Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finance Subcommittee on Health Social Services Live

NOTE:  THESE ARE MY VERY ROUGH AS THE MEETING WAS GOING NOTES.  I'll try to clean them up a bit.  Basically, Chair Joule said that 99.6% of the Gov's proposed budget was approved.  I'll try to highlight the parts that were not.  I'm also working to put up an interview I did with Mental Health Trust Executive Director  Jeff Jesse which I'll get up as soon as I can.

I went to the wrong room this morning.  But fortunately the Education committee started on time and now I'm up at the House Finance Committee room and this meeting hasn't begun yet at 8:15am.

Feb 24 Wednesday 8:00 AMHOUSE FINANCE 519

Opening at 8:15 by Rep. Joule.
Joule: Anyone do Facebook? Invited to Mike's Place - Island Pub - met with First Alaska Fellows. Then see pony tail waving at me. Here was Willie Hensley sporting a pony tail as long as mine. Where Facebook comes in, be careful, we both had our pictures taken with hair out to sides and within seconds, it hit Facebook.

Ask Virginia to go through the packets. Then we'll entertain the Gov's amendments, then we'll discuss, and move it out. I think we can do this in short order.

Virginia: Technical changes but numbers didn't.

1. Fully funded medicaid - health, line 4, line 56, line 89, Gov. Amendments ??
Alcohol and Sub Abuse program - line 2 of spreadsheet. Therapeutic Case management, Clitheroe, Palmer Therapeutic Court, Substance abuse for pregnant women. one more I missed

[Numbers refer to lines on the budget spreadsheet]

Stimulus Funding
OCS line 51
Health Care Service 63 69
Public Assistance 77 81
Public Health 86

Gov Amend 1, 5, 7

Formula Programs
76 Enrollment growth
78 Burial costs
79 Sr. Ben enrollment

All 39 Emtar [MHTAAR] requests Fully funded
Beh Health Office of Child Service
Public Health
Div of S???

[MHTAAR = Mental Health Trust Authority Authorized Receipts]

Also Tobacco Prevention fully funded

Accepted all interagency transactions

Bring the Kids Home - fully funded 13 of MHTAAR requests and 2 of the

Reductions of Tribal, ok on transfer , but not postion
Did not accept money for new grants, but there is 2.3 million in base
Reduced increment by 50% ???

Foster Parent Training - reduced by 50%

Fully funded
Probation line 73 ???
Public health nursing grantees 82
Med examiner office line 87
Traumatic Brain injury and Senior Dis 91?
Rev. Collection cleanup

Did not make final decision on school based admin claims
Nor increments to tech services components - need to be made at full Finance commitee level - complicated and have leg technicalities. pass these on up to Full finance commitee

Did not fund new programs
12 Phd Internship program
20 Forensic ?? Team

Look at spreadsheet row 332 Funding multiplier determines if funded it has a 1, if it has a 0= not funded .5= 50%

[I'm going to post this and then keep going.]

Rep. Cissna: Are we cutting Bring the Kids Home in the Community area?
Virginia: Only cutting increments.
Joule: We continue funding, just not accepting the full amount. 99.6% of the increments  in this budget have been approved.
Cissna: I know this was a hard budget to take on and deal with. But we continue to not look at outcomes right next to our goals are. I have no idea what my complaint is. So that next year we have a much better understanding of what is at risk.

Joule: We aren't going to have much of a choice not to do that. House Subcommittee is just the first step before going to Finance committee. I truly appreciate your comments. If we are going to do this in a meaningful way, we'll have to look at more than just increments.

Five Amendments: By myself- behavioral health -

Amendment #1.  Peer Navigators $200K - this is one of those programs, not intimate with all these, but did see this one. I've had people who have been touched by this program after insurance has run out. People took the time, because of their own life experience, they were the people who had some of these issues. On the road to recovery and education, got into this line of work and they offer hope in a way others can't. Just reminded me how fragile we might all be. How close to the edge maybe some of us are. And after today's budget I may be that's a joke. I believe this has MHTAAR of $175K, not something new.

  Foster Care Special needs - request for $50K, on reassignment of homes try to keep in normalcy with schools, so this is bussing to old school. One time funding to see how it works. Will revisit.

 $300K General Fund Mental Health - Beh Health for detox. $518K ask. They have 9 emergency beds and 8 were being used for detox. Not a sexy act, it's reality. Will help community address those issues. Will take the pressure of the hospital and takes them to facility where they can get the treatment they need.

Keller: I want to commend you on the second one. Good use. Thank you.

Amendment is adopted.

Amendment #2: Rep. Dahlstrom and Joule - One time request Dept HSS primary eye care and vision in rural AK communities that don't have access. Lions Int. AK Optometrists, and ?? they are offering matching funds. They came up with pared down numbers, nothing extra they are asking. Children will be able to see so they can learn.

Joule: Comments? Adopted.

Amendment 3A:
Keller: Decrement in calendar abortions performed in AK 6.2% increase 1000+ received abortions or services $600K none qualifie under Hyde Amendment, confirms not money psent based on Federal rqts. Should I read it?

Joule: No. I will maintain objections
Dahl. yes. Keller yes Miller yes Heron no Cissnoa no Holmes no Joule no.
4=3 fails

Amendment 3B: Keller: Increment to Com Health centers to cover differential on per person bases on grant for senior services. Increase 23% so $51K reps ....
Cissna: I would like to support this incremental increase, because we have had huge problem with this population.

Amendment #4: Cissna. I would like to recommend we have addition here for Sateria ??? House operating in AK now - wonderful outcomes since July 2009. nationally has record of non-institutional - get people out of institutions into community and succeeding in their lives. one of the steps we need to make. They are also geting mental???
Dahlstrom: One time request?
Cissna: Yes. Just started last year and doing a number of different community and working with Alaska Public Housing Finance.
Dahlstrom: p. 2 says supported by AK Mental Health Turst. Will this cover the extra? Have they applied for other grants?
Cissna: Yes. This is for this year. Annually they need $250K for increased capacity and um. I don't know enough to say that faithfully.
Joule: I will maintain object
Keller no Millet no heron no Cissna yes Holmes yes Joule no Dahlstrom no
5-2 no

Amendment #5.
Rep. Holmes: We've heard on childhood obesity. 27% of High Svhool students. Half showing signs onf increased risk of blood pressure and cholesterol. This will do continuation funding for ongoing programs in six diff communities, so Statewide, with goals even more so.
Heron: We visited this last year at same kind of meeting. Failed in subcommittee and put back in Full Committee. Did something change?
Joule: Yes, Fed funding went away. Last year found $475K of fed money, That money is going away but the probelm isn't.
Cissna: Probably in terms of all the issues, one of the most severe is what is happening to our children. Obesity rate increasing, but to get programs that are in place used, we have to give them some funding. The obesity rise puts the kids in harms way for things like diabetes. It's right there ahead of them. Future increases in costs for the state with our youth having future diabetes. We need to think of future costs. Remove objection.
Amendment adopted.

I move to move the budget out of the committee.


Keller: I think it's a mistake to pass out a budget... without the amendment to exclude funding for abortion.

Joule: yes Dahlstrom yes Keller no Millet yes Cissna yes Herron yes Holmes yes
6-1 adopted

Joule: As you know Gov. has initiative on sexual assault, will be addressed at full Finance committee meeting.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Steve,
    It is interesting to read that post. Today my friend just mentioned that he could imagine me as a future politician. Well, I doubt that. Once you mentioned in your blog that if Sarah Palin could get an important office, then so could I. I haven't decided whether I should get offended or flattered. :D

    An other question I wanted to ask for a long time but somehow I always forgot it. It is quite obvious that we are not really in the same age group, therefore I should have asked a lot earlier, whether are you fine with my quite informal style. I don't know how things are going in the US, but in Hungarian and Spanish there are formal/more polite forms of "you" (Hungarian: Ön, Önök; Spanish: Usted, Ustedes). I am quite awkward with this because once I used usted with a Mexican girl who is a year younger than I am and she was totally outraged. I just wanted to be polite with her. :P


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