Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/17/1995 03:15 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 233 - EXTENSION OF MISC BOARDS & COMMISSIONS                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that the next bill before them is HB 233,                
 sponsored by the House Labor and Commerce Committee.  He continued            
 the bill extends a number of boards and commissions which are                 
 either sunsetting or in their wind down year.  The affected boards            
 and commissions perform regulatory and licensure services.  He                
 stated they are all essential, necessary and in the best interest             
 of the state.  He referred to the proposed committee substitute               
 (CS), Lauterbach, Version M, dated 3-16-95, and said sections                 
 eight, nine and ten have been added.  Those are the Real Estate               
 Commission, the Special Education Service Agency, and the Board of            
 Storage Tank Assistance.  He said these were overlooked.  He                  
 indicated they did have a report by the Legislative Budget and                
 Audit Committee that recommends their extensions.                             
                                                                               
 Number 262                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA stated that he was interested in Section           
 12, and asked if this was the correctional industries sunset date.            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if he was referring to the original bill or the           
 proposed CS.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA responded he was referring to Section 12 of             
 the proposed CS.  He explained he had been asked by live stock                
 producers in his district if that date could be extended until                
 1999.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that they first would need to adopt the                  
 proposed CS.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to adopt the CS.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the CS for HB 233 was adopted.  In response to Representative                 
 Kubina's question, Chairman Kott stated that they had extended the            
 Correctional Industries Commission for an additional year based               
 upon comments made by the commissioner regarding the supplemental             
 budget.  He said there was some discussion that the whole program             
 is in jeopardy and may just be deleted.  He said that rather than             
 extending the date four years, and then finding out that they don't           
 have a program, they opted to go with one year.  Chairman Kott said           
 that if something happens between now and the time this bill passes           
 the Senate, it can be amended.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA commented that he wouldn't offer an amendment           
 at this time but would like to work with the Chairman.  In case               
 things change, they could amend the bill on the floor.                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated there is a meeting scheduled with the                    
 correctional industry in hopes that they can resolve some of the              
 financial problems.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG agreed with Representative Kubina in                  
 wanting to work something out before the bill got to the floor.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT offered two conceptual amendments.  The first, was on           
 page 2, line 1 of the CS, dealing with Board of Marine Pilots, to             
 conform with the transportation bill that extends them until 1999.            
 The amendment would extend the Board of Marine Pilots until 1999.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to delete line 1.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that it would be line 1, change "1996" to                
 "1999".  The change would reflect the same bill that is being                 
 sponsored by Representative Gary Davis.  The second change would              
 delete line 9 and 10 on page 2, that deals with Section 6.  He                
 stated that this particular area would now be within the Department           
 of Administration.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if they were addressing the amendments            
 separately or as one.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT preferred that they address them separately.                    
 He stated that amendment one had already been adopted, that being             
 the change of 1996 to 1999.  He stated this amendment would be                
 conceptual amendment two, deleting section six.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 2.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added that along with the two amendments, the title             
 would have to be amended and requested that a comma be placed after           
 "Real Estate Commission."                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 370                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked why some boards are extended to the               
 year 2004, and some are to 1999.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 372                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that in the Legislative budget and audit              
 reports, most of these boards have gone to a ten year provision.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the section numbers needed to be             
 conformed.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that they would change the section numbers            
 accordingly.  He explained the three changes as adding three areas:           
 deleting the Board of Nursing Home Administrators, making a                   
 grammatical change, and extending Marine Pilots to 1999.  He                  
 continued Amendment 2 had been adopted and that they still had                
 Amendment 3.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 3.                   
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the motion passed.  He stated that they now had the CSHB 233(L&C)             
 with accompanying fiscal notes before the committee.  He asked if             
 there was anyone wishing to testify.                                          
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING,              
 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, explained that               
 eight of these entities were within the Division of Occupational              
 Licensing.  She commented that the Department of Commerce, Division           
 of Occupational Licensing, would be administering the program of              
 Nursing Home Administrators.  She mentioned that the Big Game                 
 Commercial Services Board was also in it's wind down year and is              
 not mentioned in this bill.  It is included in HB 102, which does             
 extend that board.  She said that there is a positive fiscal note;            
 however, it does not indicate any increase over the current                   
 operating budget.  She explained with sunset legislation, they are            
 required to reflect the entire cost of administering these boards,            
 rather than reflecting that it is a zero fiscal note.  She also               
 stated that the Division of Legislative Audit has recommended                 
 continuing all of these boards for either eight or ten years,                 
 rather that the four year period.  They see this as being more                
 efficient.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 436                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked why it would cost $260,000  for                 
 personnel services for the State Medical Board.                               
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON stated that they have an executive secretary in                   
 statute, which is more or less an Executive Director along with two           
 other staffers assigned to them.  She stated that her division                
 operates off of a self sufficiency mandate, which means that the              
 fees charged to licensees must cover 100 percent of the cost of               
 licensing and disciplining that particular profession.  In order to           
 do this, each employee writes down how much time they spend on a              
 particular profession for every two week pay period, and accounts             
 for all phone calls, which must be attributed to one profession or            
 another.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 453                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that they tried to come up with a composite              
 list which covered all boards and commissions that needed to be               
 covered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 WALLY ROMAN, MANAGER, ALASKA CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES, DEPARTMENT OF           
 CORRECTIONS, stated that he was there to answer any questions.                
                                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT  commented he had seen information which suggested              
 that they may be at a point where they have to discontinue the                
 Correctional Industries Program.  He asked Mr. Roman if he had any            
 information.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN stated that he had no information.                                  
                                                                               
 JERRY SHRINER, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF           
 CORRECTIONS, stated that the budget issues are for the supplemental           
 budget, not FY 96.  The department is comfortable that they have              
 sufficient money in the supplemental budget, and they will be able            
 to continue to operate correctional industries, statewide, as long            
 as they receive the funding as it now stands.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 490                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if it was the department's desire to              
 leave the date at 1996, or raise it to 1999.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 500                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. SHRINER responded that the department considers correctional              
 industries an integral part of the efforts of reformation and                 
 population management.  From the Corrections stand point, it is               
 first a program of rehabilitation and vocational training.  In the            
 effort to do that, they interject themselves into the private                 
 community.  He said they work with Mt. McKinley Meats, they provide           
 a vital service to various farmers from Delta to the Mat-Su Valley.           
 He stated they have public/private efforts with a casket company              
 out of Spring Creek, and also with a laundry service here in                  
 Juneau.  He stated private businessmen need to be able to plan                
 longer than June 30, of one year to June 30, of another.  He said             
 they would like to not have the sunset date at all, or have it                
 considerably longer than the one year, not only for planning                  
 internally, but also because its difficult dealing with the private           
 sector when they aren't sure that the correctional industries can             
 follow through from one year to the next.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 523                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that Mt. McKinley Meats slaughters, cuts and              
 packages.  He said that the slaughtering is not competing with the            
 private sector.  However, the cutting and packaging processes are             
 by one third or one half.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 532                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN stated in FY92 and FY93 when there was concern among the            
 red meat industry that Mt. McKinley Meats might go out of business.           
 They have held several public hearings and, from the testimony, the           
 ranchers in the valley clearly stated that Mt. McKinley Meats                 
 should continue its operations.  The commission at the time                   
 appointed a private sector committee to look into the problem.                
 That committee recommended that the correctional industries enter             
 into the custom cut and wrap operation.  The commission voted to              
 enter into this.  He said their pricing is on the low end of the              
 scale.  On March 31, they will be meeting with the Correctional               
 Industries Commission and the private sector to determine what                
 process they should establish.  He explained the correctional                 
 industries is caught in the middle.  One side of the private sector           
 wishes them to lower their prices because they provide a service to           
 the public, and the other side of the private sector is in that               
 business and they don't want them to fall below the market price.             
 He stated that they need to clarify how they arrive at these prices           
 and it should be reviewed regularly by the commission.  This will             
 all be discussed at the March 31st, meeting along with a survey by            
 the Division of Agriculture and Correctional Industries of how                
 their prices fall in with the rest of the state.                              
                                                                               
 Number 562                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT made the observation that people will always want to            
 pay a lower price for services but that this isn't always feasible.           
                                                                               
 Number 575                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he was under the impression, after                 
 attending an agricultural symposium, that they had in fact raised             
 their prices, and are now five percent above the average.                     
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN responded that this was one of the strategies that they             
 had put forth.  They should be five percent above the private                 
 sector, giving the private sector the edge.  It was then determined           
 that perhaps this would be too high.  He said several scenarios               
 will be brought forth on March 31, and that the prices should be              
 higher than what they are now.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA concurred they shouldn't be undercutting                
 private businesses.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 601                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added if similar prices were charged, there is still            
 an advantage of taking your products to Mt. McKinley Meats, because           
 they are the only ones who do the slaughtering.                               
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN stated there is some benefit at having everything done at           
 Mt. McKinley.  What they have offered to do is truck to private               
 sector companies, providing them the option of having it done at              
 Mt. McKinley Meats or another private sector processor.                       
                                                                               
 Number 601                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what they pay the inmates.                                
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN answered that $1.25 per hour is the top wage.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added a butcher in Anchorage receives approximately             
 $15 per hour.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN pointed out most of the people that come through Mt.                
 McKinley Meats are learning the profession.  Unfortunately, you get           
 what you pay for.                                                             
 Number 610                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA stated that AS 33.32 will be repealed July              
 1st, and they are changing 1995, to 1996.  He said it's not just              
 the commission they are talking about, and that the Chairman may be           
 right on the point of deleting the repeal dates.  He stated if you            
 don't fund them, they are not going to happen anyway.  He would               
 like to see this extended, but if there is controversy, they should           
 get more backup material.  He said it might be better to repeal the           
 whole repealer.                                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if that meant to not have a sunset date at all.           
 He supposed that you could make that an argument for all the boards           
 and commissions, that if you don't fund them, they're not going to            
 be there.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA interjected only this particular repealing              
 date is in the section several times.  They could leave it this way           
 for the commission itself, but for the law as having correctional             
 industries in that section, they are repealing it more than once.             
 It's not just the commission this is effecting.  He asked if they             
 should change the date to 1999.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that he would have no problem with that.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA moved to amend Section 7, AS 33.32 to July,             
 1999, rather than 1996.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 640                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that there was a motion to change Section 7,             
 line 28, from "1996" to "1999".  This would be conceptual amendment           
 4.                                                                            
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-19, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection to Amendment 4.                 
 Hearing none, it was so ordered.                                              
                                                                               
 RACHAEL YATES, ALASKA ASSOCIATION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY                      
 THERAPISTS, stated that she was here to answer any questions.                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the board does and how often they meet.              
                                                                               
 MS. YATES responded that the board licenses and looks over the                
 licensure regulations for marriage and family therapists in the               
 state.  They meet every quarter.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 041                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that the CSHB 233(L&C) as amended was before             
 the committee.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 052                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move the CSHB 233(L&C), as           
 amended, with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal              
 notes.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 060                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none, the             
 motion passed.                                                                

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