Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/18/2009 08:30 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Meeting Adjourned --
-- Recessed to 10:15 pm Today --
+ SB 116 APPROP: ENERGY ASSISTANCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ SB 125 AK AEROSPACE CORPORATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 36 INITIATIVES: CONTRIBUTIONS/ PROCEDURES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ SB 72 CHILD SAFETY SEATS & SEAT BELTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 72(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 157 REEMPLOYMENT OF RETIREES; EXEMPT SERVICE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 157(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 72(STA)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to use of child safety seats and seat                                                                     
     belts."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:37:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS  FRENCH, SPONSOR,  explained the  legislation.                                                                   
He stated  that he  bill would bring  in $200,000  in federal                                                                   
funds  to  help people  afford  the  booster seats  that  are                                                                   
necessary under law. He said that  the current statute was in                                                                   
need of articulation.  The bill breaks the statute  into five                                                                   
parts. He referred to a handout  with pictures explaining the                                                                   
different  sections  of  the   bill.  Section  1  applies  to                                                                   
children under  one year; Section  2 applies to  children one                                                                   
year to four  years. Section 3 applies to children  over four                                                                   
years, but under  eight years. Section 4 applies  to children                                                                   
who exceed the  height/weight requirements in  Section 3, and                                                                   
Section 5 is  a catch-all provision, which  allows the driver                                                                   
to determine whether  a booster seat or a car  seat should be                                                                   
used.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:39:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze opened public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
RONNIE   SULLIVAN,   EMERGENCY   MEDICAL   SERVICE   PROVIDER                                                                   
testified  via  teleconference,   spoke  in  support  of  the                                                                   
legislation. She  felt that the  bill would reduce  confusion                                                                   
when deciding the best type of safety seat for a child.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JANE  FELLMAN, COORDINATOR,  SAFE KIDS,  KENAI testified  via                                                                   
teleconference,  testified  in   support  of  the  bill.  She                                                                   
emphasized the importance of the  safety of children in cars.                                                                   
She described  the level of  protection provided  by boosters                                                                   
and car  seats. She relayed a  story of children who  did not                                                                   
fit in  the seat belts  and who  needed bolsters.  She stated                                                                   
the need for both education and legislation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:44:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  COOK,   LEGISLATIVE  DIRECTOR,   ALASKA  AUTO   DEALERS                                                                   
ASSOCIATION  testified via teleconference,  urged passage  of                                                                   
the legislation. He  felt that the current law  was vague and                                                                   
outdated and  did not address  the needs of children  four to                                                                   
eight years of  age. He stated that many states  have updated                                                                   
child restraint  laws. He  described broad-based  support for                                                                   
the legislation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET   HAYASHI,  EMERGENCY   AND  CRITICAL  CARE   NURSE,                                                                   
testified via  teleconference, spoke in support  of the bill.                                                                   
She stressed that  current law was outdated.  She stated that                                                                   
two  children in  her community  had  died in  the past  year                                                                   
because they had not been properly restrained.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:49:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JANICE  TOWER,  ALASKA CHAPTER  OF  THE AMERICAN  ACADEMY  OF                                                                   
PEDIATRICS,  testified   via  teleconference,   testified  in                                                                   
support  of  the  legislation.   Alaska's  pediatricians  are                                                                   
willing to  educate citizens regarding  the issue.  She urged                                                                   
timely passage to receive the federal funds.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GORDON  GLASER,  CARSEAT  TASKFORCE  AND  INJURY  PREVENTION,                                                                   
testified  via teleconference,  urged  committee support  for                                                                   
the legislation.  He shared that the single  leading cause of                                                                   
death  and the  second leading  cause  of hospitalization  of                                                                   
children four to eight years old  is motor vehicle accidents.                                                                   
None  of the  children who  were  hospitalized were  properly                                                                   
restrained in booster seats.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:53:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TIM  LAMKIN, CONCERNED  PARENT,  spoke in  opposition of  the                                                                   
legislation.  He  felt that  the  bill  was of  being  poorly                                                                   
written and  was not good  policy. He explained  Anton's Law,                                                                   
which established improved safety  ratings for manufacturers,                                                                   
and improved  law enforcement  of safety  seat laws.  He felt                                                                   
that it  was important  that no loopholes  could be  found in                                                                   
the legislation.  He expressed  confusion for the  purpose of                                                                   
booster seats  for eight  year old children  over 80  lbs. He                                                                   
felt that  there could be  situation where children  over the                                                                   
required   booster   age   limit,  but   under   the   weight                                                                   
requirement, would  be expected to sit in a  booster seat. He                                                                   
stressed that he supported the  intent of the bill in keeping                                                                   
children safe, but felt that it  was a poorly written policy.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:00:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze closed public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly asked  why the  provision could  not be                                                                   
simplified.  Senator French  stated  that the  intent was  to                                                                   
work with  experts from  the American  Academy of  Pediatrics                                                                   
and    the    National    Highway    Transportation    Safety                                                                   
Administration  to  adopt  language  that  clearly  expressed                                                                   
intent.  He furthered that  Section 5  is in  the bill  for a                                                                   
reason, to  protect young people  up to age 16.  Dropping the                                                                   
section, without  a major  re-write of  the bill, would  make                                                                   
the bill unclear.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:03:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly asked  why the  height requirement  was                                                                   
insufficient.  He wondered  about the  last line  on page  2,                                                                   
"determined solely  by the driver".  Mr. French  no objection                                                                   
to clarifying the language on  page 2. He emphasized that the                                                                   
bill saves lives  and raises money. He said  that the experts                                                                   
think that the weight requirements should be on statute.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  asked if federal dollars  would be lost                                                                   
if  the weight  requirement was  removed from  the bill.  Mr.                                                                   
French replied  yes. Representative Kelly clarified  that the                                                                   
weight limit  was a federal  requirement. Mr.  French replied                                                                   
in  the  affirmative.  Representative Kelly  asked  what  the                                                                   
weight requirement  was. Mr. French  answered that it  was 65                                                                   
lbs.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:06:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  voiced  concern   about  ambiguity  in  the                                                                   
language in  Section 5. He  thought that the  provision could                                                                   
result in undue fear of police officers for children.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas shared  a negative  experience with  money                                                                   
obtained  for  a seat  belt  law  in  his district.  He  also                                                                   
expressed concern  for 15 year old children, who  do not meet                                                                   
the   weight   requirements,   but   do   meet   the   height                                                                   
requirements,  being expected  to ride  in booster seats.  He                                                                   
thought they would be unduly stigmatized.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:12:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  French  said  that  the  example  would  fall  under                                                                   
Section 5.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough requested  confirmation that the 65                                                                   
lb limit would comply with federal law.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARY SIROKY, SPECIAL ASSISTANT,  DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION                                                                   
AND   PUBLIC   FACILITIES,   replied  that   that   was   her                                                                   
understanding.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked   if  the  sponsor  was  in                                                                   
opposition  to the  amendment  that would  change the  weight                                                                   
requirement from 80 to 65. Senator French replied no.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked   if  there  was  a  choice                                                                   
between  the  height  and  weight  requirements.  Ms.  Siroky                                                                   
replied  that  the height  and  weight requirements  must  be                                                                   
included in statute in order to receive the federal funds.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:15:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly asked if  Section 5 gave parents control                                                                   
in determining the use of child  restraints for children over                                                                   
eight  and under 16  years of  age. Ms.  Siroky replied  that                                                                   
that  was  correct. Representative  Kelly  requested  further                                                                   
clarification.   Ms. Siroky thought  that federal  height and                                                                   
weight requirements must be met.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:16:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly asked if  the language stated,  "height                                                                   
and weight"  or "height  or weight".  Mr. Lamkin  interpreted                                                                   
that the  requirement was for children  to be over 65  lbs or                                                                   
over 4' 9".                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough queried  the  document Mr.  Lamkin                                                                   
was reading information from.  Mr. Lamkin replied that it was                                                                   
the  grant requirement  under  federal  law.   Representative                                                                   
Fairclough pointed out that a  grant requirement is different                                                                   
from federal  law. She  wondered if a  federal code  could be                                                                   
cited. Mr. Lamkin  said that according to Anton's  Law, there                                                                   
is no federal height or weight requirement.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:19:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GORDON  GLASER testified  via  teleconference, reported  that                                                                   
the language states that both  height and weight requirements                                                                   
must be  met, under  Anton's Law,  in order  to meet  federal                                                                   
funding requirements.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  asked  if  the  testifier  was  an                                                                   
attorney.  Mr. Glaser said he was not.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:22:00 AM                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Thomas MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete: "80"                                                                                                          
          Insert: "65"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze objected for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze withdrew  his  OBJECTION.   There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:23:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Thomas MOVED Amendment 2:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Lines 18-23                                                                                                        
          Delete all material                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze objected for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   thought  that  Lines  18   through  23                                                                   
clarified the language of the bill.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:24:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  French reported  that the same  amendment was  voted                                                                   
down in another  committee.  He explained that  the amendment                                                                   
has legal drafting problems.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:25:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker  commented  that deleting  the  lines  would                                                                   
resolve the intent of the amendment.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  suggested  a legal  opinion  from  the                                                                   
Department of Law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:26:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked the  committee to consider  moving                                                                   
the bill out  of committee and resolving the  semantic matter                                                                   
on the Floor.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  maintained  a  continued  OBJECTION  to                                                                   
Amendment 2.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote  was taken on the motion to  ADOPT Amendment                                                                   
2.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Thomas, Hawker                                                                                                        
OPPOSED: Gara,  Kelly, Austerman, Crawford,  Salmon, Stoltze,                                                                   
Fairclough                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster and Representative  Joule were  absent                                                                   
from the vote.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (7-2).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:29:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly MOVED to ADOPT Conceptual Amendment 3:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 23:                                                                                                           
     In between "determined" and "by"                                                                                           
     Insert: "solely"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:30:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough pointed  out the continued argument                                                                   
between "and" and "or", in the  height and weight requirement                                                                   
language of the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Thomas revisited his  comment concerning the money                                                                   
that  had  been  theoretically  going  to  his  district  for                                                                   
mandatory seatbelts  laws. He expressed frustration  with the                                                                   
negative impact  of not receiving  those funds. He  felt that                                                                   
if  the bill  would  force families  in  rural  areas to  but                                                                   
boosters for  their children,  the state should  help finance                                                                   
the booster seats.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze commented on the fiscal notes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:32:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  MOVED to report HCS CSSB  72(FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note. There  being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS  CSSB  72(FIN) was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  no                                                                   
recommendation and attached zero  note 1 by the Department of                                                                   
Transportation and Pubic Facilities.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:33:08 AM         RECESSED TO THE CALL OF THE CHAIR:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:15:37 PM         RECONVENED                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
02__Sponsor_Statement_HB157_Exempt_13Mar09[1].doc HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HB 157
03__HB_157_-_legislative-report-on-retiree-return-program-2-6-09.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HB 157
HB036-OOG-LtGOV-4-17-09.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HFIN 3/15/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 36
07 HB36 Legal Opinions.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HFIN 2/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/15/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 36
08 HB36 Back up.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HFIN 3/15/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 36
SB 125 Sponsor Statement (S FIN).pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 125
SB 125 Letter of Support.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 125
Alaska Heating Assistance Programs.ppt HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 116
ANHB Support Letter.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 116
AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURES FOR BETHEL ALASKA.doc HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 116
SB 116 - gallons by comunity.xls HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 116
CSHB 157 (FIN) Version S.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HB 157
SB 125 Talking Points Sen. Paskvan.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 125
SB 72 HFC Amendment 1 and 2.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
SB72AAPSupportLetter.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
SB72ABINSupportLetter.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
SB72Changes.PDF HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
SB72Chart.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
SB72OtherStates.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
SB72Sponsor.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 72
Senate Bill 116 Sponsor Statement.doc HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
SB 116
SSHB 36 Hearing Request Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HFIN 3/15/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 36
SSHB 36 Hearing Request Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HFIN 3/15/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 36
SSHB 36 Hearing Request Backup.pdf HFIN 4/18/2009 8:30:00 AM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 36