Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/19/2019 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
01:30:05 PM Start
01:32:09 PM Presentation
02:04:58 PM SB65
02:32:31 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
02:37:46 PM SB66
02:54:43 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: TELECONFERENCED
Health Care & Alaska's Economy by Charles
Silver, M.A., J.D. & David Hyman, M.D., J.D.
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
<Item Above Added to Agenda>
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Workers' Compensation Board - Julie Duquette
-- Public Testimony --
*+ SB 65 DEPT. OF LABOR: TECHNICAL ED. PROGRAMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-Invited Testimony Followed by Public Testimony-
*+ SB 66 LABOR STANDARDS/SAFETY; WORKER COMP. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-Invited Testimony Followed by Public Testimony-
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
           SB 66-LABOR STANDARDS/SAFETY; WORKER COMP.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:37:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD reconvened  the  meeting and  announced that  the                                                               
next  order of  business would  be SENATE  BILL NO.  66, "An  Act                                                               
relating to the division of  labor standards and safety; relating                                                               
to  the  division  of  workers'  compensation;  establishing  the                                                               
division of  workers' safety and compensation;  and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:38:05 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  LEDBETTER said that this  bill proposes to                                                               
merge the Division of Labor  Standards, whose focus is to prevent                                                               
workplace accidents and enforce  laws related to workplace safety                                                               
with the  Division of  Workers' Compensation,  whose focus  is to                                                               
provide efficient  administration of benefits to  injured workers                                                               
and   to   enforce   laws  related   to   workers'   compensation                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She  said  that  these  two divisions'  missions  complement  one                                                               
another, such that  one works to prevent accidents  and the other                                                               
works  to provide  an efficient  system of  benefits for  injured                                                               
workers. This  bill would further  increase the  opportunities to                                                               
remove "silos"  and capitalize on efficiencies  through a unified                                                               
management  structure. The  proposed merger  will not  impact any                                                               
statutes or  regulations currently  administered and  enforced by                                                               
each  division.  The  department   seeks  to  take  advantage  of                                                               
position  vacancies  to  explore opportunities  to  share  duties                                                               
between divisions where it makes  sense, streamline processes and                                                               
reduce unnecessary middle management supervisory functions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE LEDBETTER reviewed  the DLWD's fiscal note.                                                               
The bill  would result  in immediate  administrative efficiencies                                                               
by  reclassifying the  Division of  Labor Standards  and Safety's                                                               
director  to  a deputy  director,  who  will focus  attention  on                                                               
operational   aspects   of   the   new   division's   inspection,                                                               
consultation,  and  enforcement   functions.  This  would  reduce                                                               
midlevel management  in the Division  of Occupational  Safety and                                                               
Health   component.  In   addition,   the   two  divisions   will                                                               
consolidate  and  share  administrative  duties  where  it  makes                                                               
sense.   Future  efficiencies   may  occur   with  office   space                                                               
consolidation,  increased  coordination,   and  improved  service                                                               
delivery  for employers  and  workers. The  bill  would create  a                                                               
structure to share resources and find efficiencies over time.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:41:08 PM                                                                                                                    
GREY  MITCHELL,  Director,  Division  of  Workers'  Compensation,                                                               
Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development  (DOLWD), Juneau,                                                               
stated  the  main  purpose  of  SB 66  was  to  combine  the  two                                                               
divisions   as  previously   stated   by  Commissioner   Designee                                                               
Ledbetter.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:41:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. MITCHELL  began a  sectional analysis of  SB 66.  He reviewed                                                               
Sections 1-6:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1: Renames the division  of labor standards and                                                                    
     safety  to   the  division   of  workers'   safety  and                                                                    
     compensation in AS18.20.410(b).                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2: Renames the division  of labor standards and                                                                    
     safety  to   the  division   of  workers'   safety  and                                                                    
     compensation in AS18.20.450(a).                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3: Renames the division  of labor standards and                                                                    
     safety  to   the  division   of  workers'   safety  and                                                                    
     compensation in AS18.60.055.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4: Renames the division  of labor standards and                                                                    
     safety  to   the  division   of  workers'   safety  and                                                                    
     compensation in AS18.60.055(a).                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5: Renames the division  of labor standards and                                                                    
     safety  to   the  division   of  workers'   safety  and                                                                    
     compensation                                                                                                               
     in AS18.60.235(a).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
    Section   6:   Renames   the   division   of   workers'                                                                     
      compensation to the division of workers' safety and                                                                       
     compensation in AS 23.05.067(a)(1)(B).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:43:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD said  the  committee  did not  need  to hear  the                                                               
detailed changes.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:43:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO asked  whether removing  "standard" would  will                                                               
have any effect.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  answered that the  name change does not  impact the                                                               
statutory  authority. All  of the  previous authorities  for each                                                               
division would  be incorporated into  the new division  of Worker                                                               
Safety and Compensation Division. He  said that the standards for                                                               
wage and  hour and  mechanical inspections  would still  occur in                                                               
the merged division.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:44:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked whether there  was any opposition  to the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL has not heard any opposition to the merger.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:45:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BISHOP asked  whether the  department  would absorb  the                                                               
cost to print new letterhead.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  answered  yes.  In  further  response  to  Senator                                                               
Bishop, he agreed  to inform the committee if the  merger was not                                                               
working.  He said  that it  wasn't possible  to predict  what may                                                               
arise during the merger, but if  it became necessary to "beef up"                                                               
some area to  maintain the same level of  service, the department                                                               
would do so. The department  does not intend on reducing services                                                               
to  the  public and  seeks  to  increase services.  For  example,                                                               
currently, a  workers' compensation  investigator might  visit an                                                               
employer  and several  days later  a wage  and hour  investigator                                                               
would appear. However, with a  little coordination the department                                                               
could consolidate  the inspections  to increase  efficiencies and                                                               
provide better services to the public.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:46:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BIRCH said he is not  familiar with the two divisions. He                                                               
asked whether any tension exists between the two agencies.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  answered that  the  department  does not  see  any                                                               
conflict  between  the  two divisions.  Instead,  the  department                                                               
views synergy,  with one division  focused on  reducing accidents                                                               
and minimizing safety  hazards and the other  division focused on                                                               
paying benefits  for incidents.  Sharing data  and administrative                                                               
oversight between the divisions makes sense, he said.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE   LEDBETTER  answered  that   the  current                                                               
division director  for the Division of  Workers' Compensation was                                                               
previously the  director of the  Division of Labor  Standards and                                                               
Safety. The current staff has  extensive experience in the field,                                                               
so it  provides opportunities to share  knowledge and collaborate                                                               
to build  a rich division  that would be  two halves of  the same                                                               
whole.  The  department  has  begun   the  effort  to  share  and                                                               
collaborate, she said.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:49:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON said  she was pleased to  see the efficiency                                                               
of $283,000 and looked forward to more efficiencies.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:50:20 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE LEDBETTER introduced her staff.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:50:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD opened public testimony on SB 66.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:52:22 PM                                                                                                                    
DON  ETHERIDGE,  Executive  Director, AFLCIO,  Juneau,  said  one                                                               
concern the AFLCIO  has with the merger of the  divisions is that                                                               
one division's function  may not get adequate  attention. He said                                                               
that he hoped that nothing would slip through the cracks.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:52:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD,  after first  determining no  one else  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on SB 66.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:53:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD reviewed upcoming announcements.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:53:34 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE LEDBETTER  said  that  the department  has                                                               
long  considered   the  merger   to  increase   the  department's                                                               
effectiveness and  efficiency. She  said her  focus is  to ensure                                                               
that these  changes do not  harm the department's  current staff.                                                               
She  said she  hoped  it  would proceed  in  a  fashion that  was                                                               
beneficial to all.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[SB 66 was held in committee]                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
03.19.19 Resume of Charles Silver.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
03.19.19 Resume of David A. Hyman.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
L&C Workers Compensation Resume - Duquette.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 65 Ver. A.PDF SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 65
SB 65 Transmittal Letter.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 65
SB 65 Sectional Analysis.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 65
SB 65 FN 0139-DOLWD-WIB-02-19-19.PDF SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 65
SB 65 FN 0139-EED-SSA-2-15-19.PDF SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 65
SB 66 Ver. A.PDF SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 Transmittal Letter.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 Sectional Analysis.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 Bill and Sectional Analysis - DOLWD.pdf SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 FN 0049-DOLWD-WC-02-18-19.PDF SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 FN 0049-DOLWD-OSH-02-15-19.PDF SL&C 3/19/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 66