Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

03/18/2016 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:19:42 PM Start
03:19:59 PM HB188
03:34:56 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
Moved CSHB 188(L&C) Out of Committee
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
          HB 188-PERSON W/DISABILITY SAVINGS ACCOUNTS                                                                       
3:19:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  only order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 188, "An  Act relating to financial  accounts for                                                               
persons  with disabilities;  relating to  financial institutions;                                                               
relating  to property  exemptions;  relating  to securities;  and                                                               
providing  for  an  effective  date."    Without  objection,  the                                                               
committee substitute for HB  188, labeled 29-LS0787\E, Bannister,                                                               
3/9/16, was  adopted at the  meeting on  3/16/16.  Version  E was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
3:20:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN SADDLER,  Alaska State  Legislature, speaking                                                               
as the sponsor of HB 188,  reported that the fiscal note attached                                                               
to  Version  E,  Identifier:    HB188-DOR-TRS-3-16-16,  indicates                                                               
costs of $60,000  in fiscal year 2018 (FY 18),  and $40,000 in FY                                                               
19; however, the Alaska Mental  Health Trust Authority has agreed                                                               
to provide  funds to  defray those  costs, thus  the cost  to the                                                               
state would be zero.                                                                                                            
3:22:05 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF JESSEE, Chief Executive Officer,  Alaska Mental Health Trust                                                               
Authority (Trust), Department of  Revenue, informed the committee                                                               
that the bill offers the  Trust's beneficiaries an opportunity to                                                               
become  more self-sufficient  and  less  dependent on  government                                                               
programs.   From the perspective  of the  Trust, this is  a great                                                               
one-time  investment  over two  fiscal  years,  and he  said  the                                                               
trustees are pleased to fund the setup costs.                                                                                   
CHAIR OLSON  added that the  testimony heard by the  committee in                                                               
support of the bill was extremely helpful.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  directed  attention to  proposed  Section                                                               
06.65.260 which read:                                                                                                           
      Sec. 06.65.260. Exemption from creditor claims. The                                                                     
       money in a program account and money paid out of a                                                                       
         program account are exempt from a claim by the                                                                         
     creditors of the designated beneficiary of the program                                                                     
     account during the life of the designated beneficiary.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  observed that $400,000  is a lot  of money                                                               
to be exempt from claims.                                                                                                       
3:24:03 PM                                                                                                                    
STUART  SPIELMAN,  Senior  Policy  Advisor  and  Counsel,  Autism                                                               
Speaks,  directed  attention  to   his  written  testimony  dated                                                               
3/17/16, and  provided in the  committee packet,  which addressed                                                               
the  questions  raised  at  the  last hearing.    He  added  that                                                               
contributions to the [Stephen Beck,  Jr., Achieving a Better Life                                                               
Experience (ABLE)  Act of 2014]  accounts are limited  to $14,000                                                               
per  year, and  therefore, very  large account  balances are  not                                                               
possible for many years.                                                                                                        
CHAIR  OLSON asked  for the  average account  balance of  current                                                               
ABLE accounts.                                                                                                                  
MR. SPIELMAN said  currently, no ABEL programs  are in operation;                                                               
however,  accounts in  529 college  savings  and prepaid  tuition                                                               
plans  are  similar,  and  the average  529  account  balance  is                                                               
$20,000.  The  population of those who qualify  for ABLE accounts                                                               
are individuals with severe disabilities  who have many expenses,                                                               
and he opined that their accounts will be rather small.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  pointed out  that  even  if accounts  are                                                               
small  initially,   potentially  $400,000  will  be   subject  to                                                               
exemption from claims.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER restated  that just  because the  maximum                                                               
contribution  is  $400,000,  the  balance is  not  likely  to  be                                                               
$400,000;   in  fact,   poverty   rates   for  individuals   with                                                               
disabilities  are high,  and it  would take  28 years  of $14,000                                                               
contributions to  add up to  the maximum, assuming there  were no                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  suggested that the  aforementioned section                                                               
could  exempt claims  up to  a  certain amount,  which would  not                                                               
affect the maximum amount of money  in the account, but would put                                                               
a cap on the exemption.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  surmised that this provision  is based on                                                               
the Alaska college savings plan.                                                                                                
3:29:26 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM  SKIPPER,  Staff  to  Representative  Saddler,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, agreed that the bill  is based on the Alaska college                                                               
savings  plan, and  added that  most other  states enacting  ABEL                                                               
account legislation are using the same  language.  She said it is                                                               
anticipated that the  balances of the proposed  accounts would go                                                               
up and down, without a great deal of growth.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  noted  that  she  would  have  a  similar                                                               
concern of the Alaska college savings plan.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  gave an example  of a person  who could                                                               
buy a  car with a down  payment, finance the remainder,  and then                                                               
walk  away from  the balance  of the  loan, fully  protected from                                                               
repossession of  the vehicle.   He cautioned that  this situation                                                               
may create  a disincentive to approve  a loan to holders  of this                                                               
type of account.                                                                                                                
MR.  SPIELMAN  said  he  is  not  familiar  with  the  mechanisms                                                               
potential creditors  might use  to protect  their interests.   He                                                               
restated that  in his  review of federal  and state  sources, 529                                                               
and ABEL  assets are often  protected.  The  proposed legislation                                                               
follows a federal template for  this and related legislation.  He                                                               
returned  attention  to  further   information  provided  in  his                                                               
written testimony.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  offered  to  work  with  legislators  to                                                               
address their  concerns in  the next  committee of  referral, the                                                               
House Finance Committee.                                                                                                        
3:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  moved to  report the  committee substitute                                                               
for  HB  188,  Version  29-LS0787\E, Bannister,  3/9/16,  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being no  opposition,  CSHB 188(L&C)  was                                                               
reported out of the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB188 Supporting Documents-Letter Stuart Spielman-03-17-16.pdf HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 188
HB214 Fiscal Note-ACS-TRC-03-17-16.pdf HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Draft Proposed Blank CS ver N.pdf HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Sectional Analysis Draft Proposed Blank CS ver N.pdf HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Summary of Changes ver E to ver N.pdf HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB313 Opposing Documents-Assorted Written Testimony-03-15-16.PDF HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 313
HB188 Fiscal Note-DOR-TRS-03-16-16.pdf HL&C 3/18/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 188