Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/27/2003 01:43 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 27, 2003                                                                                          
                         1:43 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 03 - 28, Side A                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams called the House  Finance Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 1:43 P.M.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Harris, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                                     
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Nancy  Dahlstrom;   Rick  Urion,   Director,                                                                   
Division of  Occupational Licensing, Department  of Community                                                                   
and  Economic Development;  Ron  Miller, Executive  Director,                                                                   
Alaska Industrial  Development and Export  Authority (AIDEA);                                                                   
Sarah Fisher-Goad,  Alaska Industrial Development  and Export                                                                   
Authority  (AIDEA);  Kimberly Hanger,  Staff,  Representative                                                                   
Nancy Dahlstrom; Pat Davidson,  Director-Legislative Auditor,                                                                   
Division of  Legislative Audit;  Robert Funt, Attorney,  TECK                                                                   
COMINCO, Anchorage.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Nancy Sanders,  Chair, Board  of Nursing, Anchorage;  Dorothy                                                                   
Fulton,   Director,  Board   of   Nursing,  Anchorage;   Mary                                                                   
Weymiller, Member, Board of Nursing, Anchorage.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 73     An Act extending the termination date of the State                                                                    
          Medical Board.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          HB 73 was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                        
          pass" recommendation and with a new fiscal note by                                                                    
          the    Department   of    Community   &    Economic                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 74     An Act extending the termination date of the Board                                                                    
          of Nursing.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          HB  74 was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
          pass" recommendation  and with a new fiscal note by                                                                   
          the    Department   of    Community   &    Economic                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 112    An  Act relating  to  the authority  of the  Alaska                                                                   
          Industrial Development and Export Authority to                                                                        
          issue bonds; and providing for an effective date.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HB 1112 was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                      
          pass" recommendation and with a fiscal note by                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 73                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     An Act extending the termination date of the State                                                                         
     Medical Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NANCY  DAHLSTROM   noted  that  AS  08.64.010                                                                   
established  the State  Medical  Board and  provided for  the                                                                   
appointment of members  by the Governor.  The  Board consists                                                                   
of   five  licensed   physicians,   one  licensed   physician                                                                   
assistant,  and   two  persons   with  no  direct   financial                                                                   
interests  in the  healthcare industry.   HB  73, if  enacted                                                                   
would extend the Board operation  for another 4 years to June                                                                   
30, 2007.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She commented  that the Board  serves the public  interest by                                                                   
establishing  the  minimum  education   and  work  experience                                                                   
requirements  that individuals must  meet to become  licensed                                                                   
physicians,   osteopaths,   podiatrists,    paramedics,   and                                                                   
physicians assistants.   The Board further serves  the public                                                                   
interest   by  investigating   complaints  against   licensed                                                                   
professionals and  taking disciplinary licensing  action when                                                                   
appropriate.    The  Board  has  consistently  proven  to  be                                                                   
efficient and Representative Dahlstrom  recommended that they                                                                   
be extended until June 30, 2007.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY  HANGER,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   NANCY  DAHLSTROM,                                                                   
stated  that in  accordance with  the  intent of  Title 24  &                                                                   
Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes,  the Division of Legislative                                                                   
Audit  viewed  the activities  of  the  Medical Board.    The                                                                   
conclusion  resulting from  that audit  was a  recommendation                                                                   
for  an extension  of the  Board.   She  referenced a  letter                                                                   
received  from Catherine  Reardon, previous  Director of  the                                                                   
Division  of  Occupational  Licensing in  the  Department  of                                                                   
Community  and  Economic  Development,   which  endorses  the                                                                   
findings and recommends the extension.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hanger  referenced Amendment  #1.  (Copy  on File).   The                                                                   
amendment would extend the Board through 2011.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris  inquired  if   the  previous  Committee  of                                                                   
referral  had   recommended  the  extension  date   of  2007.                                                                   
Representative Dahlstrom explained  that there was discussion                                                                   
on that date  and the previous Committee had  agreed upon it.                                                                   
After  the  review  of  the  audit   recommendations  and  in                                                                   
cooperation with  the Senate, the  amendment was added.   The                                                                   
original bill was drafted with the 2007 extension date.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris  asked  the  cost  of  doing  an  audit  and                                                                   
questioned  why  the Legislature  would  want  to extend  the                                                                   
sunset.   Representative Dalstrom  informed members  that the                                                                   
Legislature could request an audit  at any time; however, she                                                                   
did not know the cost of performing an audit.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  pointed out that  the fiscal  note indicates                                                                   
that  the funds  would  come  from Receipt  Support  Services                                                                   
(RSS).   He  believed that  the  Board was  not projected  to                                                                   
spend  any  extra  funds through  the  coming  fiscal  years.                                                                   
Representative Dalstrom acknowledged that was correct.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment  #1, which  would                                                                   
change the extension date from  2007 to 2011.  There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, the amendment was adopted.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RICK URION,  DIRECTOR OCCUPATIONAL  LICENSING, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
COMMUNITY  AND  ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT,   indicated  that  the                                                                   
Division does  support the  extension of  the Board  to 2011.                                                                   
He stated that  the Board has done a good job  and encouraged                                                                   
the Board's extension to 2011.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Meyer  MOVED to  report  CS HB  73  (FIN) out  of                                                                   
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB 73  (FIN) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  a  new  fiscal note  by  the                                                                   
Department of Community & Economic Development.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 74                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                      
     Nursing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NANCY  DAHLSTROM   noted  that  AS  08.64.010                                                                   
established the Board of Nurses,  whose members are appointed                                                                   
by  the Governor,  consist of  one  licensed practical  nurse                                                                   
currently  involved  in institutional  nursing  service,  one                                                                   
registered  nurse  engaged in  baccalaureate  nursing,  three                                                                   
registered nurses at large, and  two persons with no director                                                                   
financial interests  in the healthcare  industry.  HB  74, if                                                                   
enacted would extend the Board  operation for another 4 years                                                                   
to June 30, 2007.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
She explained  that the Board  serves the public  interest by                                                                   
establishing   minimum   education    and   work   experience                                                                   
requirements  that individuals must  meet to become  licensed                                                                   
nurses  or  certified  nursing  aides.    The  Board  further                                                                   
services  the  public interest  by  investigating  complaints                                                                   
against  licensed   professionals  and  taking   disciplinary                                                                   
licensing action when appropriate.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY  HANGER,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   NANCY  DAHLSTROM,                                                                   
stated  that in  accordance with  the  intent of  Title 24  &                                                                   
Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes,  the Division of Legislative                                                                   
Audit reviewed the activities  of the Board.  The conclusions                                                                   
resulting  from  that  audit  was  a  recommendation  for  an                                                                   
extension  of the Board.   She  referenced a letter  received                                                                   
from Catherine Reardon, previous  Director of the Division of                                                                   
Occupational  Licensing in  the Department  of Community  and                                                                   
Economic  Development,   which  endorses  the   findings  and                                                                   
recommends the extension.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hanger  pointed out Amendment #1.   (Copy on File).   The                                                                   
amendment would extend the Board through 2011.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker noted that  within the audit, there had                                                                   
been two recommendations:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
   ·    One involving procedures for notification of the                                                                        
        pharmacies; and                                                                                                         
   ·    One on the self-evaluation checklist.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  inquired   what  the  Board  had  done   regarding  those                                                                   
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.    Hanger   explained    that    regarding   the    first                                                                   
recommendation, the  audit was correct  and that they  do not                                                                   
have a specific  procedure for the Board of  Pharmacies.  The                                                                   
Board of Nursing  met with Margaret Snowden,  Chair, Board of                                                                   
Pharmacy.   The  Board met  with her  and devised  a plan  to                                                                   
communicate with  that Board and currently, they  are keeping                                                                   
better records.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The  second concern  recommended  that the  Board of  Nursing                                                                   
develop  and implement  a self evaluation  checklist  for the                                                                   
organization  certified nursing  aid training  program.   Ms.                                                                   
Hanger  acknowledged that  was  an excellent  recommendation.                                                                   
The Board has implemented a procedure  for directing staff to                                                                   
develop a self-monitoring checklist.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stoltze MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment #1.   There                                                                   
being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  asked Ms. Davidson  about changing  the date                                                                   
and what savings that would provide the State.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PAT  DAVIDSON,  DIRECTOR-LEGISLATIVE   AUDITOR,  DIVISION  OF                                                                   
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT, advised  that the  cost of sunset  audits                                                                   
can  range  anywhere  between  $8  to  $20  thousand  dollars                                                                   
depending upon  the sort  of issues that  come up  during the                                                                   
course of  an audit.  In terms  of the Medical Board  and the                                                                   
Nursing  Board,  the key  concerns  regard whether  they  are                                                                   
proactive with  legislation and  not relying upon  the sunset                                                                   
process  to bring  concerns forward.   She  noted that  it is                                                                   
important that  they are acting financially  appropriate when                                                                   
additional costs are incurred.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Davidson noted  that for  both the  boards, their  prior                                                                   
extension  was  eight years  and  because those  boards  have                                                                   
always  addressed their  key  concerns,  the Audit  Committee                                                                   
recommends the extension.  Boards  are required to cover some                                                                   
costs, however,  they do not  cover the costs  of legislative                                                                   
or audit time.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  inquired if during the audit  reviews, there                                                                   
had been members that had complaints.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Davidson  responded  that   there  were  no  significant                                                                   
complaints with regard  to the boards and that  membership of                                                                   
the   boards  have   to  bear   the   cost  associated   with                                                                   
investigations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  asked what the  agreement was  regarding the                                                                   
$192  contractual  dollars.    Ms.  Davidson  responded  that                                                                   
typically  those are  legal costs  for investigations  and/or                                                                   
regulatory changes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
NANCY SANDERS,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  CHAIR, BOARD                                                                   
OF NURSING,  ANCHORAGE, spoke in  support of HB 74  and urged                                                                   
passage of the legislation.  She  offered to answer questions                                                                   
of the Committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MARY  WEYMILLER,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  MEMBER,                                                                   
BOARD  OF NURSING,  ANCHORAGE,  noted her  support and  urged                                                                   
passage of HB 74.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RICK URION,  DIRECTOR OCCUPATIONAL  LICENSING, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
COMMUNITY AND  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, testified  in support of                                                                   
HB 74.  He noted that Board provides  a valuable service.  He                                                                   
urged passage  of the  bill so that  they can continue  their                                                                   
'good work'.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Meyer  MOVED to  report  CS HB  74  (FIN) out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB 74  (FIN) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  a  new  fiscal note  by  the                                                                   
Department of Community & Economic Development.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 112                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to the authority of the Alaska                                                                             
     Industrial Development and Export Authority to issue                                                                       
     bonds; and providing for an effective date.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
RON   MILLER,    EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,   ALASKA    INDUSTRIAL                                                                   
DEVELOPMENT   AND   EXPORT  AUTHORITY   (AIDEA),   ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
explained that  HB 112 would  extend AIDEA's general  bonding                                                                   
authority to  July 1, 2007.   Without extension,  AIDEA would                                                                   
need   legislative   authorization   to   issue   bonds   for                                                                   
development projects under $10  million dollars.  AIDEA would                                                                   
also  be restricted  from issuing  any bonds  to finance  the                                                                   
purchase   of   loan   participations   without   legislation                                                                   
authorization.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Miller provided  examples of bonds that  AIDEA has issued                                                                   
that would  require legislative  authorization after  July 1,                                                                   
2003 if the bonding authority were to sunset.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   ·    $8,020,000 AIDEA Revolving Fund Bonds, Series 1995A,                                                                    
        which   provided  tax-exempt   funds   for   a   loan                                                                   
        participation made to Kodiak Fish-Meal  Company for a                                                                   
        fish by-product processing plant.                                                                                       
   ·    $7,000,000 AIDEA Revolving Fund Bonds, Series 1991A,                                                                    
        which provided  tax-exempt  funds  for the  expansion                                                                   
        and improvement of  the Unalaska Marine Center.   The                                                                   
        project had legislative authorization.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Miller continued, the following  requirement would not be                                                                   
affected by HB 112:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
   ·    All development projects over $10,000,000 dollars                                                                       
        for which bonds are to be issued  require legislative                                                                   
        authorization prior to issuing bonds.                                                                                   
   ·    Prior to issuing bonds over $6,000,000 dollars,                                                                         
        AIDEA is required to receive approval  from the local                                                                   
        government in which the projects are to be located.                                                                     
   ·    All development projects for which bonds are to be                                                                      
        issued  require  AIDEA  to  make  findings  that  the                                                                   
        project is economically and financially feasible.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Miller  noted  that  recently,  AIDEA  has  only  issued                                                                   
refunding and  conduit revenue bonds, which are  not affected                                                                   
by HB 112.   If the bill does not pass, AIDEA  would continue                                                                   
to  have the  ability to  issue refunding  bonds and  conduit                                                                   
revenue bonds;  however, the sunset extension  provides AIDEA                                                                   
the  flexibility   to   assist  in  the   financing   of  key                                                                   
development  projects.   If the authorization  is allowed  to                                                                   
sunset  and  depending   on  the  timing  of   the  potential                                                                   
projects,   AIDEA   may   have  to   wait   for   legislative                                                                   
authorization to  issue bonds.   Allowing the  bond authority                                                                   
to  sunset  would  eliminate  a  tool  for  AIDEA  to  assist                                                                   
projects  that  could  provide  an economic  benefit  to  the                                                                   
State.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris  MOVED  to ADOPT  work  draft  #23-GH1018\D,                                                                   
Cook,  2/25/03  as  the  version   of  the  bill  before  the                                                                   
Committee.  (Copy on File).                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris asked in the new  Section 2, what the repeals                                                                   
references in Sections #3 and #19 were.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Miller responded  that  was a  sunset  provision on  the                                                                   
municipal tax exemption provision  connected with the Red Dog                                                                   
Mine.   The legislation  was passed  in FY00,  and there  was                                                                   
some question  over the tax assessment.   Prior to  1999, use                                                                   
of that  system was not assessed  by the State  tax assessor.                                                                   
In 1999,  the determination was  changed and the  legislature                                                                   
in 2000, passed law to address the situation.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The Lone  Mountain Transportation  System  is an AIDEA  owned                                                                   
project.   TECK COMINCO  has a none-exclusive  use on  it for                                                                   
which they  pay.   For unknown reasons,  the tax  assessor in                                                                   
1999, decided to  access TECK COMINCO's use  of that facility                                                                   
for borough  tax purposes.   The  proposed legislation  would                                                                   
remove that sunset.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris suggested that  Representative Moses would be                                                                   
interested in the  Unalaska Marine Center project.   He asked                                                                   
if the  Legislature did not  authorize the bill,  would there                                                                   
need  to  be  another  piece  of  legislation.    Mr.  Miller                                                                   
responded that was  an example of a project  that AIDEA would                                                                   
have had  to get  legislative authorization  for.   AIDEA did                                                                   
move forward with  that project in 1991 and  they did receive                                                                   
some legislative authorization on the project.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stoltze referenced  Section 2, indicating that                                                                   
had been a product of Senator Halford.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT FUNT, ATTORNEY, REPRESENTING  TECK COMINCO, ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
indicated  that he  had  been working  on  the project  since                                                                   
1999.   He  offered  to  answer  questions of  the  Committee                                                                   
regarding the assessment or related to the Red Dog Mine.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stoltze referenced  Section 2.  He stated that                                                                   
he would  not want  to see  these types  of assets  acting as                                                                 
'impediments'  to areas  wanting to organize.   He  supported                                                                   
repealing those sections.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  report CS HB 112 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  112 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with a  zero fiscal note #1  by the                                                                   
Department of Community & Economic Development.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:16 P.M.                                                                                          

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