Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/06/1994 09:07 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 365 (GOVERNOR'S OMNIBUS BILL) as the              
 next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee.             
 The chairman announces that the committee has two amendments to               
 SB 365.  Amendment #1 has been suggested by the Department of                 
 Corrections, and amendment #2 has been suggested by the Department            
 of Law.  The chairman offers amendment #1 and moves the amendment.            
                                                                               
 Number 555                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS objects for purposes of discussion and asks for an              
 explanation of the amendment.                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Schenker to explain the amendment.                    
                                                                               
 Number 552                                                                    
                                                                               
 DIANE SCHENKER, Special Assistant, Department of Corrections states           
 the amendment would address section 27, line 10.  It would delete             
 the reference to AS 33.30.071 (c).  It is a technical error to                
 refer to subsection (c).  Subsection (c) actually refers to people            
 for which the Department of Corrections does not have medical             
 responsibility.  The rest of the amendment would allow the                    
 department to collect payments from inmates or other sources for a            
 broader scope of services than the medical, psychological, and                
 psychiatric services originally listed.  This would allow the                 
 department to collect for any service provided that is listed under           
 AS 33.30.011 (a).                                                             
                                                                               
 MS. SCHENKER states she is not certain which services might or                
 might not be collected for by the department.  It will depend on              
 the level of tension in the institutions, etcetera.  Not only could           
 it generate some program receipts, but it can also be used to                 
 discourage frivolous use of services.  For instance, persons filing           
 fifty grievances per day.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 535                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asks Ms. Schenker to explain how the level of tension           
 in an institution could affect the fees that are collected.                   
                                                                               
 Number 533                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. SCHENKER responds that overcrowding in the institutions causes            
 management problems, and if the tension level is already high, it             
 can cost the state more money than actually will be collected by              
 instituting the fee.  There would be a careful assessment of how              
 well the department is able to manage the population before                   
 instituting collection of fees.  Also, if it is a service to which            
 the inmate has a constitutional right, then obviously the                     
 department cannot charge a fee for that service if the inmate is              
 indigent.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 520                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asks if Cleary addresses fees for medical services.             
                                                                               
 Number 516                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. SCHENKER replies there is nothing specific in Cleary addressing           
 charges for medical services or the other services listed under               
 this section.  Cleary does define an indigent prisoner.  It is very           
 restricted as to what must be provided to indigent prisoners, but             
 it does not speak to fees.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 509                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any further objection to amendment            
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN offers amendment #2 from the Department of Law.                
 Amendment #2 redrafts section 33 of AS 37.07.060.  The chairman               
 asks if there is anyone from the executive branch to address the              
 redrafting of section 33.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 495                                                                    
                                                                               
 CLYDE STOLTZFUS, Special Assistant, Department of Transportation &            
 Public Facilities states he initially raised the question about the           
 original draft of section 33.  Mr. Stoltzfus states the original              
 draft was not understandable.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 490                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if everyone understands the redraft of section            
 33.  Hearing no comment, the chairman asks if there is any                    
 objection to the adoption of amendment #2.  Hearing none, the                 
 chairman states the amendment has been adopted.                               
                                                                               
 Number 483                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Mr. Stoltzfus, under section 10, if the term              
 "standard plans and specifications" should be changed to the term             
 "standard drawings and specifications".                                       
                                                                               
 MR. STOLTZFUS responds the chairman is correct, and the term should           
 be changed.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is objection to using the term                   
 "standard drawings and specifications" and offers that change as              
 amendment #3.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 466                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states amendment #3 has been            
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks, under section 42, line 9, what is intended to            
 be regulated under the term "sewerage".                                       
                                                                               
 Number 449                                                                    
                                                                               
 DEENA HENKINS, Chief, Drinking Water & Wastewater Section,                    
 Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) states that language           
 is intended to make clear that DEC can delegate sewer system                  
 (sewerage) plan review to other competent government agencies.                
 However, she does not think it is important whether the term sewer            
 system or sewerage is used there.  Sewerage is just all-                      
 encompassing.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 433                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states it would be his preference to use the most              
 precise term.  The chairman asks if it is intended that the term be           
 applied only to domestic sewerage.                                            
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS replies the term is intended to apply to domestic                 
 sewerage.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 426                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN offers, as amendment #4, to delete the words                   
 "wastewater collections and", and asks if there is any objection.             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states amendment #4 has been            
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 424                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes there is similar language on lines 13 and 14,            
 and asks, as amendment #5, that "wastewater collection and" be                
 deleted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 419                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks what authority the State of Alaska has to                 
 impose state law on a military facility or base.                              
                                                                               
 Number 416                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS states she is an engineer and not an attorney, but she            
 thinks it can depend on whether there is a federal law that gives             
 the state that authority.  She also thinks there are executive                
 orders telling the military to comply with state and local                    
 regulations as well.                                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is objection to amendment #5.  Hearing           
 none, the chairman states amendment #5 has been adopted.                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Ms. Henkins what the reason is to have, on page           
 16, lines 5 and 7, why the language states, "sewerage system or               
 treatment works", and asks why "treatment works" is included.                 
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS thinks that may be more in line with Title 46 of Alaska           
 Statutes.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states if that language is already in statute, he              
 will not go into it.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 396                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to delete section 38, 39, 42, and               
 those provisions within section 43 impacted by that be deleted.               
                                                                               
 Number 388                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS objects to that motion.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 387                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states his reasons for that motion are because the             
 department will establish regulations increasing fees wherever the            
 department determines that they have an "indirect cost".  It is               
 obvious to him that DEC is reaching out to further increase what he           
 considers to be already astronomically high fees.  He thinks                  
 everything DEC is doing under this authority is offensive.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR then adds he will also ask that, as his next                   
 amendment, AS 44.46.025 (a).                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 363                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes that there was objection to Senator Taylor's             
 first motion.  The chairman lists the sections Senator Taylor just            
 motioned to be deleted and notes that section 42 is the section the           
 committee just worked on amendments to.  Chairman Leman states he             
 also objects to Senator Taylor's motion.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR withdraws his motion, saying he does not think the             
 state has any business "dinking" around with military facilities.             
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he will modify his amendment so as not to               
 delete section 42.                                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is any objection from the committee to           
 the amendment to the amendment.  Hearing no further objection, the            
 chairman states Senator Taylor's amendment has been amended.                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states Senator Taylor's amendment now is to delete             
 sections 38, 39, and those portions of section 43 that relate to              
 those two sections.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he did not ask to delete section 39.  All he            
 wanted was sections relating to DEC.                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN clarifies that Senator Taylor only wanted his                  
 amendment to delete section 38 and those portions of section 43               
 that relate to DEC.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN asks that Senator Taylor withdraw his original                 
 motion for an amendment and propose a new amendment.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to withdraw his amendment.                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states Senator Taylor's                 
 amendment has been withdrawn.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR proposes a new amendment, that being to delete                 
 section 38 and replace it with, " AS 44.46.025 (a) is hereby                  
 repealed."                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN and SENATOR ELLIS object to Senator Taylor's                   
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes objection has been made and asks Ms. Henkins             
 if she would like to speak to the amendment.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 315                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS states she deals principally with fees for drinking and           
 wastewater issues, including plan reviews and permit issuing.  In             
 her opinion, DEC has taken a very conservative approach in                    
 establishing fees for services.  Fees typically reflect the time of           
 the professional involved in the permitting process.  For the most            
 part, DEC has avoided fees based on hourly computations because of            
 potential abuses of that.  DEC's fees currently only recover a                
 fraction of the direct costs involved.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 290                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states adding the words "and indirect" to page 15,             
 line 2 trouble him.                                                           
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS responds that language is to allow DEC to come closer             
 to recovering the entire cost of some of the programs.                        
                                                                               
 Number 283                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks what is included in direct costs at this time.            
                                                                               
 Number 280                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS replies she is speaking only for those fees in which              
 she has been personally involved, says it tends to be the cost of             
 the one person conducting the plan review or issuing the permit.              
 It hasn't included any kind of clerical support, management costs,            
 or any other costs.  Taken into the calculations are the salary and           
 benefit costs of the person involved.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 259                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he does not understand what the additional,             
 indirect costs are, since inspections, permit preparation,                    
 administration, plan review- administration ought to include every            
 secretary.  He cannot imagine an indirect cost that is not                    
 currently included in law.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 252                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS responds that if that is Senator Taylor's                         
 interpretation, then Ms. Henkins would certainly not have any                 
 objection to deleting the "and indirect".                                     
                                                                               
 Number 248                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asks why ten through fourteen (unclear as to what he           
 is referring) have been added.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 245                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS replies she can personally only speak to about three of           
 these.  The on-site water and sewer system certification and audit            
 program is in reference to section 41.  This is the so-called bank            
 loan certification program, where banks want DEC, or someone                  
 overseen by DEC to look at the water and sewer systems on a                   
 property before making a loan on that property.  For about ten                
 years, DEC did do this, as a service to the banks.  In 1990 it was            
 estimated that the program was costing the department 540,000$ per            
 year.  DEC instituted a 250$ fee for those inspections in early               
 1993.  When the FY 94 wastewater budget was cut, DEC elected to try           
 to back out of the bank loan certification program, because it is             
 not required by Alaska Statute or regulations.  The lenders simply            
 will not let DEC get entirely out of the program.  So DEC is                  
 proposing a statute allowing registered engineers to do the                   
 certifications, with an audit of the engineers to satisfy the banks           
 that the engineers are doing adequate certifications.  DEC proposes           
 that they be allowed to charge a fee to audit the engineers doing             
 the certifications.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 220                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN agrees that the private sector should be doing these           
 certifications.  He thinks the banks and lending institutions are             
 being overly cautious in this case.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 206                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENKINS agrees that professional engineers can easily do these            
 certifications.  However, the banks do not agree and want at least            
 minimal involvement by DEC or say they simply will not lend.  DEC             
 thinks the program provided for in section 41 is the least costly             
 way DEC can continue to be involved, while making sure that the               
 banks will continue to lend.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN appreciates the department working to try to resolve           
 this problem.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 193                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR states this is not the least costly way.  What we              
 are talking about is DEC wanting to get out of the business of                
 testing drinking water for people in Alaska.  To suggest the evil             
 banks and lending institutions are behind this is garbage.  We                
 can't even have decent water and sewage systems for half of our               
 villages.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 174                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes for Senator Taylor that the Municipality of              
 Anchorage has had this type of program for a number of years.  The            
 chairman further states that he does not think DEC should be doing            
 a lot of the testing that it does; the testing should be done by              
 private laboratories.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is further discussion regarding the              
 amendment.  Hearing none, the chairman asks if there is objection             
 to the amendment.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN voices his objection to the amendment.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN restates the amendment, it being to delete section             
 38 and repeal the ability of the Department of Environmental                  
 Conservation to collect fees.  The chairman asks for a roll-call              
 vote on adoption of the amendment.                                            
                                                                               
 The adoption of the amendment fails by 2 yeas, 3 nays, with                   
 Senators Miller and Taylor voting in favor of the amendment, and              
 Chairman Leman and Senators Ellis and Duncan voting against the               
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 145                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN offers amendment #7, which would delete "and                   
 indirect" on page 15, line 2.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS voices objection to amendment #7.                               
                                                                               
 Number 141                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to amend amendment #7 by also                   
 deleting lines 21 through 30.                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Taylor if he would offer that as a                
 separate amendment.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR withdraws his amendment to amendment #7.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there are questions on amendment #7.                   
 Hearing none, the chairman asks if there are continued objections             
 to the amendment.                                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing continued objection, asks that a roll-call            
 vote be taken on the amendment.                                               
                                                                               
 Amendment #7 fails by a vote of 2 yeas, 3 nays.  Voting in favor of           
 the amendment are Chairman Leman and Senator Miller, voting against           
 the amendment are Senators Taylor, Ellis, and Duncan.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN announce SB 365 will not be passed from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee today.                                                

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