Legislature(2009 - 2010)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/19/2009 05:00 PM Senate FINANCE

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05:10:24 PM Start
05:11:12 PM SB75
06:35:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Statewide Public Testimony TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 19, 2009                                                                                            
                        5:10 p.m.                                                                                               
5:10:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stedman called the Senate Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 5:10 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
David Levy, Executive Director, Alaska Mobility Coalition;                                                                      
Theresa Holt, Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special                                                                    
Education; Chris Hladick, City Manager, City of Unalaska;                                                                       
Shirely Marquardt, City of Unalaska                                                                                             
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Bill Sheffield, Former Governor; Gail Phillips, President,                                                                      
Board of Directors Alaska Aviation Museum; Lynne Woods, Mat-                                                                    
Su Borough; Benjamin Mills, Self; Jeff Tucker, Fire Chief                                                                       
North Star Borough Fire Department, North Pole; Sue Ellen                                                                       
O'Connor, Self, Mat-Su; Orin Seybert, Founder of Peninsula                                                                      
Airways; Patrick  Duke, Chairman, Blood  Bank of  Alaska;                                                                       
Terrance Van Ettinger, Self, Alaska Center for the Blind and                                                                    
Visually Impaired; Michelle  Weston, Board  of Directors,                                                                       
Alaska Blood Bank; Cindy Schumaker, Morris Thompson Cultural                                                                    
and Visitors Center; Ron Dixon, Chair Tanana Valley Campus                                                                      
Advisory Council, Fairbanks; Jerry Walker, Advisory Council                                                                     
Member, Tanana Valley  Campus, Fairbanks; Paul Reichardt,                                                                       
Self, Fairbanks; Mary Greene, Board of Directors, Retirement                                                                    
Community of  Fairbanks, Fairbanks; Karen Parr, Chairman,                                                                       
Board  of Directors,  Retirement Community of  Fairbanks;                                                                       
Richard UnderKofler,  City of  Petersburg; Judy  Cordell,                                                                       
AWAIC, Anchorage; Steve Hagedorn, Rebounders Booster Club,                                                                      
Anchorage; Steve Nerland, Volunteer UAA, UAA Cite Council,                                                                      
Anchorage; Bobbi Ramos  Olson, Self/UAA, Anchorage; David                                                                       
Young, Self/UAA,  Anchorage; Jim Olson,  self, Anchorage;                                                                       
 Charles Leet, Self, Palmer; Bill Klebesadel, Self, Mat-Su;                                                                     
 Kathy Morgan, Tok Area Umbrella Corp., Tok; John Cannon,                                                                       
 Alaskans with Disabilities, Mat-Su.                                                                                            
 GENERAL SUBJECT(S):                                                                                                          
 SENATE BILL NO. 75                                                                                                           
     "An Act making and amending appropriations, including                                                                      
     capital  appropriations, supplemental appropriations,                                                                      
     and appropriations to capitalize funds; and providing                                                                      
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
The  following overview  was  taken in  log  note  format.                                                                      
Handouts will be on file with  the House Finance Committee                                                                      
through the  26th  Legislative Session, contact  465-6814.                                                                      
After the 26th Legislative Session they will be  available                                                                      
through the Legislative Library at 465-3808.                                                                                    
 TIME        SPEAKER        DISCUSSION                                                                                      
 5:11:12 PM DAVID LEVY,     Spoke in support for the governor's                                                               
             EXECUTIVE      budget proposal of $800,000 in General                                                              
             DIRECTOR,      Funds and $300,000 in Mental Health                                                                 
             ALASKA         Trust Funds for coordinated community                                                               
             MOBILITY       transportation projects. He is a member                                                             
             COALITION,     of the governor's taskforce on the                                                                  
 5:13:52 PM Senator Olson  Queried the breakdown of the funding                                                               
 5:13:59 PM Mr. Levy        Replied $800,000 in General Funds and                                                             
                            $300,000 in Mental Health Trust Funds.                                                            
 5:14:08 PM THERESA HOLT,   Spoke in support for the governor's                                                               
             GOVERNOR'S     budget proposal of $800,000 in General                                                              
             COUNCIL ON     Funds and $300,000 in Mental Health                                                                 
             DISABILITIES   Trust Funds for coordinated community                                                               
             AND SPECIAL    transportation projects. She                                                                        
             EDUCATION,     specifically cited disabled and low                                                                 
                            income Alaskans. She shared that                                                                    
                            transportation can be a major barrier                                                               
                            in the independence of disabled                                                                     
 5:16:44 PM CHRIS HLADICK, Spoke in support of the city's Power                                                               
             CITY MANAGER,  House Project and made a request for                                                                
             CITY OF        the purchase of a new 4.4 mega watt                                                                 
             UNALASKA,      diesel generator. His request is for $5                                                             
                            million dollars. His second project                                                                 
                            funding request was for the Ballyhoo                                                                
                            Road Project, which had its funding                                                               
                           cut. He also spoke in support of a                                                                   
                           bridge project.                                                                                    
5:17:41 PM SHIRELY         Spoke support of the city's request for                                                            
            MARQUARDT,     infrastructure funding. Co-Chair                                                                     
            CITY OF        Stedman wondered if the Ballyhoo                                                                     
            UNALASKA,      project was already on the STIP.                                                                   
5:20:07 PM Mr. Hladick     Clarified that he was speaking of the                                                              
                           Ballyhoo road, which was not on the                                                                  
5:21:50 PM BILL            Spoke in support of the Port of                                                                    
            SHEFFIELD,     Anchorage's project request to remodel                                                               
            FORMER         and add to the port. The project would                                                               
            GOVERNOR       be funded: 50 percent federal, 25                                                                    
                           percent state, and 25 percent municipal                                                              
                           revenue. He stressed that the project                                                                
                           needs $20 million for six years.                                                                   
5:25:26 PM Co-Chair        Replied that the committee would do                                                                
            Stedman        what it could to help.                                                                             
5:25:55 PM GAIL PHILLIPS, Spoke in support for the request for                                                                
            PRESIDENT,     funds for the Alaskan Aviation Museum.                                                               
            BOARD OF       The funds would be used for energy and                                                               
            DIRECTORS      safety improvements.                                                                               
5:26:57 PM LYNNE WOODS,    Spoke in support for the match of state                                                            
            MAT-SU BOROUGH  funds for road bonds. She felt the                                                                  
                           funding would help to alleviate                                                                      
                           congestion and improve road safety. The                                                              
                           request is for $35 million.                                                                        
5:28:31 PM Co-Chair        Shared that discussion to move the                                                                 
            Stedman        projects forward are ongoing. He                                                                     
                           wondered if the community had issued                                                                 
                           the bonds already.                                                                                 
5:29:11 PM Ms. Woods       Replied that the bonds will be issued                                                              
                           when the state match is secured.                                                                     
                           Preliminary work has been done in                                                                    
                           anticipation of a state match. She                                                                   
                           thanked Senator Huggins for his support                                                              
                           in the matter.                                                                                     
5:29:56 PM BENJAMIN        Spoke in support of repairing bridges                                                              
            MILLS, SELF    on the new and old Glenn Highways. He                                                                
                           expressed concern with the condition of                                                              
                           bridges in his area and the possibility                                                              
                           of flooding in his village. He spoke of                                                              
                           a letter he sent to Senator Huggins                                                                  
                           addressing the matter.                                                                             
5:31:58 PM Senator         Assured Mr. Mills that there is a town                                                             
            Huggins        hall meeting scheduled in the                                                                        
                           Anchorage/Chugiak area to discuss the                                                                
                           matter. He said he would provide any                                                                 
                           necessary information Mr. Mills may                                                                  
                           need concerning the meeting.                                                                       
 5:33:25 PM JEFF TUCKER,    Spoke in support for capital funding to                                                           
             FIRE CHIEF     replace a 30 year old fire engine for                                                               
             NORTH STAR     the North Star Fire Department.                                                                   
             BOROUGH FIRE                                                                                                       
             NORTH POLE                                                                                                         
 5:34:24 PM SUE ELLEN       Expressed support for the governor's                                                              
             O'CONNOR,      request for coordinated community                                                                   
             SELF, MAT-SU   transportation funds of $300,000 Mental                                                             
                            Health Trust Funds and $800,000 General                                                             
                            Funds. She is a blind woman who uses                                                                
                            public transportation to get to work.                                                             
 5:35:03 PM ORIN SEYBERT,   Spoke in support of capital funds for                                                             
             FOUNDER OF     improvements in the Alaska Aviation                                                                 
             PENINSULA      Museum. He stated that the money is                                                                 
             AIRWAYS        needed to improve the energy efficiency                                                             
                            of the museum building. He stated that                                                              
                            museum attendance is up to 20,000                                                                   
                            people per year. He felt that the                                                                   
                            museum contributes greatly to the state                                                             
                            and needs to be preserved.                                                                        
 5:39:44 PM PATRICK DUKE,   Spoke in support for the capital                                                                  
             CHAIRMAN,      campaign to build a new blood bank                                                                  
             BLOOD BANK OF  building. He stated that the board has                                                              
             ALASKA         committed $300,000 of its own funding                                                               
                            toward the building. He shared that the                                                             
                            bank serves the entire medical                                                                      
                            community of the state. He shared that                                                              
                            collected blood must be sent to                                                                     
                            Washington State for testing before it                                                              
                            can be used here in Alaska. This slows                                                              
                            the ability to provide blood in a                                                                   
                            timely manner. An in-state testing                                                                  
                            facility is necessary.                                                                            
 5:43:06 PM TERRANCE VAN    Expressed support for the governor's                                                              
             ETTINGER,      request for coordinated community                                                                   
             SELF, ALASKA   transportation funds of $300,000 from                                                               
             CENTER FOR THE the Mental Health Trust and $800,000 in                                                             
             BLIND AND      general funds. He stated that he relied                                                             
           VISUALLY       on People Mover and public                                                                            
             IMPAIRED       transportation to get to work. He                                                                   
                            stressed that the need for solid public                                                             
                            transportation is necessary.                                                                      
 5:45:19 PM MICHELLE        Urged support for blood bank facility                                                             
             WESTON, BOARD  expansion. She expressed the need for                                                               
             OF DIRECTORS,  blood to be readily available in-state.                                                             
             ALASKA BLOOD   She plans to personally raise $5,000                                                                
             BANK           for the project.                                                                                  
 5:47:25 PM CINDY           Urged support for $1 million in funding                                                           
             SCHUMAKER,     from the General Fund or Crew Ship                                                                  
             MORRIS         Impact Funds for the completion of                                                                  
             THOMPSON       exhibits within the facility. The plan                                                              
             CULTURAL AND   had been to fund the exhibits with                                                                
            VISITORS       private funds but economic times have                                                                
            CENTER         proven to make that impossible.                                                                    
5:49:54 PM RON DIXON,      Urged support for $5 million capital                                                               
            CHAIR TANANA   request for funding for the UAF Tanana                                                               
           VALLEY CAMPUS  Valley Campus Center Space                                                                            
            ADVISORY       Revitalization Phase 4.                                                                            
5:51:16 PM JERRY WALKER,   Spoke in favor of funding for the                                                                  
            ADVISORY       renovation of the Tanana Valley Campus                                                               
            COUNCIL        Downtown Center.                                                                                   
            MEMBER, TANANA                                                                                                      
            VALLEY CAMPUS,                                                                                                      
5:52:55 PM PAUL            Spoke in support of the Raven Landing                                                              
            REICHARDT,     Retirement Community Center Project.                                                                 
            SELF,          Urged support for the construction of a                                                              
            FAIRBANKS      senior center with the use of $1.8                                                                   
                           million in capital funds.                                                                          
5:54:47 PM MARY GREENE,    Spoke in favor of the use of $1.8                                                                  
            BOARD OF       million in capital funding for the                                                                   
            DIRECTORS,     Raven Landing Senior Community Center.                                                             
            COMMUNITY OF                                                                                                        
5:56:41 PM KAREN PARR,     Spoke in favor of $1.8 million in                                                                  
            CHAIRMAN,      capital funds to build the Raven                                                                     
            BOARD OF       Landing Community Center. She shared                                                                 
            DIRECTORS,     that the current community senior                                                                    
            RETIREMENT     center in Fairbanks is limited and                                                                   
            COMMUNITY OF   needs to be improved to support the                                                                  
           FAIRBANKS      growing senior population.                                                                          
5:59:07 PM RICHARD         Spoke in favor of funding the                                                                      
            UNDERKOFLER,   Department of Transportation 50/50                                                                   
            CITY OF        Municipal Harbor Facility Grant                                                                      
            PETERSBURG     Program. He felt that the state should                                                               
                           be matching city dollars in costal                                                                   
                           community for city-owned harbor                                                                      
6:01:01 PM Co-Chair        Stated that there is $13 million on the                                                            
            Stedman        match list for those harbor projects in                                                              
                           coastal Alaska.                                                                                    
6:01:57 PM JUDY CORDELL,   Spoke in favor for more funding for                                                                
            AWAIC,         facilities for victims of domestic                                                                   
            ANCHORAGE      violence. She claimed that her shelter                                                               
                           is currently short 25 beds and has been                                                              
                           operating over capacity for the last                                                                 
                           two years. $920,000 is required for                                                                  
                           capital repairs to the building in                                                                   
                           order to provide the services needed by                                                              
                           its clients.                                                                                       
6:04:23 PM STEVE           Spoke in support for more funding to be                                                            
             HAGEDORN,      used for the maintenance of UAA                                                                     
             REBOUNDERS     sporting facilities on campus. He                                                                   
             BOOSTER CLUB,  stressed that the facilities are                                                                    
             ANCHORAGE      falling apart and need the funding of                                                               
                            $65 million for repairs.                                                                          
 6:06:24 PM STEVE NERLAND, Spoke in favor for funding the UAA                                                                 
             VOLUNTEER UAA, arena. He said that the UAA facilities                                                              
             UAA CITE       are inadequate in supporting the                                                                    
             COUNCIL,       growing sport needs. He asked the                                                                   
             ANCHORAGE      committee to consider the $65 million                                                               
 6:08:30 PM BOBBI RAMOS     Voiced support for the request of $65                                                             
             OLSON,         million to build the new facility at                                                                
             SELF/UAA,      UAA. She felt that the building would                                                               
             ANCHORAGE      attract out-of-state residents to                                                                   
 6:11:27 PM DAVID YOUNG,    Testified in support of UAA facilities.                                                           
             SELF/UAA,      He emphasized that the costs for the                                                                
             ANCHORAGE      project would rise.                                                                               
 6:13:08 PM JIM OLSON,      Spoke in support of UAA sports                                                                    
             SELF,          facilities. He was concerned Anchorage                                                              
             ANCHORAGE      would lose people.                                                                                
 6:14:37 PM CHARLES LEET,   Encouraged votes for bond issue in the                                                            
             SELF, PALMER   Mat-Su valley and for $2 million for                                                                
                            Trunk Road repair. He felt that this                                                                
                            was an important issue for safety.                                                                
 6:16:27 PM Co-Chair        Named several proposed projects for the                                                           
             Stedman        area. He mentioned that Senator Huggins                                                             
                            has informed the committee of the                                                                   
                            importance of funding the projects.                                                               
 6:16:47 PM BILL            Encouraged support Road bond package                                                              
             KLEBESADEL,    for Mat-Su Borough for road upgrade and                                                             
             SELF, MAT-SU   repair.                                                                                           
 6:18:22 PM KATHY MORGAN,   Spoke in support of Capital                                                                       
             TOK AREA       improvements for Tok to protect city                                                                
             UMBRELLA       from wildfires and boost local economy.                                                             
             CORP., TOK     $86,000 to remove buildings related to                                                              
                            firefighting. Wood pellet stoves and                                                                
                            wood chip boiler to save heating costs                                                              
                            (testimony copy on file).                                                                         
 6:22:14 PM AT EASE                                                                                                           
 6:26:32 PM RECONVENED                                                                                                        
 6:26:41 PM JOHN CANNON,    Spoke in favor for funding for                                                                    
             ALASKANS WITH  coordinated community transportation.                                                               
             DISABILITIES,  Expressed support for the governor's                                                                
             MAT-SU         request for community transportation                                                                
                            funds of $300,000and $800,000 general                                                               
                            funds. He felt that the high                                                                        
                            unemployment rates among the disabled                                                               
                            in the state is largely due to lack of                                                              
                            reliable transportation. He thought                                                               
                           that the problem needed to be looked at                                                              
                           more diligently.                                                                                   
6:29:44 PM AT EASE                                                                                                            
6:34:13 PM RECONVEVED                                                                                                         
6:34:22 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting                                                                                                                     
at 6:34 PM.                                                                                                                     
6:35:51 PM                                                                                                                    

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