Legislature(2003 - 2004)
04/30/2003 03:18 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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.