21 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^Public Testimony: Barrow, Tok, Delta Junction                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:16:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HELEN   SIMMONDS,   MEMBER,  KEY   COALITION,   BARROW   (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  the  day  services                                                                   
funding, and mental  health increment money. She  shared that                                                                   
her  oldest son  received the  benefits of  the day  services                                                                   
funding.  She remarked  that  her son  was  able to  complete                                                                   
school, because of  the services he received  starting at age                                                                   
17.  She expressed  support  of  funding for  education,  and                                                                   
shared  that the  alternative  school was  important for  the                                                                   
community  of   Barrow.  She   shared  that  her   sons  were                                                                   
successful thanks to the day services program.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^Public Testimony: Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GREG PUGH,  SELF, MAT-SU,  spoke in  support of further  cuts                                                                   
to the budget.  He felt that  the government was not  able to                                                                   
provide benefits  for everyone. He  did not believe  that the                                                                   
state could sustain  the current level of spending.  He spoke                                                                   
against taxes, because  he did not want his  daughters to pay                                                                   
taxes.  He stressed  that there  were many  areas within  the                                                                   
bill  that could  be  cut. He  felt that  there  should be  a                                                                   
focus  on  the  constitutionally  mandated  programs,  rather                                                                   
than entitlement programs.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman handed the gavel to Vice-Chair Bishop.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:24:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JASMINE LEREMIA,  SELF, PETERSBURG,  testified in  support of                                                                   
funding for education.  She stressed that the  children would                                                                   
eventually  be the  leaders  of the  state  and country.  She                                                                   
hoped  that  the  legislature   would  limit  the  cuts,  and                                                                   
testified in support of new revenue such as taxes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:25:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEANIE  ARNOLD, SELF,  WRANGELL  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting.                                                                   
She  stressed  that   public  radio  was  essential   in  her                                                                   
community,  because it  provided  much needed  community  and                                                                   
emergency information.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:27:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK  MAYER,   WRANGELL  PUBLIC  SCHOOLS   SUPERINTENDENT,                                                                   
WRANGELL  (via  teleconference),   testified  in  support  of                                                                   
funding  for   education.  He  spoke  against   the  proposed                                                                   
reduction  in the Base  Student Allocation  (BSA). He  stated                                                                   
that the  cut would  result in  a reduction  of two  teaching                                                                   
positions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:29:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANALEE  GAGE, SELF,  KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in  support  of  programs such  as  treatment  and  addiction                                                                   
support services.  She shared  that she became  disabled, and                                                                   
relied on  services to  assist her. She  shared that  she was                                                                   
able to  recover quickly in her  home thanks to  the assisted                                                                   
living services.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VALERIE BROOKS,  SELF, KETCHIKAN (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore  funding for  public  broadcasting                                                                   
and  funding  for  education.  She  stated  that  she  was  a                                                                   
reading  specialist in  an  elementary school  in  Ketchikan,                                                                   
and remarked  that the budget  restrictions in  the districts                                                                   
were a  direct result of the  reduced state budget.  She felt                                                                   
that it was essential  that the state do the  best to provide                                                                   
reliable  education  funding   to  provide  optimal  learning                                                                   
environments for the state's students.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GWEN MCDONALD,  SELF, KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in support of  funding for independent learning  centers. She                                                                   
stated that  Southeast Alaska Assisted Learning  had afforded                                                                   
her employment  opportunities to  allow her to  contribute to                                                                   
her  community.  She was  able  to reclaim  her  independence                                                                   
thanks  to the  transportation provided  by assisted  living.                                                                   
She stressed  that cutting the  program would  be detrimental                                                                   
to the residents of the state.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:36:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHEILA MILLER,  SELF, KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting.                                                                   
She stressed  that  the cuts to  public radio  would cause  a                                                                   
loss  of emergency  alert  services.  She stated  that  there                                                                   
would be an additional loss of other funding sources.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:37:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRI ROBBINS,  SELF, KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting.                                                                   
She  remarked  that there  were  many  essential  programming                                                                   
including  news,  weather,  emergency,  and  local  community                                                                   
information. She  stressed that there  was a quality  of life                                                                   
that was made  possible by public broadcasting.  She stressed                                                                   
that there  was isolation  in many  communities that  limited                                                                   
the opportunity  to communicate  and participate;  but public                                                                   
broadcasting provided that connection to the world.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANICE WALKER,  KRBD RADIO,  KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference),                                                                   
urged   the  committee   to   restore   funding  for   public                                                                   
broadcasting.  She stressed  that the  public radio  provided                                                                   
many essential  programs and  weather information.  She added                                                                   
that the  public radio  also provided emergency  information.                                                                   
She stated that  the public radio was the local  provider for                                                                   
emergency alerts.  She remarked that the staff  at the public                                                                   
radio  station  was  already  frugal,  and  volunteered  many                                                                   
unpaid hours  for the fundraising  events. She  stressed that                                                                   
the  cut  would  drop the  local  station  below  the  amount                                                                   
needed for the federal match.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  ZASTROW, MEMBER,  AARP, KETCHIKAN  (via  teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of  regional funding  for community  broad-                                                                   
based  support   programs.  He   stated  that  the   programs                                                                   
included volunteer  caregivers. He  also urged the  committee                                                                   
to restore funding for public broadcasting.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:43:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  LOUGHMAN,   SELF,  KETCHIKAN  (via   teleconference),                                                                   
urged   the  committee   to   restore   funding  for   public                                                                   
broadcasting.  She  stated  that  she  had  a  business  that                                                                   
supported  the blind  and  those with  low  vision. She  felt                                                                   
that  public radio  was a  lifeline  for many  people in  the                                                                   
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:43:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSEF  QUITSLAND,  SELF,  PETERSBURG   (via  teleconference),                                                                   
urged   the  committee   to   restore   funding  for   public                                                                   
broadcasting.  He remarked  that  he was  able  to watch  the                                                                   
committee   meeting  because   of  public  broadcasting.   He                                                                   
remarked that  he would  be ignorant or  be required  to turn                                                                   
to Fox  News without  public radio.  He remarked that  losing                                                                   
funding  for public radio  would have  a trickledown  effect.                                                                   
He also spoke  in support of funding for the  marine highway.                                                                   
He stated  the marine highway  had many beneficiaries  beyond                                                                   
the residents of  Southeast Alaska. He also  spoke in support                                                                   
of diverse funding structures.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:46:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG  OLSON, SELF,  PETERSBURG  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting,                                                                   
and arts programs.  He stated that public radio  had absorbed                                                                   
the recent cuts,  and felt that further cuts  would result in                                                                   
a loss  of federal  funding. He  felt that  the public  radio                                                                   
provided jobs  to the  community. He  remarked that  the loss                                                                   
of   public  radio   would  result   in  a   great  loss   of                                                                   
information.  He explained  that  the communities  in  Alaska                                                                   
had  the  highest  level  of support  of  any  state  in  the                                                                   
country.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:48:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIN MICHAEL,  SELF, PETERSBURG  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in  support  of  funding  for   public  health  nursing.  She                                                                   
explained  that the  public health  nursing provided  various                                                                   
forms of screening,  family planning services,  and knowledge                                                                   
for the  current opioid addiction  problem in the  state. She                                                                   
stressed that  public health nursing  provided a  much needed                                                                   
service  to  the  state.  She also  urged  the  committee  to                                                                   
restore funding for public broadcasting.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARILYN     MENISH-MEUCCI,      SELF,     PETERSBURG     (via                                                                   
teleconference),   spoke   in    support   of   Pre-K,   Best                                                                   
Beginnings,  Department   of  Health  and   Social  Services,                                                                   
Alaska Marine  Highway,  and urged the  committee to  restore                                                                   
funding   for  public   broadcasting.  She   felt  that   the                                                                   
committee  should severely cut  the oil  and gas tax  credit,                                                                   
use a portion of the PFD, and a statewide income tax.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:52:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REXANNE  STAFFORD,  SELF,  PETERSBURG  (via  teleconference),                                                                   
urged   the  committee   to   restore   funding  for   public                                                                   
broadcasting and  the Alaska Marine Highway System.  She felt                                                                   
that   the  public   radio   was  imperative   to   providing                                                                   
information   about   emergencies.   She  stated   that   her                                                                   
community relied  on the ferry system. She  stated that women                                                                   
could  not give  birth in  Petersburg anymore,  so the  ferry                                                                   
system  was  essential. She  also  spoke  in support  of  the                                                                   
state income tax.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:54:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHELSEA  TREMBLAY,  SELF,  PETERSBURG  (via  teleconference),                                                                   
urged   the  committee   to   restore   funding  for   public                                                                   
broadcasting;  public health  programs;  and public  schools.                                                                   
She spoke  against  the oil and  gas tax  credits. She  urged                                                                   
support of a state income tax.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:55:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE STRATMAN,  SELF, PETERSBURG  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting.                                                                   
He  felt  that public  radio  was  an  integral part  of  his                                                                   
community.  He stated  that the  emergency  alert system  was                                                                   
effectively  used  to  warn the  public  of  severe  weather,                                                                   
natural disasters,  escaped criminals, child  abductions, and                                                                   
other  emergencies.  He stressed  that  public  radio was  an                                                                   
essential element  to the health  and safety of  Alaskans. He                                                                   
also voiced support of a state income tax.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ORIN PIERSON,  SELF, PETERSBURG  (via teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting.                                                                   
He felt  that the  cuts to  public radio  station would  shut                                                                   
down  the Petersburg  radio  station.  He shared  the  public                                                                   
radio  station  was run  by  many  volunteers. He  felt  that                                                                   
public  radio was  a daily  utility in  small communities  in                                                                   
the state. He  shared that the residents were  told to listen                                                                   
to the radio in times of emergency.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:59:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BENNETT  MCGRATH,  SELF,  PETERSBURG   (via  teleconference),                                                                   
urged   the  committee   to   restore   funding  for   public                                                                   
broadcasting,  public health nursing,  and the Alaska  Marine                                                                   
Highway  System. She  also  spoke in  support  of taxes.  She                                                                   
remarked  that  public  radio was  essential  in  communities                                                                   
that did not have internet.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:00:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NOLA WALKER,  SELF, WRANGELL (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                   
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  She                                                                   
stressed  that  the  public  radio  provided  many  essential                                                                   
communication  access.   She  felt  that  public   radio  was                                                                   
important to participate in democracy.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:02:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEGGY COWAN,  NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH SCHOOL  DISTRICT, ANCHORAGE                                                                   
(via  teleconference),  spoke   in  support  of  funding  for                                                                   
public  education. She  remarked  that she  was fortunate  to                                                                   
live  and  work on  the  North  Slope.  She shared  that  her                                                                   
district   would  increase   the   local  contribution.   She                                                                   
remarked  that  the  district   was  struggling  with  budget                                                                   
decisions  to best serve  the students  in a quality  manner.                                                                   
She remarked  that there  could be  school districts  who may                                                                   
be  experiencing  a  worse  result  that  her  district.  She                                                                   
stressed that students were the state's greatest resource.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:04:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB FASSINO,  SELF, WASILLA  (via teleconference),  felt that                                                                   
there were  enough cuts  in the budget.  He spoke  in support                                                                   
of a state income  tax. He spoke against the oil  and gas tax                                                                   
credits. He  felt that the  earnings from the  Permanent Fund                                                                   
could  be used  to  fund the  budget.  He stressed  that  the                                                                   
budget situation needed to be fixed immediately.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:07:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  MERRITT,   WRANGELL  SCHOOL  TEACHER,   WRANGELL  (via                                                                   
teleconference),   spoke  against   cuts  to  the   education                                                                   
formula. He  stressed that ignorance  was expensive.  He also                                                                   
spoke in support of the Alaska Marine Highway System.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^Public Testimony: Sitka, Cordova, Valdez                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:08:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE  HOEPFNER,   CORDOVA  SCHOOL   DISTRICT,  CORODVA   (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke in support  of funding of  education.                                                                   
He  spoke  against  the  5  percent  reduction  in  the  DEED                                                                   
budget.  He  hoped that  there  would  be an  opportunity  to                                                                   
testify  on that possible  5 percent  reduction. He  stressed                                                                   
that there  were unintended consequences  to budget  cuts. He                                                                   
felt that the  education funding should be  maintained across                                                                   
the  state.  He  felt that  defunding  education  would  hurt                                                                   
Alaska into the  future. He spoke in support  of the $250,000                                                                   
for the Alaska Best Practices Initiative.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:11:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman  stated  that   there  was  an  intended  5                                                                   
percent  reduction to  DEED,  and the  meeting  would be  the                                                                   
final public testimony on the operating budget.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY ANNE BISHOP,  SELF, CORODVA (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in  support of  locally based  case  management services  for                                                                   
mental health  programs. She  stated that  she had  a 9-year-                                                                   
old special  needs daughter. She  remarked that  her daughter                                                                   
would need the day-habilitation services.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:12:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman handed the gavel to Senator Micciche.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche   announced  that  the  current   bill  had                                                                   
increased the day-habilitation limit from 9 to 12 hours.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARB   JEWEL,   CORDOVA   SCHOOL   DISTRICT,   CORDOVA   (via                                                                   
teleconference),    expressed    disappointment   with    the                                                                   
exclusion of the  DEED budget in the bill.  She spoke against                                                                   
the proposed  5 percent cut  to education. She  remarked that                                                                   
the  cut would  provide  a  negative  impact on  the  Cordova                                                                   
School District.  She remarked that schools had  no option to                                                                   
raise  revenue, other  than what  they were  given. She  felt                                                                   
that funding for  schools would provide a strong  culture for                                                                   
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:15:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS JOHNSTON,  SELF, CORDOVA (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                   
support  of  funding  for  day  services  and  mental  health                                                                   
programs.  She stated  that she  had  a son  with a  Medicaid                                                                   
waiver that  allowed him to be  active in the  community. She                                                                   
stressed  that the  program allowed  for him  to live a  safe                                                                   
and  supportive lifestyle.  She  remarked that  12 hours  was                                                                   
not enough for him to be an active member of the community.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:16:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THERESA  GILLESPIE,   SELF,  CORDOVA  (via   teleconference),                                                                   
spoke in  support of funding  for school districts  to assist                                                                   
special needs  residents in transitioning into  the community                                                                   
as  a functioning  adult. She  hoped  that her  son would  be                                                                   
able to support himself in the community.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:17:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET  JOHNSON,  SELF, CORDOVA  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
against the cuts  to the day services program.  She announced                                                                   
that  she had  a daughter  with special  needs. She  remarked                                                                   
that  the   cuts  endangered  her   ability  to  be   in  the                                                                   
community. She  felt that the  result would be a  higher cost                                                                   
with her being  institutionalized. She spoke in  support of a                                                                   
state income tax.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:20:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAM SKAGGS,  SELF, SITKA (via teleconference),  spoke against                                                                   
the cuts to the  day services program. He shared  that he had                                                                   
a disabled  son,  and the  program provided  his son  greater                                                                   
opportunities  to  participate  in the  community.  He  hoped                                                                   
that there  could be a  way to find  cost savings  by working                                                                   
with the providers.  He understood that there  had been abuse                                                                   
of the  program, but assured  the committee that  the program                                                                   
was beneficial.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:22:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  WEGNER, SUPERINTENDENT,  SITKA  SCHOOL DISTRICT,  SITKA                                                                   
(via  teleconference),  spoke   against  funding  for  public                                                                   
education,  early  childhood education,  and  transportation.                                                                   
She  stressed  that  the  future of  Alaska  was  reliant  on                                                                   
education. She felt  that there should be  additional sources                                                                   
of  revenue  to fund  the  budget.  She remarked  that  level                                                                   
funding was  essential. She remarked  that Sitka  schools had                                                                   
responded  to the  most  recent  funding cuts,  but  stressed                                                                   
that  there was  no  way for  the  school systems  to  create                                                                   
revenue to fund their budgets.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:24:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB  PURVIS,  SELF,  SITKA  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                   
support  of the  Centers for  Independent  Living. He  shared                                                                   
that the  center had  provided him  education and ability  to                                                                   
use  a computer.  He  encouraged  the committee  to  consider                                                                   
those with disabilities who needed the services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:25:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMMETT  WILLIAMS,  SELF, SITKA  (via  teleconference),  urged                                                                   
the  committee to  restore funding  for public  broadcasting.                                                                   
He stressed that  the small town was working  together toward                                                                   
a common  goal through  public  radio with  the desire  to be                                                                   
safe and work  together as a community. He  stressed that the                                                                   
cut would result  in layoffs and would deprive  the community                                                                   
of its voice.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:27:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENLEY JACKSON,  SELF, SITKA (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                   
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  She                                                                   
remarked that  she had  relied on the  public radio  in order                                                                   
to be an engaged  citizen. She also stated  that public radio                                                                   
provided information  about the  local natural disasters  and                                                                   
emergencies.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  GORMAN, MUNICIPAL  ADMINISTRATOR, CITY  AND BOROUGH  OF                                                                   
SITKA, SITKA  (via teleconference),  remarked that  Sitka was                                                                   
experiencing  some budget  issues,  much like  the state  was                                                                   
currently  experiencing. He  spoke in  support of  additional                                                                   
revenue sources. He urged support of a state income tax.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche handed the gavel to Co-Chair Hoffman.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE  HOOD,  SELF,  SITKA (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                   
support of public  health nursing. She stated that  she was a                                                                   
registered nurse  for 22 years,  and is currently  completing                                                                   
a  master's  degree  in  Public  Health.  She  remarked  that                                                                   
public  health  covered  a  wide  range  of  issues  such  as                                                                   
managing  diabetes,  substance   abuse,  and  pregnancy.  She                                                                   
stressed  that  a strong  public  health  infrastructure  was                                                                   
essential  for  resilient  and  productive  communities.  She                                                                   
announced that Alaska  had the highest rates  of Chlamydia in                                                                   
the  country. She  stated that  Southeast  Alaska's rates  of                                                                   
Hepatitis  C had increased  490 from  2011 to  2015 in  18 to                                                                   
29-year-olds, because of the increased opioid abuse.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:33:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN DULL,  SELF, SITKA  (via teleconference), supported  the                                                                   
5  percent  cut  to  education.  He felt  that  the  BSA  was                                                                   
already too  high. He also  spoke in  support of the  cuts to                                                                   
the University  of Alaska. He  thanked the committee  for the                                                                   
efforts to  cut the budget.  He spoke  in support of  cuts to                                                                   
public broadcasting.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:35:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIM  MICHAUD, PRESIDENT,  VALDEZ  IMAGINATION LIBRARY  BOARD,                                                                   
VALDEZ  (via   teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  the                                                                   
Imagination Library  and Best  Beginnings. She remarked  that                                                                   
Best Beginnings  had provided essential support  in the first                                                                   
few years of  the Imagination Library. She remarked  that the                                                                   
program provided  books to everyone  enrolled in  the program                                                                   
free  of charge.  She stated  that there  were many  students                                                                   
enrolled in the program.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:37:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LILY  HERWALD, SELF,  SITKA (via  teleconference), urged  the                                                                   
committee  to restore  funding for  public broadcasting.  She                                                                   
stated that her  children had learned about  many things from                                                                   
public  radio.  She  shared  that   the  culture  was  taught                                                                   
through public  radio. She felt  that the funding  for public                                                                   
radio provided  maximum  benefit to keep  the information  on                                                                   
the radio.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:39:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARL BECKER,  SELF, CORDOVA  (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                   
committee  to restore  funding  for public  broadcasting.  He                                                                   
stressed that  public radio provided  an opportunity  to have                                                                   
access to  weather and emergency  alerts. He felt  that those                                                                   
programs were  important to his  community. He  stressed that                                                                   
the programs  were relevant, and  were wholesome  and family-                                                                   
centered entertainment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:41:26 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:02:08 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^Public Testimony: Fairbanks, Mat-Su                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman handed the gavel to Vice-Chair Bishop.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:02:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  MCMAHON,  ALASKA  COUNCIL   OF  SCHOOL  ADMINISTRATORS,                                                                   
PALMER  (via   teleconference),   testified  in  support   of                                                                   
funding for education.  She relayed that she  was a principal                                                                   
in the  Mat-Su Borough School  District and was  president of                                                                   
the  Alaska  Association  of   Secondary  School  Principals.                                                                   
Additionally,  she was  the President  of the Alaska  Council                                                                   
of  School  Administrators  (ACSA). She  informed  that  ACSA                                                                   
worked   on  joint   position  statements   to  help   inform                                                                   
legislative  policy,  and  its   top  priority  was  for  the                                                                   
legislature  to immediately  develop  and  implement a  long-                                                                   
term   multi-revenue   fiscal   plan.  She   emphasized   the                                                                   
importance of  timely, reliable, and predictable  revenue for                                                                   
schools  to  fully   fund  all  districts  as   well  as  all                                                                   
educational  initiatives,  laws and  mandates.  She spoke  in                                                                   
opposition  to  cost  shifting state  expenditures  to  local                                                                   
government.   She  requested   that  the  committee   provide                                                                   
additional  opportunity for  public testimony  on any  action                                                                   
taken  by   the  committee  regarding   the  BSA   and  pupil                                                                   
transportation items.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:04:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE ST. CLAIR,  SELF, MAT-SU (via teleconference),  thought                                                                   
the committee  was wasting time  by taking public  testimony.                                                                   
He mentioned  the  American healthcare  system. He  discussed                                                                   
transparency.  He   encouraged  Alaskans  to   contact  their                                                                   
legislators. He discussed budget reductions.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:07:01 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:08:04 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  CONOVER, BEST  BEGINNINGS/IMAGINATION LIBRARY,  MAT-SU                                                                   
(via teleconference),  spoke in support of funding  for early                                                                   
childhood programs.  She was a retired teacher  and discussed                                                                   
the importance  of early learning.  She was a  volunteer with                                                                   
the   Mat-Su   Imagination   Library.   She   discussed   the                                                                   
importance  of child  development  and referred  to  relevant                                                                   
research.  She urged  the committee  to  restore funding  for                                                                   
Best  Beginnings and  the Imagination  Library. She  referred                                                                   
to a statewide  study from 2015 that indicated  a majority of                                                                   
Alaskans   supported   funding  early   childhood   education                                                                   
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN   MINARD,  MAT-SU   HEALTH   FOUNDATION,  MAT-SU   (via                                                                   
teleconference),   testified    against   further   cuts   to                                                                   
community-based  support   services  in  the   mental  health                                                                   
budget. She agreed  that reductions were necessary  given the                                                                   
fiscal  climate, but  cutting  funds from  behavioral  health                                                                   
services  would cost  the state  more  in the  long run.  She                                                                   
asserted  that   there  were   critical  pieces   missing  in                                                                   
Alaska's continuum  of care for  mental health  and substance                                                                   
abuse  disorders.  She  discussed overuse  of  the  emergency                                                                   
department and  correctional facilities  as a result  of lack                                                                   
of services.  She  cited statistics  regarding patients  with                                                                   
mental health  diagnoses using the emergency  department, and                                                                   
the associated costs.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:12:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LUKE  FULP,  MAT-SU  BOROUGH   SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  MATSU  (via                                                                   
teleconference),  urged the  committee  to restore  education                                                                   
funding. He  acknowledged the state  deficit and the  need to                                                                   
establish  a  long-term  fiscal  plan. He  relayed  that  the                                                                   
school  district  had  developed  a  plan  for  the  upcoming                                                                   
school  year based  upon  the  governor's budget.  He  stated                                                                   
that   the   district   faced  an   $11.2   million   deficit                                                                   
considering   the  governor's   proposed   funding  for   the                                                                   
foundation  formula  and pupil  transportation  program.  The                                                                   
school board  made $9.5  million in  spending reductions  and                                                                   
had  voted  to increase  class  sizes,  eliminate  positions,                                                                   
reduce   administrator    salaries,   cut    extra-curricular                                                                   
activities, and  decrease custodial services at  the majority                                                                   
of schools.  He continued that  the district was  considering                                                                   
outsourcing  custodial  and food  service  positions if  cost                                                                   
savings  were possible.  He  thought  further cuts  would  be                                                                   
detrimental to the  education system. He urged  the committee                                                                   
to fully  fund education  at the  foundation formula  funding                                                                   
levels. He  urged the  committee to  make an opportunity  for                                                                   
public  testimony once  the Senate  a funding  plan for  K-12                                                                   
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARVAN   BUCARIA,   SELF,   MAT-SU    (via   teleconference),                                                                   
discussed the Permanent Fund.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Bishop  asked   Mr.  Bucaria   to  confine   his                                                                   
testimony to the budget bills on the agenda.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:16:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH FREAD,  SELF, MATSU  (via teleconference), testified  in                                                                   
support  of further  cuts to  state  spending. She  supported                                                                   
cutting education  funding by combining school  districts and                                                                   
reducing  open  positions.  She   discussed  savings  in  the                                                                   
administrative  budget. She  discussed contract  negotiations                                                                   
and merit increases.  She supported using the  Permanent Fund                                                                   
Earnings Reserve. She discussed rhetoric.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SONIN,  SELF, JUNEAU,  testified in  support of  funding                                                                   
for education and  public radio. He discussed  the importance                                                                   
of  public radio  to  rural areas.  He  spoke  in support  of                                                                   
early childhood  education. He  emphasized the importance  of                                                                   
education for  the long  term health of  the state.  He spoke                                                                   
in support of an education tax.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:22:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL   WEST,   AK  EARTHQUAKE   CENTER,   FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                   
teleconference), spoke  in support of funding for  the Alaska                                                                   
Earthquake Center.  He discussed  the many activities  in the                                                                   
state  that  relied  on  information   from  the  center.  He                                                                   
discussed functions  of the center. He noted  that the center                                                                   
was in  its fourth  year of budget  reductions. He  urged the                                                                   
committee to  support funding  for the University  of Alaska,                                                                   
and the role it played in the state.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:25:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL KILGORE,  INTERIOR COMMUNITY HEALTH  CENTER, FAIRBANKS                                                                   
(via  teleconference), testified  in support  of funding  for                                                                   
Medicaid  expansion.  She had  been  the  CEO of  the  health                                                                   
center  since 1995.  She referred  to recent  changes to  the                                                                   
state and  national healthcare  system. She relayed  that the                                                                   
center served individuals  that had barriers to  health care,                                                                   
which had  been somewhat  reduced due  to increased  Medicaid                                                                   
coverage.  There were  many specialty  care  needs that  were                                                                   
beyond  non-tribal  health care  centers  in the  state.  She                                                                   
appreciated  the budget  constraints that  were faced  by the                                                                   
state.  She  relayed  that  in 2006,  the  center  saw  5,558                                                                   
people with 18,801  visits. She specified that  66 percent of                                                                   
the  individuals  lived  at  or  below  200  percent  of  the                                                                   
federal  poverty level.  She urged the  committee to  support                                                                   
Medicaid expansion, and adult dental within expansion.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:27:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA RACENET,  SELF, WASILLA  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in  support of  funding for  community  support services  and                                                                   
disability support  services. She support a fiscal  plan that                                                                   
would have  sufficient revenues  to support communities.  She                                                                   
discussed  her   personal  experience  with   her  daughter's                                                                   
disease   and   disability.  She   recounted   her   positive                                                                   
experience  with receiving  community  support services.  She                                                                   
discussed  her concerns  about  losing  services. She  stated                                                                   
that she would be sending written testimony.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:31:56 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:32:19 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bishop stated  the committee  would be  "at-ease"                                                                   
until 5:45 p.m.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:32:29 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:45:23 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KAYTLYN  KELLY,  SELF,  PALMER, testified  in  opposition  to                                                                   
cuts  to education.  She  encouraged  the  Senate to  find  a                                                                   
fiscally  responsible  solution to  the  current budget.  She                                                                   
surmised  reducing education  funding  by 5  percent had  the                                                                   
potential  to cut 50  positions in  her school district.  She                                                                   
posited that Alaska  ranked below 47 other states  in reading                                                                   
and ranked  below 36 other states  in math. She  thought that                                                                   
lower income  districts were  disproportionately affected  by                                                                   
cuts.   She   opposed   cuts  to   the   Alaska   Performance                                                                   
Scholarship.  She thought  the scholarship  kept students  in                                                                   
the state.  She supported additional  sources of  revenue for                                                                   
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:48:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KYRSTYN  KELLY,  SELF,  PALMER, testified  in  opposition  to                                                                   
cuts to education.  She discussed potential cuts  to her high                                                                   
school.  She discussed  the number  of students  in her  high                                                                   
school  classes   and  the  likelihood  of   greater  student                                                                   
numbers.  She  asserted  that   cuts  to  education  directly                                                                   
affected her  learning. She thought  that education  had been                                                                   
cut too much.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:50:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEANETTE  GRASTO,   NATIONAL  ALLIANCE  ON   MENTAL  ILLNESS,                                                                   
FAIRBANKS  (via  teleconference),  testified  against  budget                                                                   
cuts   that   targeted   the    elderly   and   people   with                                                                   
disabilities.  She relayed  that she  was the  parent of  two                                                                   
adults  with disabilities.  She asserted  that services  were                                                                   
not  adequate even  without  the  cuts. She  considered  that                                                                   
cuts would  lower the  quality of  life of many  individuals.                                                                   
She discussed  the higher  costs of hospitalization,  prison,                                                                   
and emergency  care as compared  to the costs of  a community                                                                   
health  center.  She  thought  it was  short-sighted  to  cut                                                                   
community-based  health  programs  and funnel  patients  into                                                                   
more  expensive  institutional  care.  She  did  not  support                                                                   
cutting the PFD.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:52:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM GOODE,  SELF, RURAL  DELTANA (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                   
in opposition  to SB  26. She thought  the legislature  had a                                                                   
spending  problem.   She  asserted  that   over-spending  had                                                                   
resulted  in the  state budget  deficit rather  than the  low                                                                   
price of oil.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:54:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VANESSA LISTON,  SELF, MATSU (via teleconference),  testified                                                                   
against  budget  cuts  to  community   health  services.  She                                                                   
relayed  that  her  son  had   significant  disabilities  and                                                                   
required 24-hour  care. She discussed  the cost of  care. She                                                                   
emphasized  that   cuts  to  disability  services   would  be                                                                   
devastating.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KERRY  BOYD, YUKON  KOYUKUK SCHOOL  DISTRICT, FAIRBANKS  (via                                                                   
teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  funding  for  K-12                                                                   
education   programs.   She   relayed   that  she   was   the                                                                   
superintendent of the Yukon Koyukuk  School District. She was                                                                   
also  an officer  of the  Alaska Superintendents  Association                                                                   
and the Alaska Council of School  Administrators. She thanked                                                                   
the  committee for  their work.  She stated  that the  Alaska                                                                   
Council for School Administrators  supported adequate funding                                                                   
for  public  education  as  its   number  one  priority.  She                                                                   
supported the  immediate development  of a long-term,  multi-                                                                   
revenue  fiscal  plan. She  thought  the state  must  provide                                                                   
timely,  reliable, and  predictable  revenue  for schools  to                                                                   
fully fund  schools in  all regional  districts. She  opposed                                                                   
cost-shifting of state expenditures  to local government. She                                                                   
asked  the committee  to provide  additional opportunity  for                                                                   
public  testimony  if  there  was any  action  taken  by  the                                                                   
committee regarding the BSA and pupil transportation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:58:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON  GRAY, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference),  testified                                                                   
in support of  funding for K-12 education programs.  He spoke                                                                   
in  support of  additional revenue  measures  to balance  the                                                                   
budget. He  supported an  income tax.  He supported  a slight                                                                   
increase in a state  highway fuel tax. He did  not think more                                                                   
cuts were  needed. He  did not support  cuts to education  or                                                                   
shifting costs  to local  districts. He  spoke in support  of                                                                   
funding   for   public  broadcasting.   He   thought   public                                                                   
broadcasting was important for rural and urban areas.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche  stated that  he wanted  to hear from  every                                                                   
Alaskan whether  or not  they supported  further cuts  to the                                                                   
budget.  He   clarified  that  public  testimony   should  be                                                                   
confined to  the bill being  considered. He asked  testifiers                                                                   
to speak to SB 22.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:01:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  TABER, FAIRBANKS  WELLNESS  COALITION, FAIRBANKS  (via                                                                   
teleconference), spoke  in opposition to cuts of  funding for                                                                   
community-based  support   services  through   reductions  to                                                                   
Department of  Health and Social  Services. She  relayed that                                                                   
the  coalition  was  focused on  prevention  of  suicide  and                                                                   
prescription  opioid  misuse.  She  asked  the  committee  to                                                                   
maintain the current  level of funding for the  Department of                                                                   
Health and  Social Services.  She discussed  past cuts  to GF                                                                   
spending.  She thought that  the state  needed a fiscal  plan                                                                   
to  provide  enough revenue  to  maintain  critical  services                                                                   
rather than  continued cuts  that would  cost the state  more                                                                   
in the  future. She urged  the committee to maintain  funding                                                                   
for treatment  and prevention  services  that were needed  in                                                                   
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bishop CLOSED public testimony.