Legislature(2021 - 2022)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/26/2021 04:00 PM CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON HB69 AND HB71

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Audio Topic
04:03:19 PM Start
04:22:55 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 69 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 71 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
FY21 Supplemental Operating:
-Dept. of Corrections
-Dept. of Education and Early Development
-Dept of Environmental Conservation
-Office of the Governor
-Dept. of Health and Social Services
-Dept. of Natural Resources
-Dept. of Public Safety
-Judiciary
-Legislature
-Special Appropriations
-Fund Transfers
               32ND ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                       FIRST SESSION                                                                                            
                      SPECIAL SESSION                                                                                           
          CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON HB 69 and HB 70                                                                               
                       May 26, 2021                                                                                             
                         4:03 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Chair Foster called the Conference Committee meeting on HB
69 and HB 70 to order at 4:03 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
House:                                                                                                                          
Representative Neal Foster, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Kelly Merrick                                                                                                    
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senate:                                                                                                                         
Senator Bert Stedman, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Alexei Painter, Director, Legislative Finance Division                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 69     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 69 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 71     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 71 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Chair Foster reviewed the agenda for the meeting.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 69(FIN) am(brf sup maj fld)(efd fld)                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;  and   making  capital  appropriations,                                                                    
    supplemental appropriations, and reappropriations."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SCS CSHB 69(FIN) AM S                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;    making    capital    appropriations,                                                                    
     supplemental appropriations,  and reappropriations; and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
and                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 71(FIN) am                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive    mental    health    program;    making                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations;  and   providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 71(FIN)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive  mental  health program;  making  capital                                                                    
     appropriations  and  supplemental  appropriations;  and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:03:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Foster indicated  the House  and  Senate had  granted                                                                    
Limited  Powers  of  Free   Conference.  He  invited  Alexei                                                                    
Painter,  Director of  the Legislative  Finance Division  to                                                                    
join the  members at the  table. He detailed  how objections                                                                    
would be handled.  If there was an  objection, the committee                                                                    
would make note of the item  and set it aside. The committee                                                                    
would  continue  to  go  through  the  other  items  in  the                                                                    
department, adopt them, and then  come back to any item that                                                                    
had an objection.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Chair Foster continued that the  House passed its version of                                                                    
the  budget before  the guidelines  were  received from  the                                                                    
Treasury Department  regarding the American Rescue  Plan Act                                                                    
(ARPA). The Senate made conforming  changes to be consistent                                                                    
with the ARPA guidelines,  and therefore the committee would                                                                    
be accepting many of the Senate changes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Chair   Foster  informed   that  the   committee  would   be                                                                    
addressing  open items  in  HB 69  and HB  71  based on  the                                                                    
motion sheets distributed to members  and dated May 26, 2021                                                                    
on the Departments of:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
         Department of Corrections                                                                                           
         Department of Education and Early Development                                                                       
         Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                            
         Office of the Governor                                                                                              
         Department of Health and Social Services                                                                            
         Department of Natural Resources                                                                                     
         Department of Public Safety                                                                                         
         Judiciary                                                                                                           
         Legislature                                                                                                         
         Special Appropriations                                                                                              
         Fund Transfers                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:05:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Department of Corrections' budget:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1-7  Senate - All items                                                                                               
     Item 8-12 Senate - All items                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There  being  NO  OBJECTION,  items  1  through  12  in  the                                                                    
Department  of Corrections  FY 21  supplemental budget  were                                                                    
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21  SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION AND                                                                  
EARLY DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Department of Education and Early Development's budget:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 2    Open                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO OBJECTION, items  1 and 2 in  the Department                                                                    
of  Education  and  Early  Development  FY  21  supplemental                                                                    
budget were ADOPTED.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21  SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: DEPARTMENT  OF ENVIRONMENTAL                                                                  
CONSERVATION                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Department of Environmental Conservation's budget:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Senate - Both items                                                                                              
     Item 2    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 3    Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There  being  NO  OBJECTION,  items   1  through  3  in  the                                                                    
Department of Environmental  Conservation FY 21 supplemental                                                                    
budget were ADOPTED.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:07:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Office of the Governor's budget:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Senate                                                                                                           
     Item 2    Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO OBJECTION, items  1 and  2 in the  Office of                                                                    
the Governor FY 21 supplemental budget were ADOPTED.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^FY  21 SUPPLEMENTAL  OPERATING:  DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH  AND                                                                  
SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:08:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services' budget:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1-7 Senate - All items                                                                                                
     Item 8-11 Senate - All items                                                                                               
     Item 12   Open                                                                                                             
     Item 13  Open                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
There  being  NO  OBJECTION,  items  1  through  13  in  the                                                                    
Department of Health and Social  Services FY 21 supplemental                                                                    
budget were ADOPTED.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^FY  21   SUPPLEMENTAL  OPERATING:  DEPARTMENT   OF  NATURAL                                                                  
RESOURCES                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Department of Natural Resources' budget:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There  being  NO OBJECTION,  item  1  in the  Department  of                                                                    
Natural Resources FY 21 supplemental budget was ADOPTED.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:09:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Department of Public Safety's budget:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Senate - Both items                                                                                              
     Item 2    Open                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO OBJECTION, items  1 and 2 in  the Department                                                                    
of Public Safety FY 21 supplemental budget were ADOPTED.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: JUDICIARY                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:09:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT the following in the                                                                          
Judiciary's budget:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Senate - Both items                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
There  being NO  OBJECTION, item  1 in  the Judiciary  FY 21                                                                    
supplemental budget was ADOPTED.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:10:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED to  ADOPT  the  following in  the                                                                    
Legislature's budget:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1-3  Senate - All items                                                                                               
     Item 4    Senate - Both items                                                                                              
     Item 5    House                                                                                                            
     Item 6-8 Senate - All items                                                                                                
     Item 9-12 Senate - All items                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There  being  NO  OBJECTION,  items  1  through  12  in  the                                                                    
Legislature FY 21 supplemental budget were ADOPTED.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:11:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stedman  MOVED to ADOPT the  following in Special                                                                    
Appropriations:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Item 1    Senate - All items                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked if the  item pertained to the Department                                                                    
of Law (DOL).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair Foster asked Mr. Painter to comment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ALEXEI  PAINTER,  DIRECTOR,   LEGISLATIVE  FINANCE  DIVISION                                                                    
confirmed that  the item pertained to  appropriations to DOL                                                                    
for  settlements. He  detailed that  for budgeted  purposes,                                                                    
the   increment   had    been   classified   under   special                                                                    
appropriations to  avoid increasing  the DOL  budget because                                                                    
they were statewide items.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:11:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  OBJECTED. He stated  that when he  had looked                                                                    
through  the DOL  budget there  had been  appropriations for                                                                    
past lawsuits.  He was  dissatisfied that  he had  been told                                                                    
the process  would continue going  forward. He  had wondered                                                                    
how  much longer  it would  be before  another appropriation                                                                    
was  needed.   He  stated   that  the   appropriation  under                                                                    
discussion  reflected another  $410,000  for a  supplemental                                                                    
amount. He  thought they were getting  engaged with lawsuits                                                                    
that the  state would  not win. He  stressed that  the track                                                                    
record had  gone on for  a number of  years in spite  of the                                                                    
changing  of attorneys  general that  had the  department in                                                                    
upheaval.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stedman  asked if  there was  a breakdown  of the                                                                    
$410,000 on hand.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Painter replied that he  did not have the information on                                                                    
hand. He would provide the information to the committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:13:12 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:18:28 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Chair   Foster  explained   that  the   item  pertained   to                                                                    
judgements,  claims, and  settlements,  which reflected  the                                                                    
amounts owed by the state  per court judgment. He noted that                                                                    
the  list  of  cases  the  state owed  money  for  had  been                                                                    
distributed to members  (copy on file). He  asked if Senator                                                                    
Olson had any questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  replied that he  did not have  any questions,                                                                    
but he was concerned about the direction things were going.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Chair Foster relayed that he  would be supporting the motion                                                                    
to  adopt item  1  in regard  to money  the  state owed.  He                                                                    
believed Senator  Olson's point  was well made  that getting                                                                    
into lawsuit situations should be avoided.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:19:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  remarked that  the  Senate  number had  been                                                                    
selected  for item  1. He  asked what  the House  number had                                                                    
been.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Foster   responded  that   the  House   had  included                                                                    
settlements the  state owed  in its  budget, but  the number                                                                    
currently before the  committee had come in  after the House                                                                    
had passed its  budget. The amount had been  included in the                                                                    
Senate budget.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson WITHDREW the OBJECTION.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION,  item 1 within the Special                                                                    
Appropriations FY 21 supplemental budget was ADOPTED.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^FY 21 SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING: FUND TRANSFERS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:20:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman MOVED  to ADOPT  the  following in  Fund                                                                    
Transfers:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Item 1    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 2    Open                                                                                                             
     Item 3    Senate                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked  for an explanation of the  last item in                                                                    
which the aviation appropriation  matched the marine highway                                                                    
system. He  wondered if  the aviation  portion was  the same                                                                    
amount as the marine highway system.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Chair Foster asked Mr. Painter to explain.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Painter  relayed that the  federal government  waved the                                                                    
state's match  for airport maintenance  in FY 20 and  FY 21.                                                                    
The amount  was a portion  of the FY  21 match that  was not                                                                    
necessary. The  item was a  governor's amendment  adopted by                                                                    
the  Senate that  would  transfer  the unnecessary  matching                                                                    
funds  into  the marine  highway  system  fund to  offset  a                                                                    
negative balance it would have had otherwise.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked if the amount was $5.5 million.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Painter responded in the affirmative.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  clarified that the  money went to  the marine                                                                    
highway system as opposed to airports.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Painter  replied, "Yes."  It was  an amendment  from the                                                                    
governor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Foster  asked Mr.  Painter  to  restate his  previous                                                                    
comment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Painter restated  that the  money  was originally  from                                                                    
airport  funding  and  was   reappropriated  to  the  marine                                                                    
highway fund.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There  being NO  OBJECTION, items  1 through  3 in  the Fund                                                                    
Transfers FY 21 supplemental budget were ADOPTED.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Foster  indicated  the committee  had  completed  its                                                                    
business for the  day. The next meeting date  and time would                                                                    
be noticed on BASIS once it was determined.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB  69  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  71  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stedman  MOVED  to ADJOURN  the  meeting.  There                                                                    
being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:22:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 p.m.                                                                                          

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