Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/07/2017 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:32:57 PM Start
01:33:12 PM HB23
01:46:48 PM Amendments
03:29:12 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 23 INS. FOR DEPENDS. OF DECEASED FIRE/POLICE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Amendments TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 7, 2017                                                                                           
                         1:32 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 1:32 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Joan Wilkerson, Civil Attorney, Department of Law; Lisa                                                                         
Weissler, Staff, Representative Andy Josephson; David Teal,                                                                     
Director, Legislative Finance Division.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Daniel Wayne, Attorney, Legislative Legal Services, Alaska                                                                      
State Legislature.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 23     INS. FOR DEPENDS. OF DECEASED FIRE/POLICE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          HB 23 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33: 12 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton discussed housekeeping.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  MOVED  and asked  unanimous  consent  that                                                                    
Representative Seaton and  Representative Foster, the chairs                                                                    
of the House Finance Committee  be delegated with the duties                                                                    
and  responsibilities under  AS 24.08.060  a during  regular                                                                    
and special  sessions of the  30th Alaska  State Legislature                                                                    
and  this delegation  remains in  effect until  withdrawn by                                                                    
the committee. The delegation would  allow the House Finance                                                                    
Committee  to  sponsor legislation  as  a  whole, under  the                                                                    
discretion of the co-chairs.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt  spoke   against   the  motion.   He                                                                    
expressed concern  that bills could be  introduced that were                                                                    
sponsored  by  the  committee  as  a  whole  that  were  not                                                                    
supported by  every member of  the committee.  He recognized                                                                    
that  further   discussion  of  the  issue   would  need  to                                                                    
continue, but maintained his discomfort with the motion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara stated  that in the past decade  that he had                                                                    
been  part of  the  minority  he had  never  been asked  his                                                                    
opinion about  the introduction of  a committee bill  by the                                                                    
co-chairs. He  felt that  the only  difference now  was that                                                                    
the  co-chairs  were  asking permission;  in  the  past  the                                                                    
action had  been taken without  asking. He stressed  that he                                                                    
supported the motion.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton voiced her objection to the motion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:39:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  spoke in favor of  the motion. He                                                                    
relayed  that  it  was   widely  recognized  that  committee                                                                    
sponsored   bills  were   not   always   supported  by,   or                                                                    
representative  of, every  individual on  the committee.  He                                                                    
stated that the  amendment process would remain  the same in                                                                    
committee, and on the floor,  and that the bill would evolve                                                                    
through  a normal  process. He  commended the  co-chairs for                                                                    
offering the motion, noting that  previous co-chairs had not                                                                    
asked permission to employ the same method.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson objected to a blanket authorization                                                                     
of committee sponsorship for legislation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Ortiz, Foster, Seaton                                                                        
OPPOSED: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki was absent from the vote.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (6/4).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 23                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to  major medical  insurance coverage                                                                    
     under  the  Public   Employees'  Retirement  System  of                                                                    
     Alaska  for  certain  surviving spouses  and  dependent                                                                    
     children  of  peace   officers  and  firefighters;  and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:42:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster took control of the gavel. He explained                                                                         
that the following amendments were technical in nature, and                                                                     
were offered by himself and Co-Chair Seaton.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^AMENDMENTS                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1, 30-LS0258\O.16                                                                      
(Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page l, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "health"                                                                                                     
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7:                                                                                                            
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "health"                                                                                                     
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 14:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 23:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health"                                                                                                     
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 25:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 20:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health care"                                                                                                  
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 24:                                                                                                           
          Delete "health"                                                                                                       
          Insert "medical"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster explained that Amendment  1 would change the                                                                    
term  "health insurance"  to "major  medical insurance".  He                                                                    
elaborated  that major  medical  insurance  was designed  to                                                                    
cover a  person for a  full gamut  of needs, from  a routine                                                                    
checkup to  catastrophic events.  He said that  basic health                                                                    
insurance was  a cash reimbursement service  that could help                                                                    
pay for some, but not all, types of medical services.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOAN   WILKERSON,  CIVIL   ATTORNEY,   DEPARTMENT  OF   LAW,                                                                    
introduced  herself.  She   agreed  with  Co-Chair  Foster's                                                                    
assessment of the amendment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked   whether  major  medical  was                                                                    
currently available for employees and their families.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson replied that policies  varied widely. She said                                                                    
that  health   insurance  policy  was  how   the  department                                                                    
referred to the active employee  plan that covered all state                                                                    
employees under  AS 39 30.091.  She said that  major medical                                                                    
was usually in reference to a retiree medical plan.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   queried   whether  there   was   a                                                                    
difference in cost.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson responded  that the  intent of  the amendment                                                                    
was  to find  one phrase  that would  describe the  coverage                                                                    
that was vital to all people covered under the benefit.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  asked whether  Medicaid and  Medicare would                                                                    
be considered major medical.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson replied  in the  affirmative. She  added that                                                                    
the retiree health benefit plan would be included.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson   wanted  to   be  sure   that  the                                                                    
amendment did  not increase  the amount  of coverage  that a                                                                    
person would be eligible for by the language change.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:46:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson  responded that the intention  was to describe                                                                    
a type of  plan, not to change the level  of care that would                                                                    
be received.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tilton asked for  verification that the terms                                                                    
were defined in statute.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson  thought she had  seen major  medical defined,                                                                    
but she  was unable to  locate the definition.  She believed                                                                    
that  they   had  been  defined  in   a  previously  offered                                                                    
amendment. She  said she would  provide the definition  at a                                                                    
later date.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:48:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2, 30-LS0258\O.24                                                                      
(Wayne, 2/7/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 4:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
       "* Section 1. AS 37.05.146(c) is amended by adding a                                                                     
     new paragraph to read:                                                                                                     
               (90) gifts, donations, and other money                                                                           
     received  by the  Department of  Public Safety  for the                                                                    
     purpose of paying major  medical insurance premiums for                                                                    
     survivors of police officers  and firefighters under AS                                                                    
     39.60."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 5:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "donations and appropriations"                                                                                 
          Insert "gifts, donations, and other money"                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 3, following "municipality":                                                                                  
          Insert "appropriated to the fund"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 26:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 1 and 2"                                                                                                
          Insert "secs. 2 and 3"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 27:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 1 and 2"                                                                                                
          Insert "secs. 2 and 3"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 29:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 3"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Section 4"                                                                                                    
     Page 4, line 30:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 4"                                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 5"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster explained that  the amendment clarified that                                                                    
the money  received by the  department to pay  the insurance                                                                    
premiums  for state  employees, and  the through  50 percent                                                                    
for   small   municipalities,   would   be   accounted   for                                                                    
separately, and the appropriations for the insurance                                                                            
payments would be made from the fund.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:44 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster rolled Amendment 2 to the bottom of                                                                             
amendments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton WITHDREW his motion to move Amendment 2.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:53:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 3, 30-LS0258\O.2l                                                                      
(Wayne, 2/6/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, lines 19 - 31:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(e) The amount of a premium payable under                                                                       
     this  section  must be  based  on  the level  of  major                                                                    
     medical  insurance benefits  the deceased  employee was                                                                    
     receiving at the time of  the employee's death. Payment                                                                    
     of premiums  shall be made to  the applicable employer-                                                                    
     sponsored major medical insurance provider as follows:                                                                     
                    (1)   the commissioner shall pay, from                                                                      
     the appropriate account in the fund,                                                                                       
                         (A) 100 percent for an eligible                                                                        
     surviving dependent of a deceased state employee;                                                                          
                         (B) 50 percent for an eligible                                                                         
     surviving  dependent of  deceased employee  of a  small                                                                    
     municipality; and                                                                                                          
                    (2)  a large municipality shall pay 100                                                                     
     percent  for  an  eligible  surviving  dependent  of  a                                                                    
     deceased employee of that municipality.                                                                                    
                    (3)  A small municipality shall pay 50                                                                      
     percent  for  an  eligible  surviving  dependent  of  a                                                                    
     deceased employee of that small municipality."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 11, following "AS 39.60.010;":                                                                                
             Insert a new paragraph to read:                                                                                    
                         "(7)   "large municipality" means                                                                      
     a  municipality with  a population  of  10,000 or  more                                                                    
     according to  the latest figures  of the  United States                                                                    
     Bureau of the Census;"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 14, following "10,000":                                                                                       
             Insert "according to the latest figures of the                                                                     
     United States Bureau of the Census"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster stated  that  the  amendment clarified  the                                                                    
level of health insurance  benefits that would be maintained                                                                    
for the  survivors of state  employees, how the  payments of                                                                    
the  premiums would  be made,  and that  the definitions  of                                                                    
small and  large municipality would  be based on  the latest                                                                    
figures of the U.S. census.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  wondered whether  the definition  of "large                                                                    
municipality" was based on the  census numbers from the time                                                                    
a person  died. He was curious  about the 100 percent  to 50                                                                    
percent change  in coverage over  the life of  the surviving                                                                    
spouse.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster noted  Representative  Kawasaki had  joined                                                                    
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson deferred  the question  to Legislative  Legal                                                                    
Services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LISA   WEISSLER,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  ANDY   JOSEPHSON,                                                                    
interjected that the fund was  needs based, which meant that                                                                    
there would  be no  need for  a municipality  to participate                                                                    
until a death occurred. She  added that the population would                                                                    
be taken into account at the time of the person's death.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton felt that the  language of the amendment was                                                                    
vague, and hoped that it  could be further clarified for the                                                                    
record.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson agreed that the  language should be clarified.                                                                    
She  furthered that  the clarification  should  come in  the                                                                    
form of policy from the committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:59:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  understood  that   the  intention  of  the                                                                    
amendment was  to use the  population numbers from  the time                                                                    
of the employee's death.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  MOVED Conceptual  Amendment 1  to Amendment                                                                    
3:                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Insert the words "at the time of the employees death"                                                                      
     on Page 1, Line 21, following the word "more" and on                                                                       
     Page 2, Line 4, preceding the work "according".                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There  being   NO  OBJECTION,  Conceptual  Amendment   1  to                                                                    
Amendment 3 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt understood it  was still mandated that                                                                    
municipalities participate.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Weissler replied in the affirmative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt queried the need for the amendment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Weissler  responded the  language clarified  the section                                                                    
pertaining to  the municipal mandate. She  said that further                                                                    
explanation   could  be   provided   by  Legislative   Legal                                                                    
Services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:01:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL WAYNE,  ATTORNEY, LEGISLATIVE LEGAL  SERVICES, ALASKA                                                                    
STATE LEGISLATURE (via teleconference), introduced himself.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt repeated his question.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wayne relayed the amendment  was intended to clarify how                                                                    
much municipalities were  required to pay, and  how much the                                                                    
commissioner should pay from the fund.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  noted the  new section  AS 39.60.050,                                                                    
highlighted  municipal  contribution  and  stated  that  the                                                                    
premiums should be paid by municipalities.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wayne reiterated  that the purpose of  the amendment was                                                                    
to make the statute more clear.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  WITHDREW  his OBJECTION.  There  being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Amendment 3 was ADOPTED as amended.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:04:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment  4, 30-LS0258\O.12                                                                    
(Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "reaches 65 years of age"                                                                                      
          Insert "is eligible for Medicare"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster explained  the amendment  clarified that  a                                                                    
surviving spouse  would become  ineligible to  receive major                                                                    
medical insurance  coverage upon reaching  Medicare eligible                                                                    
age, rather than the set age of 65 years old.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   thought  that  the   amendment  was                                                                    
unnecessary. She argued that  Medicare was considered "major                                                                    
medical".                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:06:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED   conceptual  Amendment  1  to                                                                    
Amendment 4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Delete all language on Line 12 of page 3.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara OBJECTED.  He stated  that a  definition of                                                                    
major  medical   was  necessary   in  order  to   adopt  the                                                                    
conceptual amendment.  He asserted  that the  amendment made                                                                    
clear that the benefit ended  once a person was eligible for                                                                    
Medicare.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  thought  that the  committee  should                                                                    
have a  definition of "major  medical" on hand if  they were                                                                    
going  to craft  a bill  based  on the  words. She  wondered                                                                    
whether  the  definition should  be  written  into the  bill                                                                    
before it left committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  asserted that Amendment  4 did not  need to                                                                    
be  amended. He  said that  it would  be important  to track                                                                    
when a person began receiving  Medicare, so that the benefit                                                                    
did not continue. He offered  to read a definition of "major                                                                    
medical" into the record.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:09:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  maintained   her  objection  to  the                                                                    
amendment unless conceptually amended.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  shared that once Medicare  began paying for                                                                    
a person, the state no longer needed to provide coverage.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  WITHDREW the conceptual  amendment to                                                                    
number 4.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  noted that a  technical amendment  would be                                                                    
needed  to  address the  wrong  page  number attribution  in                                                                    
Amendment 4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  moved conceptual  amendment 2  to Amendment                                                                    
4.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Remove on Page 1, line 1 "Page 3, line 13", and insert                                                                     
     "Page 3, line 12".                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There  being   NO  OBJECTION,  conceptual  Amendment   2  to                                                                    
Amendment 4 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara WITHDREW his OBJECTION to Amendment 4.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being  NO further  OBJECTION, Amendment 4  was ADOPTED                                                                    
as amended.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:13:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  5, 30-LS0258\O.8                                                                    
(Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 13, following "firefighter.":                                                                                 
             Insert "The department shall create in the                                                                         
     fund an account for state employees and an account for                                                                     
     employees of small municipalities. 11                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 3 - 5:                                                                                                       
             Delete "The department shall create two                                                                            
     separate accounts  in the fund,  one account  for state                                                                    
     employees  and a  separate account  for employees  of a                                                                    
     small municipality."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster explained that the  amendment would move the                                                                    
fund setup to the beginning of the bill, for clarity.                                                                           
Representative  Pruitt  requested  clarification  concerning                                                                    
the reason for moving the language.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wayne explained that the  intention of the amendment was                                                                    
to move the concept from one place in the bill to another.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  asked why  the language needed  to be                                                                    
moved.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wayne  responded that he could  not speak as to  why the                                                                    
move should be  made. He assumed that the move  was a matter                                                                    
of writing style.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara stated  the  two  sentences used  different                                                                    
words but appeared  to say the same thing.  He asked whether                                                                    
the amendment had any impact  on the meaning of, or coverage                                                                    
in, the bill.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wayne replied  that he did not believe so.  He felt that                                                                    
the meaning of the language was the same.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  asked  whether   the  amendment  made  the                                                                    
language of the bill "cleaner".                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wayne  replied that Legislative Legal  Services tried to                                                                    
make   things   as  clear   as   possible   to  the   common                                                                    
understanding in order to avoid ambiguity.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  expressed appreciation  for  the                                                                    
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:18:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  WITHDREW  his OBJECTION.  There  being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Amendment 5 was ADOPTED.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment  6, 30-LS0258\O.13                                                                    
(Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 8 - 9:                                                                                                       
             Delete all material and insert:                                                                                    
         "(5) "firefighter" means a person who is                                                                               
                         (A) employed year      round   full                                                                    
     time buy the state or a municipality in a permanent                                                                        
     position  and  whose  primary  duty  is  to  perform                                                                       
     fire  response services; and                                                                                               
                         (B) eligible to receive major                                                                          
     medical insurance benefits as an employee of the state                                                                     
     or a municipality;"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson explained  that the  words  "year round"  had                                                                    
been  added because  the previous  description implied  that                                                                    
the  person would  be a  full-time, permanent  position. She                                                                    
understood that there  were permanent, full-time firefighter                                                                    
positions that were  not year round. She said  that in order                                                                    
to describe the  employee eligible for the  benefits, it was                                                                    
necessary  to  explain  that  the   employee  needed  to  be                                                                    
employed  year  round. She  shared  that  there could  be  a                                                                    
negative  tax consequence  if the  benefit was  applied, end                                                                    
extended  12 months  of health  benefits, when  the employee                                                                    
was actually receiving only 3 or 4 months of benefits.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:20:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked  how many  seasonal  employees                                                                    
received full medical benefits.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson  replied that she  did not know.  She deferred                                                                    
the question to the Division of Retirement and Benefits.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson  explained that  as  the  bill was  currently                                                                    
written, providing premiums to  pay for health care benefits                                                                    
for the  survivors of police  and firemen, was  an exception                                                                    
to  certain  Internal  Revenue Service  (IRS)  that  concern                                                                    
paying taxes  on additional benefits. The  IRS exception was                                                                    
made  because the  IRS code  had,  through revenue  rulings,                                                                    
chosen  to view  the survivors  as physically  replacing the                                                                    
employee. In order to make the  benefit as close to what the                                                                    
employee  was receiving  as possible,  it  was necessary  to                                                                    
identify  the  employee  to  which  the  benefit  was  being                                                                    
originally applied.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson understood  that  the provision  only                                                                    
applied to year round employees and their dependents.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson asked for clarification of the question.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson restated her question.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:24:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson responded  that the level of  care referred to                                                                    
the premium,  standard, or  economy plan.  She said  that if                                                                    
the committee wished  to arrange the duration  of the period                                                                    
of  insurance,  then  it  should  be  separately  addressed;                                                                    
presently, the bill  considered a 12 month  per year medical                                                                    
benefit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  whether  wildland  forest                                                                    
firefighters, who worked  8 to 10 months per  year, would be                                                                    
eligible for  the benefits under the  amendment's definition                                                                    
of firefighter.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson  answered that the intention  of the amendment                                                                    
was to  make it clear the  premium was paid to  the survivor                                                                    
if  an   employee  had  been  receiving   the  payment.  The                                                                    
amendment  clarified   it  would   apply  to   a  year-round                                                                    
employee. It  was possible  to make a  change, but  it would                                                                    
require  adjustment and  restructuring  of the  bill by  the                                                                    
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  expressed concern  for  benefits                                                                    
for firefighters who  did not work year round,  but did work                                                                    
full-time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:27:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Gara  offered   a   hypothetical  involving   a                                                                    
firefighter or  police officer who was  a full-time employee                                                                    
of the  state or  a municipality,  who died  in the  line of                                                                    
service.  He  wondered  what  the  harm,  or  potential  IRS                                                                    
consequences, there  would be  in covering  those employee's                                                                    
survivors.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson replied  that it  was difficult  to speak  to                                                                    
hypotheticals. She  said that  the department  was concerned                                                                    
that putting  the survivor  in the  "shoes of  the employee"                                                                    
benefit-wise could have unintended consequences.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Gara  understood   that   the  department   was                                                                    
concerned with  covering spouses  of deceased  employees who                                                                    
had not been year round employees.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson said that the  concept was to take an employee                                                                    
that was receiving benefits, and  provide the benefits as if                                                                    
the employee continued to live,  to the survivor. She stated                                                                    
that if  the employee was  only employed four months  out of                                                                    
the year, the survivor would  not have expected the benefits                                                                    
for the remainder of the year through that employer.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:31:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  offered options  related to  the amendment.                                                                    
He moved the amendment to the bottom of the list.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  WITHDREW his MOTION  to adopt  Amendment 6.                                                                    
The amendment would was moved to the bottom of the list.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment  7, 30-LS0258\O.14                                                                    
(Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
         "(7) "police officer" means a person who                                                                               
                    (A) is employed year round, full time                                                                       
     by  the   state  or  a  municipality   in  a  permanent                                                                    
     position;                                                                                                                  
                    (B)   has the authority and whose                                                                           
     primary duty  is to arrest and  issue citations; detain                                                                    
     a person   taken  into custody until that   person  can                                                                    
     be  arraigned before  a  judge  or magistrate;  conduct                                                                    
     investigations  of violations  of and  enforce criminal                                                                    
     laws,  regulations, and  traffic laws;  search with  or                                                                    
     without  a  warrant persons,    dwellings,   and  other                                                                    
     forms of  property  for  evidence of a crime;  and take                                                                    
     other  action consistent  with  the  exercise of  these                                                                    
     powers  when necessary  to maintain  the public  peace;                                                                    
     and                                                                                                                        
                    (C) is eligible to receive major                                                                            
     medical insurance benefits as  an employee of the state                                                                    
     or a municipality;"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster explained that  the amendment would redefine                                                                    
"police officer" in the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  requested   that  the  amendment  be                                                                    
rolled  to the  bottom of  the list,  as it  was similar  to                                                                    
Amendment 6.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  WITHDREW his Motion  to Adopt  Amendment 7.                                                                    
The amendment would was moved to the bottom of the list.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  8, 30-LS0258\O.4                                                                    
(Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 10:                                                                                                           
          Delete "(l)"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "; or"                                                                                                         
          Insert "or 10 years after the date of the                                                                             
     employee's     death."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  OBJECTED  for discussion.  She  said                                                                    
that the  amendment would  put a limit  of liability  of the                                                                    
state and municipalities to pay for coverage.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED. He stated  the purpose of the bill                                                                    
was  to  provide  some  benefit  to  surviving  spouses  and                                                                    
children  when an  employee died  in  the line  of duty.  He                                                                    
believed a 10-year period was arbitrary.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:35:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson  clarified  the amendment  did  not                                                                    
would not end coverage for children until 26 years of age.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson replied in the affirmative.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt spoke in  support of the amendment. He                                                                    
felt that  the goal  was to  help families  transition after                                                                    
the death  of a family  member. He spoke of  similar efforts                                                                    
by the  military, and noted  that the transition  period for                                                                    
those  families had  an eventual  end. He  thought that  the                                                                    
fiduciary  duty of  the state  should be  balanced with  the                                                                    
transition time by providing a specific end time.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg stated that  in his experience the                                                                    
time after  death had not been  a transition, it had  been a                                                                    
permanent situation. He opposed the amendment.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:38:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki  appreciated   the  value   of  an                                                                    
adequate  transition  time,  but  he  did  not  want  to  be                                                                    
responsible  for defining  the  amount of  time a  surviving                                                                    
spouse needed.  He suspected that  the fund would have to be                                                                    
applied for annually, which would  already be burdensome for                                                                    
families.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  expressed  a personal  connection  to  the                                                                    
issue; his father  had been killed when he was  6 years old,                                                                    
which  had  left his  mother  without  health insurance.  He                                                                    
strongly opposed the amendment.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Grenn,  Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Ortiz,  Gara, Seaton,                                                                    
Foster                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 8 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:42:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  chose to  not offer  Amendment 9,                                                                    
30-LS0258\O.l (Wayne, 2/2/17) (copy on file).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 10.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:43:41 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:44:21 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton WITHDREW his motion to ADOPT Amendment 10.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 10,  30-                                                                    
LS0258\O.23 (Wayne, 2/7/17) (copy on file):                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace" 4                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "Peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "Peace" 12                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace" 16                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 10:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "Peace" 20                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 22:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 24:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace" 16                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 28:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 8 - 9:                                                                                                       
          Delete "of the state or a municipality employed                                                                       
          to perform fire suppression services;"                                                                                
          Insert "occupying a position as a firefighter or                                                                      
          fire chief;"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 10:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
          "(7) "peace officer"  means an  employee occupying                                                                    
          a position  as a  peace officer, chief  of police,                                                                    
          regional   public  safety   officer,  correctional                                                                    
          officer,    correctional     superintendent,    or                                                                    
          probation officer;"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 18:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace" 7                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 21:                                                                                                           
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
          Insert "peace"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  explained that the  amendment would                                                                    
incorporate the all-encompassing  "peace officer" definition                                                                    
for police and firefighters into  the bill. He said that the                                                                    
term  was defined  in statute  and  that it  referred to  an                                                                    
employee  who was  a peace  officer,  a chief  of police,  a                                                                    
regional public  safety officer,  a correctional  officer, a                                                                    
correctional  superintendent,  or  a probation  officer.  He                                                                    
believed that the amendment  would correct unequal treatment                                                                    
among officers.  He spoke specifically  to the  treatment of                                                                    
correctional officers.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:46:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson  noted  the fiscal  notes  did  not                                                                    
include  correctional  or  probation  officers.  He  queried                                                                    
whether the amendment would have impact on the fiscal note.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  referred to a list  of work-related                                                                    
deaths  of  Department  of Corrections  (DOC)  officers,  in                                                                    
1988,  1990, 1991,  2002, and  2013,  none of  the five  DOC                                                                    
officers  would qualify  for benefits  under the  definition                                                                    
currently  contained  in  the bill.  He  shared  that  their                                                                    
injuries had  not been due  to something sustained  at work.                                                                    
He asserted that no probation officers had died on the job.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  spoke to the  broadness of the  term "peace                                                                    
officer", as opposed to "police officer".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki answered  that  peace officers  was                                                                    
defined  in  the   legislation  and  specifically  addressed                                                                    
chiefs   of  police,   regional   public  safety   officers,                                                                    
correctional  officers,   correctional  superintendents,  or                                                                    
probation  officers. He  relayed that  the only  change from                                                                    
version O and  the amendment was the inclusion  of chiefs of                                                                    
police,    correctional   superintendents,    or   probation                                                                    
officers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:50:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  for  a  definition  of  a                                                                    
regional police.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson  answered that,  while  the  term existed  in                                                                    
statute,  she  understood  that the  job  classification  no                                                                    
longer  existed and  that the  duties had  been subsumed  by                                                                    
troopers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson assumed  probation officers  included                                                                    
juvenile  probation  officers.   She  asked  whether  parole                                                                    
officers were included in the definition.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki  answered   that  the   definition                                                                    
included  juvenile   probation  officers,  but   not  parole                                                                    
officers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  imagined the danger would  be similar                                                                    
in both jobs.  She wondered about the  distinction of safety                                                                    
between parole and probation officers.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  replied that  did not  know whether                                                                    
one job was safer than the other.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION, Amendment 10 was ADOPTED.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment  11,  30-                                                                    
LS0258\O.3 (Wayne, 2/3/17) (copy on file):                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "the"                                                                                                          
          Insert "participating"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 23, following "section.":                                                                                     
          Insert  "The commissioner  may not  pay a  premium                                                                    
          for an eligible dependent  of a municipal employee                                                                    
          from the  fund unless  the municipal  employer has                                                                    
          paid the  corresponding premium required  under AS                                                                    
          39.60.050."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 25, following "municipality":                                                                                 
          Insert "that participates in the fund"                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson explained  the amendment  would allow                                                                    
municipalities  to  opt  in  to   the  payment  of  employee                                                                    
premiums.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  stated that under  the amendment,  a person                                                                    
could  be killed  in  the line  of duty  and  the spouse  or                                                                    
children would  have no coverage.  He stated the  purpose of                                                                    
the  bill  was  to  provide coverage.  He  objected  to  the                                                                    
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   appreciated  the   comments.   She                                                                    
rebutted that  the current bill  did not cover  service area                                                                    
firefighters. She argued that the  option should be given to                                                                    
municipalities to determine how  they wanted to insure their                                                                    
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz, Gara,  Grenn, Foster,                                                                    
Seaton                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 11 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:57:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment  12,  30-                                                                    
LS0258\O.2  (Wayne, 2/3/17)  (copy on  file). [Note:  due to                                                                    
amendment length  it has not  been included in  the minutes.                                                                    
See copy on file.]                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara OBJECTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   explained   the   amendment.   She                                                                    
emphasized  she  appreciated the  hard  work  done by  state                                                                    
employees, but wondered whether  the medical expenses should                                                                    
be paid for out of the general fund.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster   referred  to  a  handout   including  the                                                                    
definition of "major medical" (copy on file).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked if  expanding  the  bill to  various                                                                    
statutes  would bleed  into the  issue of  Public Employees'                                                                    
Retirement System (PERS).                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson replied in the  affirmative. She said that the                                                                    
department was  concerned about  the impact  because premium                                                                    
payments  would  be extended  to  all  state employees,  via                                                                    
eligibility  under the  PERS  Occupational Disability  Death                                                                    
Benefit. She relayed that the  amendment would apply to PERS                                                                    
members who  qualified for the  death benefit, and  not only                                                                    
police  officers and  fire fighters.  She added  that Alaska                                                                    
State Troopers were not covered under current statute.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:03:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked  if an  actuarial  fiscal  note  was                                                                    
required   when   passing   legislation  related   to   PERS                                                                    
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilkerson replied in the  affirmative. She detailed that                                                                    
under A.S.  24.08.036, before a  bill having an effect  on a                                                                    
retirement  system was  reported to  the rules  committee it                                                                    
must have an actuarial analysis.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton understood that if  the amendment were to be                                                                    
adopted,  the bill  could not  be moved  to the  House Rules                                                                    
Committee without  a fiscal note that  provided an actuarial                                                                    
analysis.  He  wondered what  the  numbers  of the  analysis                                                                    
would look like after adding the benefit premiums.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson disagreed  that  the amendment  would                                                                    
lead  to the  inclusion of  PERS and  TRS in  the bill.  She                                                                    
asked to hear from Legislative Legal Services.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:04:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Wayne  answered that  the  amendment  did not  have  an                                                                    
impact on  PERS and  TRS. He said  that the  amendment would                                                                    
cross  reference sections  found  in PERS,  under which  the                                                                    
survivor of  an employee who  dies in  the line of  duty can                                                                    
qualify  for  a  survivor  pension benefit,  not  a  medical                                                                    
benefit.  He  stressed that  the  amendment  would not  make                                                                    
someone  eligible for  coverage  under PERS,  it would  make                                                                    
them  eligible for  employee coverage  under  the policy  of                                                                    
group insurance under the  subsection A.S.39.30.091, or 095.                                                                    
He understood  that A.S.  39.30.090, 091,  and 095  were the                                                                    
three section  under which all  state employee  coverage was                                                                    
authorized and obtained, including  the coverage under self-                                                                    
insurance plans  obtained by  the union  representing Alaska                                                                    
State Troopers.  He hypothesized that  if a trooper  were to                                                                    
die on  the job, and  the bill including the  amendment were                                                                    
law, the  insurance that the  trooper had been  receiving as                                                                    
an employee would continue as long  as the death had been in                                                                    
the line of duty.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:09:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson understood  that all state employees                                                                    
were included in the amendment.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson replied in  the affirmative. She added                                                                    
that teachers  would not be  protected because they  are not                                                                    
employed by the state, but rather by municipalities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt, Tilton, Wilson,                                                                                               
OPPOSED:   Kawasaki,    Ortiz,   Thompson,    Gara,   Grenn,                                                                    
Guttenberg, Seaton, Foster                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 12 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:12:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 13, 30-                                                                      
LS0258\O.20 (Wayne, 2/6/17) (copy on file):                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 2 - 3:                                                                                                       
          Delete "designated for state employees or                                                                             
          employees of a small municipality"                                                                                    
          Insert "to the fund based on an amount determined                                                                     
          under AS 39.60.020"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 12 - 13:                                                                                                     
          Delete   "determine   the   amount   of   money                                                                       
          sufficient   to   pay   premiums   under 7   AS                                                                       
          39.60.030"                                                                                                            
          Insert "set  an eligible  participant contribution                                                                    
          rate  based on  the  payroll for  persons who  are                                                                    
          eligible  under  AS   39.60.040,  the  anticipated                                                                    
          amount of the premiums payable under 10 AS                                                                            
          39.60.030,"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  relayed that the  amendment would                                                                    
create a  larger trust; premiums  would not be  paid, people                                                                    
would  pay an  assessment on  the cost  of keeping  the fund                                                                    
active. He  asserted that  the risk  would be  spread across                                                                    
all   of   the  eligible   employees   of   the  state   and                                                                    
municipalities.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz queried how  the amendment would impact                                                                    
the burden to municipalities.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  believed   the  amendment  would                                                                    
significantly lower the burden to municipalities.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson surmised  that the  amendment would                                                                    
increase  the cost  to municipalities.  He assumed  that the                                                                    
fund could be  raided by future legislatures.  He stated the                                                                    
legislature could not dedicate  funds, and expressed concern                                                                    
that the fund  would be used as a slush  fund in the future.                                                                    
He queried whether there was a cap on the fund.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg replied  that the commissioner, or                                                                    
fund manager,  would determine the  liability for  the fund,                                                                    
and  set  an eligibility  contribution  rate.  He said  that                                                                    
there  was no  intent to  build up  a fund  beyond what  was                                                                    
needed.  He  relayed  that the  liability  would  be  spread                                                                    
across the entire spectrum of  employees. He reiterated that                                                                    
if  there were  no deaths  in  a certain  timeframe then  no                                                                    
contribution would be  necessary, the rate would  only go up                                                                    
to cover deaths, no premiums would be paid.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  understood that every  state employee                                                                    
would pay  approximately $2  per year to  the fund,  and was                                                                    
reflected as $56,000 on the current fiscal note.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg replied  in  the affirmative.  He                                                                    
explained  that  the  calculation  would  be  based  on  the                                                                    
liability  of  the  fund  divided by  all  of  the  eligible                                                                    
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt understood  that the  amendment would                                                                    
remove the  pressure from the  general fund and place  it on                                                                    
potential beneficiaries.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  explained that the state  and the                                                                    
municipalities would pay a percentage  based upon the number                                                                    
of  participating   beneficiaries.  The  $56,000   would  be                                                                    
divided by  the number of  eligible employees, and  would be                                                                    
assessed by the state and the municipalities.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pruitt  surmised that  the burden to  pay the                                                                    
$2.00, he denounced  that the amendment offered  any sort of                                                                    
change.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  shared that  the change  was that                                                                    
premiums were not going to  be paid, the potential liability                                                                    
would  be  spread  across  the   entire  state  of  eligible                                                                    
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt understood  that the  amendment would                                                                    
mandate municipalities to pay to facilitate the program.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg answered  in the  affirmative. He                                                                    
reiterated that  the amendment would spread  the risk across                                                                    
the   state,  and   should  decrease   everyone's  liability                                                                    
significantly.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton pointed to line 8 of the amendment:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "set an eligible participant contribution rate based                                                                       
     on the payroll for persons who are eligible under AS                                                                       
     39.060.040,                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  thought that the  language referred  to the                                                                    
eligibility of a spouse that was not on payroll.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   deferred  to   the  Legislative                                                                    
Finance Division.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   TEAL,   DIRECTOR,  LEGISLATIVE   FINANCE   DIVISION,                                                                    
explained   that   rather   than   unduly   burden   smaller                                                                    
communities with  liability, the  amendment would  require a                                                                    
small contribution  to the  fund based  on payroll.  He said                                                                    
that the same  amount of money would be  collected, as would                                                                    
be  collected  with  premiums, but  would  be  collected  by                                                                    
everyone regardless of employer.  He said that the advantage                                                                    
of  spreading  the risk  was  a  safer  way of  funding  the                                                                    
program. He  offered the example  of Alaska  State Troopers,                                                                    
current law  the states  that the  state "shall"  pay health                                                                    
insurance premiums for surviving  dependents. He pointed out                                                                    
that  the   word  "shall"  made  the   payments  subject  to                                                                    
appropriation  by  future  legislatures,  meaning  that  the                                                                    
appropriation to  fill the fund  would need to  be requested                                                                    
each year. He  offered that the alternative would  be to use                                                                    
the  fund  like the  retirement,  or  working reserve  fund,                                                                    
where  money was  appropriated to  the Department  of Public                                                                    
Safety,  alleviating  the  worry   for  future  funding.  He                                                                    
furthered that contributing the  percentage to payroll would                                                                    
result in the $56,000 that  was needed; if someone else were                                                                    
to  be  killed  in  the  line of  duty  there  would  be  an                                                                    
automatic  salary adjustment,  which would  be reflected  in                                                                    
the budget,  and would cover  the increase. He  relayed that                                                                    
the  amendment  would  help  to move  away  from  an  annual                                                                    
appropriation  and  would  spread  the  financial  risk.  He                                                                    
thought  that  it  could indirectly  impact  eligibility  by                                                                    
making it easy to extend  the eligibility to others. He said                                                                    
that  if an  employer chose  to contribute,  their employees                                                                    
would be covered, regardless of their job title.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  noted several  committee members  needed to                                                                    
leave for  a subcommittee meeting. He  concluded the meeting                                                                    
for the day.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[Note: no action was taken on Amendment 13]                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 23 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:28:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster relayed the committee would continue to                                                                         
hear the bill the following day.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:29:12 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:29 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB23 ver O - Legal and Policy Concerns with PERS 020317.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23
HB 23 Answers to questions from the committee.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23
HB 23 Support Letters PKT 2 2.2.17.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23
HB 23 Letters of Support PKT 3.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23
HB 23 Letters of Support PKT 4 2.6.17.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23
HB 23 Amendments 2.7.17.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23
HB 23 Supporting Doc. AS definition of major medical.pdf HFIN 2/7/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 23