Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

03/16/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 346(L&C) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 285(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 286(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
HOUSE BILL NO. 255                                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to individuals  and employees who must                                                                    
     have  certificates   of  fitness  to   perform  certain                                                                    
     plumbing  and electrical  work; and  relating to  civil                                                                    
     penalties  and  violations   for  not  having  required                                                                    
     certificates of fitness."                                                                                                  
2:29:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS  TUCK, SPONSOR, introduced  himself and                                                                    
his staff.                                                                                                                      
KENDRA KLOSTER,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS  TUCK, provided                                                                    
detail on the bill. The  bill would change the penalties for                                                                    
performing plumbing  and electrical work without  a license,                                                                    
which was  called a certificate  of fitness. The  bill would                                                                    
replace  the existing  criminal  penalty  with a  nonviolent                                                                    
penalty.  Currently,  the penalty  was  a  $500 fine  and  a                                                                    
misdemeanor.  The  bill  would  change  the  penalty  to  an                                                                    
administrative fine and a violation.  She explained that the                                                                    
original  bill  made  several  changes  to  the  way  things                                                                    
worked. She detailed that the  bill would reduce the penalty                                                                    
to $125 [for  an individual] and $250 [for  an employer] for                                                                    
a first offense. A second offense  would mean a fine of $250                                                                    
for an individual and $500 for an employer.                                                                                     
Ms. Kloster  addressed changes made  in the House  Labor and                                                                    
Commerce  Committee.   There  had  been  concerns   about  a                                                                    
violation  going on  an  employee's  record; therefore,  the                                                                    
provision had  been changed. She  provided an example  of an                                                                    
employee without  a certificate of fitness  being instructed                                                                    
by  an  employer to  conduct  plumbing  or electrical  work.                                                                    
Under  the circumstance,  the sponsor  wanted to  ensure the                                                                    
employee  was  not  given  a   violation  on  their  record;                                                                    
however,  the individual  could  be charged  a  fine by  the                                                                    
Department  of Labor  and Workforce  Development (DLWD)  for                                                                    
conducting the work without  the certificate. She elaborated                                                                    
that  the violation  would  show  up on  the  record of  the                                                                    
employer if  they continued to  practice without  a license.                                                                    
The bill had  been brought forward during work  with DLWD to                                                                    
provide the  department with  better enforcement  tools. The                                                                    
current penalties  went through the Department  of Law (DOL)                                                                    
and the process  was cumbersome. She explained  they did not                                                                    
necessarily  want to  charge individuals  with misdemeanors.                                                                    
The  bill would  provide the  state with  better enforcement                                                                    
tools to ensure the law was effective.                                                                                          
2:32:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Ortiz  asked   for   verification  that   a                                                                    
certificate  of fitness  was the  lone license  electricians                                                                    
and plumbers had in Alaska.                                                                                                     
Representative Tuck replied in  the affirmative. He detailed                                                                    
the term certificate of fitness  meant an individual was fit                                                                    
to  perform  the   work  once  they  had   gone  through  an                                                                    
apprenticeship program, passed a  test, and had demonstrated                                                                    
the  required  hours.  He  confirmed  that  the  certificate                                                                    
equated to a license.                                                                                                           
Representative Ortiz asked  about the need for  the bill. He                                                                    
wondered  if there  was significant  work taking  place that                                                                    
was unlicensed. He asked if  the perception was anecdotal or                                                                    
based on statistics.                                                                                                            
Representative  Tuck  answered  that  primarily  there  were                                                                    
numerous people  doing site jobs in  people's places without                                                                    
an  electrical license.  He explained  it  was difficult  to                                                                    
keep  track  of the  occurrences  and  to enforce  the  law.                                                                    
Currently, the  offense was a  misdemeanor and a fine  up to                                                                    
$500. It was costly  to go to DOL to get  a prosecutor to do                                                                    
a cease  and desist  order and  prosecute for  a misdemeanor                                                                    
conviction. The bill  would allow a simple fine  for DLWD to                                                                    
enforce. Additionally, there was  no ability to enforce when                                                                    
people let their licenses expire and continued to work.                                                                         
DEBORAH  KELLY, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  LABOR STANDARDS  AND                                                                    
SAFETY,  DEPARTMENT  OF  LABOR  AND  WORKFORCE  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
pointed  to  the  department's fiscal  note  [OMB  Component                                                                    
Number 346].  The department had  used a  three-year average                                                                    
of  its cease  and desist  orders for  people found  working                                                                    
without a  certificate of  fitness [shown on  page 2  of the                                                                    
fiscal note]:                                                                                                                   
      46 individuals engaging in work without a valid                                                                        
      5 individuals engaging in work without a valid                                                                         
      22 employers using workers without a valid                                                                             
      9 employers using workers without a valid                                                                              
Ms.  Kelly   added  that  the  bill   would  address  repeat                                                                    
offenders who  realize the department gave  cease and desist                                                                    
orders but did not  typically follow through on misdemeanors                                                                    
because  the  court  system  district  attorneys  had  other                                                                    
priorities. Once an offender saw  the piece of paper did not                                                                    
have much  force, some  of the  repeat offenders  refused to                                                                    
come into compliance.                                                                                                           
Representative  Ortiz  asked for  a  brief  overview of  how                                                                    
enforcement happened.  He wondered  how a person  got caught                                                                    
and cited for working without a certificate.                                                                                    
Ms. Kelly  replied that DLWD  had multiple employees  in the                                                                    
field   including    a   full-time    contractor   licensing                                                                    
investigator,  several  plumbing   inspectors,  and  several                                                                    
electrical  inspectors. The  employees were  on construction                                                                    
sites constantly as  part of their job.  The department also                                                                    
had  wage and  hour investigators  who were  able to  detect                                                                    
people  doing unlicensed  work.  The employees  knew how  to                                                                    
identify the work and what was  subject to the code and they                                                                    
performed enforcement.                                                                                                          
Representative  Ortiz  asked how  the  bill  gave DLWD  more                                                                    
ability to enforce the certificate requirement.                                                                                 
Ms. Kelly  answered that the  bill enabled DLWD  the ability                                                                    
to issue an administrative fine  and violation for first and                                                                    
subsequent offenses.  Currently, the department  could issue                                                                    
a cease and  desist on a piece of paper.  She explained that                                                                    
if a  person continued to  violate the law,  the misdemeanor                                                                    
penalty was  "pretty toothless" because DLWD  had to request                                                                    
a district attorney to prosecute.                                                                                               
2:38:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked  if there  was one  certificate                                                                    
for  a plumber  and one  for an  electrician. Alternatively,                                                                    
she  asked  if there  were  multiple  certificates for  some                                                                    
Representative  Tuck replied  there  was  a certificate  for                                                                    
electricians, linemen,  and plumbing  code. For  example, an                                                                    
electrician  could  be  an  "inside  wireman"  with  a  full                                                                    
commercial    license    that   required    an    8,000-hour                                                                    
apprenticeship   program.   There  were   also   residential                                                                    
electricians  that were  required  to  complete a  4000-hour                                                                    
program.  An  apprentice could  also  get  a certificate  of                                                                    
fitness in  one of  the two categories.  Additionally, there                                                                    
was a certificate  of fitness for power  linemen and another                                                                    
for plumbers.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson asked  if the  state had  always been                                                                    
able  to  impose  a misdemeanor  penalty  on  employees  and                                                                    
Representative Tuck  responded in the affirmative  and cited                                                                    
AS  18.62.080.  The definition  in  statute  referred to  "a                                                                    
person"  who could  be an  employer and  employee or  anyone                                                                    
performing  work  under  the  jurisdictions.  He  read  from                                                                    
     A person, either an employer  or employee, who violates                                                                    
     a provision of this chapter  or of a regulation adopted                                                                    
     under  this chapter  is guilty  of  a misdemeanor  and,                                                                    
     upon conviction,  is punishable by  a fine of  not more                                                                    
     than $500.                                                                                                                 
Representative Wilson thought it  appeared that Section 3 of                                                                    
the bill opened it up more  than in the past. She pointed to                                                                    
page 2,  lines 14 through  17, pertaining to  penalties. She                                                                    
observed that the bill would  remove employer [from line 14]                                                                    
and would add the words "other  than" to read as follows: "A                                                                    
person, other than an employee,  who violates a provision of                                                                    
this  chapter..."  She  asked   about  the  reason  for  the                                                                    
language change. She wondered who else would be included.                                                                       
Representative Tuck answered that  within the provision, the                                                                    
bill would  separate the difference between  an employer and                                                                    
someone other than an employer  because the bill would split                                                                    
up the fines. He did  not believe an employee should receive                                                                    
the  same fine  as an  employer. He  explained that  a first                                                                    
offense for an employer was  $250 and each following offense                                                                    
was  $500. Whereas,  the first  offense for  an employee  is                                                                    
$125  and each  following  offense was  $250. He  elaborated                                                                    
that the  section recognized  that a  person, other  than an                                                                    
employee,  who  violated  the  provision  was  guilty  of  a                                                                    
violation  rather  than a  misdemeanor.  He  cited that  the                                                                    
person would be  punished as prescribed under AS  12.55 by a                                                                    
fine of not more than $500.                                                                                                     
2:41:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson provided a  scenario where an employee                                                                    
with  a certificate  of fitness  was asked  to do  a job  by                                                                    
their  employer that  the employee  believed was  covered by                                                                    
their  certificate. She  used an  example of  installing and                                                                    
covering  up conduit.  She wondered  if there  was a  chance                                                                    
DLWD may  claim the employee  was doing work not  covered by                                                                    
the certificate and could subsequently fine the employee.                                                                       
Representative Tuck replied that as  long as an employee had                                                                    
a certificate  of fitness  they could  do all  provisions of                                                                    
the  electrical code,  which included  back fillings  (as in                                                                    
Representative Wilson's example).                                                                                               
Representative  Wilson asked  for  verification there  would                                                                    
never be a  situation where an employee would  have to check                                                                    
their certificate of fitness to  ensure the employer was not                                                                    
asking them to  do something that could be  a violation. She                                                                    
had  no problem  with  the [bill's  provision pertaining  to                                                                    
the] employer. She  believed an employer should  know all of                                                                    
the  rules  associated  with  a  job.  She  considered  that                                                                    
perhaps  there were  nuances where  one union  could do  one                                                                    
thing, and  another could do  something else. She  wanted to                                                                    
avoid someone  being fired because they  were uncertain they                                                                    
could do the work legally or  being fined for doing was what                                                                    
their boss asked.                                                                                                               
Representative Tuck clarified that  a certificate of fitness                                                                    
was  not a  document that  gave an  employer the  ability or                                                                    
jurisdiction to do the work.  A certificate of fitness was a                                                                    
license for  and owned by the  individual. Typically, people                                                                    
licensed in a  field knew what they could and  could not do.                                                                    
An employer was required  to have an administrator's license                                                                    
to do the work. He  explained that contractors could not all                                                                    
perform  electrical work.  He elaborated  that a  contractor                                                                    
was required  to have an  administrator's license.  Before a                                                                    
contractor could  obtain the license, they  were required to                                                                    
have a  certificate of  fitness for  a designated  amount of                                                                    
time. They  were also required  to get three people  with an                                                                    
administrator's license to  sponsor them to be  able to take                                                                    
the test to become a contractor.                                                                                                
Representative  Tuck confirmed  that  under  current law  an                                                                    
employee and employer  would get in trouble  if a contractor                                                                    
who was or  was not an administrator  instructed an employee                                                                    
without  a  certificate  of  fitness  to  perform  work.  He                                                                    
detailed   both  individuals   could  be   charged  with   a                                                                    
misdemeanor  under current  law.  He  believed the  employee                                                                    
should  not be  punished  as severely  as  the employer.  He                                                                    
explained it  was no different  than an employer  telling an                                                                    
employee without  a commercial  driver's license to  drive a                                                                    
tractor  and trailer  across town  to deliver  materials. He                                                                    
reiterated  his  understanding  of  Representative  Wilson's                                                                    
2:45:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson explained that  her question was about                                                                    
someone  with a  certificate of  fitness who  performed work                                                                    
they believed  to be  covered by  their certificate,  but it                                                                    
was not.  She referenced  Representative Tuck's  example and                                                                    
noted  there  was  a project  administrator,  employee,  and                                                                    
perhaps  the  administrator's   boss  overseeing  the  whole                                                                    
project. She  asked if  all three  individuals would  get in                                                                    
trouble if one person was doing the wrong thing.                                                                                
Representative Tuck  replied that only the  employer and the                                                                    
person who performed the work [would get in trouble].                                                                           
Representative  Wilson asked  if  the  administrator had  no                                                                    
Representative Tuck answered that  the administrator had the                                                                    
authority to do the work;  therefore, they would not receive                                                                    
a violation.                                                                                                                    
Ms. Kelly elucidated that  an electrical administrator could                                                                    
be the employer,  employee, or could hire  the employer. She                                                                    
clarified  that being  an  administrator  required an  extra                                                                    
license. She  explained that the administrator's  job was to                                                                    
ensure the  electrical work or plumbing  work had integrity.                                                                    
The administrator  was not  necessarily telling  people what                                                                    
to do  or directing the  work. She elaborated they  could be                                                                    
conducting  site inspections  or reviewing  plans to  ensure                                                                    
the   work   was   sound.  Administrators   were   generally                                                                    
journeymen certificate  holders who took an  additional step                                                                    
to pass  additional qualifications, which  were administered                                                                    
by  the  Department  of  Commerce,  Community  and  Economic                                                                    
Development (DCCED). She  added that DLWD would  not look at                                                                    
the  administrator when  conducting  certificate of  fitness                                                                    
2:47:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Grenn  asked for  detail on what  happened to                                                                    
an employee when a violation was discovered.                                                                                    
Representative  Tuck agreed  and noted  the process  was the                                                                    
same for  hairdressers and other individuals  when they were                                                                    
found to be working outside their license.                                                                                      
Ms. Kelly deferred to a colleague.                                                                                              
WILL HARLAN,  SECTION CHIEF, MECHANICAL  INSPECTION SECTION,                                                                    
DIVISION OF LABOR STANDARDS AND  SAFETY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR                                                                    
AND  WORKFORCE   DEVELOPMENT  (via   teleconference),  asked                                                                    
Representative Grenn to restate the question.                                                                                   
Representative  Grenn asked  what  happened  to an  employee                                                                    
when  a  violation was  discovered.  He  wondered about  the                                                                    
citation procedure and the civil penalty.                                                                                       
Mr.  Harlan  replied that  it  was  similar to  the  current                                                                    
contractor  licensing  enforcement  programs.  He  explained                                                                    
there  were  a  couple   of  things  that  happen  including                                                                    
administrative fines,  which had already been  discussed. He                                                                    
detailed that when  an inspector visited a job  site and saw                                                                    
someone  performing code  work  requiring  a certificate  of                                                                    
fitness,  they  would  ask  to   see  the  license.  If  the                                                                    
individual did not have a  license, under HB 255, DLWD would                                                                    
have the ability to write  an administrative fine of $125 to                                                                    
the   person   performing   the  work.   Additionally,   the                                                                    
department would  seek out  and fine  the employer.  Both of                                                                    
the fines  would go  through the same  due process  that any                                                                    
other  administrative  fine  went through.  The  individuals                                                                    
would have the chance to  appeal the fine, a hearing officer                                                                    
could  be appointed,  and the  individuals  could choose  to                                                                    
appeal the decision.  The individuals could pay  the fine or                                                                    
appeal. He  noted there  were some  other legal  things that                                                                    
would take place.                                                                                                               
Mr.  Harlan  explained  that  the  violation  was  the  same                                                                    
process as a traffic ticket.  He provided an example where a                                                                    
person performing the  work was known to  the department and                                                                    
had ignored  previous administrative  fines. At  that point,                                                                    
the inspector could  write an Alaska uniform  citation to be                                                                    
filed with  the court system  in traffic court;  the company                                                                    
would  also receive  a citation.  The individual  would then                                                                    
proceed through traffic  court and would have  the same kind                                                                    
of  hearing  that  took  place for  a  speeding  ticket.  If                                                                    
convicted, the judge  would set the fine up to  a maximum of                                                                    
Representative Grenn  referenced Mr.  Harlan's example  of a                                                                    
person committing  the offense  multiple times. He  asked if                                                                    
the offenses went on their record.                                                                                              
Mr. Harlan  replied that a violation  appeared on CourtView.                                                                    
He  elaborated that  a  citation issued  to  an employee  or                                                                    
employer also  appeared on CourtView like  any other traffic                                                                    
citation.  The administrative  fine  did not  appear on  any                                                                    
permanent  record. He  detailed  that the  document was  not                                                                    
published  on  a   website,  but  it  was   public  and  was                                                                    
retrievable under the public records request system.                                                                            
2:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Kelly corrected that under  HB 255 an employee would not                                                                    
be  subject  to a  citation  and  violation; therefore,  the                                                                    
offense  would not  go on  a record  in CourtView  under any                                                                    
circumstances (if they were an employee).                                                                                       
Representative Tuck  explained the reason for  the provision                                                                    
identifying "a person, other than  an employee." He detailed                                                                    
there  were   individuals  performing  work  who   were  not                                                                    
necessarily  employed  by  someone else.  Those  individuals                                                                    
would  receive a  violation, which  would enable  someone to                                                                    
look  up whether  the person  was  reputable. Someone  would                                                                    
have the  ability to determine  whether the employer  or any                                                                    
individual performing work on their  own was adhering to the                                                                    
law. The bill  changed the provision, so  the employee would                                                                    
not have the record.                                                                                                            
Representative Grenn  spoke to  how the process  was handled                                                                    
for an employee. He referenced  a letter in members' packets                                                                    
from  the  International  Union of  Operating  Engineers  in                                                                    
opposition  to the  bill (copy  on file).  Pertaining to  an                                                                    
employee,  the  letter suggested  a  stern  warning for  the                                                                    
first  violation   and  a  $50   citation  for   the  second                                                                    
violation. He asked for comment from the bill sponsor.                                                                          
Representative Tuck  replied the bill would  reduce the fine                                                                    
[for an  employee] from $500  and a misdemeanor to  $125 and                                                                    
no  record.  The  bill  also  encapsulated  people  with  an                                                                    
expired certificate of fitness who were continuing to work.                                                                     
Representative  Grenn surmised  that  given  the bill  would                                                                    
drop  the fine  from $500  to  $125, the  suggestion in  the                                                                    
letter would  be a  further drop and  would perhaps  fail to                                                                    
act as a deterrent.                                                                                                             
Representative Tuck  answered that  if the  committee wanted                                                                    
to eliminate  any violations it would  be up to the  will of                                                                    
the  committee, but  it was  not  his desire.  He wanted  to                                                                    
allow DLWD to enforce and  issue quick fines due to numerous                                                                    
repeat offenders. He  referenced other professional licenses                                                                    
issued by the state. He detailed  that the penalty was a was                                                                    
a Class  B misdemeanor  and a  fine of up  to $2,000  for an                                                                    
individual  practicing hairdressing,  aesthetics, tattooing,                                                                    
or body  piercing. He  referred to the  provision in  HB 255                                                                    
and did  not know how  much looser it could  get. Electrical                                                                    
work was  in Article 18  of the state's code,  pertaining to                                                                    
health, safety, and housing. Chapter  60 pertained to safety                                                                    
and  its  Articles  6 through  8  dealt  with  electricians,                                                                    
linemen, and  plumbing codes.  The bill  did not  pertain to                                                                    
those  sections of  law;  it only  pertained  to Chapter  62                                                                    
related to the need for  a certificate of fitness to perform                                                                    
2:56:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  reviewed his understanding of  the bill. He                                                                    
discussed that  the bill  addressed contractors  working for                                                                    
themselves without  a certificate  of fitness  and employees                                                                    
who  were  told by  an  employer  to  do work  beyond  their                                                                    
license skills.  He asked for verification  that contractors                                                                    
working for  themselves would receive a  fine and violation,                                                                    
which would be visible on CourtView.                                                                                            
Representative Tuck answered in the affirmative.                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  remarked that the bill  would eliminate the                                                                    
misdemeanor penalty  for both types of  workers [highlighted                                                                    
in  his  previous  question] without  proper  licensing.  He                                                                    
asked for  verification that the initial  and any subsequent                                                                    
fines for an independent contractor was a maximum of $500.                                                                      
Representative  Tuck agreed  but  corrected  that the  first                                                                    
offense was a fine of $250.                                                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Gara  asked  for  verification  that  the  first                                                                    
offense  for  an independent  contractor  was  $250 and  any                                                                    
subsequent offenses were $500.                                                                                                  
Representative Tuck replied in the affirmative.                                                                                 
Vice-Chair  Gara  asked  for  verification  that  the  first                                                                    
offense  for  an  employee  was  a  fine  of  $125  and  any                                                                    
subsequent offenses were $250.                                                                                                  
Representative Tuck responded in the affirmative.                                                                               
Vice-Chair  Gara spoke  to his  one concern.  He agreed  the                                                                    
offense should not  be a misdemeanor. He  was concerned that                                                                    
a $500 fine  would not be a sufficient incentive  to deter a                                                                    
contractor from operating without a  license. He asked if he                                                                    
was assuming something wrong.                                                                                                   
Representative  Tuck answered  that the  bill addressed  the                                                                    
issue. He deferred the question to Ms. Kelly for detail.                                                                        
Ms.  Kelly  pointed  out   that  an  independent  contractor                                                                    
operating  without   the  proper  certifications   would  be                                                                    
subject to  a violation and contractor  licensing fines. She                                                                    
noted that Mr. Harlan  could answer detailed questions about                                                                    
contractor  licensing. She  added  that  the penalties  were                                                                    
quite a bit higher.                                                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Gara stated  that  his primary  concern was  not                                                                    
about  punishing an  employee for  doing work  outside their                                                                    
purview  when  they  were  instructed  to  do  so  by  their                                                                    
employer. His real concern was the  extent of the fine for a                                                                    
person  who advertised  themselves  as  an electrician  when                                                                    
they did not  have the training and  repeatedly violated the                                                                    
Mr. Harlan  addressed the example  of a  person representing                                                                    
themselves as  an electrician and working  in people's homes                                                                    
without a license.  He stated aside from  the certificate of                                                                    
fitness,  there   would  be   a  violation   for  contractor                                                                    
licensing, which began at a  $1,000 administrative fine. The                                                                    
fine  for the  second  offense was  $1,500.  The fines  also                                                                    
triggered the withholding of the  issuance of a contractor's                                                                    
license  until  they  were paid.  Additionally,  there  were                                                                    
citations, which capped  out at $500 per  citation ($500 was                                                                    
the statutory  limit on  minor offense  citations). However,                                                                    
the  fines  began  at  $25,000   when  the  offender  was  a                                                                    
corporation  or  incorporated  business  potentially  for  a                                                                    
contractor business.  He noted  the fine would  be set  by a                                                                    
judge at the time of sentencing.                                                                                                
3:02:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  stated  that  if  a  person  was                                                                    
working on a commercial contract,  they were in violation if                                                                    
they  were   working  without  an   electrical  contractor's                                                                    
license.  He continued  that in  order  to do  the work,  an                                                                    
administrator's  license  was  needed. He  wondered  why  an                                                                    
administrator  would hire  people without  a certificate  of                                                                    
fitness to work as electricians.                                                                                                
Representative  Tuck  responded   that  under  the  scenario                                                                    
provided  by Representative  Guttenberg  a contractor  would                                                                    
probably  not hire  employees  without  a license.  However,                                                                    
sometimes  there may  be  a material  handler  or yard  hand                                                                    
fabricating  and doing  things  that were  against the  law.                                                                    
Under the scenario,  the employer would be  in violation. He                                                                    
spoke  to  the  need   for  employers  to  ensure  employees                                                                    
continued with  their education. Employees were  required to                                                                    
complete 16 hours of continued  education every two years to                                                                    
maintain their license. He detailed  that if someone did not                                                                    
maintain their continued education  it could be a violation.                                                                    
He stated  a person could  have initially been hired  with a                                                                    
license and may no longer have a license.                                                                                       
Representative Guttenberg spoke  about doing electrical work                                                                    
(including  working   with  hot   wires  and   ensuring  the                                                                    
connections  were  correct  in  order to  avoid  a  fire  or                                                                    
damage),  which required  an administrator  to sign  off on.                                                                    
Provided  a hypothetical  scenario  where  an argument  took                                                                    
place over  whose jurisdiction specific work  fell under. He                                                                    
asked  who set  the parameters  to determine  whose work  it                                                                    
Representative Tuck  replied that  the bill did  not address                                                                    
the subject. He  elaborated that the issue  was addressed in                                                                    
different  sections of  statute and  was defined  in Article                                                                    
18, Sections 6 through 8. The bill only pertained to fines.                                                                     
3:06:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Kelly  replied that jurisdiction was  determined through                                                                    
plumbing  and electrical  statutes  that  adopt the  state's                                                                    
minimum  plumbing and  electrical code.  She explained  that                                                                    
the codes had been adopted  for a public safety mission. The                                                                    
department  began  with the  code  and  considered what  was                                                                    
important to  the safety and integrity  of the installations                                                                    
made  under  the  code.  There  were  some  exceptions.  The                                                                    
department  did   not  draw  a  hard   line  on  classifying                                                                    
something as  certificate of  fitness work  if it  was under                                                                    
the  code.  There  may  be   exceptions  made  if  something                                                                    
presented a  minimal public safety  risk or minimal  risk to                                                                    
the  integrity  of  the installation.  Ultimately,  in  gray                                                                    
areas, the department decided where something lay.                                                                              
Representative Guttenberg disagreed and  stated that was not                                                                    
where it was decided. He stated  there was a large gray area                                                                    
in the work field. He believed  that part of the problem was                                                                    
put  on the  material handler  who  may work  for a  general                                                                    
contractor. He elaborated on the scenario.                                                                                      
Ms. Kelly understood there  were many jurisdictional battles                                                                    
that took  place. She clarified  that the  scenario provided                                                                    
by  Representative Guttenberg  related  to  the handling  of                                                                    
materials,  was   not  certificate  of  fitness   work.  The                                                                    
department  tried its  best to  stay  out of  jurisdictional                                                                    
battles, but  because of  the nature  of the  certificate of                                                                    
fitness  being a  certification for  certain types  of work,                                                                    
DLWD ended up in the  middle sometimes. The department tried                                                                    
to look  at what installation  work was subject to  the code                                                                    
and  comported  with  the  public   safety  mission  of  the                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg continued  with the  scenario and                                                                    
discussed associated fines.  He had a problem  with the gray                                                                    
area  related  to  the  jurisdiction   of  the  handling  of                                                                    
Representative Tuck  replied that the issue  did not pertain                                                                    
to the bill or statute.  He underscored that the statutes in                                                                    
the bill  dealt with installations, not  moving material. He                                                                    
stated there may  be a dispute between  contractors on whose                                                                    
work  something  was, but  that  pertained  to whatever  was                                                                    
written in someone's contract.  Nothing in statute specified                                                                    
that a worker  could not move material around.  There was no                                                                    
way  for anyone  to be  fined  in the  scenario provided  by                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  because  the code  and  statutes                                                                    
dealt  with installations.  However,  someone  would get  in                                                                    
trouble  if the  scenario involved  mounting something  on a                                                                    
3:11:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg  shared that he was  trying to get                                                                    
the  Department  of  Transportation  and  Public  Facilities                                                                    
(DOT) to  put conduit  in every  time it  opened a  road. He                                                                    
stated  that   at  some  point   someone  may   string  some                                                                    
fiberoptic cable. He wondered why  they should open the road                                                                    
twice. He  provided a hypothetical  scenario where  a person                                                                    
could  not  do  something  because   they  did  not  have  a                                                                    
certificate of  fitness. He wondered about  the relevance of                                                                    
his example in terms of the bill.                                                                                               
Representative   Tuck   answered    that   most   electrical                                                                    
installations  were dealing  with vertical  construction for                                                                    
high   voltage   power   alignment,   including   hospitals,                                                                    
residential housing, and commercial  buildings. He noted the                                                                    
importance of  maintaining the integrity of  the systems. He                                                                    
reasoned there may be a  unique situation where there may be                                                                    
a  dispute between  two contractors  on whose  work it  was.                                                                    
However, the  bill did not  address the issue. He  was happy                                                                    
to work  with Representative  Guttenberg on the  topic later                                                                    
on. The bill would change a  penalty from a misdemeanor to a                                                                    
citation [for working without a certificate of fitness].                                                                        
3:12:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  wanted  to  make sure  the  bill  did  not                                                                    
contain anything that would change  the ability of a private                                                                    
property owner to do their own work.                                                                                            
Representative Tuck  replied that  the bill did  not address                                                                    
any jurisdiction at all or  current statutes allowing people                                                                    
to perform  or not  perform work. The  bill only  dealt with                                                                    
Representative Tilton  referenced the analysis on  page 2 of                                                                    
the fiscal note that specified FY  13 to FY 17 data had been                                                                    
used. She was trying to gage  the size of the challenge. She                                                                    
asked  how  many inspections  the  department  did and  what                                                                    
triggered the inspection.                                                                                                       
Ms.  Kelly responded  that the  checks by  DLWD were  in the                                                                    
thousands  per   year  and  were   done  primarily   by  the                                                                    
contractor  licensing   investigator,  the   three  plumbing                                                                    
inspectors,  and   the  three  electrical   inspectors.  She                                                                    
deferred  to  Mr.  Harlan  for   information  on  how  staff                                                                    
determined where to do an inspection.                                                                                           
Mr. Harlan answered  that in FY 17 his  office conducted 797                                                                    
electrical  inspections,   734  plumbing   inspections,  and                                                                    
performed  well  over  1,000  individual  construction  site                                                                    
visits  statewide.  The  department  identified  individuals                                                                    
working   without  a   certificate   or   with  an   expired                                                                    
certificate  through its  inspections and  site visits.  The                                                                    
department  also  responded  to  complaints  statewide  from                                                                    
owners who had encountered unlicensed individuals.                                                                              
3:15:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Tilton   surmised    that   responding   to                                                                    
complaints triggered  inspections. She  asked if  Mr. Harlan                                                                    
had stated  that the  department also  looked at  an expired                                                                    
list of licenses.                                                                                                               
Mr. Harlan  replied that the  department did not  know where                                                                    
individuals were working  at any given time -  there was not                                                                    
a state  plumbing and electrical  permit system  actively in                                                                    
place. Some  inspections were  found through  random chance.                                                                    
Additionally,  the  department   reviewed  building  permits                                                                    
published   by   local   jurisdictions   to   discover   new                                                                    
installation work.  A great deal  of time was  spent driving                                                                    
around  looking for  construction. The  department was  also                                                                    
directed to  construction sites by complaints.  He explained                                                                    
that  because the  department did  not  know where  specific                                                                    
contractors were working at any  given time, the process did                                                                    
not involve identifying someone  beforehand and going to get                                                                    
them. He stated  that when the department  found an offender                                                                    
it was a matter of stumbling across them.                                                                                       
3:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative    Pruitt    returned    to    Representative                                                                    
Guttenberg's  earlier  questions.  He  asked  if  the  tasks                                                                    
assigned to an  electrician, an operator, or  other, were in                                                                    
black and white.                                                                                                                
Representative  Tuck  answered  that   it  depended  on  the                                                                    
project.  Title 36  related to  work  being performed  under                                                                    
state contracts was  pretty black and white.  He stated that                                                                    
it  was  usually  spelled  out  for  a  private  contractor.                                                                    
Additionally,  subcontractors who  bid work  usually spelled                                                                    
out  exclusions or  inclusions on  their scope  of work.  He                                                                    
explained what a contractor was  responsible for was usually                                                                    
defined  in a  contract. Often  times  a when  a person  was                                                                    
doing electrical or plumbing work  it was spelled off to the                                                                    
side  because   a  general  contractor   did  not   have  an                                                                    
administrator's license to be able to do the work.                                                                              
Representative  Pruitt  surmised   the  contractor  had  the                                                                    
ability to determine  certain things that may  fall within a                                                                    
gray area.                                                                                                                      
Representative Tuck  thought Representative Pruitt  had been                                                                    
referring   to  a   scenario   provided  by   Representative                                                                    
Guttenberg.   Material   handling    was   not   under   the                                                                    
jurisdiction of  DLWD -  there was  nothing in  statute. The                                                                    
issue was between the general  contractor and the contractor                                                                    
because a license was not required.                                                                                             
Representative   Pruitt  replied   that  his   question  was                                                                    
primarily   related   to    the   tone   of   Representative                                                                    
Guttenberg's scenario  and not specific examples.  He stated                                                                    
that  the  bill had  obviously  arisen  from something.  The                                                                    
committee had  heard earlier that the  department would play                                                                    
a role  in determining  jurisdiction. He  did not  see there                                                                    
was any way  the department did not play a  role if the goal                                                                    
was to  go in and  fine people and  enforce the law.  He did                                                                    
not know how  the department would not get in  the middle of                                                                    
determining  jurisdiction.  If  some   of  the  things  were                                                                    
potentially determined  by the  contract or  the contractor,                                                                    
he  wondered  if  the state  was  interjecting  itself  into                                                                    
something  that  may  become  complex  and  problematic.  He                                                                    
considered  that   bureaucrats  could  be   determining  the                                                                    
particular things as opposed to  the experts or those out in                                                                    
the field doing the work.                                                                                                       
Representative Tuck answered that  all of the work performed                                                                    
in the  electrical industry  by commercial  electricians was                                                                    
under  the  jurisdiction  of the  National  Fire  Protection                                                                    
Association (NFPA),  Section 70.  There were 19  panels that                                                                    
reviewed  the code,  which was  updated  every three  years.                                                                    
Alaska was currently under the  2014 code; the 2017 code had                                                                    
not  yet   been  adopted.  The   2017  code  would   be  the                                                                    
jurisdiction  once  adopted.  He  relayed it  was  based  on                                                                    
national standards.                                                                                                             
3:20:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Kelly  responded  that DLWD  had  been  conducting  the                                                                    
enforcement  for  over  30  years.   She  relayed  that  the                                                                    
enforcement tools  were not what  the department  would like                                                                    
them  to be,  but  they  had been  determining  how to  best                                                                    
enforce the codes and where  to draw the lines for requiring                                                                    
a certificate of fitness for  many years. The department did                                                                    
not want to  get involved in jurisdictional  battles, but it                                                                    
sometimes ended up  there by the nature  of the occupational                                                                    
licenses.  She stated  that just  like contractor  licensing                                                                    
enforcement  or wage  and hour  law enforcement,  DLWD could                                                                    
just  happen  to  get  into  the  blurry  lines  that  could                                                                    
sometimes happen  between an  independent contractor  and an                                                                    
employee. The  department did its  best to draw  lines well,                                                                    
follow the  statutes, and follow its  public safety mission.                                                                    
The  department  had not  interest  in  getting involved  in                                                                    
jurisdictional contractor or other labor disputes.                                                                              
Representative   Pruitt   stated   that  changing   from   a                                                                    
misdemeanor approach  to citations  would mean all  it would                                                                    
take  was the  department's time  to write  down a  citation                                                                    
compared   to  going   through   a  process   of  filing   a                                                                    
misdemeanor.  He thought  changing  the  process meant  DLWD                                                                    
would  be  more  active  and   engaged  in  determining  and                                                                    
separating what was  what. He believed it  meant there would                                                                    
be  more people  concerned  with the  decision  made by  the                                                                    
Ms.  Kelly answered  that she  would love  for people  to be                                                                    
more  concerned with  the decisions  made by  the department                                                                    
and  for it  to be  more  of a  process in  the future.  She                                                                    
explained that  when DLWD went into  jurisdictional battles,                                                                    
individuals  involved followed  the  department's cease  and                                                                    
desist orders.  She understood the concern,  but stressed it                                                                    
was not  an area  the department  saw repeat  offenders. The                                                                    
repeat   violators  were   generally  people   operating  as                                                                    
plumbers  or electricians  with the  knowledge they  did not                                                                    
have  the  training  or  licensure.   She  added  the  issue                                                                    
typically  occurred  in  residential  and  small  commercial                                                                    
3:23:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Tuck cited  ophthalmologists and optometrists                                                                    
as an  example of another  field where there was  probably a                                                                    
blending of some work  performances. He believed enforcement                                                                    
probably went back to code  licensing requirements. The bill                                                                    
did not interfere with requirements  to obtain a certificate                                                                    
of fitness  under existing statute. The  bill only pertained                                                                    
to a citation. He  understood that Representative Pruitt was                                                                    
concerned with the process. He  believed the committee would                                                                    
have  to  determine  whether  it  wanted  an  administrative                                                                    
process or  a court process. He  referenced public testimony                                                                    
from  the  House  Labor and  Commerce  Committee  where  the                                                                    
committee  had heard  from a  contractor who  had come  from                                                                    
Texas  to  retrofit numerous  Walmart  stores  and had  used                                                                    
electricians   who  were   not  licensed   in  Alaska.   The                                                                    
individuals  had performed  all of  the work  and there  was                                                                    
nothing  the  state could  do.  The  bill aimed  to  provide                                                                    
opportunities  to  get  after illegitimate  businesses  that                                                                    
were repeat offenders.                                                                                                          
Representative  Pruitt   pointed  to   a  letter   from  the                                                                    
Association  of General  Contractors of  Alaska in  members'                                                                    
packets  (copy on  file). The  letter  highlighted that  the                                                                    
department  had made  some determination  of what  equipment                                                                    
operators   were   able   to   do   compared   to   licensed                                                                    
electricians.  It seemed  to him  it may  be the  department                                                                    
making  a determination  beyond  what the  code  may be  and                                                                    
injecting   itself  in   a  jurisdictional   discussion.  He                                                                    
reasoned  that if  the  department was  more  active in  the                                                                    
engagement,   it   could   potentially  be   determining   a                                                                    
jurisdictional  decision five  times per  day as  opposed to                                                                    
one time  per day. He  thought it would mean  the department                                                                    
would  have to  start  considering  certain regulations  and                                                                    
write new things that could start  to blur the lines and pit                                                                    
certain people against each  other. Whereas, previously, the                                                                    
gray area had been determined by the contractor.                                                                                
Ms.  Kelly   replied  that  contractors  and   workers  were                                                                    
passionate  about their  jurisdiction.  However, DLWD  would                                                                    
not  increase  the  number  of   checks  of  the  number  of                                                                    
sanctions placed.  The nature  would change,  referenced the                                                                    
letter highlighted  by Representative Pruitt  and reiterated                                                                    
that those individuals followed  cease and desist orders and                                                                    
did  not  repeat  violations.  The  department  was  already                                                                    
having to  take those things  into consideration on  a daily                                                                    
basis. The  bill would  not change  jurisdiction or  how the                                                                    
department addressed jurisdiction.                                                                                              
Representative Pruitt asked for the purpose of the bill.                                                                        
Ms.   Kelly  responded   that  the   problem  was   not  the                                                                    
contractors  and  the  other contractors  deciding  who  was                                                                    
doing  the  work.  The  problem   was  the  "fly  by  night"                                                                    
individuals who  were operating illegitimate  businesses who                                                                    
were   presenting  themselves   as  licensed   plumbers  and                                                                    
electricians and  refusing to come into  compliance with the                                                                    
Representative Pruitt  thought the state would  want to send                                                                    
the  individuals to  the court  system.  Ms. Kelly  answered                                                                    
that  it  would be  great,  but  in  the past  the  district                                                                    
attorney  did   not  have  the  resources   to  dedicate  to                                                                    
something as small as a minor misdemeanor.                                                                                      
Representative Pruitt  referenced a man in  a criminal case,                                                                    
(who  was  unrelated  to  the current  issue)  who  owed  $3                                                                    
million in fines to the court  system. If the concern was an                                                                    
unlicensed individual, he wondered  what would stop a person                                                                    
from racking  up thousands of  dollars in fines if  they did                                                                    
not have to go to court.                                                                                                        
Ms. Kelly replied  that if a misdemeanor  was not effective,                                                                    
she was not sure that a  violation would be any more or less                                                                    
effective. The department believed  the violation would be a                                                                    
tool to fit the vast majority of cases.                                                                                         
3:28:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  read from page  2, lines 20 to  21 of                                                                    
the bill related to issues  of citations: "If the department                                                                    
has probable cause  to believe that a person  has violated a                                                                    
provision of  this chapter or  a regulation  adopted..." She                                                                    
remarked  that the  bill  involved  setting regulation.  She                                                                    
wondered why the language read  "probable cause to believe."                                                                    
She  thought   that  based  on  the   scenario  provided  by                                                                    
Representative Tuck  that when  the department asked  to see                                                                    
someone's license, the individual either  had it or did not.                                                                    
She thought  the language  on page 2  was much  broader. She                                                                    
thought the  language meant the  department did not  have to                                                                    
ask for the person's license and could write a citation.                                                                        
Representative Tuck  answered that a person  was supposed to                                                                    
carry their license,  but they may have left it  at home. He                                                                    
stated that  if a person  was not carrying their  license it                                                                    
was probable cause that they did not have a license.                                                                            
Representative  Wilson asked  who a  certificate of  fitness                                                                    
was recorded with when an individual obtained the license.                                                                      
Representative  Tuck answered  that DLWD  kept track  of who                                                                    
did or did not have a certificate of fitness.                                                                                   
Representative Wilson  asked whether  the DLWD staff  in the                                                                    
field  checking the  license could  call  DLWD to  determine                                                                    
whether a  person had  a license instead  of writing  them a                                                                    
Representative  Tuck answered  that he  imagined the  answer                                                                    
was yes if the department  had the resources available to do                                                                    
Representative Wilson hoped the  resources were there before                                                                    
a ticket  was issued. She  was concerned about what  kind of                                                                    
regulation the department expected to  go on top of statute.                                                                    
She stated  the statute was clear  that a person had  or did                                                                    
not have a certificate.                                                                                                         
Ms.  Kelly replied  that the  language had  been taken  from                                                                    
current  statute and  had been  moved  around to  add a  new                                                                    
section. The regulations  defined the scope of  each type of                                                                    
certificate  of fitness  (e.g.  trainee plumber,  journeyman                                                                    
plumber,  and  plumber  utility).  The  department  was  not                                                                    
intending to pass new regulations.  The language ensured the                                                                    
department  could hold  people accountable  for holding  the                                                                    
correct  certificate. She  explained  that if  a person  was                                                                    
doing electrical  work and held  a plumbing  certificate, it                                                                    
was in regulation, not statute.                                                                                                 
Representative  Wilson  thought  it   seemed  odd.  She  was                                                                    
concerned the bill did not appear  to do just one thing. She                                                                    
did not want [the state] to  get involved in a fight between                                                                    
trade unions.                                                                                                                   
HB  255  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster reviewed  the  schedule  for the  following                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 216 CS WORKDRAFT vL.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Support Letter from ANDVSA 3.6.2018.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB216 Support Document Resolution from the Anchorage Assembly AR 2017-255 3.6.2018.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 216
HB346 Explanation of Changes ver A to ver D 2.23.18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 346
HB346 Letters of Support 2.17.18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 346
HB346 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 346
HB346 Supporting Document - Dentist specialty numbers.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 346
HB 217 CS RES Alaska Food Freedom Sponsor Statement 2-16-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 217 CS RES Supporting Document - Food Hub.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 217 CS RES Supporting Document - Wagner 2.9.18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 217 CS Ver J Supporting Document Farm Bureau Support 2.8.18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 217 Version O RES Sectional Analysis 2.20.18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB217 CS RES Supporting Document - Tanana Valley Farmers Market 2.8.18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB217 CS RES Supporting Document-Alaska Chamber.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 217 DEC letter with enclosures 03.09.2018.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 217 Alaska Food Freedom 1-31-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 217
HB 285 CS v U 3-15-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 285
HB 286 HB 285 vR HCS2 All Funds-Multi Year Agency Summary 3-16-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 285
HB 286
HB 286 HB 285 vR HCS2 GF Only-Multi Year Agency Summary 3-16-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 285
HB 286
HB 286 HB 285 vR HCS2 UGF Only-Multi Year Agency Summary 3-16-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 285
HB 286
HB 286 HB 285 vR LEGAL language comparison document 30-GH2564_O and 30-GH2564_R.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 285
HB 286
HB 286 CS vR 3-16-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 286
HB 285 CS v U 3-15-18.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 285
HB 255 Letters of Opposition.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 APAoppositionCSHB 255.pdf HFIN 3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 255