Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/22/2010 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 363(L&C) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
           HB 377-VOLUNTEER AMATEUR SPORTS OFFICIALS                                                                        
3:23:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  377, "An Act exempting certain  volunteer work by                                                               
amateur sports officials from certain  requirements of the Alaska                                                               
Employment Security Act."                                                                                                       
3:23:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE Bill STOLTZE,  Alaska State Legislature, explained                                                               
that HB  377 would  establish an  exemption status  for volunteer                                                               
amateur  sports officials  from  the  Alaska Employment  Security                                                               
Act, negating  unemployment tax liability.   Under  current state                                                               
law, amateur  sports officials who receive  any reimbursement for                                                               
their volunteer  services must pay  unemployment tax  despite the                                                               
fact  that  compensation is  only  a  minor stipend  intended  to                                                               
assist with the costs of attendance.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE related  that HB  377 reaches  far beyond                                                               
his  district.   This bill  is for  small non-profits  and school                                                               
organizations that use  referees, primarily through associations.                                                               
He   related  that   government   requires   the  collection   of                                                               
unemployment tax  that has caused many  issues.  This bill  has a                                                               
narrow  focus which  is to  solve issue  of how  to allow  sports                                                               
referees  to continue  to serve  youth and  other sports,  not as                                                               
employees, but  as volunteers receiving minor  stipends for small                                                               
amounts   of   time.     Collecting   the   tax  inhibits   small                                                               
organizations from  functioning with score keepers  and referees.                                                               
He  said he  is cognizant  of "but  not opening  a big  door" for                                                               
employee contracting.                                                                                                           
3:26:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  thought  this   bill  is  timely  and  long                                                               
3:26:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MORGAN HOPSON,  Staff, Representative Bill Stoltze,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  explained  that  this  bill  is  designed  to  help                                                               
volunteers who receive  less than $1,500 per  year for incidental                                                               
expenses.    She explained  that  this  bill would  help  amateur                                                               
sports officials  who perform duties  after school or  during the                                                               
season, not as  their main employment.  These  officials would be                                                               
exempt  from  unemployment insurance.    Officials  pay for  many                                                               
expenses   such  as   uniforms,   classes,  transportation,   and                                                               
registration  fees.   This bill  would create  less work  for the                                                               
amateur sports officials.                                                                                                       
3:29:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON asked  how the  sponsor arrived  at the                                                               
$1,500 compensation limit.                                                                                                      
MS.  HOPSON  explained that  $1,500  is  a federal  limit  before                                                               
unemployment insurance would need to  be collected.  This bill is                                                               
to cover  people who perform  duties part-time.  Some  people are                                                               
employed as fulltime  referees or sports officials  and this bill                                                               
would  not  provide  them with  an  exemption  from  unemployment                                                               
insurance tax.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  T.  WILSON asked  whether  this  would cover  the                                                               
doctor or nurse required to be  present at games as long as their                                                               
fees were under $1,500.                                                                                                         
MS. HOPSON related that doctors  and nurses are not covered under                                                               
the  bill.    This  bill   would  only  affect  impartial  sports                                                               
officials such as referees.                                                                                                     
3:30:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES asked whether  this bill excludes teachers.                                                               
She  recalled  that teachers  coach  a  variety of  sports  after                                                               
school but are often employees of the school district.                                                                          
MS. HOPSON  agreed.  She  explained that the employment  does not                                                               
include those who normally perform work as a teacher or coach.                                                                  
MS. HOPSON, in  response to Representative Buch,  referred to the                                                               
language on page 6, lines 27-30.                                                                                                
3:31:34 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  MATTHEWS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  School  Activities                                                               
Association (ASAA), stated that  ASAA strongly supports the bill.                                                               
He referred to  the $1,500 limit to cover costs.   He stated that                                                               
a football  official must  buy equipment  and get  licensed which                                                               
costs  $400 to  $500 to  start  the season.   This  sum does  not                                                               
include transportation  or other  costs, he  stated.   He offered                                                               
his  belief that  the bill  would  pass muster  with the  federal                                                               
government.  Over  the years questions have arisen  and since his                                                               
office licenses  officials for youth  leagues the  office follows                                                               
the national  federation rules.   Many  officials are  members of                                                               
the  local  organizations  and non-profit  organizations.    Some                                                               
sports officials,  particularly in  smaller communities,  are not                                                               
affiliated  with  a group  and  do  not  belong to  local  sports                                                               
organizations.  These volunteer  sports officials are responsible                                                               
to  train themselves.   He  related  the ASAA  does provide  some                                                               
training materials to sports officials.                                                                                         
3:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. MATTHEWS  stated ASAA supports  this bill which  will clarify                                                               
part-time   sports  officials   with   respect  to   unemployment                                                               
insurance tax.   He offered his  belief that this is  crucial for                                                               
Alaska.   He said  he is  happy this bill  is getting  a hearing.                                                               
His office  in Anchorage receives  many calls but  cannot provide                                                               
legal  advice  to determine  sports  officials'  status with  the                                                               
Department of Labor  & Workforce Development.  He  hoped the bill                                                               
passes so it can clarify the status of sports officials.                                                                        
3:35:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES asked  whether the  Department of  Law had                                                               
any concerns about the bill.                                                                                                    
TOBY  NANCY STEINBERGER,  Assistant Attorney  General, Labor  and                                                               
State  Affairs Section,  Department of  Law (DOL),  answered that                                                               
she did not have any concerns at this time.                                                                                     
CHAIR  OLSON,  after first  determining  no  one else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 377.                                                                                     
3:36:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES related  she has  heard concerns  from her                                                               
constituents  about this  issue.   She stated  that sports  helps                                                               
adults and kids get moving.   She thanked the sponsor for work on                                                               
this bill.                                                                                                                      
CHAIR OLSON agreed.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE said many people  are affected by the bill                                                               
although  his office  did  not  hear from  lots  of  people.   He                                                               
explained that many people appreciate the bill moving.                                                                          
3:38:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved to report  HB 377 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HB  377 was  reported from  the House                                                               
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                          
3:39:24 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:39 p.m. to 3:41 p.m.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB377 Fiscal Note-DOLWD-UI-03-18-10.pdf HL&C 3/22/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 377
HB377 ver R.pdf HL&C 3/22/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 377
CS HB363 ver E.pdf HL&C 3/22/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 363
HB377 Independent Contractor or Employee Article.pdf HL&C 3/22/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 377
HB377 Sponsor Statement ver R.pdf HL&C 3/22/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 377