Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/29/1996 09:09 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                 

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