Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

03/28/2016 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 308 CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSTALLATION LIABILITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 308 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
*+ HB 372 OMNIBUS INSURANCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 214 REPEAL WORKERS' COMP APPEALS COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        HB 308-CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSTALLATION LIABILITY                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:17:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 308,  "An  Act  relating  to the  limitation  of                                                               
liability for  the inspection, installation,  or adjustment  of a                                                               
child  safety  seat  or  in  providing  education  regarding  the                                                               
installation or adjustment of a child safety seat."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:17:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHARISSE   MILLETT,  Alaska   State  Legislature,                                                               
speaking as  the sponsor  of HB 308,  informed the  committee the                                                               
bill  limits the  liability of  those who  volunteer to  properly                                                               
install child  safety car  seats for parents.   She  relayed that                                                               
car seats for infants and toddlers  have been shown to save lives                                                               
and reduce  injuries in the case  of an accident.   At this time,                                                               
those who  inspect child safety seats  as part of their  job at a                                                               
fire station or a hospital,  have limited liability; in a similar                                                               
manner,  HB 308  would limit  the liability  for child  passenger                                                               
safety  technicians   who  volunteer   to  do  so   at  community                                                               
gatherings, for example, in rural  Alaska.  Representative Millet                                                               
said technicians  complete hours of  training and keep  kids safe                                                               
and their parents comfortable by  correctly installing car seats.                                                               
She concluded  that the  bill advocates for  safety seat  use and                                                               
protects technicians from the fear of being sued.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSEY  WHITT, Staff  to  Representative  Millett, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor  of HB 308,  paraphrased from  the following                                                               
sectional analysis [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Provides that  the following are not  civilly liable in                                                                    
     the  case of  an act  or  omission that  occurs in  the                                                                    
     inspection,  installation,  or  adjustment of  a  child                                                                    
     safety  seat or  in providing  education regarding  the                                                                    
     installation or adjustment of a  child safety seat: - A                                                                    
     certified Child Passenger Safety  Technician (CPST) - A                                                                    
     person who  arranges or offers  the services of  a CPST                                                                    
     for the community - A  person who owns property where a                                                                    
     CPST is operating A CPST  must offer their services for                                                                    
     free or for  the amount of their actual  costs, in good                                                                    
     faith,  and within  the scope  of their  training. They                                                                    
     may also not  be sponsored by a  child passenger safety                                                                    
     device manufacturer or retailer.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Applicability clause.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  asked whether the  bill applies to  firefighters and                                                               
emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who have received training.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLET said  the aforementioned  firefighters and                                                               
EMTs  would be  covered  by their  employers;  however, the  bill                                                               
would cover them if they  volunteered outside of the firehouse or                                                               
police station.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked for clarification.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  further   explained  that  liability  is                                                               
covered through  the municipality for  which they work;  the bill                                                               
applies  when  they  are volunteering,  and  not  representing  a                                                               
municipality  or a  private  employer.   In  further response  to                                                               
Representative  LeDoux,   she  said   insurance  is   through  an                                                               
employer.  The  bill applies, for example, when  a state employee                                                               
gets a certificate to install  safety seats on a voluntary basis,                                                               
and completes the training and  volunteers to install a car seat,                                                               
his/her  liability  would be  limited  if  the  car seat  or  the                                                               
installation of the car seat failed.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  suggested volunteers  would be  covered by                                                               
their homeowners  insurance.    She questioned  whether insurance                                                               
companies have requested the bill.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT said  HB  308 was  requested by  off-duty                                                               
police officers  and firefighters  who are  certified technicians                                                               
and would like  to offer installation service,  but without civil                                                               
liability.   In  further response  to Representative  LeDoux, she                                                               
pointed out that not all people own homes.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  whether  all new  parents and  baby                                                               
leave the hospital with a car seat installed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:26:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WHITT recommended  that  expectant  parents contact  someone                                                               
locally  to take  a  class  and learn  how  to  install the  baby                                                               
safely;  she  said   help  and  instructions  can   be  found  at                                                               
firehouses and police  stations.  There are  over 200 technicians                                                               
throughout the  state and anyone  could call "one of  the numbers                                                               
provided."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  said  she would  verify  with  hospitals                                                               
across the state that they are aware of the service.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX directed  attention to the bill  on page 1,                                                               
beginning on  line 13, and continuing  to page 2, line  10, which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     (1) the person                                                                                                             
          (A) has successfully completed the National Child                                                                     
     Passenger                                                                                                                  
      Safety Certification Training  program and maintains a                                                                    
     current   child   passenger    safety   technician   or                                                                    
     technician instructor  certification issued  under that                                                                    
     program;                                                                                                                   
          (B) offers or arranges a nonprofit child safety                                                                       
     seat educational   program, checkup event,  or checking                                                                    
     station  program for  the public  with   instruction by                                                                    
     certified   child  passenger   safety  technicians   or                                                                    
     technician  instructors; or                                                                                                
          (C) owns property where a nonprofit child safety                                                                      
     seat   educational program, checkup event,  or checking                                                                    
     station   program  for   the      public  occurs   with                                                                    
     instruction   by  certified   child  passenger   safety                                                                    
     technicians or  technician instructors;                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX inquired  as to aforementioned subparagraph                                                               
(C) and  the relevance of  owning property where  the educational                                                               
program occurs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  deferred  the  question  to  Legislative                                                               
Legal Services, Legislative Affairs  Agency, and offered that the                                                               
bill  applies to  those  who do  not work  at  a police  station,                                                               
hospital,  or firehouse,  but are  interested in  child car  seat                                                               
safety.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:30:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON opened public testimony on HB 308.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:30:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE FELLMAN,  registered nurse, Central Peninsula  Hospital, and                                                               
coordinator, Kenai  Peninsula Safe  Kids Coalition, said  she has                                                               
been a child  passenger safety technician (CPST)  since 1998, and                                                               
an  instructor  since  2000.    The  Kenai  Peninsula  Safe  Kids                                                               
Coalition has  spent many years assisting  parents properly place                                                               
their children in  car seats.  The  requirements are continuously                                                               
changing  because motor  vehicle safety  is improving,  and CPSTs                                                               
are  a  resource  for parents,  inspecting  seats  and  providing                                                               
proper  installation.   They also  educate parents  about how  to                                                               
prevent and  correct the misuse of  car seats.  Ms.  Fellman said                                                               
in Alaska,  the misuse of car  seats is 85 percent,  so CPSTs are                                                               
needed.  In order to keep  technicians, and have more who are not                                                               
employed by an  agency, the bill is needed to  provide a level of                                                               
protection for  them.   She encouraged  the committee  to support                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:33:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE,  Spokesperson, AFL-CIO,  said his  organization in                                                               
supports the  bill because many  of its members provide  car seat                                                               
installation training on a voluntary  basis.  He advised that the                                                               
local hospital  sends expectant parents to  the police department                                                               
for a  car seat and instruction.   Mr. Etheridge gave  a personal                                                               
story  of the  improper  use  of a  car  seat,  and restated  his                                                               
support of the proposed legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLINTON  POWELL,  Senior   Captain,  Anchorage  Fire  Department,                                                               
expressed support  for the bill.   The Anchorage  Fire Department                                                               
has  an inspection  program  and checks  almost  400 seats  every                                                               
year.    In  addition,   the  department  conducts  award-winning                                                               
outreach throughout  the state, and  HB 308 provides  a statewide                                                               
benefit to educators.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked about coordination with  new parents                                                               
at Providence Alaska Medical Center.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  PENISTEN,  registered   nurse,  Providence  Alaska  Medical                                                               
Center  (Providence), and  state  coordinator,  Safe Kids  Alaska                                                               
Coalition, said she has been  a child passenger safety technician                                                               
since 1999,  and an  instructor since  2006.   Regarding hospital                                                               
policy  and  protocol  at  Providence,  she  advised  that  every                                                               
newborn leaving  Providence has its  car seat checked  for recall                                                               
status,  appropriate fit,  and expiration  date.   If  requested,                                                               
certified CPSTs on  the hospital staff will assist  parents.  Ms.                                                               
Penisten  noted that  some  children  have unique  transportation                                                               
needs and the  hospital provides special training.   However, the                                                               
aforementioned  policies  and  procedures  are  not  required  of                                                               
hospitals, and each  hospital in the state differs  in the matter                                                               
of car seats  for pediatric patients and newborns.   Further, not                                                               
every  hospital   has  certified   technicians;  in   fact,  some                                                               
hospitals  are  reluctant  to  check car  seats  because  of  the                                                               
liability involved.   She  said HB 308  would take  the liability                                                               
issue away  due to  the certification  of the  technicians, which                                                               
requires  a three-day  nationally  standardized course  involving                                                               
evaluations, written examinations, and  participation in a public                                                               
check-up  event.    In response  to  Representative  LeDoux,  she                                                               
directed  attention   to  [Section  1,  subparagraph   (B)],  and                                                               
explained that  this addresses those who  arrange public check-up                                                               
events,  not   necessarily  the  technicians,  and   [Section  1,                                                               
subparagraph  (C)]   addresses  the  potential  liability   of  a                                                               
property owner where the event takes  place, such as a child care                                                               
center or public school.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  questioned whether  for-profit  hospitals                                                               
are liable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PENISTEN advised  that it is not the nonprofit  status of the                                                               
property owner  - but the  status of the  event - that  is valid.                                                               
For example,  the nonprofit child  safety seat  education program                                                               
check-up event does not charge a  fee for attendance.  In further                                                               
response  to  Representative  Hughes,  Ms. Penisten  said  if  an                                                               
employee is  acting within the  scope of his/her  employment, the                                                               
employer's insurance  provides primary coverage;   HB 308 applies                                                               
when  certified  technicians are  not  working  for an  employer,                                                               
such  as a  firefighter  who  volunteers for  a  public car  seat                                                               
safety event during his/her off-duty hours.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  returned  attention   to  the  policy  at                                                               
Providence  and asked  whether car  seats are  brought in  to the                                                               
hospital to be  checked, or whether hospital personnel  go to the                                                               
vehicle.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PENISTEN  stated that at  Providence the protocol  and policy                                                               
are that a car seat for a newborn is brought in to the hospital.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  asked  whether  there  are  any  past  or                                                               
pending lawsuits against technicians in  the state related to the                                                               
installation of car seats.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WHITT  said  no.   In  further  response  to  Representative                                                               
Hughes, she  said she  is aware  of one  case outside  of Alaska.                                                               
The issue  in Alaska is  the recruiting  of and the  retention of                                                               
technicians.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY GREEN,  Director of Public  Policy, Safe  Kids Worldwide,                                                               
stated that he is aware of one  incident in which a parent had an                                                               
issue related  to a car  seat inspection.    His  organization is                                                               
responsible   for  the   training  of   child  passenger   safety                                                               
technicians, and  Mr. Green expressed  his strong support  for HB                                                               
308  and  providing a  level  of  comfort  to  volunteers.     He                                                               
observed  that 94  percent of  cars in  the U.S.  that have  been                                                               
inspected have had  car seats installed, and 46  percent of those                                                               
are incorrectly used.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES inquired  as to  the cause  of the  higher                                                               
incorrect installation percentage in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WHITT said  in 2014, the percentage  of incorrectly installed                                                               
car seats  in Alaska was 85  percent; she added that  she did not                                                               
know the cause.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:48:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CORLIS   TAYLOR,   Director,  Education   Department,   Fairbanks                                                               
Memorial  Hospital,  stated  she  is  a  child  passenger  safety                                                               
technician and  an instructor.   For more  than 20 years  she has                                                               
been involved  in this issue, and  she spoke in favor  of HB 308.                                                               
As an instructor  she has trained many  technicians in Fairbanks,                                                               
and she restated that 85 percent  of the seats installed by those                                                               
who  attend  events  are  incorrectly   installed.    Ms.  Taylor                                                               
observed there is  a need to educate parents on  how to transport                                                               
children safely.   Fairbanks Memorial  Hospital has a  program to                                                               
work  with families  of children  with  disabilities and  special                                                               
needs.  She restated her support for the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES restated her question.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. TAYLOR  recalled that  in the beginning  of the  program, the                                                               
nationwide percentage  for incorrect installation was  85 percent                                                               
to 95 percent; she suggested  that the percentage has declined in                                                               
the Lower 48 because there  are more technicians and advertising,                                                               
which differs in Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:52:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON after ascertaining no  one further wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on HB 308.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:52:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  moved to  report HB  308 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 308 was reported  from the                                                               
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB372 ver W.PDF HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 372
HB372 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 372
HB372 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 372
HB308 ver A.PDF HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from June May 3-03-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Landon Forth 3-02-2016.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Jane Fellman 3-07-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Lori Tyler 3-03-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Marialourdes Apilado 3-03-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Sara Penisten 3-07-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Article Safe Kids Maine 3-17-2016.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Article-ADN 1-12-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Article-NBC-KARE 6-25-14.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Amanda Ferrara 3-03-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Amanda Seethaler 3-02-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Andrea Konik 3-07-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Beth Schuerman 3-02-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Hilario Alva 3-02-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Gwendolynne Teutsch 3-02-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB214 Fiscal Note-ACS-TRC-03-17-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Supporting Documents-Memo-WCAC Chairman Hemenway Response to Committee Questions 03-22-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Draft Proposed Blank CS ver P.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Summary of Changes CS ver E to ver P.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB214 Sectional Analysis CS ver P.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 214
HB308 Fiscal Note-LAW-CIV-03-25-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 308
HB372 Fiscal Note-DCCED-DOI-03-24-16.pdf HL&C 3/28/2016 3:15:00 PM
HB 372