Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/14/2005 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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Moved Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 115(TRA) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 14, 2005                                                                                          
                         1:40 p.m.                                                                                              
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:40:39 PM.                                                                                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Jim  Van  Horn,   Staff,  Representative  Jim   Elkins;  Josh                                                                   
Applebee, Staff,  Representative Tom Anderson;  Mark Pfeffer,                                                                   
Co-Owner,   Venture   Development   Group,   Anchorage;   Ben                                                                   
Mulligan,  Staff, Representative  Bill  Stoltze; Rick  Urion,                                                                   
Director Occupational Licensing,  Department of Community and                                                                   
Economic Development                                                                                                            
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Bill   Williams,  Former   State   Legislator,  Saxman;   Joe                                                                   
Williams,  Ketchikan;   Yebe  Hicks,  Saxman   City  Council,                                                                   
Saxman;  Frank  Seludo,  Vice   Mayor,  Saxman;  Jim  Jordan,                                                                   
Executive   Director,  Alaska   State  Medical   Association,                                                                   
Anchorage; Dr. George Stewart, Physician, Anchorage                                                                             
HB 42     An Act naming the Joe Williams, Sr., Coastal                                                                          
          HB 42 was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                        
          pass" recommendation and with zero note #2 by the                                                                     
          House Transportation  Committee for  the Department                                                                   
          of Transportation & Public Facilities.                                                                                
HB 102    An  Act  relating  to   the  licensure  of  foreign                                                                   
          medical graduates;  and providing for  an effective                                                                   
          HB 102 was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation  and with zero note  #1 by the                                                                   
          Department of Community & Economic Development.                                                                       
HB 115    An  Act relating  to charges  paid or collected  by                                                                   
          users or occupants of  an airport facility owned or                                                                   
          controlled by the state.                                                                                              
          CS HB 115 (TRS) was  reported out of Committee with                                                                   
          a "do pass" recommendation  and with a zero note #1                                                                   
          by  the  Department   of  Transportation  &  Public                                                                   
1:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 42                                                                                                             
    An Act naming the Joe Williams, Sr., Coastal Trail.                                                                         
JIM VAN HORN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  JIM ELKINS, testified in                                                                   
support of HB 42.   He noted that HB 42 names  three miles of                                                                   
trail alongside  the South Tongass Highway  between Ketchikan                                                                   
and Saxman, the Joe Williams Sr. Coastal Trial.                                                                                 
Mr. Van  Horn indicated that  Mr. Williams advocated  for the                                                                   
construction  of   a  trail  because  residents   from  those                                                                   
communities,   for  many  years,   lived  without   means  of                                                                   
transportation  and commonly walked  the three miles  between                                                                   
the  towns.   Mr. Van  Horn  added that  when  the trail  was                                                                   
completed,  it   quickly  became   a  favorite  walking   and                                                                   
bicycling path used by visitors and locals alike.                                                                               
Mr.  Van Horn  summarized  that  passage of  the  legislation                                                                   
would honor  the memory of a  highly respected member  of the                                                                   
Native Community  in Southeast  Alaska.   He pointed  out the                                                                   
letters of  support in member's  packets and the  zero fiscal                                                                   
1:44:26 PM                                                                                                                    
BILL WILLIAMS,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  FORMER STATE                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE,  SAXMAN, commented on  the great  effort that                                                                   
his father put into matters of  the land for Native Alaskans.                                                                   
He stated that Joe Williams was  a great man that worked hard                                                                   
for thirty-eight  years on matters related to  Ketchikan.  He                                                                   
urged that the Committee pass HB 42.                                                                                            
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  if  the proposal  was for  a                                                                   
trail or  bike path.   Mr. Williams said  it would be  a bike                                                                   
path that would follow the South Tongass Highway.                                                                               
1:49:11 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE WILLIAMS JR., (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), KETCHIKAN,                                                                   
discussed that  it would be a  "great honor" for  the Village                                                                   
of Saxman  and the  Native community of  Ketchikan to  have a                                                                   
trail named  after their father.   He voiced his  support for                                                                   
the legislation.                                                                                                                
1:50:20 PM                                                                                                                    
YEBE  HICKS,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  SAXMAN  CITY                                                                   
COUNCIL,  SAXMAN, testified  in support  of the  legislation.                                                                   
He stated that  he works with children in Saxman  and thought                                                                   
that naming  the path after Joe  Williams would be  a "source                                                                   
of pride" for Native youth.  Elders  used to walk that path a                                                                   
long time ago.   He testified in support of  the legislation,                                                                   
reiterating  that  it  would  be  an  honor  for  the  entire                                                                   
1:51:20 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  SELUDO, (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE), VICE  MAYOR,                                                                   
SAXMAN, voiced his  support for HB 42.  He  acknowledged that                                                                   
Joe Williams  did great work  for the community  of Ketchikan                                                                   
and urged passage of the bill.                                                                                                  
1:52:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Foster MOVED to  report HB 42 out of Committee                                                                   
with  individual recommendations  and  with the  accompanying                                                                   
fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                      
HB  42  was  reported  out of  Committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with   zero  note   #2  by  the   House                                                                   
Transportation Committee  for Department of  Transportation &                                                                   
Public Facilities.                                                                                                              
1:53:24 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                            
     An Act relating to the licensure of foreign medical                                                                        
     graduates; and providing for an effective date.                                                                            
BEN MULLIGAN,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE BILL  STOLTZE, explained                                                                   
the  legislation,  noting  that   the  purpose  was  to  help                                                                   
alleviate  the shortage  of physicians  in Alaska, which  are                                                                   
more noticeable in the specialty fields.                                                                                        
The legislation will  allow, at the discretion  of the Alaska                                                                   
State  Medical  Board, individuals  graduating  from  foreign                                                                   
medical schools, the ability to  practice medicine in Alaska.                                                                   
Currently, there  is a 2-year United States  graduate medical                                                                   
education  residency  program   requirement.    The  proposed                                                                   
legislation  would make  it easier  to  practice medicine  in                                                                   
Alaska.   The requirements will  remain as stringent  as they                                                                   
currently are  for persons graduating from medical  school in                                                                   
the United States.                                                                                                              
Mr.  Mulligan  pointed  out  that  the  last  section  offers                                                                   
recommendations for  the board; they may choose  not to adopt                                                                   
those stipulations.                                                                                                             
1:54:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Hawker questioned if  this idea had  been run                                                                   
by either Providence or Regional Hospital.                                                                                      
Vice-Chair Stoltze  advised that he  had not "run it  by" the                                                                   
actual  hospitals, however,  it  has been  looked  at by  the                                                                   
hospital  representatives he  met in  the Capitol hall's  and                                                                   
they offered "a thumbs up".                                                                                                     
Representative Weyhrauch  asked the definition  of an "active                                                                   
medical practice"  as outlined  in Section  3.  Mr.  Mulligan                                                                   
offered to check  that out.  He pointed out  that Jim Jordan,                                                                   
the   Executive  Director   of  the   Alaska  State   Medical                                                                   
Association was on line.                                                                                                        
Representative  Weyhrauch referenced Section  3 and  asked if                                                                   
the doctor was  a general practioner, would  they be carrying                                                                   
a  board  certified  "specialty"  license.      Mr.  Mulligan                                                                   
advised  that would  not  fall under  the  American Board  of                                                                   
Medical Specialties but thought  that it would fall under the                                                                   
American  Medical  Board.   He  offered  to  provide  further                                                                   
information on that concern.                                                                                                    
Representative Weyhrauch asked  if the physician did not have                                                                   
a current  board specialty  but did have  a long  practice of                                                                   
general medicine,  would they be excluded from  being able to                                                                   
practice under the proposed bill.   Mr. Mulligan advised that                                                                   
the stipulations  are only guidelines  and may or may  not be                                                                   
decided to be worthy requirements.                                                                                              
Representative   Weyhrauch    questioned   why    those   two                                                                   
requirements had  been set apart from all the  other possible                                                                   
requirements.    Mr.  Mulligan  explained  that  one  of  the                                                                   
specifics was the medical specialty  and that the legislation                                                                   
attempts to fill vacancies for specific medical practices.                                                                      
Representative Weyhrauch  asked why the listed  two hospitals                                                                   
had been the only included.  Mr.  Mulligan offered to provide                                                                   
that information.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Meyer  noted that there are testifiers  on-line that                                                                   
could address these concerns.                                                                                                   
1:58:54 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK URION,  DIRECTOR, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
COMMUNITY     AND     ECONOMIC     DEVELOPMENT,     testified                                                                   
enthusiastically in support for  the legislation.  He claimed                                                                   
that  licensing laws  are written  in  such a  way that  they                                                                   
leave no  discretion.  HB 102  would solve some  problems and                                                                   
would provide  the Board with  opportunities to  make choices                                                                   
while  protecting  the public.    He  emphasized that  it  is                                                                   
important to pass the legislation.                                                                                              
Representative  Kelly questioned  if background checks  would                                                                   
be made on these applicants.   Mr. Urion advised that most of                                                                   
these people  are living in the  United States and  have been                                                                   
for many years.  He did not foresee any problems.                                                                               
2:01:19 PM                                                                                                                    
JIM  JORDAN,   (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR, ALASKA STATE MEDICAL  ASSOCIATION, ANCHORAGE, noted                                                                   
he  had  submitted written  testimony  included  in  member's                                                                   
packets.  (Copy on File).  Mr.  Jordan stated that the Alaska                                                                   
State Medical Association strongly supports HB 102.                                                                             
Mr. Jordan reiterated  physician shortages that  exist in the                                                                   
Anchorage hospitals.   Providence Medical system  did a study                                                                   
in 2002,  which indicated at that  time, they were  short 200                                                                   
physicians.   He stressed the  fact that there is  a shortage                                                                   
and  as the  State moves  forward toward  2009, the  shortage                                                                   
will  become bigger.    The numbers  will  only grow  without                                                                   
passage of  the bill.  He thought  that HB 102 could  help to                                                                   
address these alarming concerns.                                                                                                
Mr.   Jordan  mentioned   physicians   currently  in   active                                                                   
practice.  He acknowledged that  it is important to guarantee                                                                   
that  physicians have  guidelines  for applying  for  certain                                                                   
positions;  they  must  be  practicing  and  actively  seeing                                                                   
patients.  Mr.  Jordan advised that general  practice usually                                                                   
has  a  specialty  area.   For  board  certification,  it  is                                                                   
recognized that  to qualify for core competency,  there would                                                                   
be extensive peer review.                                                                                                       
Mr.  Jordan addressed  "accreditation  counsel" for  graduate                                                                   
medical  education from  the Royal College  of Physicians  in                                                                   
Canada.   He  commented  that is  the  entity, which  credits                                                                   
medical education  programs in the United States  and Canada.                                                                   
That college goes through extensive  accreditation procedures                                                                   
for graduate  medical education,  primarily provided  through                                                                   
2:05:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Croft asked the  justification for  the broad                                                                   
amount of  discretion that the  legislation would  provide to                                                                   
the  Board.    Mr.  Jordan  stressed   that  it  is  a  "very                                                                   
professional"  State Medical  Board,  who would  not want  to                                                                   
"water"  down any  credentials.   They  would be  determining                                                                   
other alternative measures of competency.                                                                                       
2:07:44 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.   GEORGE   STEWART,   (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),                                                                   
PHYSICIAN,  ANCHORAGE, voiced  his support  for the  proposed                                                                   
legislation.    He  noted  that he  has  been  practicing  in                                                                   
Anchorage for over  30-years and is a specialist  in the area                                                                   
of  lung  disease.   At  present  time,  there should  be  10                                                                   
physicians in  that area of critical care  medicine; however,                                                                   
there are  only 8.   He pointed out that  he is now  68 years                                                                   
old and  should have  retired  years ago but  because of  the                                                                   
shortage,  he professionally  has  not been  able  to do  so.                                                                   
Some of the other physicians with  those specialties are also                                                                   
in their 60's.                                                                                                                  
The purpose of  the proposed legislation is not  to lower the                                                                   
standard but rather provide the  Board with the discretion to                                                                   
license physicians  that are qualified,  but do not  meet the                                                                   
exact  letter  of  three  years of  practice  in  the  United                                                                   
States.  He emphasized that there  is consequently, a serious                                                                   
shortfall  of physicians  statewide, which  will only  become                                                                   
worse without passage of the legislation.                                                                                       
Dr.   Stewart  voiced   strong  support   for  the   proposed                                                                   
Vice-Chair Stoltze  noted that  his specialist  had a 3  to 4                                                                   
month  waiting  period and  asked  Dr.  Stewart if  that  was                                                                   
typical.   Dr. Stewart  replied that is  common and  for some                                                                   
new patients, the wait time can be as long as 6 months.                                                                         
Representative Weyhrauch  referenced Section  3, recommending                                                                   
a  conceptual amendment  be added  that  the practitioner  is                                                                   
able to  read and write English.   Mr. Jordan  explained that                                                                   
there are  protections in place  as the medical  boards tests                                                                   
require fluency in English.                                                                                                     
Representative  Weyhrauch  addressed  Section 3,  Section  C,                                                                   
suggesting  to  delete "means"  and  insert "includes".    He                                                                   
thought  that "means"  would  limit the  two  entities.   Mr.                                                                   
Jordan  advised that  the  correct word  is  "means", as  the                                                                   
reference in that  section goes back to the  original body of                                                                   
the  licensing   law,  which   recognizes  graduate   medical                                                                   
programs in  the United States.   The only bodies  recognized                                                                   
are the two listed.                                                                                                             
2:16:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Croft asked  why there  was a  limit to  only                                                                   
those two in  a bill promoting flexibility.   He thought that                                                                   
the  discretion  in  Section  B  was  removed  by  the  North                                                                   
American definition of "hospital".                                                                                              
Mr. Jordan  responded that  the recognized hospital  language                                                                   
relates to foreign medical graduates  that have satisfied the                                                                   
3-year medical  graduation requirement in the  United States.                                                                   
Latitude is still given, through  the regulatory process, for                                                                   
an equivalency.   However the State Medical  Board would have                                                                   
the authority to bend regulations  for that specific program.                                                                   
Representative Croft  pointed out that  Sections A &  B could                                                                   
be  either/or   and  were  narrowly  defining   the  type  of                                                                   
hospital, which the person must  have their 2-year additional                                                                   
postgraduate  training  at.     He  said  that  was  odd;  he                                                                   
suggested a regulation placed under "B" to address that.                                                                        
2:20:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer agreed with the sponsor and Mr. Jordan.                                                                          
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  report  HB   102  out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
HB  102  was reported  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with a zero note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Community & Economic Development.                                                                                               
2:20:45 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE: 2:20:52 PM                                                                                                           
CONVENE: 2:24:00 PM                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 115                                                                                                            
     An Act relating to charges paid or collected by users                                                                      
     or occupants of an airport facility owned or controlled                                                                    
     by the state.                                                                                                              
JOSH  APPLEBEE,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  TOM  ANDERSON,  noted                                                                   
that HB 115  would provide a mechanism for  customer facility                                                                   
charges or Consumer Finance Charges  (CFC) to improve airport                                                                   
facilities  without the  expenditures  of State  funds.   The                                                                   
most common  projects  that CFC's  are used  to fund are  car                                                                   
rental facilities.   The  bill provides  a revenue  stream to                                                                   
maintain  and operate  the facilities,  without requiring  an                                                                   
increase  in the  airport-operating  budget, as  the cost  of                                                                   
maintenance  would  be  paid  for  by  the  related  customer                                                                   
facility maintenance charges.                                                                                                   
He reiterated that HB 115 would  implement a valuable private                                                                   
market  tool to  construct improvements  to Alaska  airports,                                                                   
without the  expenditure of public  funds.  It would  help to                                                                   
improve  amenities provided  to  the traveling  public,  both                                                                   
Alaskan and non-Alaskan.                                                                                                        
Mr. Applebee  advised that this  would be a private  industry                                                                   
initiated  project, sponsored  by  local  airport car  rental                                                                   
companies.    He stated  that  they  are  in the  process  of                                                                   
undertaking a  similar project  at Ted Stevens  International                                                                   
Airport  in  Anchorage.   The  project  was delayed  by  9-11                                                                   
events and  is now  moving ahead.   During negotiations  with                                                                   
the  State  over  the implementation  of  the  project,  bond                                                                   
counsel identified certain issues  with language set forth in                                                                   
Ch. 99,  SLA 2001.   That language needs  to be  clarified to                                                                   
ensure that the bonds are marketable.                                                                                           
Mr. Applebee  continued, issues  revolve around clarifying  a                                                                   
new revenue stream  generated by the CFC, which  would not be                                                                   
considered  revenue for  the State.   The bond  is a  private                                                                   
initiative and ensures that the  bond trustee, not the State,                                                                   
take custody  for those funds.   Without that  clarification,                                                                   
the 2001 language does not adequately  clarify that the CFC's                                                                   
are  not  revenues  for  the State  to  use  for  making  the                                                                   
determination  of  whether they  would  are  subject to  pre-                                                                   
existing airport bonds.  The definition  of what bond related                                                                   
purposes that the CFCs can be  applied to, would also clarify                                                                   
inclusion of  debt reserve funds  and other bond  underwriter                                                                   
Mr. Applebee pointed out that HB 115 offers:                                                                                    
   · New jobs,                                                                                                                  
   · Efficiency and innovation in the car rental market,                                                                        
   · Partnership with private enterprise,                                                                                       
   · Modernization to compete with airports nationally, and                                                                     
   · Enhanced convenience.                                                                                                      
Vice-Chair  Stoltze pointed  out  that the  Attorney  General                                                                   
alluded  to technical  changes.   Mr.  Applebee advised  that                                                                   
they were  working with  that office;  those changes  are not                                                                   
substantive enough to hold the bill up.                                                                                         
2:28:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Stoltze asked  where in  the legislative  process                                                                   
would  those  considerations  be  addressed.    Mr.  Applebee                                                                   
stated that  until the  changes are  "flushed out"  under the                                                                   
current title,  they will be addressed  by the time  the bill                                                                   
passes out of the House to the Senate.                                                                                          
2:29:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Weyhrauch  questioned the statement  regarding                                                                   
"without  public  funds".    Mr.  Applebee  stated  that  the                                                                   
mechanism  described   in  statute,  the   customer  facility                                                                   
charges, passed on to the consumer  in addition to the public                                                                   
maintenance  charges, are  the funds  that would  be used  to                                                                   
construct and maintain that facility without public funds.                                                                      
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  where in  the bill  was that                                                                   
language located.   Mr. Applebee explained that  the language                                                                   
refers to  the customer facility  charges and that  there are                                                                   
not public funds.                                                                                                               
Representative Weyrauch asked  if the sponsor would object to                                                                   
including  that language.    Mr. Applebee  did  not think  it                                                                   
would  be  appropriate  within  the drafting  language.    He                                                                   
thought  that   the  sponsor  would  know.     Representative                                                                   
Weyrauch requested to incorporate  that intent into the bill.                                                                   
Co-Chair  Meyer requested  that language  be held until  full                                                                   
testimony had been taken.                                                                                                       
Representative  Hawker pointed  out that  the answer  to that                                                                   
concern  was included on  Page 3,  Line 6,  "if the  State on                                                                   
behalf of the department did not incur the indebtedness".                                                                       
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  asked  if   it  was  intended  that  the                                                                   
legislation  only  apply  to  international  airports.    Mr.                                                                   
Applebee responded  that the intent was to provide  it to any                                                                   
area that has a market that could  be sustained through their                                                                   
customer activity, to build and maintain a facility.                                                                            
Vice-Chair  Stoltze inquired  if it would  be problematic  to                                                                   
limit  it to  that and  not including  rural  airports.   Mr.                                                                   
Applebee replied  that the sponsor would not  object to that,                                                                   
however it  would limit them  in any future circumstance  and                                                                   
the possibility of  that area developing a market  that could                                                                   
sustain it.                                                                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  pointed  out  that the  airport  in  his                                                                   
district, is the  only rural airport that makes  money in the                                                                   
State.  He acknowledged  that he wanted to  protect the small                                                                   
business owners.                                                                                                                
2:33:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Weyhrauch  understood that only  the Anchorage                                                                   
airport  would  be  affected.    Mr.  Applebee  replied  that                                                                   
currently, the  only market studies and planned  projects are                                                                   
in Anchorage.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  how many airport  facilities                                                                   
in Alaska  are owned and controlled  by the State  of Alaska.                                                                   
Mr.  Applebee  did  not  know and  offered  to  provide  that                                                                   
information to Committee members.                                                                                               
Representative  Weyhrauch  asked  why the  legislation  would                                                                   
exempt the  entire process  of the Administrative  Procedures                                                                   
Act in terms  of notice and  the opportunity to comment.   He                                                                   
pointed out  that the  public will be  paying these  fees and                                                                   
the increases associated with them.                                                                                             
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  why the  501-C-3's would  be                                                                   
exempt from paying  rent and would the public  be deprived of                                                                   
equal  use of the  airport.   He emphasized  that one  entity                                                                   
would be paying  and another would not and how  could that be                                                                   
equal.  Mr. Applebee did not know.                                                                                              
Representative  Weyhrauch pointed  out that the  Department's                                                                   
Commissioner periodically  adjusts the fees to  pay the debt.                                                                   
He asked what  "periodically" means.  Mr.  Applebee responded                                                                   
that  would depend  on the  Commissioner;  the bill  provides                                                                   
some latitude.                                                                                                                  
2:35:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK   PFEFFER,   CO-OWNER,    VENTURE   DEVELOPMENT   GROUP,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE,   noted   that   his    company   has   contracted                                                                   
individually with  the operations  of 7 rental  car companies                                                                   
that operate  at the  Anchorage International  Airport.   The                                                                   
project started in  2000 and was put on hold  during the 9-11                                                                   
events.  He stated that the rental  car companies have worked                                                                   
closely  with the  airport in  Anchorage  to come  up with  a                                                                   
solution to  address the congestion  and rental  car problems                                                                   
at that location.                                                                                                               
The project  provides  for a facility  outside the  Anchorage                                                                   
International  Airport  to  be  connected  to  a  rail  depot                                                                   
tunnel.   It would allow for  passengers to come  through the                                                                   
tunnel and  be out of  the weather into  a rental  car lobby.                                                                   
He  spoke to  the  intended  process, which  could  eliminate                                                                   
traffic and  trips to  and from remote  sites.  The  facility                                                                   
would be  paid for  by a customer  facility charge  and there                                                                   
would  be no  obligation on  the part  of the  State.   Funds                                                                   
would be generated by revenue bonds.                                                                                            
Mr. Pfeffer stated  that the intent is to  begin construction                                                                   
by this spring.  Language needs  to be clarified for the bond                                                                   
issuance in  April 2005, whereby  allowing construction.   He                                                                   
offered to answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                   
2:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  if  the proposal  was for  a                                                                   
garage  for parked  cars.  Mr.  Pfeffer replied  that it  was                                                                   
initially called  a garage  but now it  is called  a terminal                                                                   
and  it  would  park 1,400  cars.    Representative  Weyrauch                                                                   
clarified that it will be a rental car facility.                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  inquired   if  there  would  be  a                                                                   
lounge.  Mr. Pfeffer understood  that the lounge would remain                                                                   
in  the airport  terminal.   Representative  Weyhrauch  asked                                                                   
where that  language was  located in the  bill.   Mr. Pfeffer                                                                   
replied that  was language in  existing legislation  and that                                                                   
certain  sections   would  be  amended  addressing   customer                                                                   
facility charges.                                                                                                               
Representative  Weyhrauch asked if  the same language  was in                                                                   
existing statute,  which exempts  the notice for  the comment                                                                   
period for the public.  Mr. Pfeffer  did not know referencing                                                                   
Page 3,  Lines 21-22,  that the  Department "shall  provide a                                                                   
public notice".   He  stated that  because of timing  issues,                                                                   
that will not happen.                                                                                                           
Representative Weyhrauch clarified  that since it is going to                                                                   
be revenue bonds, essentially,  the rental car companies will                                                                   
have  a surcharge  on the  cars  that they  rent, a  facility                                                                   
charge, and that  the revenue for that would be  used for the                                                                   
bonding purposes.  Mr. Pfeffer  responded that the car rental                                                                   
companies  will collect  a charge  from  the customer,  which                                                                   
would be  remitted to  a third party  trustee that  would pay                                                                   
back the  bondholders.   That money  will never become  funds                                                                   
for the  State.  The anticipated  cost of the project  is $42                                                                   
million dollars  and will  be built all  at one time,  not in                                                                   
phases.    In  response  to  Representative   Weyhrauch,  Mr.                                                                   
Pfeffer explained  that bonds sold would be in  the amount of                                                                   
$42  million   dollars  and  that   the  facility   would  be                                                                   
earthquake proof and have a bomb blast test.                                                                                    
2:42:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Hawker asked if  the finance community  drove                                                                   
the need  for the legislative  change.  He believed  that the                                                                   
change  was needed  so  that a  bond trustee  could  directly                                                                   
receive  the  funds.    Mr.  Pfeffer  acknowledged  that  was                                                                   
correct and that the State could  impose the charge.  In this                                                                   
case, the industry  said to the State that they  did not like                                                                   
the State's plan and wanted to submit their own proposal.                                                                       
2:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Weyhrauch asked if  the title would  prohibit                                                                   
the Fairbanks and/or Juneau area.                                                                                               
2:45:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kelly  asked  where  the clean  up  would  be                                                                   
occurring.  Mr. Pfeffer responded  that the bond insurers and                                                                   
underwriters are working to clarify  the language in order to                                                                   
get the  best bond  rates; that work  is not quite  complete.                                                                   
Language changes  are run through  the airport  attorney, Mr.                                                                   
John Steiner  who works with the  Department of Law.   He has                                                                   
provided  some stylistic  changes.   Mr.  Steiner offered  to                                                                   
draft  language  for  the  Senate  Transportation  Committee.                                                                   
Those changes  will be  submitted at that  time so  that they                                                                   
can be dealt within a transportation committee.                                                                                 
2:48:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Stoltze believed  that there  would be a  through                                                                   
look into the legislation in the Senate.                                                                                        
2:48:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Hawker MOVED to  report CS HB 115 (TRS) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CS HB  115 (TRS)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and  with   a  zero  note  #1  by  the                                                                   
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities.                                                                               
DISCUSSION REGARDING FUTURE LEGISLATION                                                                                       
2:49:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Meyer   listed  the  bills  scheduled   for  future                                                                   
meetings in the House Finance Committee.                                                                                        
In response  to Representative Weyrauch's  concerns regarding                                                                   
costs  associated with  the sentencing  bill, Co-Chair  Meyer                                                                   
noted  that the  legislation  would be  moving  to the  House                                                                   
Judiciary  Committee.   Representative  Weyrauch  noted  that                                                                   
there would be costs associated  with that bill and that they                                                                   
should be discussed in the full House Finance Committee.                                                                        
Representative Hawker  requested that some of  the amendments                                                                   
be submitted  soon as they  are going to require  substantial                                                                   
Representative  Croft  noted that  he  did  not know  if  the                                                                   
Minority had  amendments to  the bill, as  it is such  a huge                                                                   
concept and that it would be difficult to determine the full                                                                    
impact of the proposed changes.                                                                                                 
The meeting was adjourned at 2:53 P.M.                                                                                          

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