Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
03/21/2019 01:30 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
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 66-LABOR STANDARDS/SAFETY; WORKER COMP. 1:41:35 PM CHAIR REINBOLD 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." 1:42:35 PM GREY MITCHELL, Director, Division of Workers' Compensation, Central Office, Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD), Juneau, briefly reviewed SB 66. As stated during the previous hearing, SB 66 would combine the Division of Labor Standards and Safety (DLSS) with the Division of Workers' Compensation. The department does not intend to change any of the programs, but to create opportunities for efficiencies and remove silos between the two divisions. The department hopes to capture some immediate savings by flattening the management structure in the Occupational Safety and Health component and taking advantage of a vacancy in an administrative position in Fairbanks. The department would combine the administrative functions in the two divisions. One provision in the fiscal note is related to reclassification of the director's position to a deputy director, who would work in tandem with the director of the Division of Workers' Compensation in the newly formed Division of Worker Safety and Compensation. The administrative officer II position that is currently in DLSS would be reclassified to an administrative officer I position. This position would be part of the team for the combined division to more effectively manage the administrative operations. It would help create a safety net and career pathway within the division. Currently, when one position becomes vacant, it means the department must train a new person. This would help ensure that someone is trained and ready to step in at the same time it would create efficiencies and better overall management. 1:44:16 PM SENATOR BISHOP reviewed the zero-fiscal note for the Department of Labor and Workforce, Workers' Compensation. The appropriation and allocation are both Workers' Compensation and the OMB component is 344. He read the fiscal note commentary: This merger will not result in an immediate cost savings within Workers' Compensation. Potential future year cost savings will have to be determined as position responsibilities and lease space needs are evaluated moving forward. SENATOR BISHOP said the second fiscal note for the Department of Labor & Workforce Development shows the potential savings. The appropriation is Labor Standards and Safety, the allocation is Occupational Safety and Health, and the OMB component is 970. He said there would be a general fund reduction of $71,400 and designated general fund savings of $211,600 for a total savings of $283,000. He read the following fiscal note analysis: This legislation merges the Division of Labor Standards and Safety and the Division of Workers' Compensation into the Division of Workers' Safety and Compensation. The new division would administer the same programs as are currently administered by the two separate divisions. The department's regulations need to be updated to reflect the division name change. This merger would result in immediate administrative efficiencies resulting in position reductions and personal services savings. The estimated cost savings is based on the reclassification of the Labor Standards and Safety Director (range 27) to a Deputy Director (range 25) position, the elimination of the Occupational Safety and Health Chief (range 23) position with those duties assumed by the Deputy Director, the elimination of a vacant office assistant II (range 10) position, and the reclassification of a vacant Administrative Officer II (range 19) position to an Administrative Officer I (range 17) position. 1:46:45 PM CHAIR REINBOLD expressed appreciation for the fiscal note analysis. 1:47:06 PM SENATOR BISHOP removed his objection. He said that he has workload concerns about the director position and he would offer an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee. He said he has previously held discussions with Mr. Mitchell. During his tenure as commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD), he considered collapsing the division. He said he would err on the side of worker safety for working people. He expressed concern that the director would suffer burnout. 1:48:34 PM SENATOR COSTELLO moved to report SB 66, work order 31-GS1049\A, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There being no objection, SB 66 was reported from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.