Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532
03/17/2020 09:00 AM FINANCE
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SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE March 17, 2020 9:12 a.m. 9:12:43 AM CALL TO ORDER Co-Chair Stedman called the Senate Finance Committee meeting to order at 9:12 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Natasha von Imhof, Co-Chair Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair Senator Click Bishop Senator Lyman Hoffman Senator Donny Olson Senator Bill Wielechowski Senator David Wilson MEMBERS ABSENT None ALSO PRESENT Pete Ecklund, Staff, Senator Bert Stedman; David Scott, Staff, Senator Bert Stedman; Jane Conway, Staff, Senator Cathy Giessel; Juli Lucky, Staff, Senator Natasha von Imhof; Senator Gary Stevens, Sponsor; Tim Lamkin, Staff, Senator Gary Stevens; Representative Sara Hannan, Sponsor. PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE Paul Layer, Vice President, Academics, Students and Research, University of Alaska; Preston Kroes, Superintendent, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Department of Natural Resources; Ricky Gease, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Department of Natural Resources. SUMMARY SB 30 COLLEGE CREDIT FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CSSB 30(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one forthcoming indeterminate fiscal note from the University and one new zero fiscal note from the Department of Education and Early Development. SB 47 PHYSICAL/OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY BD/PRACTICE CSSB 47(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a "no recommendation" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 1(CED). SB 55 TEMP. APPOINTMENTS TO COURT OF APPEALS CSSB 55(2d JUD) was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 2(AJS). SB 137 EXTEND BOARD OF PAROLE SB 137 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 1(COR). SB 150 INTENSIVE MGMT SURCHARGE/REPEAL TERM DATE SB 150 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published zero fiscal note: FN 1(DFG). SB 152 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS SB 152 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. HB 122 FUNTER BAY MARINE PARK: UNANGAN CEMETERY HB 122 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. SENATE BILL NO. 152 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs; capitalizing funds; making appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective date." 9:13:56 AM Co-Chair Stedman noted that the first hearing of SB 152 was on February 27. Co-Chair von Imhof made a motion. [The motion was redone shortly after.] 9:14:53 AM AT EASE 9:15:14 AM RECONVENED Co-Chair Stedman clarified that there had been an inadvertent error and Co-Chair von Imhof would re-do the motion. Co-Chair von Imhof MOVED to ADOPT proposed committee substitute for SB 152, Work Draft 31-GS2197\U (Bruce, 3/16/20). Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED for discussion. 9:15:44 AM PETE ECKLUND, STAFF, SENATOR BERT STEDMAN, informed that the Committee Substitute (CS) being considered was the governor's introduced version of the bill, re-drafted in the style of the Legislative Legal Services and the Legislative Finance Division, which was different than that of the Department of Law. He furthered that some sections of the bill were reordered but the bill was substantively the same. He informed that the Senate was completing budget subcommittee close-outs and the following Monday there would be a forthcoming CS for the House version of the operating budget. He qualified that for comparison purposes, it was easier for the public to track changes if the committee adopted the version being considered. Co-Chair Stedman asked for a review of eight items in the bill that were worthy of attention. Mr. Ecklund addressed a Summary of Changes document (copy on file): 1. Title: Add "supplemental appropriations. 2. The lead-in language in section 1 on page 2 was modified to the legislature's standard language that appears in both HB 205 and HB 206 and that includes the addition of this sentence, "A department-wide, agency-wide, or branch-wide unallocated reduction set out in this section may be allocated among the appropriations made in this section to that department, agency, or branch 3. Section 8 (page 50, starting line 21): Reorder sections so that royalty deposits are first. Reword section (c) so that the net amount to the general fund is shown rather than the entire POMV draw. 4. Section 19(e) (page 57, line 7): Reword to simplify since UA is the only named recipient. Because the Governor did not include the appropriations for DOTPF and AEA debt, the previous formatting with a list of projects is unnecessary. 9:19:00 AM Mr. Ecklund continued to address the changes in the CS: 5. Section 21(w) (page 65, line 10): Add fiscal year that the revenue will be collected. 6. Section 22(l) (page 66, line 14): Add "unexpended and unobligated" to clarify that existing fund obligations are not affected by this appropriation. 7. Section 25(g) (page 71, line 18): Change 2020 to 2019 to correct error in Governor's bill. 8. Section 28 (page 72, line 8): Update references due to reordering of sections. 9:19:58 AM Co-Chair Stedman WITHDREW his OBJECTION. There being NO further OBJECTION, it was so ordered. The CS for SB 152 was adopted. Co-Chair Stedman commented that the bill was conformed for clarity, so that when the operating budget was put together by members there would be a clear comparison for the public. 9:20:51 AM AT EASE 9:21:23 AM RECONVENED Co-Chair Stedman reminded that there would be public testimony on the operating budget the following two days. He set the bill aside for further review. [Co-Chair Stedman handed the gavel to Co-Chair von Imhof] 9:22:05 AM AT EASE 9:23:19 AM RECONVENED SENATE BILL NO. 55 "An Act relating to judges of the court of appeals; and providing for an effective date." 9:23:28 AM Co-Chair von Imhof read the title of the bill. She relayed that the committee heard the bill on March 12 and had reviewed the fiscal note. Her office had received no amendments. Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to report CSSB 55(2d JUD) out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSSB 55(2d JUD) was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 2(AJS). SENATE BILL NO. 137 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Parole; and providing for an effective date." 9:24:26 AM Co-Chair von Imhof read the title of the bill. She relayed that the committee heard the bill on March 11, had heard public testimony, and had reviewed the fiscal note. Her office had received no amendments. Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to report SB 137 out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. SB 137 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 1(COR). SENATE BILL NO. 150 "An Act repealing the termination date for the intensive management hunting license surcharge." 9:25:27 AM Co-Chair von Imhof read the title of the bill. She relayed that the committee heard the bill on March 12, heard public testimony, and had reviewed the fiscal note. Her office had received no amendments. She understood that all questions about the bill had been answered. Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to report SB 150 out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. SB 150 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published zero fiscal note: FN 1(DFG). SENATE BILL NO. 47 "An Act relating to the State Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board; relating to the practice of physical therapy; and relating to the practice of occupational therapy." 9:26:28 AM Co-Chair von Imhof read the title of the bill. She relayed that the committee heard the bill on February 24, 2020. There had been concerns expressed at the meeting and committee staff had worked with stakeholders on a proposed solution. There was a Committee Substitute (CS) for the committee's consideration. DAVID SCOTT, STAFF, SENATOR BERT STEDMAN, discussed the changes to the bill. He noted that the CS was version "G" and read from an Explanation of Changes document (copy on file): Section 11 has been amended to remove "Physiotherapist" from the penalty for falsely claiming to be a physical therapist. Specifically, on page 8, line 1 "Physiotherapist" is removed. The term physiotherapy is a broad term that encompasses the scope of practice of different healthcare professions. For instance, it is used by chiropractors and can be found in the regulations for the Board of Chiropractic Examiners: 12 AAC Chapter 16. To reduce confusion, "physiotherapist" is removed. Mr. Scott informed that stakeholders had been a part of the proposed changes to the bill, and there was no change to the fiscal note. 9:28:14 AM JANE CONWAY, STAFF, SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL, discussed the changes to the bill. She reiterated that the sponsor had worked through a few different amendments to the bill, and the one presented by Mr. Scott was the most satisfactory to all parties. The sponsor felt that the CS was a good compromise. Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT proposed committee substitute for SB 47, Work Draft 31-LS0109\G (Fisher, 3/12/20). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 9:29:36 AM AT EASE 9:30:01 AM RECONVENED Co-Chair von Imhof reiterated that the CS did not change the fiscal impact of the bill. Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to report CSSB 47(FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSSB 47(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a "no recommendation" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 1(CED). SENATE BILL NO. 30 "An Act establishing the middle college program for public school students; and relating to the powers of the University of Alaska." 9:30:48 AM Co-Chair von Imhof relayed that the committee had heard the bill on March 6. There was a CS and one amendment for the committee's consideration. JULI LUCKY, STAFF, SENATOR NATASHA VON IMHOF, discussed the changes to the bill. She informed that proposed changes were also discussed by the sponsor's office during the initial presentation of the bill, and the CS was developed by the sponsor for the consideration of the committee. Ms. Lucky addressed an Explanation of Changes document (copy on file): Adds language to clarify that credits shall be "applicable toward pursuit of a degree or certificate at" the University of Alaska. [P2, Lines 18-19 and P4, Line 23] Replaces the requirement that all districts participate in the program with language requiring the University of Alaska to make the program available to district s that have eligible students who want to participate. [P2, Lines 20-22] Ms. Lucky noted that the University had submitted an indeterminate fiscal note and would be submitting a new revised fiscal note as a result of the language changes. Ms. Lucky continued to address the proposed changes to the bill: Adds references to parents to AS 14.30.780 (d), which requires districts to provide information about the Alaska Middle College Program. [P3, Lines 3-5] Clarifies that courses can be held at other alternate locations, not just high schools. The requirements for courses held in other locations did not change. [P3, lines 22-23] Allows a student to take up to 15 credits (increased from 12) per semester. [P4, line 3] Changes effective date to July 1, 2021. Removes prohibition against students paying tuition and other costs. Other technical changes to clarify intent that don't change the effect of the legislation. Ms. Lucky reiterated that the changes would require a new fiscal note, which would remain indeterminate. The fiscal note from the Department of Education and Early Development was a zero fiscal note and would still apply. 9:34:28 AM Ms. Lucky addressed Conceptual Amendment 1 (copy on file): INTENT OF AMENDMENT: Require, as part of the program information provided to students and parents by the school district, whether a failing grade on a course offered through the Alaska Middle College Program will appear on the student's official college transcript. Suggested Language: Page 3, line 16, following "program" Insert ", including whether a failed course will appear on the student's official college transcript" Ms. Lucky explained that the issue had come up in previous meetings regarding the middle college concept. There had been concern that students would understand the implications of failing a class in middle college, and the amendment would ensure that the information be clear to parents and students signing up for the program. 9:35:15 AM Co-Chair von Imhof noted that the sponsor and his staff was present to offer perspective on the CS and the amendment. 9:35:43 AM SENATOR GARY STEVENS, SPONSOR, expressed his appreciation to the committee. He thought the bill was extremely important for the University and the students of Alaska. TIM LAMKIN, STAFF, SENATOR GARY STEVENS, remarked that the CS was the result of a fair amount of work between the University and school districts over the previous several months. The CS was agreeable to the sponsor. Mr. Lamkin addressed Conceptual Amendment 1. He did not characterize the amendment as "unfriendly." He continued that the statute as written was intended to be flexible and create a model for the diverse demands and interests of the state's school districts. The Memorandums of Agreement that were in existence provided for academic counseling, and involvement of teachers and parents for identifying the rigors of college level work as well as the consequences of failure. He thought the amendment could be unnecessary, but it was not unfriendly. Co-Chair von Imhof thought the amendment was trying to clarify that when a person took a college class and received a grade, the grade would be present on the transcript and would follow a student throughout her or his academic career. She thought it was important for the information to be shared. 9:38:04 AM Senator Stevens understood Co-Chair von Imhof's remarks. He mentioned his own transcripts from college. He thought there would be a lot of work for the students in the high school before they would be allowed to take a college-level course. 9:38:48 AM Senator Bishop noted that Co-Chair von Imhof was the sponsor of the amendment. Co-Chair von Imhof stated that the committee would adopt the CS and then address the amendment. Senator Bishop asked if Co-Chair von Imhof had authored the amendment. Co-Chair von Imhof stated that the amendment was not authored by her personally. Senator Bishop wanted to have clarity on the intent of the amendment. He referenced Senator Stevens' comments about his transcript, and thought students do better academic work as time went on. He asked if the intent of the amendment was to make clear that the college-level work would be on a permanent transcript. Co-Chair von Imhof said "yes." She suggested the committee adopt the CS, and then have staff speak to the amendment in greater detail. 9:40:23 AM Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT proposed committee substitute for SB 30, Work Draft 31-LS0052\E (Caouette, 3/4/20). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 9:40:48 AM Ms. Lucky stated that the concept behind the amendment had been brought up in previous hearings. She explained that the amendment would add to the notification to parents whether or not the course grade would go on a student's permanent transcript. There had been a concern in previous committees that high school students would not understand the implications of a permanent transcript. There was already a notification requirement in the bill. The amendment did not require any change other than parental notification that a course grade would or would not be on the student's permanent transcript. Ms. Lucky continued to address the proposed amendment. She explained that there would be a lot of counseling for students participating in the program. The amendment would provide the information before a student made the decision to be part of the program. She continued that whether a course appeared or not on a student's transcript would be made clear in the MOU between the University and the school districts. 9:43:14 AM Senator Bishop thought the amendment came down to informing students they were "in the big leagues." Ms. Lucky agreed with Senator Bishop's remarks. She furthered that students would learn the information throughout the process of deciding to take the class, but the additional written information proposed by the amendment would not present a burden. 9:43:54 AM Senator Wilson was not sure if the amendment was too specific. He addressed number 6 on page 3 of the bill. He thought the bill was broad enough. He discussed the withdrawal option at universities. He was concerned the amendment might be too prescriptive. Co-Chair von Imhof noted that the University was online to give testimony and could address the amendment. 9:44:58 AM PAUL LAYER, VICE PRESIDENT, ACADEMICS, STUDENTS AND RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA (via teleconference), relayed that the University of Alaska (UA) advised students of consequences to a permanent record, as well as dates such as a withdrawal date. He furthered that University staff worked with counselors and teachers in the high schools to ensure that students were aware of important dates. [Senator Olson entered the meeting 9:45:50] Co-Chair von Imhof asked if Mr. Layer could comment on the proposed amendment. Mr. Layer stated that UA did not object to the language in the amendment. He reiterated that the UA already informed students and parents of the information. 9:46:39 AM Ms. Lucky added the clarification that the amendment would not change any contract between the student and university, nor the MOU between UA and the district. The amendment would simply require that the information sent by the district include the proposed language about transcripts. Co-Chair Stedman commented that for parents that had never been to college, the information may be new. 9:47:40 AM Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to ADOPT Conceptual Amendment 1. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Co-Chair von Imhof noted that the fiscal note for DEED was still accurate, but the fiscal note from UA would need to be revised. Co-Chair Stedman MOVED to report CSSB 30(FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSSB 30(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one forthcoming indeterminate fiscal note from the University and one new zero fiscal note from the Department of Education and Early Development. HOUSE BILL NO. 122 am "An Act relating to the Funter Bay marine park unit of the state park system; relating to protection of the social and historical significance of the Unangax cemetery located in Funter Bay and providing for the amendment of the management plan for the Funter Bay marine park unit; and providing for an effective date." 9:49:03 AM Co-Chair von Imhof read the title of the bill. She relayed that the committee was hearing the bill for the first time. 9:49:33 AM AT EASE 9:50:03 AM RECONVENED REPRESENTATIVE SARA HANNAN, SPONSOR, addressed a presentation entitled "HB 122 - FUNTER BAY MARINE PARK: UNANGAN CEMETARY" (copy on file). Representative Hannan showed slide 2, "HB 122 will": ? Provide protection of the Unangan Cemetery in Funter Bay for future generations; ? Transfer cemetery site and surrounding area from Division of Land Mining and Water (DNR) to the Division of Parks and Recreation (DNR) - ; ? Transferred land will become part of, and continued to be maintained by, as part of the Funter Bay Marine Park. 9:51:05 AM Representative Hannan turned to slide 3, which showed a map of Juneau and the surrounding area. She explained that the area of the park was located on the Mansfield Peninsula of Admiralty Island, which by air was about 15 miles west. She explained that the cemetary started with World War II. On June 3 and 4 of 1942, the Japanese attacked the United States Naval Base at Dutch Harbor. On June 7 and June 8, the Japanese invaded Kiska, where U.S. Navy personnel were captured. The Japanese also invaded Attu, and Native residents were captured and retained until the end of the war. Representative Hannan continued to discuss the history of the area. She cited that by June 12, the commanding general for Alaska had issued orders to begin removing Alaskans, starting with residents of St. Paul and St. George in the Pribilof Islands. The military was ordered to burn dwellings in advance of the enemy's movement. Villagers were forced to evacuate on short notice. On June 16, 1942, 560 residents of St. Paul and St. George were evacuated by ship. The villagers were taken across the Gulf of Alaska and left at an abandoned cannery and mine site in Funter Bay. 9:52:37 AM Representative Hannan looked at slide 6, which showed a map of Southeast Alaska from Prince of Wales Island to Juneau. She detailed that there were additional voyages from other villages and a total of six relocation camps. The camp at Funter Bay had the highest death rate. The cannery had not been operational for a decade before the residents were left there and was not intended for year-round occupation. She discussed the deplorable conditions with limited access to fresh water, medicine, and food. She continued that there were technically two camps in Funter Bay that shared one cemetery. 9:53:23 AM Representative Hannan reviewed slide 5, which showed a photograph of a grave and a photograph of building ruins: Old Bunk House used for housing (above). Head stone of 18 month old child that died at camp (left). Representative Hannan discussed slide 6, which also showed a map of the area. She explained that there were 30 known grave sites in the cemetery, but it was understood there were many unmarked graves. She explained that the issue was 78 years in the making, and people whose families were buried there had been asking for the protection of the land for decades. 9:54:51 AM Representative Hannan explained that other relocation camps in Southeast Alaska were located closer to communities. The Killisnoo property near Angoon also had a cemetery, which was on private land. She explained that concerns had been escalated when seven years previously, access to the Killisnoo cemetery had been truncated by the new property owners. Families of relatives buried in Funter Bay asked for protections in order to continue to visit gravesites in Funter Bay. Representative Hannan showed slide 4, which showed the state park that was created by former Senator Frank Zharoff in 1983. The land was a marine park that included tidelands and uplands, but was mostly the protected waterways. She pointed out the delineation on the map, and identified the cemetery. She explained that the transfer would incorporate the remainder of the state parcel that existed as an island between the two parklands that existed. 9:55:45 AM Senator Wilson asked if the bill would close off the area in question, or if the intent was for cultural protection and upkeep of the area. Representative Hannan explained that the bill did not close off the area, nor was there intent to develop. The bill would prevent development and the sale for mining purposes. She explained that there was currently no development at the state park, and most people that visited stayed aboard vessels. She described that the parcel with the cemetery was a dark and dreary swampy lowland and was not typically used for hunting or foraging. The lands were not well maintained, and the families seeking the protection desired the land and public access be secured. 9:57:18 AM Senator Olson asked the sponsor how the bill would affect owners of private property in Funter Bay. Representative Hannan specified that the bill would not change any private property land holdings nor did it restrict access. The parcel was adjacent to the property that was formerly the cannery. She thought the property was owned by Reed Stoops, who had submitted a letter of support for the bill. There were about six landowners in front of the cemetery, and the other large stretch of private property was on the opposite side of the bay where the old mine was. Private property rights and access would not be changed by the park expansion, and the properties were not in the parcel. 9:58:23 AM Senator Olson asked if any of the adjacent private land owners had voiced any objection to the bill. Representative Hannan answered in the negative. Co-Chair von Imhof asked if the private landowners were free to develop the land surrounding the cemetery in any way that was desired. Representative Hannan answered in the affirmative. 9:58:42 AM Co-Chair Stedman observed two islands on the map on slide 4 that looked as if they were colored yellow for inclusion in the park expansion. He also asked if there were proposed changes to submerged lands. Representative Hannan deferred the question to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Senator Olson had a question about private ownership. He thought there were conditions existing when private ownership was given. 9:59:44 AM Co-Chair Stedman repeated his question regarding the islands shown on the map on slide 4 - one island in the back of the bay and a smaller island to the west. He asked why the islands would be included in the park designation. PRESTON KROES, SUPERINTENDENT, DIVISION OF PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES (via teleconference), explained that although the yellow shaded area on the map showed a peninsula that only became an island at an extremely high tide. The pensinsula was all that remained of the Division of Mining, Land, and Water (DMLW) property. The division had determined that it would relinquish all of the parcel instead of just keeping the two small islands, which would have become a management challenge. Co-Chair Stedman asked why the state did not consider selling the islands. Mr. Kroes thought the question would be better addressed by DMLW. The parcel was currently managed for recreation, and was designated to be managed as the adjacent parklands were managed. Co-Chair Stedman asked how many parcels were virtually in holdings in the proposed park expansion. Ms. Kroes stated that private land was excluded from the parcel. There were six to eight landowners nearby, many of whom had spoken in support of the bill in previous hearings. The parcels would remain in status quo with regard to lease or ownership. 10:03:05 AM Co-Chair Stedman asked about the islands to the west. He asked if the islands were already in the park. Mr. Kroes answered in the affirmative. He mentioned the Kitten Islands. He mentioned there was two smaller islands within the bay that were currently part of the state marine park. 10:03:38 AM Senator Wielechowski understood that the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation supported the bill. Mr. Kroes stated that the division supported the bill. He had been approached by the group Friends of Admiralty Island, which included decedents of people that had been interned in Funter Bay. The group wanted to maintain access for descendants in the future. He stated that the division and stakeholders supported the bill. 10:04:40 AM Co-Chair von Imhof asked about allowable use of the private land parcels around the proposed park, per comments by Senator Olson. Mr. Kroes restated that the parcels were staying as-is, were not included in the land exchange, and with current ownership conditions remaining intact. He did not know how many separate parcels there were but there was no impact to the parcels. 10:05:46 AM RICKY GEASE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES (via teleconference), testified that Alaska State Parks supported the bill. The agency had been working with many organizations and individuals to find a better way to manage and protect the historical and cultural resources. He explained that currently the DMLW land was managed for recreation and not for mineral or timber resources. There parks division had an inter-agency land management agreement with the DLWD to manage the lands for recreation as units of the park. He thought it was important to remember that while most of the area where there were graves there were markers, there was most likely also adjacent areas with unmarked graves, and the bill would protect the area in perpetuity. Mr. Gease continued his testimony. He stated it had been his and the agencies privilege to coordinate and work with a diverse group of interested parties. The department supported protection for the cemetery, and in recognition of the hardship imposed on the people from St. George and St. Paul in Funter Bay during World War II. He thought the land would be easier to manage under one agency within the Department of Natural Resources. Co-Chair von Imhof asked if Mr. Gease had any further comments on the bill. Mr. Gease thought all the topics had been covered. He remarked that the two previous hearings on the bill there had been direct descendants from St. Paul and St. George present, including elders that travelled to attend. He emphasized that there was great support for the bill to ensure protection of the cemetery area. 10:08:57 AM Co-Chair Stedman did not think there was any interest in hindering the cemetery. He was appalled that an individual in Angoon was prohibiting access to a cemetery. He pondered that the individual was not from the area. He noted that much of Southeast was a park, and there was very little private or state land within the Tongass National Forest. He was concerned with over-restricting development and also with losing cultural and heritage sites. He thought there was not a lot of cultural sites that were not known. He supported protecting the cemetery. His only concern was about the island and wondered why it was not up for sale. He wanted to suggest that the committee review the access issue to the cemetery near Angoon. 10:11:03 AM Co-Chair von Imhof OPENED public testimony. Co-Chair von Imhof CLOSED public testimony. Co-Chair Stedman reviewed FN 2 from the Department of Natural Resources, OMB Component 3001. He relayed that it was a zero fiscal note. He commented that the note should have been negative, because money was left on the table by not selling the island. Co-Chair von Imhof set the bill aside. She asked members to contact her office with any concerns or amendments. HB 122 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. Co-Chair von Imhof was unsure about the schedule for the afternoon meeting. The following day the committee would hear public testimony on the operating and capital budgets. ADJOURNMENT 10:12:48 AM The meeting was adjourned at 10:12 a.m.