Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/02/1993 08:45 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          April 2, 1993                                        
                            8:45 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-93, #44, Side 1 (87-end)                                                 
  SFC-93, #44, Side 2 (000-355)                                                
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Steve  Frank,  Co-chair,  convened  the  meeting  at                 
  approximately 8:45 a.m.                                                      
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  In addition to  Co-chairs Frank and Pearce,  Senators Jacko,                 
  Kelly, Kerttula, Rieger, and Sharp were present.                             
                                                                               
  ALSO  ATTENDING:    Kimberly  Busch, Director,  Division  of                 
  Medical Assistance,  Department of Health & Social Services;                 
  Janet Clark, Director, Division of Administrative  Services,                 
  Department  of  Health  & Social  Services;  Margaret  Lowe,                 
  Director,  Division   of  Mental   Health  &   Developmental                 
  Disabilities, Department  of Health & Social  Services; Jeff                 
  Morrison,  Director,  Administrative   &  Support   Services                 
  Division (ASSD), Department of Military  & Veterans Affairs;                 
  Mike Greany, Director,  and Nancy Slagle, Jeff  Hoover, Joan                 
  Kasson, Karen Rehfeld,  Fiscal Analysts, Legislative Finance                 
  Division; and aides to committee members.                                    
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  SB 175 -  An Act making appropriations for the operating and                 
            loan program expenses of  state government and  to                 
            capitalize funds; and  providing for an  effective                 
            date.                                                              
                                                                               
            Subcommittee  budgets  were   presented  for   the                 
            following departments:                                             
                                                                               
                 Department of Corrections                                     
                 Department of Labor                                           
                 Department of Law                                             
                 Department of Health & Social Services                        
                 Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 175:                                                         
                                                                               
       An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan                 
       program expenses of state  government and to capitalize                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
       funds; and providing for an effective date.                             
                                                                               
  Department of Corrections                                                    
                                                                               
  CO-CHAIR STEVE  FRANK outlined  subcommittee increments  and                 
  decrements to the  corrections of the FY94  operating budget                 
  for the Department of  Corrections (copy of handout  on file                 
  titled "Governor's Amended FY94  DOC Budget (Total  Funds)).                 
  He said that  overall the  subcommittee had made  reductions                 
  from the Governor's  budget but was  still an increase  from                 
  last year.   He said it  contained funding for the  Wildwood                 
  facility.  He stated that  the subcommittee had worked  with                 
  the department and although the department was not happy, he                 
  felt the budget was a good one.                                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR JAY  KERTTULA  voiced his  dissatisfaction with  the                 
  short notice departments received after budget  subcommittee                 
  close-outs.  He  felt that  had made it  difficult to  bring                 
  amendments to the  budgets.  Co-chair Frank  assured Senator                 
  Kerttula that SB 175  would not move out of  committee today                 
  and members would have the opportunity to offer amendments.                  
                                                                               
  In  regard   to   the  Department   of  Corrections   budget                 
  reductions, Senator Kerttula questioned the across-the-board                 
  reduction of medical components.   He felt the institutional                 
  medical situation already had problems.   Senator Frank said                 
  the nursing  staff had  been reduced  but a  nurse would  be                 
  available  to the institution.   Senator Frank said that the                 
  medical component  in the  Department of  Corrections is  an                 
  area   of  escalating  costs,   and  that  the  subcommittee                 
  suggested  that  the   department  go  more  to   a  medical                 
  administrator rather  than a physician  administration.   He                 
  said  the  department is  prepared  to  sign a    "preferred                 
  provider agreement" with one of the Anchorage hospitals that                 
  should result  in a $500.0  reduction in  fees for  prisoner                 
  major medical care.                                                          
                                                                               
  Senator  Kerttula  also  voiced his  concern  regarding  the                 
  reduction in the  training component  for the Department  of                 
  Corrections.    Senator  Frank said  that  the  subcommittee                 
  recognizes the importance of training.                                       
                                                                               
  CO-CHAIR  DRUE  PEARCE  MOVED for  ADOPTION  of subcommittee                 
  recommendations  for the  Department  of Corrections  budget                 
  into SB  175.   Senator Kerttula OBJECTED.   Co-chair  Frank                 
  asked for a show of hands.   The motion CARRIED on a vote of                 
  6 to 1.  (Senators Frank,  Jacko, Kelly, Pearce, Rieger, and                 
  Sharp were in support.  Senator Kerttula was opposed.)                       
                                                                               
  Department of Labor                                                          
                                                                               
  SENATOR TIM  KELLY outlined  subcommittee decrements  to the                 
  corrections of the FY94 operating  budget for the Department                 
  of Labor (copy of handout on file, memo dated April 1, 1993,                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  subj:   Department   of  Labor   Subcommittee   FY94  Budget                 
  Proposal).   He explained  that the  subcommittee took  into                 
  consideration that  the department had taken  reductions the                 
  last two  years.   Senator Kerttula  said that  he had  some                 
  amendments for this budget but would hold them until later.                  
                                                                               
  SENATOR  BERT  SHARP  MOVED  for  ADOPTION  of  subcommittee                 
  recommendations for the  Department of Labor budget  into SB
  175.  Senator Kerttula OBJECTED.  Co-chair Frank asked for a                 
  show of hands.   The  motion CARRIED on  a vote of  6 to  1.                 
  (Senators  Frank, Jacko,  Kelly,  Pearce, Rieger,  and Sharp                 
  were in support.  Senator Kerttula was opposed.)                             
                                                                               
  Senator Kerttula  MOVED for  ADOPTION of  amendment #1  that                 
  would  add  $184.4 in  general  funds  to the  labor  market                 
  information section of the  budget (copy on file).   Senator                 
  Kelly OBJECTED.  Co-chair  Frank asked for a show  of hands.                 
  The motion FAILED on a vote of 6-1.  (Senators Frank, Jacko,                 
  Kelly,  Pearce,  Rieger, and  Sharp  were opposed.   Senator                 
  Kerttula was in support.)                                                    
                                                                               
  Department of Law                                                            
                                                                               
  Senator   Kelly   outlined   subcommittee   decrements   and                 
  increments to the  corrections of the FY94  operating budget                 
  for the Department  of Law  (copy of handout  on file,  memo                 
  dated April 1,  1993, Subj:  Department of Law  Subcommittee                 
  FY94 Budget Proposal).   He said that in order  to reach the                 
  cap recommended by the chair, the subcommittee recommended a                 
  reduction  in  Exxon  funding  by $1.5M,  and  denial  of an                 
  increment of 12 new positions (4  were allowed).  Overall, a                 
  2.8 percent  reduction was  recommended.   He believed  that                 
  next year it would be much more difficult to reach the cap.                  
                                                                               
  Discussion  followed between  Senator  Kerttula, Kelly,  and                 
  Frank regarding the  tremendous legal  costs for the  mental                 
  health trust lands settlement.                                               
                                                                               
  Senator   Kerttula  MOVED   for  ADOPTION   of  subcommittee                 
  recommendations for  the Department  of Law  budget into  SB
  175.  No objections being raised, it was ADOPTED.                            
                                                                               
                         At Ease 9:07am                                        
                        Reconvene 9:12am                                       
                                                                               
  Department of Health & Social Services                                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR STEVE RIEGER outlined subcommittee decrements to the                 
  corrections of the FY94 operating  budget for the Department                 
  of Health & Social Services (copy  of handout on file titled                 
  "FY94 Senate Finance DHSS Subcommittee Recommendations").                    
                                                                               
  Senator Kerttula  asked for  an explanation  to the  Waivers                 
  Program on page 3 of the handout.  KIMBERLY BUSCH, Director,                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Division of Medical Assistance,  DH&SS, said the  department                 
  applied  for a  waiver  to the  Medicaid  Program under  the                 
  direction of the legislature, and it  has been granted.  She                 
  explained that it  allows the department,  with the help  of                 
  federal funds, to  cover special  services for children  who                 
  would be eligible in an institution income-wise, but are not                 
  eligible in the community because of the parents' income.                    
                                                                               
  Senator Kerttula asked who in the department recommended the                 
  transfer  of  clients  out  of  Harborview.    JANET  CLARK,                 
  Director, Division  of Administrative Services,  DH&SS, said                 
  the department did not recommend the transfer  of DD clients                 
  out of Harborview.  She said  the department worked with the                 
  House to ensure  that the  numbers would be  correct in  the                 
  event funding was  provided in the DD  component to transfer                 
  residents  out  of  Harborview.     She  restated  that  the                 
  Governor's budget retained those individuals in Harborview.                  
                                                                               
  In  answer to Senator Kerttula,  Ms. Busch said that Project                 
  Choice was a project in which  federal funds can be directed                 
  to  people  in the  community  so  that they  have  a choice                 
  between a  nursing home,  a hospital,  a group  home, or  an                 
  assisted living situation.   The federal money  would follow                 
  the individual rather than the institution.                                  
                                                                               
  End SFC-93 #44, Side 1                                                       
  Begin SFC-93 #44, Side 2                                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger MADE a  motion to RESCIND his motion  made in                 
  an  earlier  meeting,  and  provided  the committee  with  a                 
  handout   that   outlined    reductions   that   would    be                 
  reincorporated into the mental health  component in the drug                 
  and alcohol grants  in the amount  of $67.7 (copy on  file).                 
  No objections having been raised, the amendment was ADOPTED.                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR GEORGE  JACKO asked  if the 3  percent reduction  to                 
  community health aid training  was the same as in  the House                 
  budget.  Senator Rieger answered affirmatively.                              
                                                                               
  Senator Kerttula MADE a motion to  amend the DH&SS budget by                 
  transferring funds of $300,000 from the Community DD program                 
  back  to  Harborview  (copy  on  file).    Senator  Kerttula                 
  expressed  his  concern  over the  reduction  to Harborview.                 
  Senator  Rieger  informed  the  committee  that there  is  a                 
  transfer in of $172.3 as well as the transfer out of $300.0.                 
  He  said  the  trend is  away  from  institutionalization of                 
  individuals.  Senator Kerttula said  he agreed with the move                 
  away from institutionalization  but spoke to  the population                 
  of those individuals in crisis.  Senator Kerttula said  that                 
  Harborview had  received 47 referrals  in the last  year for                 
  difficult and special-needs patients.                                        
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger said  his understanding was that  13 patients                 
  in  Harborview  would like  to leave  to  live in  their own                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  community.  He  understood that the transfer of $300.0 would                 
  help facilitate that.  Senator  Kerttula asked what would be                 
  done  with the other  individuals that were  unable to leave                 
  Harborview.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Ms.   Clark  explained  that  Harborview  had  two  distinct                 
  populations.  Three wings hold  the developmentally disabled                 
  and those  individuals could move  into the community.   The                 
  fourth   wing,  the  sour   dough  unit,  serves  long-term,                 
  medically-fragile  individuals  who have  dementia,  some of                 
  whom are  elderly.  The  Governor's budget would  have added                 
  another  wing  for this  population  because of  the waiting                 
  list.  She said  that the $300.0 grant would  be appropriate                 
  for this population group.                                                   
                                                                               
  MARGARET  LOWE,  Director,  Division  of  Mental   Health  &                 
  Developmental  Disabilities, DH&SS,  explained  that it  was                 
  important for Harborview's budget to be slightly  increased.                 
  She said that the  sour dough unit has sixteen  patients who                 
  receive  itinerant   psychiatric   support   from   API   (a                 
  psychiatrist  visits once a  month for  several days).   The                 
  individuals in the sour dough unit are long-term, many life-                 
  time care patients  and do not need  the acute care of  API.                 
  She explained  that they were  on medication and  needed the                 
  support of  a medical  doctor.   She also  pointed out  that                 
  Harborview has  developed a tremendous expertise  in psycho-                 
  social  management.  It can deal with difficult patients who                 
  suffer from dementia, head injury,  etc. with assaultive and                 
  impulsive behavior.  The nursing homes  in the state are not                 
  trained or have had to deal with this extreme behavior.  She                 
  reiterated that  there is a waiting list  from nursing homes                 
  and  families  all  over  the  state   of  about  40  to  50                 
  individuals for the sour dough unit.   This is separate from                 
  the developmentally disabled people, some severely impaired,                 
  at Harborview who, as  funds are available, will be  able to                 
  move back into the community.                                                
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger   pointed  out  that  the   Older  Alaskans'                 
  Commission and  the Alzheimer's Association  are opposed  to                 
  expansion of Harborview.                                                     
                                                                               
  Ms. Lowe voiced her respect  for both organizations but felt                 
  their concern was  that older people would  involuntarily be                 
  placed in institutions  such as  Harborview.  She  explained                 
  that  all the individuals on the waiting list for Harborview                 
  were  in dire need and did  not have the option of community                 
  care.                                                                        
                                                                               
                         At ease 9:50am                                        
                        Reconvene 9:51am                                       
                                                                               
  Senator  Kerttula  reiterated the  need  to expand  the sour                 
  dough wing at Harborview and asked the committee to pass his                 
  amendment transferring  $300.0 back to Harborview.   Senator                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Rieger  said  he was  OPPOSED  to the  amendment. Discussion                 
  followed between Senators Kerttula and Rieger  regarding the                 
  construction of API.   Co-chair  Frank asked for  a show  of                 
  hands.  The motion  FAILED on a vote  of 6 to 1.   (Senators                 
  Frank, Jacko, Kelly, Pearce, Rieger, and Sharp were opposed.                 
  Senator Kerttula was in support.)                                            
                                                                               
  Senator   Kelly   MOVED   for   ADOPTION   of   subcommittee                 
  recommendations  for  the  Department  of  Health  &  Social                 
  Services budget  into SB  175.   Senator Kerttula  OBJECTED.                 
  Co-chair  Frank  asked for  a  show  of hands.    The motion                 
  CARRIED on a vote of 5 to 1.  (Senators Frank, Jacko, Kelly,                 
  Rieger,  and Sharp  were in support.   Senator  Kerttula was                 
  opposed.  Senator Pearce was absent  from the meeting at the                 
  time the vote was taken.)                                                    
                                                                               
  (See April 3,  1993 minutes for  the adoption of letters  of                 
  intent.)                                                                     
                                                                               
  Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR GEORGE JACKO outlined subcommittee decrements to the                 
  corrections of the FY94 operating  budget for the Department                 
  of  Military &  Veterans Affairs  (copy of  handout on  file                 
  titled  "Senate --  DM&VA  departmental budget  cuts"  dated                 
  April 2, 1993).  He said the total reduction of $400.0 was a                 
  4.1  percent  reduction  of general  funds  and  1.5 percent                 
  reduction of the total budget.                                               
                                                                               
  In  answer  to  Senator  Kerttula,  Senator Jacko  said  the                 
  elimination  of  the   VSO  director  was  a   general  fund                 
  reduction.   Senator Jacko  said that  the reductions  could                 
  effect $60.0 in federal funds.                                               
                                                                               
  In  answer  to  Senator  Kelly,   JEFF  MORRISON,  Director,                 
  Administrative   &   Support   Services   Division   (ASSD),                 
  Department of Military  & Veterans  Affairs, said the  state                 
  active duty component of $100.0  is authorization to receive                 
  funds from  other state  agencies or  municipalities in  the                 
  event individuals are placed on active duty to fight  fires,                 
  assist  troopers  or other  emergency  situations.   He said                 
  there were no general funds involved if someone is placed on                 
  active duty.   Senator Kelly  asked for a  breakdown of  the                 
  department's expenditure for that component for last year.                   
                                                                               
  Senator Kerttula said that he would bring up an amendment to                 
  add $100.0  to the Veteran's  Services budget for  the grant                 
  program for veteran  service organizations  at a later  time                 
  (copy on file).                                                              
                                                                               
  Senator Jacko MOVED amendment #4 to delete $329.6 and insert                 
  $429.6  in  veteran's  services  (copy  on file).    Senator                 
  Kerttula asked  to be shown  as co-sponsor of  amendment #4.                 
  No objections being raised, it was ADOPTED.                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator Jacko MOVED letters of intent  #5 and #6 relating to                 
  the Veterans Service Officer grant program (copies on file).                 
  No objections being raised, they were ADOPTED.                               
                                                                               
  Co-chair   Pearce  MOVED   for   ADOPTION  of   subcommittee                 
  recommendations for the Department of  Military and Veterans                 
  Affairs budget into SB 175.   No objections being raised, it                 
  was ADOPTED.                                                                 
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:02 a.m.                        
                                                                               

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