Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/05/2010 01:30 PM FINANCE


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Audio Topic
01:35:56 PM Start
01:36:13 PM HB300 || HB302
04:23:36 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 300 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 302 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Governor's FY11 Budget Overview: TELECONFERENCED
Dept. of Public Safety
Dept. of Corrections
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      February 5, 2010                                                                                          
                         1:35 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:35:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 1:35 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Allan Austerman                                                                                                  
Representative Mike Doogan                                                                                                      
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Thomas Jr., Vice-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Linda   Menard,   Joseph   Masters,   Commissioner,                                                                   
Department  of  Public Safety;  Dan  Spencer,  Administrative                                                                   
Services Director, Department  of Public Safety; Joe Schmidt,                                                                   
Commissioner,  Department  of  Corrections;  Dwayne  Peeples,                                                                   
Deputy Commissioner, Department of Corrections;                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 300    APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 300 was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                    
          consideration, the following departments presented                                                                    
          overviews:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          Department of Public Safety                                                                                         
          Department of Corrections                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 302    APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 302 was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 300                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     loan program  expenses of state government,  for certain                                                                   
     programs, and  to capitalize funds;  making supplemental                                                                   
     appropriations;  making  appropriations  under art.  IX,                                                                   
     sec.  17(c), Constitution  of the  State of Alaska;  and                                                                   
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 302                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:36:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker explained  the general  format for  overview                                                                   
hearings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH MASTERS,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY,                                                                   
stated  that   the  priority  programs  reflected   those  of                                                                   
previous years,  and were listed  in the document,  "Priority                                                                   
of Agency  Programs" (copy  on file).  The document  outlined                                                                   
the  departments  continued  efforts  in the  areas  of;  law                                                                   
enforcement patrol and investigation,  rural law enforcement,                                                                   
domestic  violence  and sexual  assault  programs,  statewide                                                                   
public  safety  programs, resource  protection,  and  highway                                                                   
safety.  The  increment  requests in  the  governor's  budget                                                                   
related  specifically  to  the  aforementioned  programs.  He                                                                   
relayed  that  the  issue  of  sexual  assault  and  domestic                                                                   
violence was the  highest priority for the department  in the                                                                   
coming year,  followed by rural  law enforcement  and highway                                                                   
safety.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:41:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters  directed attention to  the department's                                                                   
budget overview  power point presentation (copy  on file). At                                                                   
the  top  of each  slide  was  the  title  of the  board,  or                                                                   
council;  the   left  side  illustrated  the   components  or                                                                   
divisions, and  on the right  side were important  highlights                                                                   
pertaining  to  the header.  Slide  two of  the  presentation                                                                   
detailed the  department's divisions of boards  and councils.                                                                   
Slide 3,  titled "Alaska  State Troopers"  revealed  that the                                                                   
troopers were divided into the following units:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Detachments                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Bureau of Investigations                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Bureau of Judicial Services                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Bureau of Highway Patrol                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Village Public Safety Officer Program                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     DPS Training Academy                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters continued  with the following statistics                                                                   
for 2009:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
   · 124,049 calls for service                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   · About 10 percent result in criminal cases                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   · 10 Homicides in 2009, 100 percent solved                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   · 78 open cold cases, 30 cases have been solved, 11 have                                                                     
     resulted in arrests for 1st degree murder, 14 are                                                                          
     actively being worked                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
   · Killers Toni Lister (1982) and Bonnie Craig (1994) are                                                                     
     going to trial.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
   · Killer of Scott Coville (1988) indicted and extradited                                                                     
     last month.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters  stated   that  the  governor's  budget                                                                   
request for the cold case unit  was $656.5 thousand. The cold                                                                   
case unit  was formed  in 2002  using federal grant  dollars,                                                                   
and  had proven  effective.  Funding  would  be necessary  to                                                                   
ensure the continuation of the program.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  queried the supplemental budget  request for                                                                   
the cold case unit.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:45:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters  informed  the committee  that  federal                                                                   
funding for  the unit had  expired halfway through  the year.                                                                   
Expenses accrued during the second  half of the year were the                                                                   
impetus  for the  supplemental  request. A  request had  been                                                                   
made for  the extension  of the  federal funds,  but was  not                                                                   
expected to be fruitful.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAN SPENCER, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES  DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
PUBLIC SAFETY,  testified that  the federal funding  was from                                                                   
an earmark  grant. The department  had received  an extension                                                                   
in the past, however, this year  the request was turned down.                                                                   
The  department  had  appealed  the  action;  the  grant  had                                                                   
expired,  but   the  government  could  provide   retroactive                                                                   
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  wondered if  the state  had been denied  the                                                                   
funds  because the  request was  made too  late. Mr.  Spencer                                                                   
stated that  the funding was  necessary and was  supported by                                                                   
the governor.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze wondered how  serious the administration was                                                                   
about funding the programs needed by the department.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:49:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Spencer replied  that there had been several  elements at                                                                   
play in the  previous year concerning the funding  of certain                                                                   
programs, and it was yet to be  seen how that would translate                                                                   
into future funding.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters added that  it was the department's full                                                                   
intention to capitalize on available  federal funding through                                                                   
the Department of  Justice (DOJ). Mr. Spencer  added that the                                                                   
positions, authorized by the Department  of Public Safety and                                                                   
funded by stimulus dollars, would need continued funding.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker reminded the committee  that the general rule                                                                   
surrounding the  stimulus dollars was that the  funding would                                                                   
not  be  used  for  anything  that  would  require  continued                                                                   
financial  support from  the state. The  5 trooper  positions                                                                   
and 1 additional support position,  added last year, had been                                                                   
the exception to the rule.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:52:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters  continued to  cite  the statistics  on                                                                   
Slide 3:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   · Marijuana grow operations and meth labs continue to                                                                        
     decline, but Heroin, and meth importation cases are                                                                        
     filling the void.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
   · Alcohol importation arrests decreased by over 26                                                                           
     percent. 218 arrests made                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   · 377 Sexual Assaults and 321 Sexual Abuse of Minor cases                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
   · 64,731 Prisoner transports, 8,186 Arrest Warrents                                                                          
     served or closed, 13,796 Writs served or closed                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
  · 770 Search and Rescue (SARs)cases assisted, 317 Saves                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
   · 63 highway fatalities, 16 alcohol related                                                                                  
   · 13 of 15 new federally funded PCNs vacant                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   · 11 Applicants just received hiring notices to begin                                                                        
     Academy 2/22/10                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked about  the rise  of heroin  use in                                                                   
the state; versus methamphetamine use.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:53:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters replied that  there had been more heroin                                                                   
transported into the state this  year than in previous years.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  wondered  why  heroin use  was  on  the                                                                   
upswing. Commissioner Masters stated that he did not know.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze pointed out to  the committee that there was                                                                   
a myriad  of  problems that  stemmed from  the production  of                                                                   
methamphetamine that were as destructive  as the addiction to                                                                   
the drug itself. He thought that  the success of tackling in-                                                                   
state production could have lead to increased importation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:55:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters  agreed. He stated that  people who deal                                                                   
drugs  throughout  the  state   would  adapt  to  enforcement                                                                   
efforts. As the department intervened  in drug deliveries via                                                                   
the  postal  service, a  rise  in  drugs entering  the  state                                                                   
through  the  Alaska  Marine Highway  System  and  the  state                                                                   
highway system was expected.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Masters relayed  that highway safety was  a high priority                                                                   
for the  department. The  Bureau of  Highway Patrol,  started                                                                   
2008,  was  still undergoing  staff  hires.  Five  additional                                                                   
troopers had been  requested for this year and  were expected                                                                   
to be funded federally by the Alaska Highway Safety Office.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker requested  and  explanation  of the  capital                                                                   
improvement project (CIP) receipts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Spencer explained  that the Alaska Highway  Safety Office                                                                   
received its  money from federal  grants and was  required to                                                                   
meticulously  account  for all  funds through  quarterly  and                                                                   
annual   reports.   Co-Chair   Hawker  wondered   about   the                                                                   
durability of  the funding. Mr.  Spencer understood  that the                                                                   
funding  was in  place  for the  next  5 years.  Commissioner                                                                   
Masters added  that the office  had approved the  departments                                                                   
plan with  the expectation  that the  funding was secure  for                                                                   
the next 5 years.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:00:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked  for clarification  of  the                                                                   
number of prisoners  transported into, and out  of the state,                                                                   
within the past  year. Commissioner Masters  replied that the                                                                   
number   was  up   3,000  from   last  year.   Representative                                                                   
Fairclough   asked  if   that   included  transportation   of                                                                   
perpetrators  of   domestic  violence  and   sexual  assault.                                                                   
Commissioner  Masters  said  that the  number  accounted  for                                                                   
arrested  offenders.   Representative  Fairclough noted  that                                                                   
total expenditure of transportation  had grown by $150,000 in                                                                   
General  Funds.  She  asked  if  transportation  of  prisoner                                                                   
funding was provided for on the  federal level.  Commissioner                                                                   
Masters do  not believe that  federal dollars  were currently                                                                   
available to offset prisoner transport  costs. Representative                                                                   
Fairclough  queried  whether  the  department  had  requested                                                                   
enough funding for prisoner transportation.  Mr. Spencer said                                                                   
that  the  request   in  the  supplemental  budget   was  for                                                                   
$300,000, and the reality of increasing  transportation costs                                                                   
were being  discussed  with the governor's  office.  He added                                                                   
that  varying  factors involved  in  prisoner  transportation                                                                   
costs made  it difficult to project  into the future,  but it                                                                   
could  be  expected that  costs  would  rise.  Representative                                                                   
Fairclough  asked if,  out of  the variables,  there was  one                                                                   
single  cost that  stood out.  Mr. Spencer  replied that  the                                                                   
expense  was large  weather commercial  aircraft or  aircraft                                                                   
owned by the  department was used. Representative  Fairclough                                                                   
asked  if the  department felt  it  had no  control over  the                                                                   
method  of  transportation.  Commissioner  Masters  explained                                                                   
that prisoners  were transported  for  a variety of  reasons.                                                                   
The prisoner  may not  be housed where  the trial  was taking                                                                   
place, the  prisoner may need  to be transported to  and from                                                                   
hearings,  and  the court  may  require  the transport  of  a                                                                   
prisoner for  a specific  hearing or  purpose. In most  cases                                                                   
the department did  not have control over how  a prisoner was                                                                   
transported. He said  in many cases it was  inefficient, time                                                                   
consuming, and costly.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  asked if the state  had a contract                                                                   
with  Alaska  Airlines.  Commissioner  Masters  replied  that                                                                   
Alaska  Airlines was  used  for most  state  travel. In  some                                                                   
cases charted planes were used.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   assumed  that   the  added  troopers   in                                                                   
Fairbanks, Palmer,  and Soldotna  were for command  posts and                                                                   
not for  communities that  had existing police.  Commissioner                                                                   
Masters  replied  that the  special  projects  line were  the                                                                   
troopers assigned  to the Bureau of Highway  Patrol, and were                                                                   
highway  safety  dedicated positions.  Those  positions  were                                                                   
based out  of Fairbanks, Palmer,  and Soldotna, but  were not                                                                   
restricted  to those municipalities.  Co-Chair Stoltze  asked                                                                   
if the  emphasis was outside  of the political  boundaries of                                                                   
areas that had  existing police powers.  Commissioner Masters                                                                   
said  that  they were  based  at  the  post where  there  was                                                                   
infrastructure   to   support    them,   and   were   focused                                                                   
predominately on highway safety corridors.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman asked  if every  prisoner that  the                                                                   
state  had  paid   to  transport  been  charged   with  state                                                                   
violations. Commissioner Masters  replied yes. Representative                                                                   
Austerman  wondered how  many  communities in  the state  had                                                                   
charged  offenders  under municipal  ordinances  rather  than                                                                   
state statutes.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters  replied that  Anchorage  was the  only                                                                   
municipality that  had gone to  the extent of  charging under                                                                   
municipal ordinances.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman pointed out  to the committee  that                                                                   
Anchorage was  the only municipality  that charged  under its                                                                   
own  ordinances and  paid their  own costs.  He thought  that                                                                   
this should be  taken into consideration when  discussing the                                                                   
statewide budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker agreed.  He  thought that  the  conversation                                                                   
could become  contentious between  communities that  received                                                                   
state services and  those that paid for their  own protection                                                                   
services.  However, he  believed  that the  conversation  was                                                                   
becoming increasingly necessary.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:11:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters  agreed that the conversation  needed to                                                                   
happen.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule stated that  in two communities  in his                                                                   
district,  Kiana  and  Kotzebue,  voters  had  changed  their                                                                   
alcohol  status from  damp  to  wet. The  hope  was that  the                                                                   
establishments would be owned  and operated by the community,                                                                   
and  would  be  a  source  of  revenue.  Kiana  had  recently                                                                   
requested  a  trooper  be  assigned to  the  community  as  a                                                                   
result. He wondered  if the department was prepared  to place                                                                   
troopers in  small communities that  were becoming a  hub for                                                                   
outlaying communities due to the change in alcohol status.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters said that  the department took a variety                                                                   
of  different  factors  into  account  when  determining  the                                                                   
placement   of    troopers   in   a   community.    Transport                                                                   
capabilities,  crime level,  and  existing  positions in  the                                                                   
region  were  considered.  He  said  that  the  requests  for                                                                   
troopers  from the communities  would  be assessed and  other                                                                   
opportunities  would be explored  if a  trooper could  not be                                                                   
placed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:15:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule asked  if the  department had  received                                                                   
the request from the community  of Kotzebue. He said he would                                                                   
give the commissioner a copy of the request.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  pointed  out  to  the  committee  that  the                                                                   
commissioner had not answered the question.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule felt that  the commissioner had laid out                                                                   
the parameters of the request  from Kotzebue. He thought that                                                                   
traffic  in  and  out of  Kotzebue  would  increase  and  the                                                                   
community  would   become  a  "hot  spot".   He  argued  that                                                                   
assigning a  trooper to the area  would save the  state money                                                                   
in the long run.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker   endorsed  the   concerns  brought   up  by                                                                   
Representative Joule.  He thought that communities  would see                                                                   
an increase  in alcohol related  problems. He  suggested that                                                                   
an amendment to the budget could be in order.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Joule  felt   that  the   presence  of   law                                                                   
enforcement could be a deterrent to criminal activity.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  asked   about   efforts  to   decrease                                                                   
incidents of  driving while intoxicated  (DWI), with  the use                                                                   
of interlock  devices. It  was rumored  that the program  was                                                                   
not  being implemented.  Commissioner  Masters  did not  have                                                                   
information on the issue.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  shared that he understood that  the Alcohol                                                                   
and Beverage  Control Board  (ABC) had  intended to  slow the                                                                   
implementation of the interlock  device program in an attempt                                                                   
to buy time to cope with the problem.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters  replied that  he was not  familiar with                                                                   
the issue.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:22:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze hoped  that  communities were  going to  be                                                                   
allowed   sufficient   time   to   implement   the   program.                                                                   
Commissioner Masters  said the ABC board was  working closely                                                                   
with the involved communities.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Spencer pointed out to the  committee that the department                                                                   
had  requested $100,000  to  fund video  arraignments,  which                                                                   
would reduce prisoner transportation costs in some areas.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  spoke of  the  high  death rate  along  the                                                                   
Seward  Highway.  He  asked if  all  safety  corridors  would                                                                   
receive  equal  attention  by  the  department.  Commissioner                                                                   
Masters  replied  that  the  department  did  not  feel  that                                                                   
waiting for  the 5  trooper positions  was sufficient.  The 2                                                                   
positions that  the department already had  authorization for                                                                   
were  moved  to  Girdwood  specifically  to  man  the  safety                                                                   
corridor in that area.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  Highway said that safety corridors  had been                                                                   
proven   to  work,   but  only   with   adequate  levels   of                                                                   
enforcement.  When the  highway  safety corridor  legislation                                                                   
was passed  in 2006, an annual  report was expected  from the                                                                   
Department   of   Transportation.    Every   evaluation   has                                                                   
highlighted the need  for an increase in aviation  assets for                                                                   
ariel enforcement.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:27:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  wondered why  there had  not been  a request                                                                   
for  an increase  in aviation  support. Commissioner  Masters                                                                   
replied   that   effective   aviation    enforcement   needed                                                                   
sufficient ground  support. Current  aviation assets  were in                                                                   
place and used  during larger events. Co-Chair  Hawker stated                                                                   
that all  of the issues were  related, and that  the aviation                                                                   
assets  could benefit  from a  higher profile  in the  budget                                                                   
request.   Commissioner  Masters   commented  that   aviation                                                                   
requests could be found in the department's 10 year plan.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Salmon queried  whether the aircraft additions                                                                   
would include  village law enforcement. Commissioner  Masters                                                                   
replied no.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters  said  that  in  August  of  2008,  the                                                                   
troopers reported 42 vacancies.  At this time last year there                                                                   
were 22 vacancies. Currently,  there were 13 vacancies, which                                                                   
were solely  comprised if the  15 positions added  last year.                                                                   
Commissioner  Masters stated that  the department  would like                                                                   
to  have all  budget requests  met  in order  to fulfill  the                                                                   
mission and  make improvements where necessary.  He mentioned                                                                   
that there were also budget requests  aimed at continuing and                                                                   
improving the information technology  (IT) assets, which were                                                                   
the  backbone of  the information  sharing and  communication                                                                   
vital to the state. He specifically  spoke of improvements to                                                                   
the records  management system  (RMS), which would  allow for                                                                   
better documentation and analysis of information.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Hawker   asked   if    the   requested   personnel                                                                   
appropriations  included all the  funds necessary  to provide                                                                   
logistical  support for  people  in the  field.  Commissioner                                                                   
Masters replied  that some administrative positions  had been                                                                   
added, however, the support structure  needed to be increased                                                                   
for  trooper  and  village  public   service  officer  (VPSO)                                                                   
service.  The  10  year  plan   contained  an  item  designed                                                                   
specifically to  begin the discussion about  issues involving                                                                   
911 technologies, e-911, and cellular  phone usage pertaining                                                                   
to 911 in rural areas.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:38:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters explained  that  full dispatch  centers                                                                   
were run by  the department and some were contracted  out. In                                                                   
those cases  resources were  available through the  operating                                                                   
budget request, but future 911 issues were expected.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Fairclough  discussed   an  email   she  had                                                                   
received regarding  the qualifications  for 911  dispatchers.                                                                   
She had been informed that the  dispatchers in the state were                                                                   
not  required to  have CPR  training. She  wondered why  that                                                                   
was. Commissioner  Master replied that he would  need to look                                                                   
into the issue. Representative  Fairclough requested that the                                                                   
department get back  to her office concerning  the issue. She                                                                   
stated that she  had placed a request with  legislative legal                                                                   
to determine any existing liability issues.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:42:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wondered why it  would take 10  years to                                                                   
put VPSO officers in every community.  He understood that the                                                                   
plan would  take time  and funding but  argued that  10 years                                                                   
was too long. He thought a 5 year plan could be considered.                                                                     
Commissioner Masters replied that  the governor was committed                                                                   
to making  the funding request  for the 15 VPSO  positions in                                                                   
rural communities,  every year, for  the next ten  years. The                                                                   
10 year  plan would give the  department the ability  to fill                                                                   
the positions  without overburdening  the system  and provide                                                                   
for growth  planning. He stated  that the vision  was subject                                                                   
to change over the years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:44:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  thought  that  a  shorter  timeline  to                                                                   
implement the plan would be better.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Salmon cited the  7th bullet point on Page 4of                                                                   
the presentation:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
   · Turnover rate is improving; FY07=29 percent, FY08-35                                                                       
     percent, FY09=14 percent                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Salon  asked  if  the  improvement  could  be                                                                   
linked  to  salary increases.  Commissioner  Masters  replied                                                                   
that it  was a combination  of factors, the most  significant                                                                   
being the raise in benefits and  wages. The consideration and                                                                   
addition  of  a cost  of  living  increase (COLA),  was  also                                                                   
helpful. He  thought that  the renewed  focus on the  program                                                                   
had also been beneficial.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Salmon cited Page 4, bullet point 5:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
   · Study; 40 percent reduction in the rate of serious                                                                         
    injury from assault in communities with VPSO or VPO                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Salmon  questioned   the  difference  in  the                                                                   
responsibilities  of a VPSO versus  a Village  Police Officer                                                                   
(VSO).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:46:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Masters replied  that a  VPO was  hired by  the                                                                   
local community;  the  primary difference  was that  the VPSO                                                                   
was  a state  funded  position, and  was  operated under  the                                                                   
guidelines of the contracts negotiated  between the state and                                                                   
the non-profits,  and then  agreements with the  communities.                                                                   
The VPOs  were not.  Studies had shown  that the  presence of                                                                   
either in a community had yielded  positive results. Although                                                                   
VPSOs and VPOs  did not investigate felonies,  both initially                                                                   
responded to emergencies.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:48:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Salmon  asked if  the  VPO was  qualified  to                                                                   
carry  a  firearm.  Commissioner   Master  replied  that  the                                                                   
community  decided   if  the  VPO  could  carry   a  firearm.                                                                   
Currently,  VPSOs were not  trained in  the use of  handguns,                                                                   
nor  were they  insured for  the carrying  of handguns.  They                                                                   
were trained  in the  use of shotguns,  primarily for  use in                                                                   
animal encounters.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly pointed out  to the committee  that one                                                                   
benefit to speeding up the 10  year plan was that all parties                                                                   
involved agreed that the program  was a legitimate government                                                                   
function, and  were necessary for public safety.  He surmised                                                                   
that more law enforcement would  mean more encounters between                                                                   
law enforcement officials  and the public; he  hoped that the                                                                   
interactions were continuing to be amiable.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:52:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters replied that  occasional complaints were                                                                   
being made to  the department concerning how  law enforcement                                                                   
officers  interacted  with  civilians.  He  added  that  some                                                                   
interactions went  well. The department welcomed  complaints.                                                                   
Reports of misconduct were routinely  investigated. Recently,                                                                   
the  department  had supplied  a  link  to the  webpage  that                                                                   
allowed the public to lodge complaints online.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:54:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker asked  about the  department's success  with                                                                   
the  National Geographic  television  channel,  and the  show                                                                   
featuring  the Alaska  State Troopers.  He  wondered how  the                                                                   
program  was funded.  Commissioner  Masters  agreed that  the                                                                   
show has been  successful. The department did  not provide or                                                                   
receive funding  for the program. Commanders  allowing access                                                                   
to film crews  had been instructed to ensure  that the public                                                                   
was properly protected, and that  funds were not expended for                                                                   
the sake  of the program. The  department had received  a few                                                                   
complaints  about the  program, and  had been  in talks  with                                                                   
producers  about  a  more  accurate  portrayal  of  what  the                                                                   
troopers do.  Future programs  were planned, and  the program                                                                   
had boosted recruitment.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker thought  that showing the work  that was done                                                                   
by troopers  on international  television was an  exercise in                                                                   
transparency. He  recalled one instance on the  show that had                                                                   
caused consternation  concerning personal fire  arms. He said                                                                   
that the  encounter had  caused national  debate on  firearms                                                                   
rights.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:58:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  shared that a  man who had been  pulled over                                                                   
during a  routine traffic  check had  told the trooper  about                                                                   
the firearms concealed in his  car. The trooper had taken the                                                                   
guns and  run the serial numbers  through the system.  It had                                                                   
been argued  on the  national  level that there  had been  no                                                                   
probable  cause  for the  numbers  to  be  run and  that  the                                                                   
troopers had  violated the rights  of a law abiding  citizen.                                                                   
Commissioner Master  stated that  the department had  yet had                                                                   
the opportunity to explore the  issue and become privy to the                                                                   
appropriate response in that kind of situation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:00:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  requested information  concerning  the                                                                   
episode.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  queried  weather  VPSO housing  was  a                                                                   
challenge, and if so, would become  worse with the additional                                                                   
proposed  positions.  Commissioner  Masters replied  that  it                                                                   
was,  and would  be,  a challenge.  Full  cooperation of  all                                                                   
parties involved,  on the state  and federal level,  would be                                                                   
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:04:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked what the required  population size                                                                   
was  for a  community  to qualify  for  a VPSO.  Commissioner                                                                   
Masters responded that the demand  would be based on need and                                                                   
not population size.  Some communities of 50 were  in need of                                                                   
a VPSO,  several of  which were  in areas  that had  seasonal                                                                   
population increases.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  questioned domestic violence  prevention                                                                   
plans laid  out in  the presentation.  He was concerned  that                                                                   
the $381,000 for domestic violence  shelters would be used to                                                                   
offset increased  operating costs.  He understood  that there                                                                   
would  be public  service advertisements  created to  educate                                                                   
the  public. He  wondered  what the  major  service was  that                                                                   
would be provided  in order to reduce the amount  of domestic                                                                   
violence  and sexual  assault.  Commissioner Masters  replied                                                                   
that  the governor's  initiative was  broad, but  it was  the                                                                   
beginning  of a 10  year plan.  The increment  noted was  for                                                                   
immediate needs.  Longer-term plans included  statute change,                                                                   
and a  focus on  investigations into  child sexual  abuse and                                                                   
child pornography. The department  wanted to increase funding                                                                   
to  offset costs  and  to ensure  funds  for the  advertizing                                                                   
campaign and  research funds  in the  base budget.  He stated                                                                   
that many  departments  played parts in  the initiative,  and                                                                   
that  coordination  of  all  involved  entities  would  be  a                                                                   
priority.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked about  the  loss  of the  3  year                                                                   
federal  earmark  grant  that  had been  used  in  the  fight                                                                   
against domestic  violence and  sexual assault. He  wanted to                                                                   
know if the grant was in jeopardy,  and if so, how that would                                                                   
affect the  department. Commissioner  Masters responded  that                                                                   
the department had been applying  for, and receiving, federal                                                                   
funds through  the Department of Justice, and  would continue                                                                   
to do so.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Spencer added that a stop  grant had been received; about                                                                   
$1.1 million total. He pointed  out that CVSA had two sets of                                                                   
funding,  from  the  Violence  Against  Women  Act  and  stop                                                                   
grants.  Final  federal grant  approval  had  still not  been                                                                   
awarded for future stop grants,  but it was expected that the                                                                   
funding would be available soon.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough recalled  trouble  in Bethel  with                                                                   
the  retention  of  police  officers,   and  deficiencies  in                                                                   
evidence  collection and  storage  facilities.  She asked  if                                                                   
retention  had  gone up,  and  if  some  of the  request  for                                                                   
maintenance repairs would go to the Bethel facility.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters replied that  the department had funding                                                                   
for the  maintenance and  repair of  the trooper building  in                                                                   
Bethel. He stated that the department  did not participate in                                                                   
the management of the Bethel Police  Department. He said that                                                                   
there  had been  an increase  in  the number  of troopers  in                                                                   
Bethel.  He assured  the committee  that the  issue would  be                                                                   
looked into and the findings could  be provided in writing at                                                                   
a later date.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:13:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough asked  if the  City of Bethel  was                                                                   
responsible for the law enforcement improvement.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Masters  believed that the city  was responsible                                                                   
for the characterization and condition  of the department and                                                                   
facilities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Spencer added  that  a  capital appropriation  had  been                                                                   
received  last year  for engineering  assessments at  several                                                                   
posts. Bethel was next on the list.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:15:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Department of Corrections                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOE  SCHMIDT,   COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT  OF   CORRECTIONS,                                                                   
testified  that prisons in  the state  were crowded.  He said                                                                   
that immediate public protection  was necessary as 95 percent                                                                   
of the  prisoner population would  be released from  jail and                                                                   
reintegrated  back  into  communities.  He  referred  to  the                                                                   
"Priority  Program  Overview" (copy  on  file).  He read  the                                                                   
department's new mission statement:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MISSION                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
"We provide  secure confinement, reformative programs,  and a                                                                   
process of supervised community  reintegration to enhance the                                                                   
safety of our communities."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CORE SERVICES                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
   · Provide secure confinement.                                                                                                
   · Provide supervised re-entry.                                                                                               
   · Provide reformative programs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Schmidt listed  the  Department of  Corrections                                                                   
(DOC) highlights:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
   · 12 Correctional Institutions with 3,722 Beds (Maximum                                                                      
     Capacity) including Pt. MacKenzie Farm                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   · Electronic Monitoring and Offender Supervision Programs                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Schmidt shared  that the  department worked  to                                                                   
use the  electronic monitoring  program as much  as possible,                                                                   
and was currently  monitoring 250 offenders.  The program had                                                                   
not  been shown  to reduce  recidivism, but  had proven  cost                                                                   
effective.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Schmidt continued with the highlights:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
   · Out of State Prison Contracts (900+ contract beds)                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
   · 15 Municipal Jails (Contracted-153 Beds)                                                                                   
   · (Bristol Bay Boro, Cordova, Craig, Dillingham, Haines,                                                                     
     Homer, Kodiak, Kotzebue, North Slope Boro, Petersburg,                                                                     
     Seward, Sitka, Unalaska, Valdez, Wrangell)                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   · 13 Regional Adult Probation Offices;                                                                                       
   · 102 Probation Officer I/II/III's                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
   · Commissioner Schmidt relayed that the department                                                                           
     monitored 6050 offenders out on probation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   · Commissioner Schmidt continued with the highlights:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   · 6 Community Residential Centers-774                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:19:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Schmidt  stated  that   the  funds   saved  by                                                                   
electronic monitoring  had allowed  for the purchase  of more                                                                   
beds. When the economy failed,  Arizona and other states were                                                                   
closing facilities  because they could not longer  fund them.                                                                   
The  department believed  that the  value of  a contract  bed                                                                   
would be  changing. The department  extended the  contract to                                                                   
buy time  to explore alternatives.  Interest in  the contract                                                                   
had  been shown  by the  private sector  and several  states.                                                                   
Goose Creek Correction Center  was scheduled to open in March                                                                   
of 2012.  The Colorado system  would be used as  a blueprint,                                                                   
both  in  the  actual building  of  the  structure,  and  the                                                                   
program  plan. The department  was working  towards a  smooth                                                                   
transition.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  questioned the out-of-state  contractual. He                                                                   
noted that there  was no change in budget request  to reflect                                                                   
the cost of the move.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DWAYNE   PEEPLES,   DEPUTY   COMMISSIONER,    DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                   
CORRECTIONS, said that the department  had been below the 900                                                                   
person  threshold at  the Arizona  facility. Projected  costs                                                                   
remained  the  same  as  long  as  the  number  of  prisoners                                                                   
remained  the same.  Costs  should be  less,  working out  of                                                                   
Denver than Tucson.  Cost per day for per diem  was less, and                                                                   
transportation should remain even, despite inflation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker thought  that the  numbers were  attractive,                                                                   
but queried weather the department  was being too optimistic.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Peeples  said   that  the  cost  would   depend  on  the                                                                   
population numbers. This year  the population had risen; last                                                                   
year yielded  an unprecedented decline. The  decline reversed                                                                   
itself  in April  2009,  and dropped  off  again in  November                                                                   
2009, which  was an expected  seasonal drop. The  expectation                                                                   
was that the  numbers would remain the same  through the next                                                                   
fiscal  year. Depending  on internal  management, the  Denver                                                                   
contract could  hold at 900 or  925 prisoners. If  the number                                                                   
was  exceeded,   the  department  would   request  additional                                                                   
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker asked how accurate  the population management                                                                   
numbers  were   in  regard   to  electronic  monitoring   and                                                                   
community   residential  centers.   Mr.  Peeples  said   that                                                                   
Wildwood  Correctional Center  would receive  32 extra  beds,                                                                   
with 62 beds total  being added by the beginning  of the next                                                                   
fiscal year. He relayed that 43  community residential center                                                                   
beds had  been added in Anchorage,  22 in Fairbanks.  He said                                                                   
that the department was very population dependent.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman requested  clarification as  to who                                                                   
was  funding the  building of  the  correctional facility  in                                                                   
Colorado. Commissioner  Schmidt said that the  facility was a                                                                   
management  practice model  for  the facility  that would  be                                                                   
build in-state.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:28:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Schmidt  relayed   that  the  minimum  security                                                                   
housing unit in  Kenai would house 32 prisoners,  and another                                                                   
60 by  early next  fiscal year.  He touched  on the  topic of                                                                   
Alaskan grown and the plight of  farmers within the state. He                                                                   
addressed  the question of  why the  department had  not been                                                                   
buying more in-state  goods. He reported that  the department                                                                   
had  crafted and  agreement with  the  Department of  Natural                                                                   
Resources. The consensus  was that the list  of available in-                                                                   
state  goods  would be  consulted,  if  the item  needed  was                                                                   
within 7 percent  of what the department would  spend out-of-                                                                   
state,  it would  be purchased.  Since January  11, 2010  the                                                                   
department had  purchased 6,000  pounds of in-state  product.                                                                   
The   quality  threshold   for  products   was  still   being                                                                   
determined.  He  hoped  more   would  be  know  by  the  next                                                                   
legislative session.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Doogan   said  that  DOL  had   informed  the                                                                   
committee that  there had  been a spike  in felony  and other                                                                   
cases  in  the  state.  He  wondered  why  the  DOC  was  not                                                                   
concerned about the possible influx of prisoners.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Schmidt  said that the department  had witnessed                                                                   
a 20 percent  increase in prisoners  for a variety  of cases.                                                                   
He added  that the Department  of Health and  Social Services                                                                   
(HESS) had  seen an  increase in  food stamp applications  as                                                                   
well. In 2007, DOC determined  that over the next 5 years the                                                                   
prisoner population would grow  by 137 per year. However, the                                                                   
numbers had  fluctuated so  much over the  years that  it was                                                                   
decided  that  no dependable  projection  could  be made.  He                                                                   
asserted  that   the  department  would  continue   to  spend                                                                   
allocated  funding on  the programs presented  in the  budget                                                                   
request.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Doogan appreciated  that the projections could                                                                   
be  difficult,  and  that  the   demand  for  services  could                                                                   
increase in demand.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Schmidt said  that  the program  plan had  been                                                                   
operational  as of  April 2009.  He relayed  that it was  too                                                                   
early  in  the  process  to  determine  the  success  of  the                                                                   
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peeples  discussed  Slide 2 of  the department  overview.                                                                   
The  department was  organized  into three  results  delivery                                                                   
units   (RDU);   Administration   and   Support,   Population                                                                   
Management, and  Inmate Health Care. Slide 8  highlighted the                                                                   
FY 2011 governor's  request changes in  Population Management                                                                   
RDU. The unit  included all the services and  institutions of                                                                   
probation and parole  in one unit. The third item  on Slide 8                                                                   
was  the request  to restore  funding for  the bed  expansion                                                                   
project  at  the  Wildwood  Correctional   Center.  Community                                                                   
Residential  Centers had been  added to  the request  list to                                                                   
fund an  additional 43 beds  at facilities in  Anchorage. The                                                                   
Community  Residential  Center  contracts called  for  annual                                                                   
adjustments for consumer price  index (CPI), up to a cap of 2                                                                   
percent, which  is calculated from  the CPI from  the federal                                                                   
CPI from  the prior year. The  one time item request  was for                                                                   
the Kodiak  Jail. The city was  building a combined  jail and                                                                   
police  station. The  department was  requesting $300,000  to                                                                   
allow  Kodiak to  manage  the new  police  station until  the                                                                   
combined center  was completed.  If the department  failed to                                                                   
offer assistance  to Kodiak, the  city would only be  able to                                                                   
hold prisoners for 24 hours, at  which time the Department of                                                                   
Public Safety  would be required to transport  the prisoners,                                                                   
possibly numerous times, to the Wildwood facility.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  reported  that  many  complaints  had  been                                                                   
lodged with the  committee by residents of  Kodiak concerning                                                                   
the  funding the  city  had received  in  the  last year.  He                                                                   
queried weather  the budget presented  by the  governor would                                                                   
solve  the  problems  presented  by  the  city.  Mr.  Peeples                                                                   
replied  that   the  budget  figures   had  been   worked  in                                                                   
conjunction with the city of Kodiak.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  what issues  had prompted the  extra                                                                   
incremental request.  Mr. Peeples replied that it  was a one-                                                                   
time item, and that the city would  be operating 2 jails. The                                                                   
cost overruns were double what  had been originally allocated                                                                   
from SB65.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker asked  if the funding was legal.  Mr. Peeples                                                                   
understood   that   the   legislature   had  the   power   of                                                                   
appropriation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:43:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peeples  stated that in  prior years the  legislature had                                                                   
continued   to   appropriate   funds  for   substance   abuse                                                                   
rehabilitation  and mental  health  programs. The  department                                                                   
was seeking  no additional funds  for the programs  until the                                                                   
programs proved  effective. An  additional $150,000  from the                                                                   
general  fund was being  requested to  expand the  vocational                                                                   
training  program  for  inmates  to train  for  jobs  in  the                                                                   
construction industry.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  asked if  there  was  any other  source  of                                                                   
funds, or partnership arrangement  other than another general                                                                   
fund increment.  Mr. Peeples replied  that the department was                                                                   
seeking  other funding  sources, but  at this  point in  time                                                                   
there was no other funding source.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:45:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peeples  discussed the  last item,  which was a  one-time                                                                   
reduction for fuel cost. He felt  that the fuel cost problems                                                                   
would continue,  and noted  that the  request for  additional                                                                   
funding for utilities was in the supplemental.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:47:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked about  the  success of  the                                                                   
department's  partnership  with   the  Mental  Health  Trust.                                                                   
Commissioner Schmidt  directed the committee to  Slide 11. He                                                                   
stated  that the  Mental  Health  Trust funds  were  one-time                                                                   
funding.  Co-Chair Hawker  added  that it  was  a zero  based                                                                   
budgeting approach.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  asked if the partnership  could be                                                                   
expanded. She wondered how many  prisoners, under the care of                                                                   
the department,  qualified under the definition  for a Mental                                                                   
Health  Trust beneficiary.  Commissioner  Schmidt replied  42                                                                   
percent. He added that 18 percent  had chronic, severe mental                                                                   
health issues. Representative  Fairclough asked if the mental                                                                   
health needs of inmates could  be addressed more effectively.                                                                   
Commissioner Schmidt said that  the department was working to                                                                   
address the  issue, but  he thought that  more help  could be                                                                   
provided outside of the corrections system.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:52:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Fairclough queried  the department's  biggest                                                                   
challenge concerning utility costs.  She noted that the costs                                                                   
were growing,                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peeples stated that the department  had made improvements                                                                   
concerning  utilities. They  had switched  to more  efficient                                                                   
light  bulbs   and  limited  hot  water  usage.   The  energy                                                                   
consumption   of   the   facilities  had   gone   down,   but                                                                   
accelerating  costs  had  continued   across  the  board.  He                                                                   
relayed that  the age  and condition  of some facilities  had                                                                   
been a  factor. The facility  in Fairbanks was  steam heated,                                                                   
and needed an immediate emergency  replacement of the system.                                                                   
Contractors   had  evaluated   the  Fairbanks  facility   and                                                                   
recommended  that  the  building  be  abandoned,  and  a  new                                                                   
facility built within the next 5 years.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough asked if  the department  had done                                                                   
everything possible to weatherize  facilities to make them as                                                                   
energy efficient as possible.  Commissioner Schmidt said that                                                                   
everything  had  been  done that  could  be  done  concerning                                                                   
energy efficiency  in the mechanical  area. He  imagined that                                                                   
more could be done, and that the  department had made capital                                                                   
project requests for repair and renovation.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked  what  the  department  was                                                                   
doing to control premium pay.  Mr. Peeples responded that the                                                                   
staffing model  used statewide was  to examine each  post, in                                                                   
conjunction with  the site managers  and the central  office,                                                                   
and  provide  5  correctional  officers  for  every  24  hour                                                                   
security post.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  inquired as to how  many positions                                                                   
were  vacant in  the  department. Commissioner  Schmidt  said                                                                   
that the average correctional  officer count through 2009 was                                                                   
774 for  782 positions. Turnover  had been between 10  and 13                                                                   
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.Peeples cited  page 11, which contained the  Inmate Health                                                                   
Care RDU.  In the  current fiscal year  budget, a  $1 million                                                                   
general  fund request  was added  on the senate  side to  the                                                                   
department's budget  to fund secure  detox in  Anchorage. The                                                                   
funds were  sent by reimbursable  service agreement  (RSA) to                                                                   
the department of  Health and Social Services,  as a one-time                                                                   
item. The  item would be eliminated  from the DOC  budget and                                                                   
could be found in the HESS budget.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peeples  said that other change  that could be  found was                                                                   
the reduction  of the permanent fund dividend  (PFD) criminal                                                                   
funds, which were  collected from all felons.  The money went                                                                   
into a  pool which was then  appropriated by  the legislature                                                                   
to various operations. The funds  had traditionally placed in                                                                   
the physical health  component. The PFD was  expected to drop                                                                   
in FY2011, which necessitated the fund source change.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker questioned what  the DOC supplemental request                                                                   
for healthcare was for this year.  Mr. Peeples responded $4.6                                                                   
million.  Co-Chair Hawker  requested  further explanation  of                                                                   
the  supplemental  request.  Mr.   Peeples  stated  that  the                                                                   
department's  growth factor in  inmate healthcare  would need                                                                   
to  be revisited  in the  future. The  inmate population  had                                                                   
grown significantly  in  the last year.  The last  adjustment                                                                   
had  been  made in  the  inmate  healthcare budget  in  2009.                                                                   
Projections in  the area of inmate healthcare  were difficult                                                                   
to  make, but  an  increase in  the  request  for FY2011  was                                                                   
anticipated. He said that there  were currently 30 cases that                                                                   
had  raised up  to $30,000;  several  of which  could end  up                                                                   
totaling up to $1 million.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:59:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked   what  percentage  of  the                                                                   
prison  population  qualified   for  other  health  insurance                                                                   
benefits.  Mr.  Peeples replied  that  once a  person  became                                                                   
incarcerated,  all  federal  funds were  cut  off.  Medicaid,                                                                   
Veteran's insurance,  and any other type of  health insurance                                                                   
through  the  federal  government  would not  be  paid.  Most                                                                   
private health insurance  expired after the first  30 days of                                                                   
incarceration.  An increase  in the budget  request  would be                                                                   
necessary because the department  funded health insurance for                                                                   
prisoners independently, through general fund requests.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked   what  percentage  of  the                                                                   
prison  population  qualified  for  Indian  health  services.                                                                   
Commissioner  Schmidt   answered  that  36  percent   of  the                                                                   
population  was  Alaska  Native.   Representative  Fairclough                                                                   
asked  if the  Indian health  services  coverage ceased  upon                                                                   
incarceration.  Mr. Peeples  replied that  the Indian  health                                                                   
services were  federally funded and would be  unavailable for                                                                   
the incarcerated individual.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  expressed  frustration  that  when  an                                                                   
inmate was  brought back to be  housed in-state, the  cost of                                                                   
housing the inmate raised by 75  percent. He thought it would                                                                   
be prudent  to stop increasing  the number of  beds available                                                                   
in-state. He suggested  that the best practices  available in                                                                   
the areas of treatment and rehabilitation  should be employed                                                                   
to lessen the rates of recidivism,  and ultimately, lower the                                                                   
number  of incarcerated  persons  in the  state.  He hoped  a                                                                   
deeper  discussion  of  the issue  would  occur  during  sub-                                                                   
committee meetings.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:05:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker echoed  concerns about  the cost of  keeping                                                                   
people   imprisoned;   rather    than   rehabilitating,   and                                                                   
releasing, them  back into society. He urged  the development                                                                   
of diversionary  programs  for behavioral  health cases  that                                                                   
would  provide savings  as well  as a better  future for  the                                                                   
incarcerated individual.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:07:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker asked  what the  committee could  do in  the                                                                   
current  budget  cycle  to empower  the  department  to  make                                                                   
systemic  changes. Commissioner  Schmidt  responded that  the                                                                   
department  could  present  ideas for  systemic  changes  and                                                                   
looked forward working  with the committee on  the issue. Co-                                                                   
Chair Hawker insisted  that the redirection of  policy should                                                                   
not  be  taken  as  an  indication  that  the  committee  was                                                                   
becoming soft on crime. Commissioner  Schmidt summarized that                                                                   
there were "some  people that we are mad at,  and some people                                                                   
that we are afraid  of", and that the public  should not live                                                                   
in  fear.  He  stated  that  re-entry   into  society  was  a                                                                   
priority.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  reiterated that no more  prisons should                                                                   
be built  in the  state. The goal  should be  to fix  the old                                                                   
facilities, build  the necessary  one in Fairbanks,  but draw                                                                   
the line  somewhere. He  urged an  examination of  recidivism                                                                   
rates  over  an  extended period.  Programs  must  work,  and                                                                   
produce results  in the  area of human  safety. He  felt that                                                                   
the coordination and communication  between involved agencies                                                                   
could be improved.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:11:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly believed  that an  important factor  in                                                                   
successful  re-entry into  society was  to ensure  employment                                                                   
for  the individual.  Commissioner Schmidt  said that  38,000                                                                   
people a  year were in  and out of  the system, and  that the                                                                   
new program  plan would  help 1000  prisoners per year.  That                                                                   
left 37,000 inmates  still in the system. The  department was                                                                   
tracking, by  name, the people  who went through  the program                                                                   
and returned to the system.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  thought  that a  ten  year  projection                                                                   
would be helpful in all committee conversations.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  said that  if  the situation  continued  to                                                                   
progress  the department  would  need $1  billion in  capital                                                                   
investment, over the next ten years, to fund the program.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly stated that  the issue should be handled                                                                   
by the government.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker thought  that  the goal  to resist  building                                                                   
more prisons was appropriate.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Doogan  shared   that  2   percent  of   the                                                                   
population was in the system at  any given time. If the money                                                                   
that  DOC   wanted  to  spend   was  extrapolated   over  the                                                                   
population, that  budget would be  12 to 13 billion  dollars.                                                                   
This would make prisoners the  most expensive citizens in the                                                                   
state. He did not believe such spending was sustainable.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:17:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  commented that a  large percentage                                                                   
of  the prison  population had  mental  health and  substance                                                                   
abuse issues.  She stressed the need for  rehabilitation, and                                                                   
hoped that the  state could work with the  federal delegation                                                                   
to collaborate on the issue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:19:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kelly   shared   that   according   to   the                                                                   
statistics; 92  percent of the  people who were  incarcerated                                                                   
in  the  last  year  were  either  drunk  or  on  drugs  when                                                                   
arrested.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:21:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker invited closing statements.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Schmidt expressed  appreciation for the  nature                                                                   
of the dialogue  and looked forward to further  discussion on                                                                   
the issue.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:23:36 PM                                                                                                                    
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 PM                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Corrections Budget Overview part3.pdf HFIN 2/5/2010 1:30:00 PM
DPS Overview Prioritization of Agency Programs.pdf HFIN 2/5/2010 1:30:00 PM
DPS Department Overview - DPS.pdf HFIN 2/5/2010 1:30:00 PM
Corrections Budget Overview part1 1.pdf HFIN 2/5/2010 1:30:00 PM
CorrectionsBudget Overview part 2.pdf HFIN 2/5/2010 1:30:00 PM
DPS Budget Overview Budget Changes Summary.pdf HFIN 2/5/2010 1:30:00 PM