Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

01/30/2017 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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01:32:35 PM Start
01:34:03 PM Fy 18 Budget Overview: Department of Law
02:14:11 PM Fy 18 Budget Overview: Department of Fish and Game
02:58:18 PM Fy 18 Budget Overview: Department of Corrections
03:32:34 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ FY18 Budget Overviews: TELECONFERENCED
- Dept. of Law
- Dept. of Fish & Game
- Dept. of Corrections
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     January 30, 2017                                                                                           
                         1:32 p.m.                                                                                              
1:32:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Seaton  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:32 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Jahna Lindemuth,  Attorney General,  Department of  Law; Sam                                                                    
Cotten,  Commissioner, Department  of Fish  and Game;  Carol                                                                    
Petraborg, Administrative  Services Director,  Department of                                                                    
Fish and  Game; Dean  Williams, Commissioner,  Department of                                                                    
Corrections;   April   Wilkerson,  Director,   Division   of                                                                    
Administrative   Services,    Department   of   Corrections;                                                                    
Representative Mike Chenault.                                                                                                   
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
FY 18 Budget Overview: Department of Law                                                                                        
FY 18 Budget Overview: Department of Fish and Game                                                                              
FY 18 Budget Overview: Department of Corrections                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  reviewed the agenda  for the day.  He asked                                                                    
members  to  hold their  questions  until  the end  of  each                                                                    
^FY 18 Budget Overview: Department of Law                                                                                     
1:34:03 PM                                                                                                                    
JAHNA  LINDEMUTH,  ATTORNEY   GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT  OF  LAW,                                                                    
introduced herself  and provided some information  about her                                                                    
background  and reviewed  the list  of testifiers  available                                                                    
from the  Department of Law.  She introduced  the PowerPoint                                                                    
presentation:  "Department  of   Law:  Department  Overview:                                                                    
House Finance Committee."                                                                                                       
Attorney General Lindemuth turned to slide 2: "Mission":                                                                        
     The Alaska Department of Law prosecutes crime and                                                                          
     provides legal services to state government for the                                                                        
     protection and benefit of Alaska's citizens.                                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth conveyed  that the department had                                                                    
2 operating  divisions: The Criminal Division  and the Civil                                                                    
Division. It also had an Administrative Support Division.                                                                       
Attorney   General  Lindemuth   reviewed  slide   3:  "Civil                                                                    
Division."  The   Civil  Division   fell  into   2  buckets:                                                                    
Litigation  (defending and  pursuing claims  for the  state)                                                                    
and  transactional  and  agency  advise. The  scope  of  the                                                                    
department's  representation and  work was  broad. The  only                                                                    
slices  of  state  government  shown on  the  pie  that  the                                                                    
department did  not represent was the  university system and                                                                    
the  Alaska Railroad  Corporation. Department  of Law  was 2                                                                    
percent  of state  government. The  Civil  Division made  up                                                                    
about 1  percent. She suggested  that to outsource  what the                                                                    
Civil Division did would conservatively  cost about twice as                                                                    
much  as  what it  did  presently.  The Civil  Division  was                                                                    
funded half by  general funds (GF) and  half by inter-agency                                                                    
(IA)  transfers.   She  noted  that  the   Civil  Division's                                                                    
capacity had  been cut to the  bone. It had lost  32 percent                                                                    
of its  GF funding budget since  FY 14. It was  also down 37                                                                    
percent since FY 13.                                                                                                            
Attorney General  Lindemuth advanced  to slide  4: "Criminal                                                                    
Division." She  reported that unlike most  other states with                                                                    
counties  and  elected  district  attorneys  (DA),  criminal                                                                    
prosecutions in  Alaska were  the primary  responsibility of                                                                    
the  state. The  Criminal  Division operated  with 7  budget                                                                    
components  that together  represented 4  judicial districts                                                                    
with  12 district  attorney offices  and  Alaska' Office  of                                                                    
Special  Prosecution  and  Appeals  (ASPA),  and  a  central                                                                    
office  -  all GF  funded.  The  12  DA's offices  and  ASPA                                                                    
prosecuted  in  41 court  locations  across  the state.  She                                                                    
reported that caseloads were currently  higher than in prior                                                                    
years. Crime  was on the  rise and the capacity  of Alaska's                                                                    
prosecutors was as thin as could be sustained.                                                                                  
1:37:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Attorney  General Lindemuth  discussed slide  5: "Department                                                                    
of Law's  Share of  Total Agency  Operations: GF  Only." The                                                                    
department's GF  had decreased  by about  23 percent  or $14                                                                    
million  since FY  14 and  28  percent or  over $20  million                                                                    
since FY  12. Given what  was funded  by GF, these  cuts had                                                                    
reduced the department's capacity  in 3 main areas: Criminal                                                                    
prosecution, child  protection, and state  sovereignty cases                                                                    
(collecting taxes and defending against federal overreach).                                                                     
Attorney General  Lindemuth had mentioned that  the Criminal                                                                    
Division  was primarily  GF funded.  A reduced  budget meant                                                                    
fewer  prosecutors  and  less cases  being  prosecuted.  The                                                                    
department's  declination rate  increased 6  percent in  the                                                                    
prior  year.  Since 2013,  the  number  of misdemeanors  the                                                                    
department could  prosecute had  decreased by 33  percent or                                                                    
about  3,500 cases.  Felonies had  only decreased  3 percent                                                                    
because the department had focused its resources there.                                                                         
Attorney  General Lindemuth  continued that  in the  area of                                                                    
child   protection,  while   the   budget   had  gone   down                                                                    
significantly,   the  demand   for   related  services   had                                                                    
increased 55 percent over the  previous 2 years. With higher                                                                    
child protection  caseloads for the  department's attorneys,                                                                    
each case  took longer  in length. It  meant that  kids were                                                                    
spending more  time in  foster care  costing the  state more                                                                    
money. She noted  that the cost for foster care  was $35 per                                                                    
day per child.                                                                                                                  
Attorney  General  Lindemuth  continued that  another  large                                                                    
component of what the department  did with it's GF money was                                                                    
ensuring collection of  money owed to the state  such as oil                                                                    
production  taxes. The  state's natural  resources assistant                                                                    
attorney generals brought in millions  of dollars each year.                                                                    
In FY 16 they brought in  $72 million in taxes and royalties                                                                    
owed  to  the state.  The  division  also protected  against                                                                    
improper demands for refunds. The  state recently won a case                                                                    
before  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court  defending  the  state's                                                                    
definition  of the  Economic Limit  Factor  (ELF) which  had                                                                    
been  part of  the oil  tax scheme  previously. Winning  the                                                                    
case saved the state over $500 million.                                                                                         
Attorney General  Lindemuth reported  that with the  loss of                                                                    
attorneys   in   the   department's  Civil   Division,   the                                                                    
department  had  lost many  of  its  seasoned tax  assistant                                                                    
attorney  generals.  Replacing  those individuals  had  been                                                                    
very difficult.                                                                                                                 
Attorney General Lindemuth scrolled  to slide 6: "Department                                                                    
of Law's  Share of  Total Agency  Operations: GF  Only." She                                                                    
highlighted  that the  slide was  the same  as the  previous                                                                    
slide but with a bar added  at $50 million. The slide showed                                                                    
FY  08  funding  in  FY  18  dollars  after  a  $10  million                                                                    
adjustment for inflation.  In other words, the  FY 08 budget                                                                    
in   today's   dollars   would   be   worth   $50   million,                                                                    
approximately the  same as the  FY 18 budget  but reflecting                                                                    
inflation. The chart  did not reflect that,  in the previous                                                                    
10 years, the population of the state had grown 9 percent.                                                                      
Attorney   General   Lindemuth   continued   to   slide   7:                                                                    
"Department  of  Law  Line  Items:  All  Funds."  The  slide                                                                    
reflected the use of GF  Funding and IA funding (all funds).                                                                    
The Department of  Law provided legal services  to the state                                                                    
in 2  ways. First, the department  provided services through                                                                    
in-house  attorneys and  staff, which  was reflected  in the                                                                    
light blue areas  on the bar graph  under personal services.                                                                    
The  department also  used outside  council, denoted  in the                                                                    
purple areas  under services.  She reiterated  that personal                                                                    
services  reflected  in-house  counsel costs,  and  services                                                                    
showed outside  counsel costs. She  elaborated that  for the                                                                    
personal  services the  department was  down 6.9  percent or                                                                    
$4.8 million  since FY  14. The dollars  shown on  the chart                                                                    
directly translated  to positions.  The department  was down                                                                    
76 positions or  13 percent since FY 14. It  was an increase                                                                    
of $16.3  since FY 08, but  $16 million of that  amount paid                                                                    
for   contractual  and   statutory  salary   increases.  She                                                                    
concluded  that it  reflected that  the department  was back                                                                    
down to the FY 08 budget.                                                                                                       
Attorney General Lindemuth conveyed  that for positions, the                                                                    
department was down  43 positions or 8  percent since FY 08.                                                                    
She  concluded  that although  the  department  was back  to                                                                    
funding levels equivalent  to the FY 08  funding levels, the                                                                    
department had significantly fewer positions.                                                                                   
Attorney   General   Lindemuth    addressed   the   services                                                                    
represented  in  purple.  She  reported  that  the  attorney                                                                    
general was statutorily required  to manage outside counsel.                                                                    
The  department had  achieved  significant  savings in  this                                                                    
particular area.  The department  was down $15.5  million or                                                                    
48 percent since  FY 12, the high point  for outside counsel                                                                    
in  recent  years.  In  FY  18  outside  counsel  spend  was                                                                    
estimated to  be just  over 20  percent of  the department's                                                                    
budget. The number  reflected a 1.3 percent  reduction in FY                                                                    
08 and a reduction of 12.6  percent from FY 12. It indicated                                                                    
the value  the department  contributed by bringing  the work                                                                    
in-house.  She reported  that outside  counsel hourly  rates                                                                    
ranged from  $250 to $500  per hour in Anchorage  or Alaska.                                                                    
The  department paid  a higher  rate for  specialty counsel,                                                                    
especially when the counsel was  from outside of Alaska. The                                                                    
Department of Law  charged just under $161 per  hour for its                                                                    
attorneys and  just over $100  per hour for  its paralegals.                                                                    
The  amount was  significantly  less for  the department  to                                                                    
provide the same services.                                                                                                      
Attorney General  Lindemuth spoke of the  travel line listed                                                                    
on  the slide.  The  constitution required  the accused  the                                                                    
right  to  face their  accusers.  Much  of the  department's                                                                    
travel expense  was dedicated to victim  and witness travel.                                                                    
With responsibility for statewide  prosecution the state had                                                                    
to be  very careful  about cutting  travel any  further. The                                                                    
department did not pay for  employees to attend conferences.                                                                    
They only attended  required workgroups, committee meetings,                                                                    
and hearings. Travel was down  almost 21 percent or $311,000                                                                    
from FY 14.  It was down 6 percent or  $77,000 from the high                                                                    
in  FY  08.   It  currently  equaled  1.4   percent  of  the                                                                    
department's budget and the  department was using technology                                                                    
to bridge  the gaps,  trying to  handle hearings  and things                                                                    
without the need for travel.                                                                                                    
1:44:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg asked about  travel in relation to                                                                    
conferences  and  continuing   education  credits.  Attorney                                                                    
General  Lindemuth responded  that the  National Association                                                                    
of Attorney  Generals and other similar  organizations often                                                                    
had scholarships  for attorneys  to attend  trainings, which                                                                    
the department tried to take advantage of.                                                                                      
Attorney    General   Lindemuth    turned   to    slide   8:                                                                    
"Appropriations within the Department  of Law: GF Only." She                                                                    
indicated  that the  slide  focused on  GF  and broke  apart                                                                    
Civil, Criminal,  and Administrative Services.  Overall, the                                                                    
department had cut 76 positions  since FY 14. She pointed to                                                                    
the lower  right-hand box labeled "Criminal  Division." Much                                                                    
of the  increase following  the low in  FY 08  reflected the                                                                    
loss  of federal  funding that  had to  be replaced  with GF                                                                    
dollars. The  amount shot up following  the FY 08 and  FY 09                                                                    
period. She reported that the  Criminal Division GF had been                                                                    
decreased by  11 percent  or $3.3 million  since FY  14. The                                                                    
division lost 31 positions or  13 percent in that period. In                                                                    
FY 16, 12  positions were cut, 9 of which  were layoffs. The                                                                    
department  had been  forced to  prioritize  crimes. In  the                                                                    
prior year,  before the introduction  of SB  91 [Legislation                                                                    
passed  in  2016  -  Short  Title:  Omnibus  Crime  and  Law                                                                    
Procedure; Corrections],  the number of declined  cases rose                                                                    
6 percent due to budget cuts.  She opined that the state had                                                                    
cut too  far. She  was not asking  for additional  money but                                                                    
asked  for  flat  funding   for  the  department's  Criminal                                                                    
Attorney General  Lindemuth pointed  to the  upper left-hand                                                                    
box labeled,  "Civil Division."  She noted  that the  FY 08-                                                                    
FY 09 increase  reflected a $6 million  undesignated general                                                                    
fund (UGF)  onetime funding  for oil,  gas, and  mining. She                                                                    
relayed that  as shown in  the purple  at the bottom  of the                                                                    
chart, between FY  08- FY 13 there was  separate funding for                                                                    
the  BP  Corrosion case.  She  reported  that BP's  deferred                                                                    
pipeline maintenance led to spills  that required a shutdown                                                                    
of  the North  Slope production.  The legislature  spent $23                                                                    
million  on lawyers  and expert  witnesses in  a hard-fought                                                                    
legal  battle  that  ended  with  a  payment  to  the  state                                                                    
treasury of approximately $250 million.                                                                                         
Attorney   General  Lindemuth   continued  that   the  Civil                                                                    
Division GF  had decreased 32  percent or $14  million since                                                                    
FY  14 and  37  percent  or $20  million  since  FY 13.  The                                                                    
division  had lost  40  positions  since FY  14.  Of the  40                                                                    
positions, 21 were attorney positions.                                                                                          
Attorney General  Lindemuth conveyed that another  area that                                                                    
had  been   reduced  within  the  department   was  consumer                                                                    
protection.  Department of  Law's  Consumer Protection  Unit                                                                    
had  gone from  4 attorneys  and an  investigator to  only 2                                                                    
attorneys. It had  led to a 43 percent  reduction in efforts                                                                    
towards   consumer   protection,   including   the   state's                                                                    
participation  in large  multi-state enforcement  activities                                                                    
and   review   investigation    consumer   complaints.   The                                                                    
department's  ability  to  pursue  enforcement  actions  for                                                                    
Department   of   Environmental  Conservation   (DEC)   cost                                                                    
recoveries for  oil spills and  contaminated sites  had also                                                                    
gone down because of fewer  positions and budget reductions.                                                                    
It  resulted  in negative  impacts  to  property owners  and                                                                    
property values in the areas of spills and contamination.                                                                       
Attorney  General  Lindemuth explained  that  in  FY 16  the                                                                    
Department  of Law  stopped  providing  services to  parents                                                                    
needing to  modify child support orders  if the modification                                                                    
did  not yield  the state  money. In  FY 17,  the department                                                                    
would stop the  collection of money for victims  of crime. I                                                                    
was also working  with the court system to set  up a similar                                                                    
program so that victims would not be neglected.                                                                                 
Attorney  General  Lindemuth offered  that  for  FY 18,  the                                                                    
department   was   proposing   another  program   cut:   the                                                                    
department  would  be  outsourcing collections  and  closing                                                                    
that section of the Civil  Division. Nine positions would be                                                                    
eliminated  and would  result  in a  savings  of just  under                                                                    
$800,000. Other cuts the department  was proposing for FY 18                                                                    
were  within  the   Administrative  Services  Division.  The                                                                    
proposed  reductions  totaled  $231,000.  The  bulk  of  the                                                                    
reduction reflected the move  of the Administrative Services                                                                    
Division  to  the  Diamond   Courthouse  from  the  assembly                                                                    
building;  a savings  of $112,000  per  year. She  indicated                                                                    
that with savings  from the cut of the  collections unit and                                                                    
moving some more  Administrative Services Division positions                                                                    
to the Shared Services  Division, the department anticipated                                                                    
another savings of $96,000 and $23,000 respectively.                                                                            
1:50:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Attorney   General   Lindemuth   continued   to   slide   9:                                                                    
"Appropriations within  the Department  of Law:  All Funds."                                                                    
She relayed  that the slide  showed both GF and  IA funding.                                                                    
She had  already covered the  point that the FY  18 proposed                                                                    
budget  was  close  to  FY 08  levels  after  adjusting  for                                                                    
inflation. The  Civil Division all  funds fund was  down 9.5                                                                    
million or 16.3  percent since FY 14.  The Criminal Division                                                                    
all funds  fund was down  $3.5 million or 9.8  percent since                                                                    
FY  14. The  department's  Administrative Services  Division                                                                    
was down $433,000 or 9.1 percent since FY 14.                                                                                   
Attorney  General Lindemuth  reviewed slide  10: "Department                                                                    
of Law: Total Funding Comparison  by Fund Group." She stated                                                                    
that  the slide  showed the  source of  funding. In  the big                                                                    
picture, the  department's Criminal Division was  GF funded.                                                                    
The Civil Division  was 50 percent GF funded  and 50 percent                                                                    
IA funded. She  pointed to the light  blue bars representing                                                                    
UGF. The department was looking  at a proposed budget for FY                                                                    
18  of $48.9  million, of  which Criminal  represented $27.1                                                                    
million  and   the  primary  funding  source   for  criminal                                                                    
prosecutions. The  Civil Division represented  $19.2 million                                                                    
which covered the caseloads of representing the state.                                                                          
Attorney General  Lindemuth next pointed to  the dark purple                                                                    
was the small amount of  designated general funds (DGF) that                                                                    
the department had in the  amount of about $2.8 million. The                                                                    
bulk of the $2.3 million  was from a regulatory cost charge,                                                                    
a  fee  collected by  the  Regulatory  Commission of  Alaska                                                                    
(RCA)  through  utility  bills.   There  was  an  amount  of                                                                    
$256,000  for consumer  work in  their  Commercial and  Fair                                                                    
Business Section  and $225,000  was for  the Alaska  Oil and                                                                    
Gas   Conservation  Commission   (AOGCC)  work   in  natural                                                                    
Attorney   General  Lindemuth   highlighted  that   the  red                                                                    
component showed  the other main source  of the department's                                                                    
fund, the IA. It was the  fund source the department used to                                                                    
bill  other state  agencies for  legal services  provided to                                                                    
the  rest  of  the  state.  She  elaborated  that  when  the                                                                    
department  was putting  its budget  together  she had  gone                                                                    
around  to  ask other  departments  what  they saw  for  the                                                                    
demand for  legal services going forward.  They expected the                                                                    
demand to be  the same for the following year  as it was for                                                                    
FY  17.  They  saw  no  decrease in  the  demand  for  legal                                                                    
services.   Although    other   departments    were   facing                                                                    
reductions, they  were not reducing  their need  for layers.                                                                    
She  thought  it made  sense,  based  on her  experience  in                                                                    
private  practice. She  explained that  often when  programs                                                                    
were  downsized it  cost  more  in lawyer  fees  to make  it                                                                    
Attorney General  Lindemuth continued to explain  the chart.                                                                    
The green portion  of the bars represented  the small amount                                                                    
of  federal  funds  that  the   state  received.  The  state                                                                    
received direct funding from the  federal government for the                                                                    
state's Medicaid  Fraud Unit.  The department  also received                                                                    
some federal funds via IA  for child support enforcement and                                                                    
some child protection.                                                                                                          
Attorney General Lindemuth provided  an overview of slide 11                                                                    
and slide  12 showing a  matrix for the Civil  Division. The                                                                    
matrix broke out each section  within the department's Civil                                                                    
Division.  It  also  showed the  funding  sources  for  each                                                                    
section.  Many  of  the  sections  aligned  with  the  other                                                                    
departments  within  the  administration. For  example,  the                                                                    
department had  an environmental  section - its  main client                                                                    
was DEC. She would not be walking through each section.                                                                         
Attorney  General Lindemuth  reviewed slide  13 and  14, the                                                                    
matrix slides  for the Criminal  Division. The  matrix broke                                                                    
out  the   Criminal  Division  by  judicial   district.  She                                                                    
indicated  that  slide 4  showed  the  4 different  judicial                                                                    
districts within  Alaska. All of the  division's prosecutors                                                                    
did the same thing. They  prosecuted violations of state law                                                                    
no matter where they were located.                                                                                              
1:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Attorney General  Lindemuth moved  to slide 14  which showed                                                                    
the  matrix for  the  Administrative  Services Division.  It                                                                    
reflected the budget  from Mr. Cullum's team as  well as her                                                                    
office and her team. She was available for questions.                                                                           
Co-Chair Seaton asked Attorney  General Lindemuth to provide                                                                    
a copy of her written statement.                                                                                                
Representative  Ortiz asked  Attorney  General Lindemuth  to                                                                    
identify the most significant areas  in which her department                                                                    
was falling  short of being able  to do its job  as a result                                                                    
of funding reductions.  Attorney General Lindemuth responded                                                                    
that if  it was a perfect  world and she could  come up with                                                                    
the  best budget  for the  Department  of Law  she would  be                                                                    
asking for more money,  especially for criminal prosecutions                                                                    
and  child protection  areas.  She would  also  like to  see                                                                    
additional funding  for consumer  protection and  funding to                                                                    
hire an additional person  within the environmental section.                                                                    
All  of  the  sections  within the  department  had  reduced                                                                    
capacity. She thought the department  could provide the core                                                                    
services with the funding it had, given budget constraints.                                                                     
Representative   Ortiz   asked,   in   terms   of   criminal                                                                    
prosecution and  child protective  services, if there  was a                                                                    
financial opportunity  for cost savings that  might be lost.                                                                    
He also  wanted her  to elaborate on  the social  costs that                                                                    
might be  piling up because of  reductions. Attorney General                                                                    
Lindemuth indicated  that the social  cost was most  felt in                                                                    
child protection  and criminal prosecutions.  The department                                                                    
was leaving money on the  table by having fewer resources in                                                                    
the  natural resources  tax collection  section  and in  the                                                                    
environmental  section.  The environmental  section  pursued                                                                    
spill  response monies.  There were  actual recoveries  from                                                                    
third parties where  if the state spent  more money upfront,                                                                    
the department could get more money for the state overall.                                                                      
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked if  hiring  more  attorneys in  both                                                                    
sections would pay  for itself in the  end. Attorney General                                                                    
Lindemuth  believed  that it  was  true  that if  the  state                                                                    
invested more money and had  more resources focused on those                                                                    
areas where  the department was pursuing  state's rights and                                                                    
collecting dollars for  the state, it would  pay for itself.                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  thought the  subcommittee would  be looking                                                                    
at the issue.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg  mentioned  that,  in  2003,  the                                                                    
legislature  passed a  resolution with  overwhelming support                                                                    
concerning the  nature of the  state participating  with the                                                                    
federal government enforcing  unconstitutional provisions of                                                                    
the Patriot  Act. He  relayed that  since Friday,  the issue                                                                    
became germane  again. He was  aware that the  Department of                                                                    
Law supported  the Department of  Corrections (DOC)  and the                                                                    
Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS).  Although  HJR  22  [                                                                    
Legislation passed  in 2003 -  Short Title: Patriot  Act and                                                                    
Defending  Civil   Liberties]  was   not  binding,   it  was                                                                    
overwhelmingly passed  by members  of the legislature,  2 of                                                                    
whom were still serving  (himself and Senator John Coghill).                                                                    
He  asked  Attorney  General  Lindemuth   how  much  of  her                                                                    
department's  resources  were  used to  support  efforts  to                                                                    
comply with federal statutes  that might be unconstitutional                                                                    
or had  been subject to a  stay. He wanted to  know what the                                                                    
consequences might  be if the  state did not  follow federal                                                                    
law. He asked her to get back to him with an answer later.                                                                      
2:01:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  asked how Attorney General  Lindemuth would                                                                    
like to  be addressed. Attorney General  Lindemuth responded                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara wondered whether being  short on oil and gas                                                                    
tax  attorneys would  result in  lower  settlements for  the                                                                    
state in  a tax  dispute, for example,  with an  oil company                                                                    
tax  payer that  had a  robust team  of attorneys.  Attorney                                                                    
General   Lindemuth   responded    that   she   belied   the                                                                    
department's tax attorneys were  providing good services for                                                                    
the state.  In an  especially important case  the department                                                                    
tried to draw  on outside counsel to  help supplement cases.                                                                    
She  department was  not able  to prosecute  or be  involved                                                                    
with as many cases at one  time because of the few resources                                                                    
it had. She  added that by not having as  many people in the                                                                    
oil and gas  area, the department was not  building a wealth                                                                    
of  knowledge  going  into  the  future.  She  reported  the                                                                    
department  having  lost many  of  its  seasoned people  and                                                                    
needed to rebuild that section.                                                                                                 
Vice-Chair Gara  mentioned that the state  had been annually                                                                    
reducing  the percentage  of cases  it could  prosecute. The                                                                    
Criminal  Division had  been focusing  on  the more  serious                                                                    
cases, but  unable to focus  on lower level crime  cases. He                                                                    
asked if  the department was prosecuting  a lower percentage                                                                    
of  cases  than  it   would  otherwise  prosecute.  Attorney                                                                    
General Lindemuth responded, "That  is absolutely true." She                                                                    
noted that  the reduction  was mostly in  misdemeanor cases.                                                                    
There was  a 33 percent  reduction in misdemeanor  cases and                                                                    
only a 3 percent reduction in felony cases.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  her  to  repeat  herself.  Attorney                                                                    
General  Lindemuth  reported  a   33  percent  reduction  in                                                                    
misdemeanor cases but only a  3 percent reduction for felony                                                                    
cases.  It  reflected  that  the   state  was  spending  its                                                                    
resources on the most serious crimes.                                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Gara   clarified  that  within   the  children's                                                                    
section, the  attorney general represented the  state in the                                                                    
Office  of  Children's  Services  (OCS)  cases.  The  Public                                                                    
Defenders represent the parents  and guardian ad litems, and                                                                    
some of the other agencies  represent the children. He asked                                                                    
if he was accurate.  Attorney General Lindemuth responded in                                                                    
the positive.                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Gara  wondered if it  would make a  difference in                                                                    
speeding cases along if the  attorney general had additional                                                                    
staff but the other agencies did  not. He wondered if it was                                                                    
a  larger  systemic   problem.  Attorney  General  Lindemuth                                                                    
thought  it was  a  systemic issue  where  the whole  system                                                                    
needed to  be addressed.  She did not  know what  entity was                                                                    
holding  up the  system  most. If  the  department had  more                                                                    
resources, the cases  could be pushed along  faster. She was                                                                    
uncertain  if   it  would  be   necessary  for   the  Public                                                                    
Defender's office  or other  areas in  order to  move things                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton asked  her to  provide an  estimate to  the                                                                    
finance subcommittee.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair Seaton referred to slide  7. He noted that the cost                                                                    
differential seemed very large  between in-house and outside                                                                    
counsel. He  asked if  the state was  having to  use outside                                                                    
counsel for  expertise or because  of not having  enough in-                                                                    
house counsel.  He asked  if there  was a  position tradeoff                                                                    
rather  than the  need  for  additional expertise.  Attorney                                                                    
General Lindemuth  did not believe it  was necessarily true.                                                                    
The department had brought a  significant amount of work in-                                                                    
house that was previously  done through outside counsel. She                                                                    
indicated   that  the   main  area   where  the   department                                                                    
previously used  more outside counsel was  in the Regulatory                                                                    
Affairs  and Public  Advocacy (RAPA)  section doing  Federal                                                                    
Energy Regulatory  Commission (FERC) work in  Washington DC.                                                                    
The state used to use  Washington DC counsel They were still                                                                    
involved, but  their work  had been  decreased significantly                                                                    
moving to  doing the work in-house.  It was a better  way of                                                                    
achieving cost  savings results,  than through  other means.                                                                    
She  explained  that  because  of  the  expense  of  outside                                                                    
counsel, the department  was trying to use  them where their                                                                    
expertise added value.                                                                                                          
2:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson returned to  the subject of Children's                                                                    
Services. She wondered  if the department had  looked at the                                                                    
court hearings and whether they  were effective. She brought                                                                    
up the  idea of  using mediation or  something outside  of a                                                                    
court  room.  She  wondered  if  there  was  a  streamlining                                                                    
process to free  up more time and an  outcome goal. Attorney                                                                    
General  Lindemuth  had  not delved  that  deeply  into  any                                                                    
particular  child protection  case  to look  at  how it  was                                                                    
functioning.  She had  spoken with  the Public  Defender and                                                                    
the public  advocate on how  to work better together  and to                                                                    
streamline   the  process.   She  was   interested  in   the                                                                    
department being the pillar  of civility and professionalism                                                                    
in  the community.  She thought  there was  always room  for                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  did  not believe  anyone  was  doing                                                                    
their  job poorly.  Rather, she  thought  it was  more of  a                                                                    
policy call.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  thanked the Attorney General  Lindemuth for                                                                    
the  presentation. He  would look  forward to  feedback from                                                                    
the  subcommittee. He  noticed that  the estimate  on almost                                                                    
all of the  items were critical in nature.  He indicated the                                                                    
subcommittee  was open  to  suggestions.  He mentioned  fees                                                                    
changing and asked Attorney General  Lindemuth to bring them                                                                    
forward in subcommittee.                                                                                                        
2:10:58 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
^FY 18 Budget Overview: Department of Fish and Game                                                                           
2:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SAM  COTTEN,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  FISH  AND  GAME,                                                                    
relayed  the  names  of  individuals   that  were  from  his                                                                    
department. He appreciated the  opportunity to appear before                                                                    
the committee.  He differed to  Ms. Petraborg to  review the                                                                    
prepared presentation.                                                                                                          
CAROL    PETRABORG,   ADMINISTRATIVE    SERVICES   DIRECTOR,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF  FISH  AND GAME,  introduced  the  PowerPoint                                                                    
presentation:  Alaska Department  of  Fish  and Game:  House                                                                    
Finance Committee: FY 2018 Budget Overview."                                                                                    
Ms.  Petraborg reviewed  slide 2:  The  Constitution of  the                                                                    
State of Alaska":                                                                                                               
     The Constitution of the State of Alaska                                                                                    
    Article 8 - Natural Resources; § 4. Sustained Yield                                                                         
     Fish,  forests,  wildlife,  grasslands, and  all  other                                                                    
     replenish-able resources  belonging to the  State shall                                                                    
     be   utilized,  developed,   and   maintained  on   the                                                                    
     sustained  yield  principle,   subject  to  preferences                                                                    
     among beneficial uses.                                                                                                     
     The Alaska Statutes                                                                                                        
     Title 16.  FISH AND GAME; Sec.  16.05.020. Functions of                                                                    
     (2) manage, protect, maintain,  improve, and extend the                                                                    
     fish, game and aquatic plant  resources of the state in                                                                    
     the interest  of the economy and  general well-being of                                                                    
     the state.                                                                                                                 
     Mission Statement                                                                                                          
     To protect,  maintain, and improve the  fish, game, and                                                                    
     aquatic plant resources of the  state, and manage their                                                                    
     uses  and  development  in the  best  interest  of  the                                                                    
     economy and the well-being of  the people of the state,                                                                    
     consistent with the sustained yield principle.                                                                             
Ms. Petraborg turned to slide  3: "ADF and G Core Services."                                                                    
She relayed that  the Department of Fish and  Game (DFG) had                                                                    
three  core  services:  Management,  stock  assessment,  and                                                                    
customer  service  and  public involvement.  Management  was                                                                    
measured  by commercial  harvests,  habitat permits  issued,                                                                    
the number of angler days,  user harvests and successes, and                                                                    
the  participation in  federal issues  affecting the  state.                                                                    
Stack  assessment  and  research  was  measured  by  meeting                                                                    
escapement  goals, meeting  or exceeding  threshold harvests                                                                    
or catch  levels, performing wildlife surveys  and research,                                                                    
and  performing   subsistence  surveys  and   research.  She                                                                    
continued that  customer service and public  involvement was                                                                    
gaged   by  having   hunting   and  angler   skills-oriented                                                                    
programs,   opportunities  for   Alaskans  to   learn  about                                                                    
wildlife and  wildlife management,  the sale of  hunting and                                                                    
fishing  licenses,  participation  in  boards  and  advisory                                                                    
committee  processes   and  providing  information   to  the                                                                    
Ms.  Petraborg moved  to slide  4: "Department  of Fish  and                                                                    
Game's  Budget  Compared  to  All  Agencies'  Budgets."  She                                                                    
indicated  that the  slide was  prepared by  the Legislative                                                                    
Finance  Division.  She  reported   that  since  FY  08  the                                                                    
department had seen  a 2 percent growth in  its general fund                                                                    
(GF) budget. She  noted that there was  a direct correlation                                                                    
to  contractual increases  for  salaries.  She also  relayed                                                                    
that DFG's percent  of the state's total GF  budget had been                                                                    
reduced by  .1 percent since FY  08 from 1.5 percent  to 1.4                                                                    
2:17:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Petraborg  advanced to  slide 5:  She reported  that the                                                                    
slide showed  all funds  by budget  line item.  She reported                                                                    
that 62 percent of the  department's budget was dedicated to                                                                    
personal services  costs. The next  largest budget  area was                                                                    
the  contractual  line.  She estimated  the  funding  to  be                                                                    
roughly  half  inter-agency  funding  which  paid  for  core                                                                    
services such as leases,  Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                    
charges,  and   Department  of  Transportation   and  Public                                                                    
Facilities'  charges  for  the state  equipment  fleet.  She                                                                    
continued that  roughly $10 million  of the amount  was what                                                                    
was paid  within DFG.  The other  half had  to do  with non-                                                                    
interagency  contractual costs  such as  software licensing,                                                                    
utilities, repairs and maintenance,  and aircraft and vessel                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked   for  clarification  regarding  the                                                                    
inter-agency portion.  He wondered if she  was talking about                                                                    
inter-agency funding between sections  within DFG or between                                                                    
DFG and other departments.  Ms. Petraborg responded, "Both."                                                                    
The core services  costs that went to DOA  totaled about $10                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton just  wanted to clarify that it  was to DOA,                                                                    
another  department,   and  not  from  the   Sports  Fishing                                                                    
Division to  the Commercial Fishing Division.  Ms. Petraborg                                                                    
claimed that about  the same about was  exchanged within the                                                                    
department.  For instance,  the  Division of  Administrative                                                                    
Services  processed   the  hunting  and   fishing  licenses,                                                                    
performed  data entry,  and performed  accounting functions.                                                                    
The department  received fund transfers from  the Sport Fish                                                                    
Division,  the Wildlife  division, and  the Commercial  Fish                                                                    
Division to process licenses.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Seaton  thought the subcommittee would  clarify the                                                                    
$10  million dollars.  Ms. Petraborg  confirmed that  it was                                                                    
contractual in one division  and typically personal services                                                                    
in the other.                                                                                                                   
Ms. Petraborg  moved to slide 6:  "Appropriations within the                                                                    
Department  of   Fish  and  Game   (GF  Only)."   The  lines                                                                    
represented  the  four  results delivery  units  within  the                                                                    
department.   The  three   large  divisions   included:  The                                                                    
Commercial Fisheries Division, the  Sport Fish Division, and                                                                    
the  Wildlife Conservation  Division.  Everything else  fell                                                                    
into Statewide Support Services  which encompassed the small                                                                    
divisions,   the   department's  administration,   and   the                                                                    
Commissioner's  Office. The  graph  reflected  only GF.  She                                                                    
highlighted that  the bottom lines  were trending  down. The                                                                    
line   at  the   top,  representing   Commercial  Fisheries,                                                                    
appeared to be going up. She  explained that it was due to a                                                                    
couple  of transfers  into that  results delivery  unit. The                                                                    
Commercial Fisheries Limited  Entry Commission component was                                                                    
moved. Previously,  it had been  a stand-alone  component by                                                                    
the legislature  in FY  16. There was  also a  component for                                                                    
facilities  rent  which  was   currently  allocated  to  the                                                                    
results  delivery  unit so  that  the  expenditures and  the                                                                    
revenues were  reflected where they  belonged. The  total of                                                                    
the  two transfers  amounted  to close  to  an $5.5  million                                                                    
increase. It was actually not an increase, but a shift.                                                                         
2:23:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Petraborg  detailed slide 7: "Appropriations  within the                                                                    
Department  of Fish  and Game  (ALL  Funds)." She  indicated                                                                    
that the slide showed the same  uptick as the last slide for                                                                    
the Commercial  Fisheries Division. She pointed  to the pink                                                                    
line representing  the Wildlife Conservation  Division which                                                                    
went  up slightly  due  to the  facilities  rents that  were                                                                    
transferred to that results delivery unit.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Seaton asked  if it  came  from statewide  support                                                                    
services. Ms. Petraborg responded in the affirmative.                                                                           
Ms. Petraborg scrolled  to slide 8: "Department  of Fish and                                                                    
Game Total  Funding Comparison by  Fund Group  (All Funds)."                                                                    
She   reported   the   department's  funding   coming   from                                                                    
approximately one-third federal  receipts, one-third general                                                                    
funds, and  one-third other funds.  She added that  the Fish                                                                    
and Game  Fund made  up approximately  50 percent  of "other                                                                    
funds." The  other 50 percent was  comprised of inter-agency                                                                    
receipts and  statutory designated program receipts  and any                                                                    
personal   services    that   were   charged    to   capital                                                                    
Ms. Petraborg  reviewed slide 9: "Alaska  Department of Fish                                                                    
and Game  Regional and Area  Offices." The slide  provided a                                                                    
visual  depiction  of  the  locations  of  the  department's                                                                    
regional  and area  offices throughout  the  state. It  also                                                                    
showed  which divisions  or sections  were  located at  each                                                                    
Commissioner  Cotten added  that  many of  the offices  were                                                                    
seasonal, open only certain times  of the year. For example,                                                                    
the  Port Moller  office was  only open  during the  fishing                                                                    
Ms.  Petraborg spoke  to slide  10: "Division  of Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries."   The  remaining   slides   showed  the   budget                                                                    
breakdowns by  division. The first  set of  slides addressed                                                                    
the  Division   of  Commercial   Fisheries.  The   top  line                                                                    
reflected the total  for the division. The  remainder of the                                                                    
lines  showed the  budgets for  various programs  within the                                                                    
division.  She  noted  that   the  division  was  regionally                                                                    
structured and  budgeted by region  rather than  by program.                                                                    
Although,  the  department  had  a  subsidiary  system  that                                                                    
assisted  the department  in breaking  the  numbers down  by                                                                    
program.   Slide  10   reflected  the   different  fisheries                                                                    
including salmon, herring, groundfish, and shellfish.                                                                           
MS.  Petraborg reviewed  slide 11:  "Division of  Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries  continued from  previous slide"  that showed  the                                                                    
stand-alone programs including  genetics, the pathology lab,                                                                    
aquaculture planning and  permitting, core services support,                                                                    
and data  resource management and information  services. The                                                                    
chart also  showed positions and number  of Alaskans served,                                                                    
which was very subjective.  The Commercial Fisheries came up                                                                    
with its  numbers with actual  permits and  licenses issued.                                                                    
The chart also  showed a rating of  effectiveness. She noted                                                                    
that there  was a web link  to the Office of  Management and                                                                    
Budget's performance  measures site.  For instance,  the ex-                                                                    
vessel   value  of   commercial  harvests   and  mariculture                                                                    
production in Alaska could be found via the web link.                                                                           
2:27:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Petraborg  reported that the  same information  could be                                                                    
found  in  the  remaining  slides  (slides  12-22)  for  the                                                                    
Division of Sport  Fish (2 pages), the  Division of Wildlife                                                                    
Conservation  (2  pages),  the Division  of  Subsistence  (1                                                                    
page),  and  the  Division  of  Administrative  Services  (2                                                                    
pages),  the Division  of Habitat  (1 page),  the Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries  Entry  Commission  (CFEC) (1  page),  the  Boards                                                                    
Support   Section  (1   page),   and  the   Office  of   the                                                                    
Commissioner (1 page).                                                                                                          
Ms.  Petraborg reviewed  slides  17-18 for  the Division  of                                                                    
Administrative Services. She reported  that the division was                                                                    
broken  down by  section  including  the director's  office,                                                                    
finance,    human    resources,   information    technology,                                                                    
licensing, procurement,  small division  administration, and                                                                    
core services. The  licensing section was not  typical of an                                                                    
Administrative Services Division.                                                                                               
Ms. Petraborg reported that the  Division of Habitat did the                                                                    
permitting for  Title 16 and  special areas.  The Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries Entry Commission was a  totally exempt agency that                                                                    
was  administratively attached  to DFG.  The Boards  Support                                                                    
Section supported the Alaska Board  of Fisheries, the Alaska                                                                    
Board of  Game, and  the advisory committees.  She indicated                                                                    
that the Office  of the Commissioner was down  to 7 fulltime                                                                    
positions presently.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Seaton  asked about the  Division of  Habitat where                                                                    
it showed  zero percentage of costs  recovered through fees.                                                                    
He wondered if the state  was charging for permitting or for                                                                    
project  review and  monitoring. He  asked for  more detail.                                                                    
Ms.  Petraborg responded  that the  department did  not have                                                                    
set  fees in  regulation for  the Division  of Habitat.  The                                                                    
department charged  fees reflecting  what was  actually paid                                                                    
for providing  a service  for large  mine projects.  For the                                                                    
general public,  the department  did not  charge a  fee. The                                                                    
state wanted  the public  to inform  the department  of what                                                                    
they  were  doing. A  set  fee  might  limit the  amount  of                                                                    
information    people    provided.    Commissioner    Cotten                                                                    
interjected  that there  was  revenue  from private  sources                                                                    
when the department worked for  them. However, there was not                                                                    
technically a fee.                                                                                                              
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  about fees  collected  for  permits                                                                    
being  issued.  Commissioner Cotten  responded,  "Typically,                                                                    
no."  For  example,  some  of   the  work  that  the  mining                                                                    
companies were required  to perform in order  to satisfy the                                                                    
conditions of  their operation would  be done by  the state.                                                                    
The costs  would be  reimbursed to the  state by  the mining                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  commented that the subcommittee  would want                                                                    
to look at some of the activities  to see if there was a way                                                                    
to recover  some of the expenditures  for personnel, travel,                                                                    
and  other  expenses.  He thought  the  Fisheries  Committee                                                                    
should  be looking  at the  areas  where the  state was  not                                                                    
collecting what  could possibly be collected  if things were                                                                    
structured correctly.                                                                                                           
2:32:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  mentioned the previous year's  debate about                                                                    
various fisheries  taxes. In terms  of raising money  to pay                                                                    
for a service, he  thought the Commercial Fisheries Division                                                                    
cost the state $50 million  in GF and the various commercial                                                                    
fishing taxes raised  roughly half that amount.  He asked if                                                                    
he  was  accurate.  Commissioner Cotten  responded  that  he                                                                    
could not  recall the exact  numbers. He mentioned  that the                                                                    
other  thing  to  consider  was  that DFG  was  one  of  the                                                                    
agencies  that spent  money as  a result  of the  commercial                                                                    
fishing  industry, as  did the  Department of  Public Safety                                                                    
(DPS),  the  Alaska Court  System,  and  other agencies.  He                                                                    
continued  that the  taxes that  were collected  through the                                                                    
fisheries  business tax  and the  resource landing  tax were                                                                    
divided. Half  of them  came to the  state treasury  and the                                                                    
other half  stayed with the  municipalities. A  debate point                                                                    
was that fishermen  were paying but the money  was not going                                                                    
into the  treasury and being  reflected as part of  what the                                                                    
industry contributed to the state's  expenses. He was unsure                                                                    
of the exact revenue amounts  raised by the tax measures. He                                                                    
thought  it  was  an  important  consideration.  Some  would                                                                    
suggest  that the  industry was  partially  subsidized as  a                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara asked for the  amounts the state raised with                                                                    
the  various commercial  fishing taxes.  He wondered  if the                                                                    
administration  was  working on  a  proposal  to change  the                                                                    
taxes that  would affect the larger  processors and trawlers                                                                    
in  the current  year.  Commissioner  Cotten responded  that                                                                    
presently  the administration  did not  intend to  introduce                                                                    
tax legislation on the fishing industry.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Seaton  had  asked the  subcommittee  to  look  at                                                                    
changing the  shared amount from  50 percent to  25 percent,                                                                    
effectively an  increase of one-fourth.  There would  not be                                                                    
an increase in the actual  tax. However, the amount that the                                                                    
state was indirectly expending through  the shared tax could                                                                    
change significantly for  fisheries management. Commissioner                                                                    
Cotten  commented  that  the premise  was  that  an  overall                                                                    
fiscal plan would  be approved. As a result, if  there was a                                                                    
broad-based tax,  it would reflect  a contribution  from the                                                                    
people  working in  the  industry. A  motor  fuel tax  would                                                                    
increase expenses  and would be  paid partially  from people                                                                    
in the industry. It would depend on the big picture.                                                                            
Representative  Kawasaki   had  some  questions   about  the                                                                    
numbers section.  He asked about  access and defense  in the                                                                    
Division of  Wildlife Conservation  he had just  spoken with                                                                    
the Department of Law. He  asked what the access and defense                                                                    
section. He  wondered if  they were  attorneys. Commissioner                                                                    
Cotten  responded that  they were  not attorneys.  They were                                                                    
professionals  in  the  field.  For  example,  he  mentioned                                                                    
experts on the  topic of the Alaska  National Interest Lands                                                                    
Conservation  Act  (ANILCA).  Other people  had  significant                                                                    
experience dealing  with the  United States  Government over                                                                    
the  years regarding  the  tension  that sometimes  occurred                                                                    
between the  two jurisdictions.  The Department of  Fish and                                                                    
Game worked  closely with the  Department of Law  by helping                                                                    
with the work  that was necessary for the  Department of Law                                                                    
to make decisions about whether to pursue legal action.                                                                         
2:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki referred to  the shellfish group and                                                                    
the   Aquaculture  Planning   and  Permitting   Section.  He                                                                    
wondered if  either section  dealt with  paralytic shellfish                                                                    
poison   (PSP)  or   whether  Department   of  Environmental                                                                    
Conservation  (DEC)  was  responsible.  Commissioner  Cotten                                                                    
indicated that DEC dealt with PSP monitoring.                                                                                   
Representative Kawasaki referred  to slide 9 and  all of the                                                                    
office locations.  He wanted a  list of locations  and their                                                                    
respective rents. He mentioned  that other agencies had been                                                                    
before  the  committee  and  reported  their  dealings  with                                                                    
water.  Department of  Natural  Resources  (DNR) dealt  with                                                                    
water  quantity,  DEC handled  water  quality,  and DFG  was                                                                    
responsible for water habitat. He  wondered when these areas                                                                    
concerning water  were separated into the  various agencies.                                                                    
He  asked if  the administration  had discussed  co-locating                                                                    
some  of  the  functions  relating  to  water.  Commissioner                                                                    
Cotten responded  that regarding the breakdown  of costs and                                                                    
hours  of operation  of the  regional and  area offices.  He                                                                    
wondered  if  he wanted  the  number  of personnel  at  each                                                                    
Representative  Kawasaki responded  that  he wanted  general                                                                    
information about  when the offices were  open. Commissioner                                                                    
Cotten   replied   to   Representative   Kawasaki's   second                                                                    
question.  He   was  unaware  of  any   discussions  in  the                                                                    
administration  about co-locating  certain water  functions.                                                                    
He noted  that there  was a  combination of  efforts between                                                                    
the  different areas  of state  government  that dealt  with                                                                    
water quality and  water levels. The Department  of Fish and                                                                    
Game and  DNR worked  together frequently in  the permitting                                                                    
Representative Ortiz  asked if  it was  accurate to  say the                                                                    
overall funding  level of DFG  was down by  approximately 35                                                                    
percent  since 2013.  Commissioner Cotten  replied that,  in                                                                    
terms  of undesignated  general funds,  Representative Ortiz                                                                    
was correct.                                                                                                                    
Representative  Ortiz asked  if  the department's  functions                                                                    
were  inhibited  by  the budget  cuts.  Commissioner  Cotten                                                                    
answered that  many of  the projects  the department  had to                                                                    
eliminate  dealt with  stock  assessments,  aerial and  dive                                                                    
surveys,  and   other  projects.  Each  of   those  projects                                                                    
contributed to  the department's  ability to manage.  As the                                                                    
department  reduced the  amount of  information it  had from                                                                    
weirs or  the stock assessment programs,  the department was                                                                    
left  with the  decision to  be more  conservative with  its                                                                    
management.  He suspected  that  there had  been many  areas                                                                    
where  there  had been  opportunities  that  were no  longer                                                                    
available. Typically, smaller projects,  such as the herring                                                                    
fisheries  in   Southeast  Alaska,  were  affected   by  the                                                                    
department's   lack   of   information.  There   were   also                                                                    
significant  areas   in  Prince  William  Sound   where  the                                                                    
department's ability to do its work had been diminished.                                                                        
Representative   Ortiz  summarized   his  understanding   of                                                                    
Commissioner  Cotten's  statements.  He   asked  if  he  was                                                                    
accurate.  Commissioner Cotten  replied in  the affirmative.                                                                    
He relayed that  the requirement to do  revenue test fishing                                                                    
also impacted fish that would  have otherwise been available                                                                    
for harvest.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton asked the  department to provide information                                                                    
about  management fees  associated with  fish harvesting  to                                                                    
the subcommittee.  He noted Representative Grenn  had joined                                                                    
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
2:44:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg pointed out  that, in terms of the                                                                    
cost of doing business in  Alaska, the area that DFG covered                                                                    
was  phenomenal. He  noted  there were  4  members from  the                                                                    
interior around the table. Much of  the value of fish was on                                                                    
the  coast. However,  fish was  also very  important in  the                                                                    
interior for food  stock and habitat. All too  often, he did                                                                    
not hear  the issue  addressed or recognized.  He had  a DNR                                                                    
subcommittee  meeting earlier  in the  day dealing  with the                                                                    
Office   of  Project   Management   and  Permitting   (OPMP)                                                                    
discussing   permitting    and   processing    of   wetlands                                                                    
mitigation.  Part of  the discussion  included trading  land                                                                    
for conservation  easements to satisfy a  project in another                                                                    
location.  He  noted that  within  the  Division of  Habitat                                                                    
under the  allocation of project  review and  monitoring all                                                                    
of the funding  was from other sources. His  question had to                                                                    
do  with  the  commissioner's  priority  list  for  habitat,                                                                    
protection,   and   restoration.    He   wondered   if   the                                                                    
commissioner  was able  to convert  the  project review  and                                                                    
monitoring  program  into  providing wildlife  easements  to                                                                    
protect habitat and  restoration. Commissioner Cotten wanted                                                                    
to  clarify that  the representative  was  asking about  the                                                                    
Habitat Division's  involvement with the Corps  of Engineers                                                                    
on the designation of wetlands.                                                                                                 
Representative  Guttenberg  answered that  OPMP  coordinated                                                                    
agencies  to try  to mitigate  federal wetlands  legislation                                                                    
that allowed  a project to  use a  piece of land  in another                                                                    
location  for a  conservation easement.  It would  allow for                                                                    
the  original project  to  advance  without being  concerned                                                                    
with the wetlands it was on.  He asked if the department was                                                                    
able to get  the best possible outcome for  taking lands for                                                                    
conservation easements  that protected basic things  such as                                                                    
fish habitat  and fish restoration. Commissioner  Cotten was                                                                    
struggling to answer his question.  His familiarity with the                                                                    
program  Representative Guttenberg  referred  to  had to  do                                                                    
with the Corps of  Engineers. They typically designated land                                                                    
as conservation,  development, or preservation  wetlands. If                                                                    
Department of  Fish and  Game's Division  of Habitat  had an                                                                    
opportunity,  at all,  its primary  purpose  was to  protect                                                                    
fisheries  or  game  habitat.  He   responded  that  if  the                                                                    
department was given the opportunity, it would.                                                                                 
2:48:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  suggested that  Representative  Guttenberg                                                                    
have a separate meeting with the Division of Habitat.                                                                           
Representative  Tilton  referred  to an  economic  fisheries                                                                    
study from  2009 between sport  and commercial  fishing. The                                                                    
conclusion was  that the  average economic  contribution and                                                                    
impact per  harvest salmon was considerably  higher for Cook                                                                    
Inlet  Sport  Fisheries  than   for  Cook  Inlet  Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries.  She reported  that  the  Division of  Commercial                                                                    
Fisheries received  about 42 percent  more in  total dollars                                                                    
and  about  18  times  more   UGF  than  the  Sport  Fishing                                                                    
Division.  She continued  that on  pages  10 and  12 of  the                                                                    
department's report  it showed  that sport  fishing affected                                                                    
all Alaskans. She wondered about the disparity.                                                                                 
Commissioner Cotten  thought it  was an  interesting process                                                                    
in determining  who was served.  One way to measure  who was                                                                    
served by the Division of Sport  Fish was to list the number                                                                    
of licenses sold. However, there  were many people that were                                                                    
under  age and  did not  need a  license and  several people                                                                    
that were  over age  that only  had to  apply for  a license                                                                    
once.  It was  not an  exact measurement.  It was  suggested                                                                    
that everyone  in the state  was eligible and the  fish were                                                                    
available to  everyone in the  state - the reason  why "all"                                                                    
was chosen. It was not  an easy decision. He elaborated that                                                                    
with commercial  fisheries licensing it was  easier and more                                                                    
exact to  measure based on  the number of crew  licenses and                                                                    
Commercial   Fisheries  Entry   Commission  (CFEC)   permits                                                                    
issued. He  admitted the  term "all"  was a  stretch because                                                                    
there were  some people  that did not  have any  interest in                                                                    
sport  fishing. He  also  pointed out  that  there were  two                                                                    
major  differences in  funding  sources.  He explained  that                                                                    
when a person bought a  sport fishing license the funds went                                                                    
into  the fish  and game  fund  and generated  3 times  that                                                                    
amount from the  Dingle Johnson federal funds.  There was no                                                                    
such program for commercial fishermen.  They paid their fish                                                                    
taxes  which  went into  the  general  fund. They  were  not                                                                    
dedicated  funds. The  sport fish  and  wildlife funds  were                                                                    
from  a  dedicated  fund. At  first  observation,  it  might                                                                    
appear  that a  greater amount  of general  funds went  into                                                                    
commercial  fishing,   but  they  did  not   have  the  same                                                                    
dedicated fund  source that wildlife  and sport  fish enjoy.                                                                    
He  also   noted  the  other  thing   Representative  Tilton                                                                    
mentioned  had to  do with  economic contributions  by sport                                                                    
fishing  and  commercial  fishing. There  had  been  several                                                                    
different studies  produced by  industry for  the commercial                                                                    
fishery.  Many of  the studies  done for  sport fishing  had                                                                    
been  funded   by  the  legislature.  The   information  was                                                                    
primarily  used by  the Board  of Fisheries  when allocation                                                                    
decisions were being made.                                                                                                      
Representative   Thompson   asked    about   a   report   on                                                                    
acidification  in the  Bering  Sea and  the  effects it  was                                                                    
having  on the  state's salmon  returns. Several  years back                                                                    
the legislature  had funded  such a  study. Also,  he wanted                                                                    
additional information  about predators  on the  Yukon River                                                                    
and how  many smolt  were being consumed  by Pike  and other                                                                    
fish.  He  was hoping  the  commissioner  could provide  the                                                                    
report  to  the   subcommittee.  Commissioner  Cotten  would                                                                    
provide some information on  ocean acidification. The Bering                                                                    
Sea was a  hot point on the  planet. As far as  the topic of                                                                    
predation on smolt,  he would see what  information he could                                                                    
find for Representative Thompson.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Seaton  mentioned having identified  several things                                                                    
concerning indirect  expenditures. The  Commercial Fisheries                                                                    
Entry Commission  had been brought up  regarding fees. Also,                                                                    
the permanent  identification cards  for anyone over  60 had                                                                    
been mentioned. He  thought it would be a  good topic during                                                                    
the subcommittee  process. Additionally, he  mentioned other                                                                    
topics that  could be  brought to  the subcommittee  such as                                                                    
the foregone  harvest and the  change in the  tax structure.                                                                    
He thanked the department for its presentation.                                                                                 
2:53:52 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:58:18 PM                                                                                                                    
^FY 18 Budget Overview: Department of Corrections                                                                             
2:58:18 PM                                                                                                                    
DEAN  WILLIAMS,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS,                                                                    
introduced  himself  and  the PowerPoint  presentation:  "FY                                                                    
2018 Alaska  Department of Corrections Overview."  He turned                                                                    
the presentation over to Ms. Wilkerson.                                                                                         
APRIL  WILKERSON,   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,   DEPARTMENT  OF   CORRECTIONS,  began   with  the                                                                    
department's mission statement on slide 2:                                                                                      
     The  Alaska  Department  of  Corrections  enhances  the                                                                    
     safety   of   our   communities.  We   provide   secure                                                                    
     confinement,  reformative programs,  and  a process  of                                                                    
     supervised community reintegration.                                                                                        
Ms. Wilkerson  informed the committee  that there  were also                                                                    
links listed  on the  slide providing  information regarding                                                                    
constitutional authority,  the department's budget,  and the                                                                    
department's division measures.                                                                                                 
Ms.   Wilkerson   discussed    slide   3:   "Department   of                                                                    
Correction's Share  of Total  Agency Operations:  GF Only)."                                                                    
She  explained that  the slide  showed  a 10-year  look-back                                                                    
comparing the  general funds of the  agency's budget between                                                                    
2008  and 2018.  The  chart showed  an  overall growth  rate                                                                    
annually of  2.7 percent. The department's  budget peaked in                                                                    
2013 which was the first year  of the Goose Creek funding as                                                                    
it came online. Full funding came online in 2014.                                                                               
Ms.   Wilkerson  advanced   to  slide   4:  "Department   of                                                                    
Corrections  Line Items:  All Funds."  She relayed  that the                                                                    
slide was a representation by  line item. She pointed to the                                                                    
continued  growth between  2008  and 2018  which was  mostly                                                                    
within the department's personal services line item.                                                                            
Ms. Wilkerson turned to slide  5: "Appropriations within the                                                                    
Department of Corrections: GF Only."   She reported that the                                                                    
slide showed the general fund  overall between 2008 and 2018                                                                    
by  the  department's  results   delivery  unit  (RDU).  She                                                                    
highlighted  that  the  population management  RDU  was  the                                                                    
largest  for  the  department. It  encompassed  all  of  the                                                                    
department's  institutions, probation  offices, and  in 2018                                                                    
the pre-trial units.                                                                                                            
Representative  Kawasaki asked  about the  reference to  the                                                                    
closure  of  the  Palmer  Correctional   Center  and  SB  91                                                                    
[Legislation passed in 2016 -  Short Title: OMNIBUS CRIM LAW                                                                    
& PROCEDURE; CORRECTIONS] on slide  5. He asked her what the                                                                    
tie-in  between  SB  91  and   the  closure  of  the  Palmer                                                                    
Correctional  Center.  Commissioner  Williams  replied  that                                                                    
there was an  expectation under SB 91 that there  would be a                                                                    
contraction of hard beds in  facilities statewide, which was                                                                    
reflected in  the department's budget. He  indicated that it                                                                    
was an  opportunity for the  department to get ahead  of the                                                                    
curve. The  closure was tied  to 2 things:  The expectations                                                                    
of  SB 91  and the  fact that  the department  had capacity.                                                                    
Capacity had  existed for  a significant  amount of  time at                                                                    
the  Palmer  Correctional  Center. Other  commissioners  had                                                                    
also been  looking at closing  the facility.  The department                                                                    
really had  to have  capacity to  absorb inmates  into other                                                                    
parts  of  the  facility  without  over-crowding  facilities                                                                    
elsewhere.  It also  allowed the  department to  realign and                                                                    
reposition some  of the  staff to  go to  some of  the areas                                                                    
where  he felt  the department  was vulnerable  such as  the                                                                    
Anchorage Correctional  Complex. The  Anchorage Correctional                                                                    
Complex had  more forced overtime  situations of  staff. The                                                                    
closure  provided  a way  of  reinforcing  those areas  that                                                                    
needed additional support with the realignment of staff.                                                                        
Ms. Wilkerson  advanced to slide 6:  " Appropriations within                                                                    
the  Department of  Corrections: All  Funds." She  explained                                                                    
that  the slide  was a  representation of  all fund  sources                                                                    
within  the  department  by   results  delivery  units.  She                                                                    
pointed  out that  population management,  with  all of  the                                                                    
institutions  and the  base services,  remained the  highest                                                                    
3:03:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson revealed slide 7: "Department of Corrections                                                                      
Total  Funding Comparison  by Fund  Group:  All Funds."  The                                                                    
slide  represented a  comparison  of  the department's  2008                                                                    
budget to  the 2018 governor's  request by fund  source. The                                                                    
state's  federal receipts  comprised the  least of  the fund                                                                    
sources;   the  designated   general   funds  (DGF)   source                                                                    
followed; the  other state  fund source  came next;  and the                                                                    
unrestricted   general  fund   (UGF)  source   provided  the                                                                    
majority of the department's funding.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Seaton asked whether he  was reading correctly that                                                                    
the  state was  anticipating more  federal receipts  than in                                                                    
the   past.  Ms.   Wilkerson   responded   that  the   state                                                                    
anticipated a  slight increase  to the  department's federal                                                                    
authority. It was not grant driven,  it was by man days. The                                                                    
state had  an annual cost of  care and had seen  an increase                                                                    
on  the  daily  cost  rate for  the  federal  offenders  the                                                                    
department housed in its Alaska facilities.                                                                                     
Co-Chair Seaton  asked if it  was related to  the Affordable                                                                    
Care Act  health reimbursement.  Ms. Wilkerson  confirmed he                                                                    
was correct. It was not.                                                                                                        
Representative Thompson  asked about  the line  item, "other                                                                    
State Funds,"  at $34.5 million.  He asked what made  up the                                                                    
other  state   funds.  Ms.  Wilkerson  explained   that  DOC                                                                    
continued  to receive  PFD criminal  funds. There  was about                                                                    
$11 million  in the state's budget  presently. Additionally,                                                                    
there was  a fund change  to the Alaska Capital  Income Fund                                                                    
accounting  for   another  $900  million.  There   was  also                                                                    
interagency receipt  authority between  various departments,                                                                    
some  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  money,  and some  capital                                                                    
improvement funds.                                                                                                              
Ms.   Wilkerson  continued   to   slide   8:  "Division   of                                                                    
Institutions." She  indicated that  Line 2,  represented all                                                                    
of the  operating institutions as  well as the out  of state                                                                    
facility contract that  was in place. The  largest impact on                                                                    
Line 2  was a  decrement of $11.619  million put  forward in                                                                    
the  2018 budget  proposal. It  also encompassed  the Palmer                                                                    
Correctional   Center  closure   and  the   reallocation  of                                                                    
positions. She  reported that there  were 89  positions from                                                                    
the Palmer  closure that  were reallocated:  30 to  the pre-                                                                    
trial unit  and 59 to  the various other  institutions based                                                                    
on the  staffing needs of  those facilities.  The department                                                                    
also brought  the Point Mackenzie Farm  back and operational                                                                    
in order  to house  offenders. She  also highlighted  Line 7                                                                    
regarding the community  residential centers. The department                                                                    
reduced the budget  by $8.1 million in an  effort to realign                                                                    
and renegotiate contracts.                                                                                                      
3:07:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Thompson  asked  about  Line  4  for  inmate                                                                    
transportation in  the amount of  $2.8 million.  He reported                                                                    
that  in the  Alaska State  Trooper budget  there was  money                                                                    
allocated  for inmate  transportation.  He  wondered if  the                                                                    
amount  on Line  7  was  in addition  to  the State  Trooper                                                                    
allocation. Commissioner Williams  responded that there were                                                                    
2  departments  that  were  tasked   with  the  movement  of                                                                    
prisoners. The  Department of Public Safety  was tasked with                                                                    
the movement of  all prisoners in the  state. The Department                                                                    
of Corrections  was given authority  through DPS  to provide                                                                    
inmate   transportation   because    of   efficiencies   and                                                                    
organizational issues.                                                                                                          
Representative  Thompson asked  whether  the allocation  was                                                                    
for transporting a  person from one village to  Bethel for a                                                                    
trial, for example. Commissioner  Williams responded that in                                                                    
most cases,  the answer was  yes. It was  primarily movement                                                                    
between facilities. Troopers  would typically be responsible                                                                    
for  moving a  person  from  a village  or  an  arrest to  a                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  commented   that  regarding  the                                                                    
number of  Alaskans served,  not all  Alaskans had  used the                                                                    
facilities  or programs.  Commissioner Williams  agreed with                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg.  The  state was  housing  people                                                                    
because it did not want them to be anywhere else.                                                                               
Co-Chair   Seaton  interjected,   "or  transportation."   He                                                                    
suggested   lining  up   the  numbers   for  transportation.                                                                    
Commissioner  Williams  responded  that  he  understood  and                                                                    
would provide the information.                                                                                                  
Ms. Wilkerson advanced  to slide 9: "Division  of Health and                                                                    
Rehabilitation."  She noted  on Line  5 that  the department                                                                    
had an  increase in the  budget request. It was  the second-                                                                    
year         fiscal note associated with SB  91, which would                                                                    
increase the state's  institutional substance abuse services                                                                    
by $500,000.                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Williams  saw the same interpretation  issue of                                                                    
Alaskans served.  He wanted  to make  sure he  was providing                                                                    
the correct interpretation of what  members were looking for                                                                    
and what the subcommittee was looking for.                                                                                      
Ms. Wilkerson  advanced to slide 10:  "Division of Probation                                                                    
and  Parole."  She  reported  that  the  department  had  13                                                                    
probation  offices  statewide.   Electronic  monitoring  was                                                                    
allocated  in 6  communities and  the state  was looking  to                                                                    
expand  the  service. There  were  no  major budget  changes                                                                    
within the division in the FY 18 budget.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Seaton asked  about  the number  of positions.  He                                                                    
thought  she  had  indicated 16  previously.  Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
replied  that  there were  13  regional  offices within  the                                                                    
state  that  provided  services. The  electronic  monitoring                                                                    
program was  operating in 6 communities.  She confirmed that                                                                    
the staff numbers were correct.                                                                                                 
Ms. Wilkerson advanced to slide  11, which addressed the new                                                                    
pretrial service  division that  was established  through SB
91. The  main budget  change in  FY 18 was  in year  2 where                                                                    
pretrial services were brought to  full budget. There was an                                                                    
expectation  of bringing  the services  into full  operation                                                                    
including  pilot offices  by the  coming fall.  The pretrial                                                                    
program  was expected  to be  fully  operational in  January                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked for  the actual number of people                                                                    
who were  hired presently. She  wondered how many of  the 59                                                                    
were hired and ready  to go. Commissioner Williams responded                                                                    
that the division currently had  1 employee, the director of                                                                    
the  pretrial unit.  The department  was in  the recruitment                                                                    
process to bring on a  broad range of supervisory staff. The                                                                    
biggest  question was  how  to structure  the  unit. It  was                                                                    
important to get that right first.                                                                                              
Co-Chair  Seaton asked  if the  state was  budgeting for  59                                                                    
positions for  FY 18.  Commissioner Williams  responded that                                                                    
the plan  was to have 59  positions by midcycle. He  had not                                                                    
talked  to  his director  about  when  the department  would                                                                    
bring on  all of  the positions statewide  to deal  with the                                                                    
pretrial front-end unit population.                                                                                             
Co-Chair  Seaton   thought  it  would  be   helpful  if  the                                                                    
subcommittee had a schedule.                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson thought it  had already been mentioned                                                                    
that 30  people from  Palmer had  been moved  into pretrial.                                                                    
Commissioner  Williams  reported  that 30  Position  Control                                                                    
Numbers (PCN)s  had been  taken due  to the  Palmer closure.                                                                    
There were not  30 positions. They were PCNs  that were tied                                                                    
to  the pretrial  unit. The  department was  using those  30                                                                    
PCNs for the  first stand up of those  positions. He thought                                                                    
it was  a reinvestment.  Representative Wilson  thought they                                                                    
were real people.                                                                                                               
3:14:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Pruitt  thought, in  looking at  the numbers,                                                                    
there should  be a  decrement in  personnel services  and an                                                                    
increase in  the pretrial category. Ms.  Wilkerson responded                                                                    
in the  affirmative. She clarified that  the department took                                                                    
just over a 3.5 percent reduction  as part of the overall SB
91  reduction  for the  current  year.  The department  then                                                                    
moved the PCNs into the pretrial unit without funding them.                                                                     
Representative Pruitt asked about  the pretrial services and                                                                    
filling the  positions. He  wondered what  time of  year the                                                                    
positions would be filled and  whether the state was funding                                                                    
59  positions for  the  full  year. He  asked  if the  state                                                                    
should expect  an increase in  the following year.  He asked                                                                    
for  details   concerning  the  allocation.   Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
responded that  the fiscal note  for SB 91 for  the Pretrial                                                                    
Division  did  not  include funding  for  one-time  start-up                                                                    
costs and  training. The department intended  to utilize the                                                                    
money  from within  the unit  to pursue  recruitment efforts                                                                    
and training.  She confirmed  that the  number was  the full                                                                    
amount for the pretrial unit currently.                                                                                         
Representative  Pruitt  asked  about   the  hire  date.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson hoped  the hiring would  be done within  the first                                                                    
quarter.  She could  provide the  committee with  the phased                                                                    
plan. She  knew the  reality of  trying to  fill all  of the                                                                    
positions  by July  1st was  a stretch.  The department  was                                                                    
making every  effort to move  forward. It was  important for                                                                    
the Pretrial Division to have  everyone in place and trained                                                                    
before it  went live  statewide to  ensure its  success. Co-                                                                    
Chair Seaton had  asked for the phase-in plan  to be brought                                                                    
to the  subcommittee. He thought  the questions  being asked                                                                    
went    beyond    clarification.    Representative    Pruitt                                                                    
interjected that it was $10 million in clarifications.                                                                          
Representative Ortiz  referred to SB  91 and asked  if there                                                                    
were any unfunded mandates imposed on the department.                                                                           
Co-Chair  Seaton indicated  that  members  were getting  too                                                                    
detailed for a broad overview.                                                                                                  
3:18:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson scrolled  to slide 12: "Board  of Parole." She                                                                    
pointed out  that there was  one change within the  Board of                                                                    
Parole's budget - the removal  of the one-time start-up cost                                                                    
associated with SB 91. She  explained that SB 91 changed the                                                                    
length of time between  hearings when someone violated their                                                                    
parole. Violators had  a much shorter time  before they came                                                                    
before a hearing.                                                                                                               
Ms.   Wilkerson  advanced   to   slide   13:  "Division   of                                                                    
Administrative Services." She highlighted  that there were a                                                                    
couple of  changes within the  division as could be  seen on                                                                    
Line  2. Four  positions  were being  transferred to  shared                                                                    
services in an  effort to further reduce costs.  She noted a                                                                    
decrement of $35,700  tied to the shared service.  On Line 3                                                                    
there were  2 primary  changes. The data  processing manager                                                                    
was  being   transferred  to  the   centralized  Information                                                                    
Technology unit. Also, there were  4 PCNs along with funding                                                                    
from  the   Palmer  Correctional   Center  closure   to  the                                                                    
Information  Technology unit.  She  spoke  about a  staffing                                                                    
study  that  had been  completed  in  the prior  year  which                                                                    
showed  that the  department's  information technology  unit                                                                    
was  about  26  percent   unfunded  and  underutilized.  The                                                                    
department was trying to  identify more efficiencies through                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg referred  to  a  letter from  the                                                                    
Department of Law that stated  that DOC held inmates for the                                                                    
Immigration   and    Naturalization   Service    (INS)   for                                                                    
deportation. He  referred to  an item on  one of  the slides                                                                    
titled:   "State  Facility   Rent."  He   wondered  if   the                                                                    
department  was  holding  inmates for  deportation  for  the                                                                    
federal government and not  being compensated. Ms. Wilkerson                                                                    
responded  in the  negative. She  elaborated the  department                                                                    
would  send  a  bill  for   anyone  being  held  within  the                                                                    
department's  facility on  a federal  detainer. The  federal                                                                    
government, in turn,  would pay the state a  daily rate. The                                                                    
state participated  in the  State Criminal  Alien Assistance                                                                    
program and received about $150,0000  to enhance the federal                                                                    
authority  within  the   institution  director's  office  in                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg asked if  the records included the                                                                    
country of origin and religion.  Ms. Wilkerson would have to                                                                    
get back to  him with an answer. She  thought the department                                                                    
recorded the country  of origin, but she was  not sure about                                                                    
3:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson   advanced  to  slide  14:   "Office  of  the                                                                    
Commissioner." She  explained that within the  Office of the                                                                    
Commissioner,  the   largest  change   from  2017   was  the                                                                    
establishment of the Professional  Conduct unit. She pointed                                                                    
to  Line  4.  The   department  established  the  unit  from                                                                    
existing  resources from  reduced contracts.  The department                                                                    
transferred the  funds to the  Correctional Academy  as well                                                                    
as using other PCNs within  the department. She reported the                                                                    
department deleted  positions and established 3  new ones to                                                                    
ensure the success of the unit.                                                                                                 
Commissioner Williams commented that  there was a foundation                                                                    
of  work that  had to  be done.  The work  was not  optional                                                                    
because the state had a  serious drug trafficking problem in                                                                    
Alaska's  prison system.  It was  unsafe for  staff and  for                                                                    
inmates. He  spoke of an incident  from 5 or 6  months prior                                                                    
where an  inmate overdosed and  died. The unit  was designed                                                                    
to  help coordinate  intelligence  in terms  of going  after                                                                    
drug  trafficking  and   providing  some  drug  interdiction                                                                    
strategies for what was happening  inside the prison system.                                                                    
At some later  date, he would be able to  present on some of                                                                    
the related  issues. The unit  would also be  driving change                                                                    
out of his office because of  some of the bad incidents that                                                                    
had  occurred where  inmates died,  or staff  were seriously                                                                    
assaulted. He  wanted to  ensure that  the department  had a                                                                    
professional  response  in   terms  of  investigating  those                                                                    
incidents which he hoped would drive change.                                                                                    
Commissioner Williams  continued that in every  state he had                                                                    
visited   there   was   an  independent   arm   within   the                                                                    
Commissioner's  Office  where  an  inspector  general  dealt                                                                    
specifically   with  running   prisons   in  the   high-risk                                                                    
environment  that   his  staff  had  to   tackle  daily.  He                                                                    
reemphasized  that having  the  unit was  a requirement.  He                                                                    
added that  when there was  a criminal allegation  against a                                                                    
staff member,  the state wanted  a professional arm  to look                                                                    
at  the incidents  absent from  any  political influence  or                                                                    
politics about when things happened.  He felt the department                                                                    
had to  create a deterrent.  He reported that 99  percent of                                                                    
his  staff was  great. He  was  concerned with  the other  1                                                                    
percent.  He   suggested  that  DOC   needed  an   arm  that                                                                    
investigated cases  and that could  also protect  staff from                                                                    
false allegations against inmates.  He reemphasized the need                                                                    
for a professional body to look at  it. In his mind it was a                                                                    
mandatory  change  as  it  was   critical  to  have  a  safe                                                                    
environment for staff and inmates.                                                                                              
Co-Chair Seaton  appreciated the information. He  added that                                                                    
accountability  was very  important in  all of  the systems,                                                                    
but especially in DOC.                                                                                                          
Vice-Chair  Gara  understood   the  commissioner's  passion.                                                                    
However,  there  were  so  many  programs  to  pay  for.  He                                                                    
suggested if  the state  paid for one  thing, they  would be                                                                    
paying less  in another  area. He had  a question  about the                                                                    
professional  conduct  unit. He  asked  what  had been  done                                                                    
previously. He thought something had  been done in the past.                                                                    
He asked  if there was a  way to investigate prior  to the 3                                                                    
people being  added. Commissioner Williams responded  in the                                                                    
negative.  He  suggested  that   what  was  there  was  very                                                                    
limited. In  his discussions with the  Alaska State Troopers                                                                    
about  the  effort,  there   had  been  conversations  about                                                                    
capacity  a long  time before.  He  noted that  part of  the                                                                    
problem  had been  that when  bad things  had been  alleged,                                                                    
only  happenstance  investigations  had occurred.  The  most                                                                    
important  thing  was that  it  affected  other systems.  He                                                                    
mentioned  that Wyoming  had half  the prisoner  population.                                                                    
They had  about 10 to 12  staff, because it made  the system                                                                    
change  to  be  responsive.   He  understood  the  competing                                                                    
interests; however, the  priority was to have  a safe system                                                                    
for inmates and staff. He  believed it forced bureaucracy to                                                                    
address  problems  and  not  let  them  get  away.  He  like                                                                    
Wyoming's model. He thought it was the right thing to do.                                                                       
Co-Chair Seaton  relayed individual members could  meet with                                                                    
the commissioner and bring the issue up in subcommittee.                                                                        
He acknowledged Representative Chenault in the audience.                                                                        
3:28:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson thought the  state was saving money on                                                                    
community  regional jails,  which  were essentially  halfway                                                                    
houses. The state was not putting a large amount of people                                                                      
on electronic monitoring - where  the state could save money                                                                    
and make  sure people were safe.  She spoke of costs  of $65                                                                    
per  day.  She wondered  why  the  state was  cutting  those                                                                    
things that cost less but  were more effective, as the state                                                                    
was  adding  more  people   to  the  Commissioner's  Office.                                                                    
Commissioner Williams thought  the representative had raised                                                                    
3  to 4  substantive issues.  The problem  with the  halfway                                                                    
houses  and what  he inherited  was  a block  way of  buying                                                                    
halfway house  beds. If there were  100 beds or 200  beds in                                                                    
them the state  was paying the same. It was  possible to say                                                                    
that the state  paid $46, $50, or $60 per  bed. However, the                                                                    
reality was that  he inherited a department  that was paying                                                                    
for empty beds.  He preferred some sort of  graded scale. He                                                                    
indicated the state  had been paying for  halfway house beds                                                                    
that   were   sitting   empty.  He   changed   the   state's                                                                    
circumstances  by  cutting  100  beds  and  saved  about  $3                                                                    
million  annually in  the course  of  about a  month on  the                                                                    
Commissioner Williams continued that  he had done nothing to                                                                    
change  the status  of electronic  monitoring.  It was  much                                                                    
cheaper than  having people  in prison.  However, currently,                                                                    
either that  state charged the  inmate for the  privilege of                                                                    
being  electronically monitored  on  the front  end, or  the                                                                    
state  charged  the  participants  on the  back  end.  If  a                                                                    
prisoner had money  to pay for the $100 per  week they would                                                                    
pay  the  amount, otherwise,  they  would  sit in  jail.  He                                                                    
talked with many inmates that did  not have $100 per week to                                                                    
afford electronic  monitoring. He  had not made  any changes                                                                    
to the electronic monitoring program  because he was looking                                                                    
at  multiple  ways of  how  electronic  monitoring could  be                                                                    
used. He wanted to make  sure the state was using electronic                                                                    
monitoring in  smart and intelligent  ways. He was  happy to                                                                    
discuss  any of  the issues  that  had been  brought up.  He                                                                    
appreciated all of the questions.                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Seaton remarked  that the  subcommittee should  be                                                                    
looking  at  the  avoidance  of  both  mental  and  physical                                                                    
problems  and how  to lower  the state's  health care  costs                                                                    
within the  institution. He  was aware  of some  activity he                                                                    
was  expanding.  He  wanted  to see  an  expansion  and  the                                                                    
potential cost savings. He reviewed the agenda for the                                                                          
following day.                                                                                                                  
3:32:34 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:32 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
ADF&G FY 2018 Budget Overview for the House Finance Committee.pdf HFIN 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
ADFG Budget Overview HFIN
FY18_LAW_HFC_FullCom_Presentation_1-30-17.pdf HFIN 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
LAW Budget Overview HFIN
FY2018 DOC Overview HF 01302017.pdf HFIN 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
DOC Budget Overview HFIN
DOC Response to H FIN Jan 30.pdf HFIN 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
DOC Budget Overview Response HFIN