Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 17

01/27/2006 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 295(L&C) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
HB 338-CERTIF. OF FITNESS FOR EXPLOSIVE HANDLERS                                                                              
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  338,  "An  Act  relating  to  applications,                                                               
qualifications, and criminal history  and background checks for a                                                               
certificate  of fitness  for explosives  handlers; and  providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
CHAIR ANDERSON  said he is  intending to  hold HB 338  because of                                                               
problems.   Members of  labor organizations have  asked it  to be                                                               
held, saying they would like to work with Commissioner O'Claray.                                                                
GREG O'CLARAY,  COMMISSIONER, Department  of Labor  and Workforce                                                               
Development,  said he  is willing  to  work with  those who  have                                                               
concerns.    He said  sometimes  providence  sends messages,  and                                                               
heeding them  is the right  course.   He noted a  recent incident                                                               
under  investigation: on  January  9, 2006  an explosive  handler                                                               
detonated a blast  that sent rock and debris  into the playground                                                               
and building of  the North Star Elementary School in  Kodiak.  He                                                               
said that  five-pound boulders  flew up to  400 feet  and damaged                                                               
the roof of the school.   Rocks landed over the entire playground                                                               
where  children  had been  playing  just  30 minutes  before,  he                                                               
added.  Every circumstance can't  be monitored, but he speculated                                                               
that proper safety precautions were not taken.                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER O'CLARAY  said fingerprints are required  for school                                                               
bus  drivers, attorneys,  insurance  agents, and  "the list  goes                                                               
on."   He said  the state  has no authority  in statute  to check                                                               
backgrounds on  individuals who  use explosives.   He said  it is                                                               
not  the   desire  to  restrict  someone   from  seeking  gainful                                                               
employment,  but "we  have  a public  safety  concern about  this                                                               
particular certification."  He asked  that the bill move, but the                                                               
department is willing to work with those who have difficulty it.                                                                
3:28:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ANDERSON   said  the  committee   does  not   want  unsafe                                                               
mishandling of explosives, and this  bill is important to address                                                               
it.  He said the bill will be held until next week.                                                                             
3:29:20 PM                                                                                                                    

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