Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

02/26/2020 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 4:00 p.m. Today --
+ HB 27 REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 84 WORKERS' COMP: POLICE, FIRE, EMT, PARAMED TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 232 MUNICIPAL TAX CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ HB 166 TELEPHONE COOPERATIVES;TELECOMMUNICATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                       February 26, 2020                                                                                        
                           4:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Mel Gillis                                                                                                       
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 166                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to electric and telephone cooperatives; and                                                                    
relating to telephone service and related telecommunications                                                                    
services."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 232                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a municipal air quality improvement tax                                                                     
credit; and relating to a municipal energy efficient new                                                                        
construction tax credit."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 166                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TELEPHONE COOPERATIVES;TELECOMMUNICATIONS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TALERICO                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
05/14/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/14/19       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
02/26/20       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 232                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUNICIPAL TAX CREDITS                                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HOPKINS                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/03/20       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/03/20       (H)       ENE, L&C                                                                                               
02/11/20       (H)       ENE AT 10:15 AM CAPITOL 17                                                                             
02/11/20       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/11/20       (H)       MINUTE(ENE)                                                                                            
02/20/20       (H)       ENE AT 10:15 AM CAPITOL 17                                                                             
02/20/20       (H)       Moved CSHB 232(ENE) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/20/20       (H)       MINUTE(ENE)                                                                                            
02/21/20       (H)       ENE RPT CS(ENE) NT 5DP 1NR                                                                             
02/21/20       (H)       DP:    FIELDS,    LINCOLN,    SPOHNHOLZ,                                                               
                       ZULKOSKY, HOPKINS                                                                                        
02/21/20       (H)       NR: RAUSCHER                                                                                           
02/26/20       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAVE TALERICO                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 166, as prime sponsor.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM STUDLER, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a sectional analysis of HB 166, on                                                              
behalf of Representative Talerico, prime sponsor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RYAN PONDER, Legal & Regulatory Affairs Manager                                                                                 
Matanuska Telephone Association                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided  a   PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled "House  Bill 166 Updating  the Electronic  and Telephone                                                               
Cooperative  Act and  Empowering  Cooperative  Members to  Better                                                               
Manage Their Service Providers," during the hearing on HB 166.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE O'CONNOR, Executive Director                                                                                          
Alaska Telecom Association                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony in support of HB 166 and                                                              
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CRYSTAL ENKVIST, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Power Association                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony in support of HB 166.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
JOHN ANDREW LEMAN, Attorney                                                                                                     
Kemppel, Huffman and Ellis, PC; and                                                                                             
Counsel, Alaska Power Association                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
166.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRIER HOPKINS                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 232, as prime sponsor.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRYCE WARD, Mayor                                                                                                               
Fairbanks North Star Borough                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony in support of HB 232.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:04:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR IVY SPOHNHOLZ called the  House Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  4:04 p.m.  Representatives Stutes,                                                               
Fields, Hannan, Story, Gillis, and  Spohnholz were present at the                                                               
call to order.   Representative Rasmussen arrived  as the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
        HB 166-TELEPHONE COOPERATIVES;TELECOMMUNICATIONS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:05:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  166,  "An  Act  relating  to  electric  and                                                               
telephone  cooperatives; and  relating to  telephone service  and                                                               
related telecommunications services."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:05:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAVE TALERICO, Alaska  State Legislature, as prime                                                               
sponsor, introduced HB  166.  He presented  the sponsor statement                                                               
provided  in   the  committee  packet,  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     House  bill  166  updates the  Electric  and  Telephone                                                                    
     Cooperatives Act  to allow Cooperatives the  ability to                                                                    
     assimilate twenty-first  century technology  into their                                                                    
     governance process  and to update their  name to better                                                                    
     communicate the services they provide.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     HB  166 will  allow  cooperatives to  adopt into  their                                                                    
     bylaws   the   options   of  providing   members   with                                                                    
     electronic  notice of  membership meetings,  conducting                                                                    
     annual  meetings  through   teleconference  or  similar                                                                  
     communications  equipment and  counting voting  members                                                                
     who    attend    via    teleconference    or    similar                                                                  
     communications equipment for the  purposes of a quorum.                                                                  
     These  provisions  will   allow  cooperatives  to  more                                                                    
     thoroughly engage  their members  and allow  members to                                                                    
     more readily  take an active  role regardless  of their                                                                    
     location, the  weather, the cost or  any other obstacle                                                                    
     that may be a challenge for in person attendance.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Over half  a dozen electric and  telephone cooperatives                                                                    
     have the word "association" in  their name due to their                                                                    
     creation  prior to  the statutory  requirement to  have                                                                    
     "cooperative"  in their  name. HB  166 allows  the word                                                                    
     "association"  in lieu  of the  word "cooperatives"  in                                                                    
     the  name  of  the corporation.  Additionally,  HB  166                                                                    
     allows   telephone  cooperatives   to  use   the  words                                                                    
     "telecommunications"   or   "telecom"    in   lieu   of                                                                    
     'telephone'  in  the  cooperatives name.  These  simple                                                                    
     changes will  allow these corporations  the flexibility                                                                    
     to make  changes to their  name to  one that is  a more                                                                    
     suitable descriptor of the services they provide.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     By supporting  these simple  and yet  effective changes                                                                    
     to  the Electric  and Telephone  Cooperatives Act  that                                                                    
     are proposed in  HB 166, we will  be affording Alaska's                                                                    
     Electric and  Telephone Cooperatives  throughout Alaska                                                                    
     the  ability to  conduct business  in a  more practical                                                                    
     manner   and   align    their   operations   with   the                                                                    
     technologies currently available for them to use.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:07:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked if HB 166 is primarily about name                                                                   
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO acknowledged that it is mostly about                                                                    
name changes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM STUDLER,  Staff, Representative  Dave Talerico,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,   on  behalf   of  representative   Talerico,  prime                                                               
sponsor, provided a  sectional analysis of HB 166,  which read in                                                               
its entirety as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 1  AS 10.15.005                                                                                                   
     Amends this section the  purpose for which cooperatives                                                                    
     may be organized.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 2   AS 10.15.575(a)                                                                                               
     Amends  this  section to  limit  the  use of  the  term                                                                    
     "cooperative" in a business name or title.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 3  AS 10.15.585                                                                                                   
     Amends  this section  as to  the applicability  of this                                                                    
     chapter                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 4   AS 10.25.010(a)                                                                                               
     Amends  this  section and  describes  the  powers of  a                                                                    
     "cooperative".                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 5   AS 10.25.030(a)                                                                                               
     Amends  this  section  to   describe  what  services  a                                                                    
     telephone or telecommunication service may provide.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 6   AS 10.25.040(a)                                                                                               
     Amends this  section as to the  wording of cooperatives                                                                    
     that must be included in the title.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 7   AS 10.25.080(a)                                                                                               
     Amends this section as to membership in a cooperative.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 8   AS 10.25.090(a)                                                                                               
     Amends   this  section   as  to   annual  meetings   of                                                                    
     cooperatives.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 9   AS 10.25.090(c)                                                                                               
     Amends this section concerning annual meetings.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 10  AS 10.25.100                                                                                                  
     Amends this relating to meeting notices.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 11  AS 10.25.110(a)                                                                                               
     Amends this section addressing quorum requirements.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 12  AS 10.25.110                                                                                                  
     Amended adding  a new subsection (c)  addressing bylaws                                                                    
     and voting.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked Mr. Studler to address the quorum issue in                                                                
in Section 11 in greater detail.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. STUDLER explained that Section 11 allows members to be                                                                      
present for quorum via teleconference instead of in person.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:12:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STUDLER continued the sectional analysis as follows                                                                         
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 13  AS 10.25.175(a)                                                                                               
     Amends this section addressing conduct of voting.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 14  AS 10.25.175(c)                                                                                               
     Amends this  section to what subjects  may be discussed                                                                    
     in executive session.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 15  AS10.25.290(a)                                                                                                
     Amends  this   section  to  allow  conversion   from  a                                                                    
     corporation to a cooperative.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 16  AS 10.25.430                                                                                                  
     Amends  this section  pertaining to  mortgages under  7                                                                    
     U.S.C. 901  950bb-2.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 17  AS 10.25.460                                                                                                  
     Amends this section by defining  a registered office or                                                                    
     agent.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 18  AS 10.25.810                                                                                                  
     Amends  this  section  as   to  applicability  of  this                                                                    
     chapter for nonprofit cooperatives.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 19  AS 10.25.820                                                                                                  
     Amends this section to extend  this chapter to existing                                                                    
     nonprofit cooperatives.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 20  AS 10.25.840                                                                                                  
     Amends  this section  by adding  definition of  related                                                                    
     telecommunication service.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 21  AS 10.25.030(b) and AS 10.25.400(e)                                                                           
     Amended to repeal these sections.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked which sections are being repealed.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. STUDLER answered AS 10.25.030(b) and AS 10.25.400(e).                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:15:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYAN  PONDER,  Legal  &  Regulatory  Affairs  Manager,  Matanuska                                                               
Telephone  Association,   provided  a   PowerPoint  presentation,                                                               
entitled "House  Bill 166 Updating  the Electronic  and Telephone                                                               
Cooperative  Act and  Empowering  Cooperative  Members to  Better                                                               
Manage Their Service  Providers."  Mr. Ponder stated  that HB 166                                                               
updates  the  cooperative  statutes for  electric  and  telephone                                                               
companies.     He  paraphrased   slide  2,   entitled  "Telephone                                                               
Cooperatives  in   Alaska,"  which  read  as   follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     ?   Since  before   statehood,  Alaskans   have  joined                                                                    
     together to  form electric and  telephone cooperatives.                                                                  
     They did  this to bring electric  and telephone service                                                                    
     to  areas  that  other  utilities had  no  interest  in                                                                    
     serving.                                                                                                                   
     ? Today,  electric and  telephone cooperatives  are the                                                                    
     economic  backbone  of   their  communities,  providing                                                                  
     affordable  and   reliable  power,  telecommunications,                                                                    
     broadband internet and  other vital technology services                                                                  
     to thousands of their members all across Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER  continued to  slide 3,  entitled "Why  Update," which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ?   Alaska   statutes   for  telephone   and   electric                                                                    
     cooperatives,  adopted in  1959, are  outdated. Decades                                                                  
     have  passed without  needed  substantive revisions  to                                                                    
     reflect changes in law and technology.                                                                                     
     ?  Current statutes  place  undue  restrictions on  the                                                                  
     member-owners  of telephone  and electric  cooperatives                                                                    
     regarding  how   they  can   operate  and   manage  the                                                                    
     cooperative and take advantage of current technology.                                                                      
     ?  Statutes also  are  very limiting  in  the types  of                                                                  
     services  that cooperatives  can  offer, restricting  a                                                                    
     cooperative's ability to meet its membership needs.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PONDER continued  to slide  4, entitled  "Proposed Changes,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Broadly speaking, the proposed amendments to the Act                                                                       
     would:                                                                                                                     
        Expand the  definition of  the services  a telephone                                                                  
     cooperative   can  provide   to   cover   all  of   the                                                                    
     telecommunications   and   information  services   that                                                                    
     cooperative customers expect;                                                                                              
         Further  expand   cooperatives'   ability  to   use                                                                  
     electronic means to communicate  with their members and                                                                    
     conduct cooperative business;                                                                                              
       Update the reasons  a cooperative's board can conduct                                                                  
     an  executive  session  to  better  reflect  disclosure                                                                    
     concerns    of   employment    matters   and    protect                                                                    
     cooperatives operating in competitive markets;                                                                             
         Improve   the    language   regarding   cooperative                                                                  
     registered agents and sales of cooperative assets.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PONDER  further  noted that  the  proposed  changes  include                                                               
additional services and improved communication methods.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:18:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS asked for  an explanation of the additional                                                               
services that would be offered.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER replied internet and broadband.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS pointed out  that some cooperatives already                                                               
provide  internet service,  adding that  this change  would align                                                               
the language with  the services that are provided.   He asked how                                                               
many cooperatives provide internet service.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER confirmed that.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  asked  how  many  telephone  cooperatives                                                               
provide internet among those that are in Alaska.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER deferred the question to Christine O'Connor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:20:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked  how many  electronic  cooperatives                                                               
exist in Alaska.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER answered 17.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked how many telephone cooperatives.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER replied seven.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:20:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER resumed his presentation on slide 6, entitled                                                                        
"Benefits," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                         
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Adding  "or  a related  telecommunications  service"                                                                    
     permits telephone  cooperatives to offer  broadband and                                                                    
     other data services that are  required by their Members                                                                    
     and Federal Regulations  through the cooperative rather                                                                    
     than a  subsidiary, thereby permitting customers  to be                                                                    
     members of the cooperative.                                                                                                
     ? Amending  AS 10.25.040(a) allows  cooperative members                                                                    
     to  use   something  other  than  "telephone"   in  the                                                                    
     cooperative's  name, which  better reflects  the nature                                                                    
     of services cooperatives are currently offering.                                                                           
     ?   Allows   all   cooperatives   to   use   the   word                                                                    
     "association" in  the name, not just  grand-fathered in                                                                    
     existing cooperatives                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER continued to slide 7, entitled "Benefits," which read                                                                
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Allows   members  to  receive  notice   of  meetings                                                                    
     electronically (10.25.100)                                                                                                 
     ?  Allows   members  to   attend  annual   meetings  by                                                                    
     teleconference (10.25.090)                                                                                                 
     ? Allows  teleconferenced attendees  to be part  of the                                                                    
     quorum (10.25.110)                                                                                                         
     ? Allows members who voted  by mail or electronic means                                                                    
     to be part of the quorum                                                                                                   
     (10.25.110)                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:22:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opined that allowing  members who vote by mail or                                                               
electronic means to be part of  the quorum seems to undermine the                                                               
spirit  of a  quorum,  which is  to have  a  majority of  members                                                               
present for the purpose of doing business.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER deferred to Mr. Leman.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ said  she would like to  understand the reasoning                                                               
behind this  change because it  could result in  people executing                                                               
good gamesmanship and functionally changing the way things work.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:23:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PONDER  resumed  his  presentation   on  slide  8,  entitled                                                               
"Benefits," which read:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     ? Allows discussion of personnel matters in executive                                                                      
     session (10.25.175)                                                                                                        
      ? Allows discussion of matters affecting competitive                                                                      
     factors in executive session (10.25.175)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PONDER  concluded  by  saying  that  HB  166  is  necessary,                                                               
primarily  because it  allows the  cooperatives to  interact with                                                               
their owner members  in a more technologically  advanced way than                                                               
in the 1950s (slide 9).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PONDER addressed the question  of what is being repealed from                                                               
Section  21.    He  explained that  the  definition  of  "related                                                               
telecommunications services" is being  moved from AS 10.25.030(b)                                                               
and  placed  within  the  definition  section  of  the  statutes.                                                               
Secondly, AS  10.25.400(e) makes all cooperatives  subject to the                                                               
same  rules  regarding  their  size and  how  they  sell  assets.                                                               
Basically, he said,  repealing this section makes it  so there is                                                               
only one rule for all cooperatives regarding the sale of assets.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE   O'CONNOR,   Executive    Director,   Alaska   Telecom                                                               
Association, explained that the  Alaska Telecom Association (ATA)                                                               
is  the   statewide  association  of  broadband,   landline,  and                                                               
wireless companies that connect Alaskans  to the world.  She said                                                               
HB 166  will allow Alaska's  modern cooperatives to operate  in a                                                               
modern way.  For example, instead  of being able to expand access                                                               
to all members  who can be spread across a  vast geographic area,                                                               
cooperatives are  limited by outdated  statutes.  This  bill will                                                               
allow   members   of   a  cooperative   the   choice   to   allow                                                               
teleconferencing  - technology  that  is taken  for granted,  and                                                               
ironically, technology that many  of these companies are uniquely                                                               
capable of using.   HB 166 also makes other  important updates to                                                               
allow cooperatives to operate more  efficiently.  She stated that                                                               
ATA's members unanimously support HB 166.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:28:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  asked if cooperatives have  the ability to                                                               
monitor cases where email notices  from the ATA are filtered into                                                               
spam inboxes or other folders.   He also asked what steps will be                                                               
taken to  ensure that a  text sent is a  text received.   He said                                                               
there have been  a lot of changes in the  way these systems work,                                                               
particularly  in   the  context   of  mass  communication.     He                                                               
emphasized his interest in making  sure there are guarantees that                                                               
people are receiving notice.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNOR explained that these  options would need to be voted                                                               
on by members.   The cooperative would then  develop policies and                                                               
procedures to  allow for those  eventualities.  She added  that a                                                               
lot  of  companies use  these  technologies,  so there  would  be                                                               
methods that the company would  develop to account for any snafus                                                               
along the way.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS in the  interest of transparency, suggested                                                               
a mandate that  would require a report on the  percentage of read                                                               
receipts  from  electronic  notices  to ensure  that  people  are                                                               
seeing them.   He asked for guidance on  other potential measures                                                               
to invoke confidence that people are aware of meetings.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNOR said she would follow up on that.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:30:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   inquired  as  to  the   dynamic  between                                                               
electric and telephone  cooperatives regarding meeting attendance                                                               
and participation, as well as personnel matters.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNOR said there are times  where it's a struggle to get a                                                               
quorum of  in-person presence.   She  shared a  personal anecdote                                                               
and offered her belief that  expanding the ability to participate                                                               
through modern  technology, like teleconference,  should increase                                                               
participation.  She  deferred to Mr. Leman to  speak to personnel                                                               
matters.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:33:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRYSTAL  ENKVIST, Executive  Director, Alaska  Power Association,                                                               
informed  the committee  that Alaska  Power Association  (APA) is                                                               
the statewide trade association  for electric utilities in Alaska                                                               
whose  members  provide  power  to   more  than  half  a  million                                                               
Alaskans.  She stated that the  APA supports HB 166 and urges its                                                               
swift passage.   She explained that HB 166  would modify statutes                                                               
governing  electric  and  telephone cooperatives  to  accommodate                                                               
technological  advances and  communications.   The  APA does  not                                                               
foresee  any negative  impact to  their electric  utility members                                                               
from the proposed changes in  the bill.  Furthermore, Sections 8,                                                               
10 and  11, which  deal with  cooperative annual  meetings, would                                                               
provide  more flexibility  for  cooperative  members by  allowing                                                               
technological  means  of  advertising  annual  meetings  and  the                                                               
option of holding a teleconferenced  annual meeting.  She offered                                                               
her belief  that these new  options for communication  could help                                                               
increase the members'  engagement.  She reported that  the APA is                                                               
hopeful that  HB 166 will  pass the legislature this  session and                                                               
become law  so that the  updates to  statute can take  effect and                                                               
benefit cooperative utility members throughout Alaska.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  questioned  the   ability  of  the  APA's                                                               
members,  should they  issue notices  electronically  by text  or                                                               
email, to report  the percentage of opened notices.   He directed                                                               
attention to Section  17 and asked Mr. Leman to  explain the need                                                               
to give a  cooperative the ability to have  a foreign corporation                                                               
as an agent.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:36:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  ANDREW LEMAN,  Attorney; Kemppel,  Huffman  and Ellis,  PC;                                                               
Counsel,  Alaska  Power Association,  said  the  new language  in                                                               
Section 17  mirrors the language regarding  registered agents for                                                               
all other forms of business  organization in the state of Alaska.                                                               
He explained that  regardless of whether the  registered agent is                                                               
a  person,   a  domestic  Alaskan   corporation,  or   a  foreign                                                               
corporation,  they  are  required  to  have  a  physical  mailing                                                               
address in  Alaska and a  location where notices and  process can                                                               
be served.   He added that  this brings the AS  10.25 cooperative                                                               
statute into  alignment with modern  statutes for other  forms of                                                               
business organization.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  questioned whether  there was  a practical                                                               
issue that prompted this.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEMAN  confirmed that.   He explained that several  years ago                                                               
there  were  a   number  of  cooperatives  in   the  state  using                                                               
corporations as their registered agents, which is common.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked  Mr. Leman to describe a  scenario in which                                                               
a foreign national  would be serving as the  registered agent for                                                               
a cooperative in the state of Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEMAN explained that when  the state corporate statutes refer                                                               
to  a   foreign  corporation,  they're  primarily   describing  a                                                               
corporation from another state.   He further noted that there are                                                               
nationwide  corporate entities  that serve  as registered  agents                                                               
for different  kinds of  Alaskan business  entities.   He offered                                                               
his understanding that in this  case, "foreign" refers to outside                                                               
the state of Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:40:24 P                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN said  she's  struggling with  the idea  of                                                               
making  [cooperatives] parallel  to  the laws  that govern  other                                                               
statutory  corporations in  Alaska.   She questioned  why not  do                                                               
away with cooperatives  all together if the goal is  to have them                                                               
treated just like any other corporation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LEMAN disagreed.    He said  they are  not  trying to  treat                                                               
electric and  telephone cooperatives the  same as other  forms of                                                               
corporate organization.   He added  that there are  good reasons,                                                               
historical  and  current,  for  having  a  separate  section  for                                                               
electric  and telephone  cooperatives -  aside, even,  from other                                                               
types  of   businesses  that   might  want   to  organize   as  a                                                               
cooperative.   That starts at  the federal level,  where electric                                                               
and telephone, as well as  other utility cooperatives are treated                                                               
differently  in  the  federal  tax   code  from  other  kinds  of                                                               
cooperatives  in recognition  of the  special role  they play  in                                                               
bringing service  to areas that  historically didn't  have access                                                               
to the kind of utility service in other areas of the country.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked  how cooperatives  have  previously                                                               
dealt with personnel matters outside of executive session.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEMAN stated that personnel  matters are handled in executive                                                               
session for  many reasons.   He said  that sometimes he  has seen                                                               
boards struggle with  which exception to use to talk  about a new                                                               
contract, negotiate  with the general  manager, or perform  a CEO                                                               
evaluation -  all things  that ought to  be handled  in executive                                                               
session.  What's missing from  the statute, he said, is something                                                               
that  can be  used to  clarify and  modernize which  exception to                                                               
indicate for personnel matters.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:47:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEMAN,  responding to a  question from  Representative Story,                                                               
said  Section 11  and  12 will  only affect  the  meeting of  the                                                               
entire membership  of the  cooperative members.   Section  13 and                                                               
the  amendment to  AS 10.25.175  is the  section of  statute that                                                               
pertains to open  board meetings.  He stated that  the meeting of                                                               
the board  and the  meeting of the  membership are  two different                                                               
meetings,  each with  different  rules.   He  explained that  the                                                               
original  version  of  the  cooperative   act  for  electric  and                                                               
telephone  cooperatives did  not  have a  mail-in voting  option,                                                               
which was added later.  He  said the reality is that most members                                                               
participate in  their cooperative  by mail-in  ballot and  do not                                                               
attend the  annual meeting.   Nonetheless, a  big part  of almost                                                               
every annual  cooperative meeting is  giving away door  prizes to                                                               
people who  show up to  incentivize in-person attendance  to make                                                               
quorum.   He  said HB  166 would  make it  easier for  those mass                                                               
membership meetings  to get quorum by  counting those individuals                                                               
who choose to participate by mail.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:50:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ interjected  to announce  that HB  166 was  held                                                               
over.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                  HB 232-MUNICIPAL TAX CREDITS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  232, "An  Act relating  to  a municipal  air                                                               
quality  improvement  tax credit;  and  relating  to a  municipal                                                               
energy efficient new construction tax credit."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRIER HOPKINS, Alaska  State Legislature, as prime                                                               
as sponsor,  gave a brief introduction  to HB 232.   The bill, he                                                               
said, is being  presented at the request of  Fairbanks North Star                                                               
Borough.  HB 232 allows  local governments to offer municipal tax                                                               
credits  to  home and  business  owners  who invest  in  property                                                               
improvements  which  result  in increased  energy  efficiency  or                                                               
local air  quality.   This bill  does not  mandate any  action by                                                               
municipalities -  it offers local governments  additional avenues                                                               
for  addressing local  challenges and  priorities.   He explained                                                               
that the  committee substitute (CS)  from the  previous committee                                                               
expanded   opportunities   for   the  construction   to   include                                                               
retrofits, refurbishments,  and remodels.   Additionally,  the CS                                                               
removed the  restriction on the air  quality improvements, making                                                               
it more  available to  all municipalities within  the state.   He                                                               
pointed out that HB  232 is a short bill.   Section 1 pertains to                                                               
the  air  quality   tax  credits  and  Section   2  involves  the                                                               
construction tax credits.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:53:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYCE WARD,  Mayor, Fairbanks North  Star Borough, said  that the                                                               
air  quality  tax  credit  and the  energy  exemption  were  both                                                               
identified as  priorities for the  Fairbanks North  Star Borough.                                                               
The  air  quality  tax  credit  was  originally  asked  to  be  a                                                               
reauthorized section of law that sunset  in 2016.  It would allow                                                               
the borough to encourage  and incentivize efficiency improvements                                                               
that  would benefit  the  air  quality issue  in  Fairbanks.   He                                                               
stated  that the  energy  efficiency exemption  is  similar.   It                                                               
allows  the  borough  to  incentivize  efficiency  and  efficient                                                               
construction.   This  would allow  the municipalities  to develop                                                               
programs   that  would   encourage  efficient   construction  and                                                               
efficient  design of  buildings.   The concept  of how  this idea                                                               
pays for itself is that  a higher efficiency building, in theory,                                                               
is  worth  more,  which  encourages higher  value  and  in  turn,                                                               
affects  the  total  (indisc.)  value   over  the  life  of  that                                                               
building.   He noted that  each program is optional,  which gives                                                               
local communities the ability to tailor them to their needs.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that HB 232 was held over.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:57:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
[4:57] p.m.                                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 27 ACAT Comparison of Anchorage Ordinance 2-25-20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Fiscal Note DEC 2.7.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 AO 2019-15(S)_1_As Amended.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Letters of Opposition received by 2.25.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Sponsor Presentation 2.25.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Changes Ver U to Ver K.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Sponsor Statement 1.15.19.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Fiscal Note DOL 2.7.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 166 Fiscal Note DCCED CBPL 02.21.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB166 List of Cooperatives 02.26.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB 166 Alaska Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Map.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB 166 Sectional Analysis 02.4.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB 166 Presentation 02.26.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB 166 MTA Ltr of Support 02.07.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB 166 Power Association Ltr of Support 02.10.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 166
HB 232 Fiscal Note DCCED DCRA 02.07.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 232
HB 232 Sponsor Statement 2.21.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 232
HB 232 Summary of Changes v. S 2.21.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 232
HB 232 Testimony Received by 2.20.2020.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 232
HB084 Sectional Analysis 4.3.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Sponsor Statement 3.28.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Supporting Document- Breast Cancer in Women Firefighters.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Supporting Document- Asbestos 03.28.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Supporting Document- Letter of Support ACAT 4.3.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Supporting Document- RADS in Police from Chemical Spill 3.28.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Fiscal Note DLWD WC 04.03.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Letter of Support- APOA 3.28.19.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB084 Opposition Document- AML Joint Insurance Association 3.29.2019.pdf HHSS 4/4/2019 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Supporting Document- RADS in Police from Chemical Spill- 3.28.19.pdf HL&C 2/24/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Supporting Document- Literature Review- Police Occupational Hazards 2.5.20.pdf HL&C 2/24/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Supporting Document- Letter of Support ACAT 4.3.19.pdf HL&C 2/24/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Presentation 4.3.19.pdf HL&C 2/24/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 84
HB 27 Letters of Support Received by 2.25.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27