Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/08/2004 04:08 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 08, 2004                                                                                            
                          4:08 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 04 - 53, Side A                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 04 - 53, Side B                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 04 - 54, Side A                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris called the House  Finance Committee meeting                                                                     
to order at 4:08 PM.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Harris, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                        
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Beth   Kerttula;    Representative   Bruce                                                                     
Weyhrauch;  Representative Ethan  Berkowitz; Elfrida  Nord,                                                                     
Alaska Nursing  Association, Juneau;  Mary Hakala,  Juneau;                                                                     
Joan  O'Keefe, Juneau; Jill  Sandleben, Catholic  Community                                                                     
Services, Juneau; Julie Morris, Juneau School Board, Juneau;                                                                    
Claudia Criss,  Juneau; Bill  Burk, Juneau; Kathryn  Arlen,                                                                     
Juneau;  Doris  Robbins,  Juneau;  Randy   Magen,  National                                                                     
Association of Social Workers, Juneau; Ted Merrell, Juneau;                                                                     
Gail Baker, Juneau; Diane McGachern, National Association of                                                                    
Social   Workers,  Juneau;   Rosemary  Hagevig,   Executive                                                                     
Director, Catholic Community Services, Juneau; Diane Kruck,                                                                     
Juneau; Suzanne  Cortwright- Cohen,  Juneau; Jackie  Green,                                                                     
Juneau; Ruth Simpson, National Council for Drug Dependence,                                                                     
Juneau; Walter  Majoros, Executive  Director, Juneau  Youth                                                                     
Services; Susan Papps, Juneau; Ernie Mueller, Juneau; Allen                                                                     
Herrick, Juneau; Harold  Stepp, Juneau; Bill Legere,  KTOO,                                                                     
Juneau; Catherine Reardon, Juneau; Bev Mueller, Juneau; Rosa                                                                    
Gaona, Juneau; Shari Mattingly,  Juneau; Cassandra Russell,                                                                     
Juneau; Kyle Curtis, Juneau; Sydney Stradicke, Juneau; Erin                                                                     
Cruz,  Juneau; Andy  Story, Juneau  District School  Board,                                                                     
Juneau; Gayle Trivette, Juneau;                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
 PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 Brain Schutt, Anacortes, Washington; Jan Wrentmore, Skagway                                                                    
 GENERAL SUBJECT(S):                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
         HB 375-APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                          
             HB 377-APPROP:MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                 STATEWIDE TESTIMONY: JUNEAU                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
The following overview was taken in log note format.  Tapes                                                                     
and handouts will be on file with the House Finance                                                                             
Committee through the 23rd Legislative Session, contact 465-                                                                    
2156. After the 23rd Legislative Session they will be                                                                           
available through the Legislative Library at 465-3808.                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
 LOG SPEAKER                DISCUSSION                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                            TAPE HFC 04 - 53, SIDE A                                                                       
 000 Co-Chair Harris        Convened the House Finance Committee                                                                
                            meeting in order to take statewide public                                                           
                            testimony on the operating budget and the                                                           
                            mental health budget for FY05.  (Juneau)                                                          
 005 ALLEN HERRICK,         Spoke   in    support   of    vocational                                                            
      JUNEAU                rehabilitation services.                                                                          
 075  HAROLD STEPP, JUNEAU  Spoke in support of funding for shelters.                                                         
 150  BILL LEGERE, KTOO,    Voiced  support   for  continuation   of                                                            
      JUNEAU                funding for the public broadcasting                                                                 
                            satellite infrastructure.  Testified  in                                                            
                            support  of  full  funding  for   public                                                            
                          broadcasting.                                                                                       
 409  BEV MUELLER, JUNEAU   Spoke in support of funding for behavior                                                            
                            health services,  which address  alcohol                                                            
                            and substance  abuse. Expressed  support                                                            
                            for the Percent  of Market Value  (POMV)                                                            
                            plan.  Noted   support  for   additional                                                            
                            revenue measures. Expressed support  for                                                            
                            implementation of a statewide income tax.                                                         
 619 ERNIE MUELLER,         Spoke in support of funding for behavior                                                            
      JUNEAU                health services, which address alcohol                                                              
                            and substance abuse.                                                                              
 749 WALTER MAJOROS,        Voiced support for behavior health                                                                  
      EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,   services,  which  address  alcohol   and                                                            
      JUNEAU YOUTH          substance abuse among youth. Spoke in                                                               
      SERVICES              support of funding for mental health                                                                
                            programs.                                                                                         
 1150 RUTH SIMPSON,         Spoke in support of funding for behavior                                                            
      NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR  health services,  which address  alcohol                                                            
      DRUG DEPENDENCE,      and substance abuse. Testified in support                                                           
      JUNEAU                of the Alcohol Safety Action Program                                                                
                            (ASAP).                                                                                           
 1423 SUZANNE CORTWRIGHT-   Spoke in  support of additional  funding                                                            
      COHEN, JUNEAU         for education. Expressed support for                                                              
                           implementation of a statewide income tax.                                                          
1602 Co-Chair Williams     Questioned the optimal class size.                                                                 
1698 Ms. Cohen             Felt that classes should not be larger                                                               
                           than 20 students.                                                                                  
1721  DIANE KRUCK, JUNEAU  Spoke in support of funding for behavior                                                             
                           health  services, which  address alcohol                                                             
                           and substance abuse. Spoke in support of                                                             
                           funding for mental health programs.                                                                
1941 DIANE MCGACHERN,      Spoke in support of funding for mental                                                               
      NATIONAL ASSOCIATION health programs. She  observed that many                                                             
      OF SOCIAL WORKERS,   of  their  services   are  not  Medicaid                                                             
      JUNEAU               eligible. Voiced support for the public                                                              
                           health nursing program. Expressed support                                                            
                           for implementation of a statewide income                                                             
                           tax.                                                                                               
2142  GAIL BAKER, JUNEAU   Spoke    in   support    of   vocational                                                             
                           rehabilitation   services.  Support   of                                                             
                           Juneau Youth Services.                                                                             
2334  TED MERRELL, JUNEAU  Voiced concerns with cuts  to the Alaska                                                             
                           Marine Highway System.                                                                             
2552 RANDY MAGEN,          Thanked the committee for adding social                                                              
      NATIONAL ASSOCIATION workers to the  Division of Occupational                                                             
      OF SOCIAL WORKERS,   Licensing. Suggested that  funding could                                                             
      JUNEAU               be fund by using funds directed to Arctic                                                            
                           Power   for  lobbying   ANWR.  Expressed                                                             
                           support for implementation of a statewide                                                            
                           income tax.                                                                                        
2922 DORIS ROBBINS,        Voiced support for funding for tobacco                                                               
      JUNEAU               prevention   and   cessation   programs.                                                             
                           Testified  in  support  of  funding  for                                                             
                           alcohol  treatment  programs.  Spoke  in                                                             
                           support  of   vocational  rehabilitation                                                             
                           services.                                                                                          
3256 KATHRYN ARLEN,        Voiced opposition to the cuts in Medicaid                                                            
      JUNEAU               Services.                                                                                          
3722  BILL BURK, JUNEAU    Spoke in support of funding for behavior                                                             
                           health  services, which  address alcohol                                                             
                           and substance abuse. Spoke in support of                                                             
                           funding for mental health programs. Spoke                                                            
                           in support  of vocational rehabilitation                                                             
                           services.                                                                                          
3934 JILL SANDLEBEN,       Voiced opposition to the cuts in Medicaid                                                            
      CATHOLIC COMMUNITY   Services.    Expressed   concern    with                                                             
      SERVICES, JUNEAU     reductions to senior services. Expressed                                                             
                           concern  with   reductions  to  programs                                                             
                           serving    those   with    disabilities.                                                             
                           Expressed  support for  the  POMV  plan.                                                             
                           Expressed support for implementation of a                                                            
                           statewide income tax.                                                                              
4415  JOAN O'KEEFE, JUNEAU Expressed  concern  with  reductions  to                                                             
                           programs serving those with disabilities.                                                            
                           Voiced opposition to the cuts in Medicaid                                                          
                            Services. Spoke in support of vocational                                                            
                            rehabilitation services.                                                                          
 4528                                                                                                                           
                            TAPE HFC 04 - 53, Side B                                                                        
 4625 ELFRIDA NORD, ALASKA  Voiced support  for  the  public  health                                                            
      NURSING ASSOCIATION, nursing program.                                                                                   
      JUNEAU                                                                                                                    
 4302 MARY HAKALA, JUNEAU   Spoke in  support of additional  funding                                                            
                            for education. Suggested inflation factor                                                           
                            plus for five  years, which  would be  a                                                            
                            statement of commitment on  the part  of                                                            
                            the Legislature.                                                                                  
 3939 JULIE MORRIS, JUNEAU  Spoke in  support of additional  funding                                                            
      SCHOOL BOARD, JUNEAU for    education.    She   pleaded    the                                                            
                            Legislature   to   look   at   something                                                            
                            "reasonable". Classrooms are approaching                                                            
                            a "critical mass".                                                                                
 3732 BRIAN SCHUTT, OFF     Spoke   in    support   of    vocational                                                            
      NET - ANACORTES, WA rehabilitation services.                                                                            
 3614 CLAUDIA CRISS,        Spoke   in    support   of    vocational                                                            
      JUNEAU                rehabilitation services and the many                                                                
                            services that have  been offered to  her                                                            
                            with  her   visual   disabilities.   She                                                            
                            requested that services for the blind not                                                           
                            be cut from the proposed budget.                                                                  
 3001 ROSEMARY HAGEVIG,     Voiced opposition to the cuts in Medicaid                                                           
      EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Services.  She commented on the damage                                                                
      CATHOLIC COMMUNITY    that those cuts would cause the non-                                                                
      SERVICES, JUNEAU      profit infrastructure.                                                                            
 2602 JACKIE GREEN, JUNEAU  Spoke   in    support   of    vocational                                                            
                            rehabilitation  services.     Spoke   in                                                            
                            support of  funding for behavior  health                                                            
                            services,  which  address  alcohol   and                                                            
                            substance abuse.                                                                                  
 2244 SUSAN PAPPS, JUNEAU   Spoke in support  of funding for  mental                                                            
                            health programs.                                                                                  
 1940 CATHERINE REARDON,    Spoke in  support of additional  funding                                                            
      JUNEAU                for education and inflation proofing. She                                                           
                            added  concerns  to  reductions  in  the                                                            
                            Division of Occupational Licensing.  She                                                            
                            pointed out that [cuts to  the Division]                                                            
                            would not  help to  balance the  State's                                                            
                            budget, but would change  the philosophy                                                            
                            on investigations throughout the State.                                                           
 1448 ROSA GAONA, JUNEAU    Spoke   in    support   of    vocational                                                            
                            rehabilitation services.  She noted that                                                            
                            she uses  the  services of  JAMI.    She                                                            
                            maintained  that   these  agencies   are                                                            
                            important and should be continued by the                                                            
                            State.                                                                                            
 1248 SHARI MATTINGLY,      Spoke against cuts to the Council on                                                                
      JUNEAU                Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for                                                            
                            services  to  women  and  children.  She                                                          
                           pointed out that one  in three women are                                                             
                           battered.  She urged that the funding not                                                            
                           be  cut from  programs that  are helping                                                             
                           real people.                                                                                       
858   CASSANDRA RUSSELL,   Spoke    in   support    of   vocational                                                             
      JUNEAU               rehabilitation services. Spoke in support                                                            
                           of funding for behavior health services,                                                             
                           which address alcohol and substance abuse                                                            
                           and the  support systems associated with                                                             
                           those  agencies.  She commented  on  the                                                             
                           resources  available in  Alaska and  how                                                             
                           supportive they are. She  asked that the                                                             
                           cuts to these programs be reconsidered.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                           TAPE HFC 04 - 54, Side A                                                                         
044   KYLE CURTIS, JUNEAU  Spoke    in   support    of   vocational                                                             
                           rehabilitation  services.  He  commended                                                             
                           legislators for  taking a  hard  path on                                                             
                           crime.    Investing in  Alaska's  future                                                             
                           would maintain funding  for the Division                                                             
                           of  Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)  and                                                             
                           increase earning and manufacturing power                                                             
                           for  the  State.  Expressed support  for                                                             
                           implementation of a statewide income tax.                                                            
                           He urged compassion.                                                                               
632   SYDNEY STRADICKE,    Spoke    in   support    of   vocational                                                             
      JUNEAU               rehabilitation services noting that they                                                             
                           have  been  there  for  her  during  her                                                             
                           struggle with MS.                                                                                  
1131  ERIN CRUZ, JUNEAU    Expressed  concern   over  cuts   to  in                                                             
                           statewide  services.   She  commented on                                                             
                           racism and the manifestation of statewide                                                            
                           alcohol problems. She maintained that the                                                            
                           Legislature needs to "realize that these                                                             
                           concerns are affecting  our children and                                                             
                           our children's children".  The problem is                                                            
                           getting "bigger".  The  State cannot put                                                             
                           these concerns off.                                                                                
1443 JAN WRENTMORE,        Voiced appreciation for funding for the                                                              
      SKAGWAY              new fast ferry.  She urged that this                                                                 
                           effort be fully  funded. She pointed out                                                             
                           that  40% of  marine highway  revenue is                                                             
                           earned in the  Lynn Canal, which reduces                                                             
                           subsidies statewide. She  urged that the                                                             
                           ferry system be fully funded. She voiced                                                             
                           concern  with  the  Governor's  proposed                                                             
                           budget  and  plans  to  eliminate  ferry                                                             
                           travel north of Juneau.                                                                            
1809  ANDY STORY, JUNEAU   Noted  support  for  additional  revenue                                                             
      DISTRICT SCHOOL      measures. Spoke in support of additional                                                             
      BOARD, JUNEAU        funding for education. Emphasized the                                                                
                           need to pay for PERS and TRS increases.                                                            
1924 GAYLE TRIVETTE,       Expressed support for the POMV plan and a                                                            
      JUNEAU               payout, which would divide funds between                                                           
                            state government and dividends. Expressed                                                           
                            support for implementation of a statewide                                                           
                            income tax. Spoke in support of  HB 441,                                                            
                            which would increase  oil tax  revenues.                                                            
                            Spoke in  support of additional  funding                                                            
                            for education.                                                                                    
      ADJOURNMENT           The meeting was adjourned at 6:33 PM                                                              

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