Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/01/2006 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 231 BUDGET: CAPITAL & OTHER APPROPRIATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 231(FIN) Out of Committee
+= SB 160 STATE PROCUREMENT ELECTRONIC TOOLS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 160(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 500 BONDING AUTHORITY FOR HATCHER PASS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 500 Out of Committee
+= HB 283 AK HOUSING FINANCE CORP BOARD COMP. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 338 CERTIF. OF FITNESS FOR EXPLOSIVE HANDLERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 338(L&C) Out of Committee
+ HB 83 SEISMIC HAZARDS SAFETY COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 83(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 338(L&C)                                                                                             
     "An  Act  relating   to  applications,  qualifications,  and                                                               
     criminal history and background  checks for a certificate of                                                               
     fitness  for  explosives  handlers;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:34:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LALANYA  SNYDER,  Staff  to  Representative  Mike  Chenault,  the                                                               
bill's sponsor,  informed the Committee  the Department  of Labor                                                               
and Workforce Development is  responsible for issuing Certificate                                                               
of  Fitness  licenses to  explosives  handlers.  While an  Alaska                                                               
criminal background check is required  as part of that process, a                                                               
fingerprint check  is not. Authorization  of a  fingerprint check                                                               
is  being sought,  as  it  would assist  the  State in  verifying                                                               
identification  and would  provide a  tool for  checking criminal                                                               
activity on record in other states.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green understood such action  would align State statutes                                                               
with federal law.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Snyder affirmed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green asked  for further  information about  explosives                                                               
handlers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Snyder deferred  to  Grey Mitchell  with  the Department  of                                                               
Labor and Workforce Development.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:36:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREY MITCHELL,  Director, Division  of Labor Standards  & Safety,                                                               
Department  of   Labor  and  Workforce   Development,  identified                                                               
explosive handlers as  people who are employed in  such things as                                                               
road construction  and rock pit operations.  Individuals, such as                                                               
miners,  who  are  employed  in  operations  subject  to  federal                                                               
jurisdictions  such  as  the Federal  Mine,  Safety,  and  Health                                                               
Administration,  would  be  exempt   from  the  background  check                                                               
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Stedman  inquired  about   the  certificate  of  fitness                                                               
license requirements for an explosive handler.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Mitchell expressed  that the  licensing process  requires an                                                               
applicant to provide their  name, address, physical disabilities,                                                               
and  employment history.  In addition,  applicants are  tested on                                                               
general  explosive knowledge,  safety  procedures, and  explosive                                                               
handling. The license is valid for three years.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:38:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked for further information  about the exemption                                                               
for miners from the background check requirement.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Mitchell clarified that the  State does not have jurisdiction                                                               
over people employed  in occupations covered by  the Federal Mine                                                               
Safety  and  Health  Administration.   Thus,  the  State  Statute                                                               
specifically  excludes  those occupations.  These  jurisdictional                                                               
issues were addressed when  Statutes regarding this certification                                                               
process were originally established.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked  whether the Alaska Miners  Association has a                                                               
position on the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Mitchell understood  that the  Association had  not provided                                                               
testimony on the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Snyder  informed  the  Committee   that  the  Alaska  Miners                                                               
Association opposed  the original  bill, as miners  were included                                                               
in  the list  of  occupations subject  to  the provisions.  Their                                                               
opposition  was  removed  once  miners  were  excluded  from  the                                                               
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken moved  to report  the bill  from Committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection, CS  HB  338 (L&C)  was REPORTED  from                                                               
Committee with  two previous  zero fiscal  notes: fiscal  note #1                                                               
dated  January 5,  2006 from  Department of  Labor and  Workforce                                                               
Development and fiscal  note #2 dated January 17,  2006, from the                                                               
Department of Public Safety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:40:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

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