Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/29/1996 09:09 AM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 506 UNIVERSITY FIRE FIGHTING PROGRAM Number 377 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced HB 506 as the next order of business before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE NAVARRE, Prime Sponsor, explained that HB 506 would allow the University of Alaska to establish the fire training program in Kenai. The fire training program is currently being run as part of the MAPTS program. Lines 9-12 of the bill illustrate the thrust of the bill: how much money is generated at the facility in order to be used to buy additional props. Approximately $3,000 to $5,000 worth of additional props are needed in order to provide training that is not provided elsewhere in Alaska. For example, industrial training for the oil industry. Currently, that type of training is received in Nevada and Texas. Representative Navarre acknowledged the concern that this would be the only fire training required in statute by the university. This bill does not preclude the university from doing the training elsewhere. There is a fire training degree program at the Fairbanks campus. Representative Navarre did not expect that to change. This bill does not intend to take over all the fire training for the state. There would still be the need to do regional fire training in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Representative Navarre believed all the concern to be because Kenai is working on receiving federal funds for the FAA for a $6 million aircraft training rescue program. There is competition between Anchorage and Kenai over who would receive that program which is not related to this bill. HB 506 would address the need for additional props to train for the oil industry. Number 424 SENATOR LEMAN did not believe that the title of the bill addressed what the bill actually does. Senator Leman said that the intent was to establish the institute in Kenai. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said that this was how it came back from the drafter. He intended to establish a separate entity in Kenai in order to determine the amount of revenue generated and how much the university uses for other programs. The goal is to establish it so as the fire training program keeps their receipts in order to purchase the additional props for additional training. SENATOR LEMAN asked Representative Navarre if he had seen the letter from Evans & Associates which opposes HB 506. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said that he had discussed this with some of the local fire chiefs. The concern is that Kenai is trying to take all the fire training in the state which is not the case. He informed the committee that he had explained it to the head of the Fire Chiefs Association who are concerned that this will be the only area in statute that requires the university to establish a training center. The Anchorage facility is not part of the university. The Kenai campus is part of the University of Alaska- Anchorage. The university determines the scope, range, and size of the Kenai program. SENATOR SALO asked if the focus of the Kenai facility is different because of the industrial training. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE agreed. CHAIRMAN GREEN inquired as to the path of the money received for this fire training. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated that the legislature controls this funding. Representative Navarre believed that separate accounts for Kenai would be established. CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if any other parts of the university are run like this. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE did not know. The university does not oppose HB 506. SENATOR LEMAN inquired as to the vote on the House floor. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said that the vote was 28-11. The opposition rose from the letter and the fear that this would take funds from other fire training. SENATOR SALO moved that HB 506 be moved out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections, it was so ordered.