Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/16/1993 08:47 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         April 16, 1993                                        
                            8:47 A.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 8:47 a.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson                                                              
  Co-Chair MacLean                                                             
  Vice-Chair Hanley           Representative Martin                            
  Representative Brown        Representative Parnell                           
  Representative Foster       Representative Therriault                        
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
                                                                               
  Representatives  Hoffman  and Navarre  were absent  from the                 
  meeting.                                                                     
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Ken Erickson, Staff, Senator Pearce; Larry Fanning, City and                 
  Borough  Juneau; Philip  Reeves,  Attorney, Kenai  Peninsula                 
  Borough; Lieutenant Tandeske, Anchorage Police  Force; C. E.                 
  Swackhammer, Deputy  Director, Department of  Public Safety;                 
  Kevin O'Leary, Chief, Anchorage Police Department.                           
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 93     "An  Act  relating to  the  village public  safety                 
            officers program."                                                 
                                                                               
            CSHB 93 (CRA) was reported out of Committee with a                 
            "do pass"  recommendation and  with a  zero fiscal                 
            note  by the  Department  of Public  Safety, dated                 
            3/26/93.                                                           
                                                                               
  SB 97     "An  Act   relating  to  enhanced   911  emergency                 
            reporting systems; and providing  for an effective                 
            date."                                                             
                                                                               
            SB 97  was HELD  in a  subcommittee consisting  of                 
            Chair  Parnell  with  Representatives  Foster  and                 
            Brown.                                                             
  HOUSE BILL NO. 93                                                            
                                                                               
       "An Act relating to the  village public safety officers                 
       program."                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Foster noted  that CSHB 93 (CRA)  would place                 
  the Village Public Safety Officer Program (VPSO) into Alaska                 
  Statutes.  Representative Foster  MOVED  to  report CSHB  93                 
  (CRA) out  of Committee with  individual recommendations and                 
  with the accompanying fiscal note.                                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  asked if  CSHB 93  (CRA) would  affect the                 
  trooper retirement program.                                                  
                                                                               
  C.  E. SWACKHAMMER,  DEPUTY DIRECTOR,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC                 
  SAFETY clarified  that CSHB  93 (CRA)  would not  affect the                 
  trooper retirement system.  He added that  VPSO officers are                 
  not on the state retirement system.                                          
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell   noted  that  CSHB  93  (CRA)  will                 
  "formally institute the VPSO program in Alaska statutes, and                 
  formally institute the  program in the Department  of Public                 
  Safety."  He  asked if the  Department of Public Safety  can                 
  achieve this goal through the administration of contracts.                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Swackhammer  replied that  the regulation  process is  a                 
  more efficient and  public way  to manage the  program.   He                 
  noted that  the program  was begun  as a  pilot program,  12                 
  years ago, and has grown to 121 officers.   He asserted that                 
  it is time to recognize the program by statute.                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  expressed   support  for  the  VPSO                 
  program.  He  asked if it  is the Department's intention  to                 
  bring the VPSO  program into the state's  retirement system.                 
  Mr. Swackhammer stated that VPSO  officer's are not included                 
  in the state's retirement  system.  He added that  it is not                 
  the intention  of the Department to make VPSO officers state                 
  employees.    He  stressed  that  the  Department's  primary                 
  concern is to raise the level of pay for VPSO officers.                      
                                                                               
  LIEUTENANT TANDESKE, ANCHORAGE POLICE OFFICER agreed that it                 
  is not the intention of the Department to make VPSO officers                 
  state employees.                                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Martin  asked if  VPSO officers  are employed                 
  full-time.  Mr. Swackhammer answered that they are full-time                 
  contract employees.                                                          
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  asked  if  the  state   will  incur                 
  additional liability with the passage of CSHB 93 (CRA).  Mr.                 
  Swackhammer  clarified   that  the  state   will  not  incur                 
  additional liability.  The state  is already liable for VPSO                 
  officer's actions.                                                           
                                                                               
  Mr. Swackhammer  stated that  the annual  cost  of the  VPSO                 
  program is $6 million dollars.                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson  restated the motion  to move CSHB  93 (CRA)                 
  out  of  committee.   There being  NO  OBJECTION, it  was so                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ordered.                                                                     
                                                                               
  CSHB 93 (CRA) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass"                 
  recommendation and with a zero fiscal note by the Department                 
  of Public Safety, dated 3/26/93.                                             
  SENATE BILL NO. 97                                                           
                                                                               
       "An  Act relating to  enhanced 911  emergency reporting                 
       systems; and providing for an effective date."                          
                                                                               
  KEN  ERICKSON,  STAFF, SENATOR  PEARCE  stated that  SSSB 97                 
  (Fin) will  enable emergency  dispatchers  to better  assist                 
  people  who  call  911 when  they  find  themselves  in life                 
  threatening situations.  He asserted  that victims of crime,                 
  the young, and the elderly are often unable to give adequate                 
  directions when  they dial  911.   If enacted,  SB 97  would                 
  create a mechanism to fund  enhanced 911 emergency reporting                 
  systems (E 911).  The bill is permissive.                                    
                                                                               
  Mr.  Erickson  pointed  out  that   enhanced  911  emergency                 
  reporting systems provide  an expansion  of the benefits  of                 
  the  basic  911  emergency  telephone  number.    Among  the                 
  benefits are:                                                                
                                                                               
       1)   Immediate  visual  display  of  the  location  and                 
       telephone      number of the caller.                                    
                                                                               
       2)   Automatic  routing  to  the appropriate  emergency                 
            response  unit.                                                    
                                                                               
       3)   Faster response time.                                              
                                                                               
       4)   Curtailment of abuses  of the emergency  system by                 
            documenting callers.                                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Erickson observed  that SSSB  (FIN) gives immunity  from                 
  liability,  except for  intentional  acts  of misconduct  or                 
  gross negligence,  to municipalities and  their suppliers of                 
  911 services.  He explained that  the bill, for the purposes                 
  of a dispatcher  furnishing name and address  information to                 
  emergency  response units,  waives the  telephone customer's                 
  privacy rights normally afforded by unlisted phone numbers.                  
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  discussed the  additional cost  to the                 
  Municipality  of Anchorage.  She  referred to the system for                 
  the Municipality of Anchorage.                                               
                                                                               
  BILL O'LEARY, CHIEF,  ANCHORAGE POLICE DEPARTMENT  clarified                 
  that Anchorage does not have a E 911 system.  A RFP has been                 
  issued and  bids have  been received  on the  creation of  a                 
  system.  The  estimated cost is  $300 thousand dollars.   He                 
  noted that individuals not residing  in the Anchorage Police                 
  Department  Service  Area  (APDSA) are  not  paying  for the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  service  that  they  are  receiving.    He  noted  that  the                 
  legislation is based  on model legislation used  in 48 other                 
  states.   He added  that the Anchorage  Police Department is                 
  prohibited by charter  from providing  services out side  of                 
  the APDSA.  He stated that  the actual overall cost of an  E                 
  911 in the APDSA is $4.1 million dollars.                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Brown stated that  other states extend  basic                 
  911  service to the unserved areas of the states.  She noted                 
  that there are many areas in  Alaska that do not have  basic                 
  service.  She  thought that other  areas did not have  local                 
  area option.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Chief O'Leary stated  that Northwestern states have  a state                 
  run  tariff that  allows  community to  opt  into the  basic                 
  service.  He added  that many other states allow  the option                 
  of Emergency 911 service.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  echoed  the  concerns  of  Representative                 
  Brown.                                                                       
  Mr.  Tandeske  noted  that  communities   will  be  able  to                 
  institute the service with the help of SB 97.                                
                                                                               
  LARRY FANNING, FIRE CHIEF, CITY  AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU (CBJ)                 
  stated  that CBJ  is in  the  process of  creating an  E 911                 
  system.  He explained  that the basic system only  shows the                 
  callers telephone number.   In an E 911 system  the location                 
  is shown.  Additional fields can  be added to the data base.                 
  For  example,   medical  needs  or   information  concerning                 
  hazardous materials  on  site can  be added  to the  callers                 
  identification.  He  pointed out that  SB 97 provides a  .75                 
  cent cap.  The  municipality determines the cost within  the                 
  cap.  There is an additional on going cost of purchasing the                 
  data base from communications carriers.  He noted that there                 
  will  also  be annual  repair cost.    He stressed  that the                 
  geographical  condition  of  Alaska determines  a  different                 
  approach than what  has been  adopted in other  states.   He                 
  emphasized that the ability to locate 911 calls quickly will                 
  greatly enhance service to communities.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted that E 911 will not work with the                 
  PBX switch  used in  state offices.   Mr.  Fanning clarified                 
  that technology exists to convert PBX  systems to allow them                 
  to be compatible with the E 911 system.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Martin noted  that the  State of Alaska  does                 
  not have the same telephone  communications systems as other                 
  states.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked  what  CBJ anticipates  charging                 
  users.  He  clarified that the  initial system cost is  $256                 
  thousand dollars.  The  cost will be amortized over  5 years                 
  at a  consumer cost of  .25 cents per  line.  He  added that                 
  calls need to  be communicated  to the units  in the  field.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  The legislation  allows for  essential radio  communications                 
  equipment.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Martin expressed concern  that the additional                 
  charge is not time determined.  He did not think SB 97 would                 
  aid the state emergency units.   Mr. Fanning stated that the                 
  legislation allows jurisdictional areas  to provide services                 
  to other jurisdictional areas.                                               
                                                                               
  PHILIP  REEVES, DEPUTY  ATTORNEY, KENAI  BOROUGH noted  that                 
  additional on going costs for the Kenai system include:                      
                                                                               
       *    $48.0  thousand dollars  a year for  the telephone                 
            data base;                                                         
                                                                               
       *    $75.0  -  $100.0  thousand  dollars  a   year  for                 
            dedicated lines  to  extend  service  to  outlying                 
            rural areas.                                                       
                                                                               
  Mr. Reeves felt that  passage of SB 97 is  very important to                 
  the system's operation.  He noted  that the Kenai Borough is                 
  approaching their mill cap and that revenue sharing has been                 
  reduced.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Chief O'Leary stressed that  the cost for Anchorage  is $4.1                 
  million  dollars.    They  expect  to  capture  $600 -  $700                 
  thousand dollars through the passage of SB 97.                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Erickson  clarified, in  response to  a question  by Co-                 
  Chair  MacLean, that subsection  (e) on  page 4  states that                 
  local  exchange  telephone  companies  are  not  liable  for                 
  uncollected surcharges.   He explained  that local  exchange                 
  companies will have  to carry part of  the uncollected cost.                 
  The intent is that if a consumer does not pay their bill the                 
  utility  would  pro  rate the  amount.    Part  would go  to                 
  operation costs and part to the 911 surcharge.                               
                                                                               
  Chief O'Leary explained, for  Representative Brown, that the                 
  cost  for the  E  911 system  is $2  million  dollars.   The                 
  additional $4 million dollars will pay for linkage of  field                 
  officers.  Representative  Brown noted that  personnel costs                 
  to acquire,  operate, install and  maintain a system  can be                 
  paid for by the  surcharge.  She asked for  clarification of                 
  which personnel  would be covered  by the surcharge.   Chief                 
  O'Leary explained that  call takers which are E  911 trained                 
  operators  will be covered.   The call takers transfer calls                 
  to dispatchers.  Dispatchers will not be included.                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson placed SB 97  into a subcommittee consisting                 
  of Chair Parnell with Representatives Foster and Brown.                      
                                                                               
  SB 97 was HELD in a subcommittee consisting of Chair Parnell                 
  with Representatives Foster and Brown.                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:28 a.m.                                           

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