Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/30/2003 03:18 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 269-SAFETY CODE TASK FORCE                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1196                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 269, "An  Act establishing the Safety Code Task                                                               
Force; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON, noting  that no  one wished  to testify,  closed                                                               
public testimony on HB 269                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1179                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM, sponsor of  HB 269, turned attention to                                                               
Amendment  1, labeled  23-LS0974\A.1,  Bannister, 4/30/03,  which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 8:                                                                                                            
     Delete "member"                                                                                                            
     Insert "state senator"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 9:                                                                                                            
     Delete "member"                                                                                                            
     Insert "state representative"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 10, following "member":                                                                                       
     Insert "of the administration"                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
     Delete "one family"                                                                                                        
     Insert "a consistent set"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
     Delete "and"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 8, following "codes":                                                                                         
     Insert "; and                                                                                                              
     (3)   discuss and  make recommendations on  the methods                                                                    
     and  authority  for  local  governments  to  amend  and                                                                    
     administer safety codes"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 12:                                                                                                           
     Delete "act as"                                                                                                            
     Insert "participate on"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 12, following "task force.":                                                                                  
     Insert "The president of the  senate and the speaker of                                                                    
     the house  of representatives  may jointly  appoint the                                                                    
     following additional members to the advisory panel:                                                                        
     (1)  a municipal building official;                                                                                        
     (2)  a municipal fire prevention official;                                                                                 
     (3)  a journeyman mechanical installer;                                                                                    
     (4)  a journeyman plumber;                                                                                                 
     (5)  a journeyman electrician;                                                                                             
     (6)  a building developer;                                                                                                 
     (7)    a  representative  of the  Alaska  Oil  and  Gas                                                                    
     Association;                                                                                                               
     (8)  a representative of a pipeline operator;                                                                              
     (9)   a representative from the  Alaska Housing Finance                                                                    
     Corporation;                                                                                                               
     (10)    a  representative of  the  Alaska  Homebuilders                                                                    
     Association; and                                                                                                           
     (11)     a  representative  from  a   regional  housing                                                                    
     authority.                                                                                                                 
     (d)    If   additional  organizations,  or  industries,                                                                    
     trades,   or   professions    show   an   interest   in                                                                    
     participating,  the president  of  the  senate and  the                                                                    
     speaker  of the  house of  representatives may  jointly                                                                    
     appoint additional members to the advisory panel.                                                                          
     (e)"                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Reletter the following subsections accordingly.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1164                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM indicated that the first four changes                                                                  
made by Amendment 1 are clarifying changes; that the next 2                                                                     
changes   add  a   new  proposed   paragraph   (3)  -   regarding                                                               
recommendations   on  methods   and  authority   -  to   proposed                                                               
subsection  (b);  that  the next  change  is  another  clarifying                                                               
change;  and   that  the  last   two  changes  clarify   who  may                                                               
additionally be  appointed jointly to  the advisory panel,  add a                                                               
new  proposed subsection  - regarding  the  possible addition  of                                                               
other interested parties to the  advisory panel - while splitting                                                               
current proposed  subsection (c)  into two  separate subsections,                                                               
and reletter the remaining subsections accordingly.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  surmised that some of  the aforementioned changes                                                               
proposed  by  Amendment  1  are  in  response  to  questions  and                                                               
concerns raised at the bill's previous hearing.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM agreed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0910                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM made a motion to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0902                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  objected.     He   indicated  that   a                                                               
constituent  of  his had  sent  him  an e-mail  listing  numerous                                                               
concerns about  the bill.   He suggested  that Amendment  1 would                                                               
create two different  groups, and is stacked in favor  of one set                                                               
of  codes  over  another.    He  opined  that  there  is  a  huge                                                               
unfairness in the  makeup of the initial  membership, adding that                                                               
he is  very concerned about that.   He mentioned that  he is also                                                               
concerned that Amendment 1 could  create a very ungainly thing in                                                               
that the advisory panel could be  bigger than the task force.  He                                                               
said   that  he   is  not   sure  that   all  of   the  potential                                                               
representatives  listed  in  Amendment  1  actually  need  to  be                                                               
included, because he  is not sure that their  respective areas of                                                               
expertise will add  anything in terms of  developing and adopting                                                               
building codes.  Turning attention  to the portion of Amendment 1                                                               
that changes page  2, line 12, he  asked Representative Dahlstrom                                                               
what  replacing "act  as" with  "participate on"  is intended  to                                                               
accomplish.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM first  pointed out  that both  the task                                                               
force and  the advisory panel are  already a part of  HB 269, and                                                               
so Amendment 1 is not  creating another group that didn't already                                                               
exist in the  original legislation.  On the issue  of whether the                                                               
bill favors  one set of  codes over another, she  reiterated that                                                               
"the  officials and  the people  that were  added," as  listed in                                                               
Amendment  1, came  from suggestions  resulting  from the  bill's                                                               
last  hearing.   She  added  that  the  people  she spoke  to  in                                                               
creating the list in Amendment  1 were building officials, people                                                               
from  the "fire"  industry, actual  laborers, and  union "folks."                                                               
She offered her belief that Amendment  1 is not weighted in favor                                                               
of either set of building codes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM,  in response  to a question  from Chair                                                               
Anderson, said  that the  purpose of  the task  force is  to come                                                               
back to  the legislature on the  first day of the  second regular                                                               
session  with  recommendations.     Returning  to  Representative                                                               
Rokeberg's question regarding the change  to page 2, line 12, she                                                               
indicated  that the  words "participate  on" better  reflect that                                                               
the advisory panel is composed  of nonvoting members, whereas the                                                               
task force is composed of voting members.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0569                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG, in response to  a question, said that he                                                               
maintains his objection  to Amendment 1.  He  turned attention to                                                               
page  1,  line  11,  which  says:    (4)  the  following  members                                                               
appointed jointly by the president  of the senate and the speaker                                                               
of the house  of representatives:".  He said that  he is not sure                                                               
he  agrees  with  the  requirement that  the  president  and  the                                                               
speaker must  get together to  decide who the task  force members                                                               
outlined  in   subparagraphs  (A)-(F)  are;  he   called  such  a                                                               
requirement  an extra  burden given  the speaker  and president's                                                               
already large workload  and the amount of time  necessary to make                                                               
such a selection in an impartial fashion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  said she is confident  that the speaker                                                               
and president's  staff will  be very  efficient in  helping those                                                               
two  gentlemen prioritize  their workload  so  as to  be able  to                                                               
fulfill the  requirements of  HB 269.   She  added, "I  also have                                                               
confidence  in  [the speaker  and  president's]  ability to  make                                                               
fair,  good choices;  they, along  with  the rest  of us,  raised                                                               
their  hands and  swore to  do  what was  best for  the state  of                                                               
Alaska, and I have confidence that they will do that."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  suggested   volunteering  the  minority                                                               
leaders to help in the selection  process.  He said that although                                                               
he  has concerns  because he  does not  know who  leadership will                                                               
appoint to the  task force, he assumes that  the people appointed                                                               
are going to do the best job that they can.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  said  he agrees  with  Representative                                                               
Crawford.   He added that  when the  task force comes  before the                                                               
legislature next January,  "they are going to have to  sell us on                                                               
what they did," and therefore  he thinks that during the upcoming                                                               
task force  meetings, everybody will  be at the  table, everybody                                                               
will  have  their  say,  and   there  will  be  a  conscientious,                                                               
deliberative process.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON mentioned  that he hopes there  will be neutrality                                                               
on the task force.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0238                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  noted that  "this issue" was  before the                                                               
committee on at  least three occasions last year,  and that there                                                               
was a  lot of  hard work  done in  an attempt  to fix  "the whole                                                               
thing."   He  opined that  a legislative  solution was  prevented                                                               
from  going forward  because  of political  inertia  and a  small                                                               
group of  people.  He said  that he views  HB 269 as "an  end run                                                               
around that  whole process"  of adopting  conforming legislation,                                                               
and posited that  there is no reason why a  solution could not be                                                               
figured out  by the  legislature, because,  right now,  there are                                                               
three  different  statutes  that  conflict with  each  other  and                                                               
conforming legislation needs to go forward.  He added:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I  would like  to see  this process  be fair,  [and] go                                                                    
     forward; I  appreciate Representative  Dahlstrom's work                                                                    
     on this  ..., but  I think  it needs  to be  balanced a                                                                    
     little better than  it is right now.   So I'm concerned                                                                    
     about that.   I'd hate to  have all this work  put into                                                                    
     it, and  [then] this  bill somehow not  make it  to the                                                                    
     floor for some reason. ...  I wouldn't want to see that                                                                    
     happen. ... It just doesn't  seem to be fair.  Wouldn't                                                                    
     you agree Mr. Chairman?                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON said yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  went on to  say, "I think ...  we really                                                               
need  to  make  sure  we  get  this  balanced  right."    Turning                                                               
attention back  to the issue  of Amendment 1,  he said he  has no                                                               
objection  to Amendment  1's first  seven  proposed changes,  but                                                               
does  have  "heartburn"  with  the   proposed  additions  to  the                                                               
advisory panel.   He suggested  that because of the  large number                                                               
of  task  force  members  representing  various  aspects  of  the                                                               
construction  industry, the  task  force could  wind up  weighted                                                               
with members  that have a  predisposition to a particular  set of                                                               
codes                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-45, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  said  that  after action  is  taken  on                                                               
Amendment 1,  he would be  offering another amendment  that would                                                               
add, to page 1 of HB  269, "a municipal building official" and "a                                                               
fire prevention  official" to  the list  detailing the  makeup of                                                               
the task force.   He opined that adding these  two members to the                                                               
task force itself  would balance it.  And then,  of course, there                                                               
would be no  need to have either "a  municipal building official"                                                               
or "a municipal fire prevention  official" on the advisory panel;                                                               
therefore, those two members could be deleted from Amendment 1.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM   said  she   would  prefer   to  leave                                                               
Amendment 1 as is.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0143                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested,  then, deleting from Amendment                                                               
1  the  language  pertaining to  the  additional  advisory  panel                                                               
members.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  pointed  out  that  according  to  the                                                               
language  in  Amendment  1, the  appointment  of  any  additional                                                               
advisory  panel members  is optional  rather than  mandatory, and                                                               
that  according to  the language  in HB  269, the  advisory panel                                                               
merely gives advice to the task force.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:55 p.m. to 5:02 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0277                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ZACK WARWICK,  Staff to  Senator Gene  Therriault, sponsor  of SB                                                               
180, companion  bill to  HB 269, referring  to the  suggestion of                                                               
adding  "a municipal  building official"  and "a  fire prevention                                                               
official" to the task force, said:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     First  of all,  the  municipal  building official  does                                                                    
     have  a vested  interested;  these are  the people  who                                                                    
     design the International [Building]  Code, ... so there                                                                    
     is  a vested  interest  and a  hard  sway towards  that                                                                    
     side.  We feel that the  task force, as written now, is                                                                    
     completely  even:   three, one  side; three,  the other                                                                    
     side;  and three,  impartial.    I know  Representative                                                                    
     Rokeberg  commented   that  there  are   [several]  ...                                                                    
     construction-related  trades there;  ... it  is my  ...                                                                    
     understanding  that the  general contractors  do prefer                                                                    
     the International  [Building] Code  - that is  why they                                                                    
     were  ... listed,  as the  three ...  that are  leaning                                                                    
     towards  [the International  Building Code.]   If  this                                                                    
     task force came  back with a document  that was leaning                                                                    
     or swaying  in any  direction, and  it came  out during                                                                    
     the task  force that this  task force was  swayed, then                                                                    
     it's going  to come back  with a document  that's going                                                                    
     to  be completely  worthless  to  the legislature,  and                                                                    
     basically  waist  $20,000.   And  we  feel that  adding                                                                    
     those  two to  the task  force  would sway  it in  that                                                                    
     direction.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0411                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  withdrew   his  prior  suggestions  and                                                               
offered the following as an amendment to Amendment 1:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Remove   "a  municipal   building   official"  and   "a                                                                    
     municipal fire  prevention official" from  the advisory                                                                    
     panel;  add to  the  task force  "a municipal  building                                                                    
     official" and  "a fire prevention official;  and delete                                                                    
     "nine" and  insert "eleven"  on page 1,  line 6,  of HB                                                                    
     269.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0604                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DAHLSTROM  expressed   her   objection  to   the                                                               
amendment to Amendment 1.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0627                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Rokeberg  and                                                               
Anderson  voted  in  favor  of  the  amendment  to  Amendment  1.                                                               
Representatives Guttenberg, Crawford,  Dahlstrom, and Gatto voted                                                               
against it.  Therefore, the amendment  to Amendment 1 failed by a                                                               
vote of 2-4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON  observed  that   the  question  now  before  the                                                               
committee was whether to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG maintained his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0651                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call  vote  was   taken.    Representatives  Guttenberg,                                                               
Crawford,  Dahlstrom,  Gatto,  and  Anderson voted  in  favor  of                                                               
Amendment  1.     Representative   Rokeberg  voted   against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 5-1.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0707                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report  HB 269, as amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection,  CSHB                                                               
269(L&C)  was  reported  out  of the  House  Labor  and  Commerce                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

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