Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/02/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:55 pm --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved HB 400 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                   HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                        April 2, 2018                                                                                           
                          3:00 p.m.                                                                                             
3:00:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Foster called  the House  Finance Committee  meeting                                                                  
to order at 3:00 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                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Claire  Gross,  Staff,  Representative   Gara;  Representative                                                                  
Harriet    Drummond,    Sponsor;   George    Ascott,    Staff,                                                                  
Representative   Harriet  Drummond;  Representative   Jonathan                                                                  
Kreiss-Tomkins,    Sponsor;   Cathy    Schlingheyde,    Staff,                                                                  
Representative  Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins;   Stephanie  Butler,                                                                  
Executive   Director,  Alaska   Commission  on   Postsecondary                                                                  
Education, Department of Education and Early Development.                                                                       
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Doug  Walrath,   Director,  Northwestern  Alaska   Career  and                                                                  
Technical  Center, Nome;  David  Tyler, Division  of Fire  and                                                                  
Line Safety, Department of Public Safety, Anchorage.                                                                            
HB 221      WORKFORCE & ED RELATED STATISTICS PROGRAM                                                                           
            HB 221 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                          
            further consideration.                                                                                              
HB 268      OPIOID PRESCRIPTION INFORMATION                                                                                     
            HB 268 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                          
            further consideration.                                                                                              
HB 400      FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES                                                                                   
            HB 400 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                                                                     
            pass"  recommendation   and  with  one  previously                                                                  
            published  indeterminate fiscal  note: FN1(DPS).                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the agenda for the day.                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 268                                                                                                            
     "An  Act   relating  to  the  prescription   of  opioids;                                                                  
     relating   to  the  Department   of  Health  and   Social                                                                  
     Services;   relating  to   the  practice  of   dentistry;                                                                  
     relating  to the practice  of medicine;  relating  to the                                                                  
     practice  of  podiatry;   relating  to  the  practice  of                                                                  
     osteopathy;  relating  to the  practice  of nursing;  and                                                                  
     relating to the practice of optometry."                                                                                    
3:01:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA, SPONSOR, introduced himself.                                                                           
CLAIRE   GROSS,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   GARA,   introduced                                                                  
Representative  Gara  explained  that the  difference  between                                                                  
the  proposed  Committee  substitute  (CS)  and  the  original                                                                  
bill was  the transfer  of requirements  that were  consistent                                                                  
with  the Center  for  Disease  Control (CDC)  guidelines  for                                                                  
informing  patients  about  the dangers  of  opioid  addiction                                                                  
and reasonable  drug alternatives.  The change moved  from the                                                                  
legislature  prescribing   rules  to  allowing  the  board  to                                                                  
adopt  their own  regulations that  were  consistent with  CDC                                                                  
guidelines.  The  bill proposed  to  provide nine  months  for                                                                  
the boards to adopt regulations.                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Seaton   MOVED   to   ADOPT    proposed   committee                                                                  
substitute  for SSHB  268,  Work Draft  30-LS1081\E  (Radford,                                                                  
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
Representative  Gara began  the PowerPoint  presentation:  "HB
268  - Opioid  Prescription Warnings."  He  referenced HB  159                                                                  
[legislation  pertaining   to  the  prescription   of  opioids                                                                  
passed  in  2017],  a bill  sponsored  by  the  governor.  The                                                                  
legislature  since had learned  about the addictive  nature of                                                                  
opioids, that  80 percent of those  using heroin started  on a                                                                  
pain-killing  drug,  and that  the  longer  a person  used  an                                                                  
opioid  the  more  likely  one  was  to  become  addicted.  He                                                                  
relayed that  the death rate  from prescribed opioid  overdose                                                                  
in  Alaska was  about  twice  the national  level.  There  was                                                                  
still  a gap  between  prescribers  either being  informed  or                                                                  
informing  their  patients  of  the  dangers  of  opioids.  He                                                                  
shared that a number of states were adopting similar bills.                                                                     
3:05:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Gara  moved  to  slide  2:  "The   Nationwide                                                                  
Opioid  Epidemic." Representative  Gara  continued  discussing                                                                  
the bill.  He detailed  that roughly  91 people  died per  day                                                                  
from opioid overdoses.                                                                                                          
Representative   Gara  scrolled  to  slide  3:   "The  Alaskan                                                                  
Opioid Epidemic."  He reported  that heroin-associated  deaths                                                                  
in Alaska  were 50 percent higher  than the national  average,                                                                  
and  there was  a link  between  opioid addiction  and  heroin                                                                  
Representative  Gara moved  to slide 4:  "Extended Opioid  Use                                                                  
Raises  Risk of  Addiction."  The chart  on  the slide  showed                                                                  
that the  longer a person was  on an opioid prescription,  the                                                                  
more likely they would become addicted.                                                                                         
Representative  Gara  advanced   to  slide  5:  "Link  Between                                                                  
Opioid  Abuse   and  Heroin  Addiction."  He   specified  that                                                                  
roughly  80  percent  of  those  using   heroine  started  out                                                                  
misusing prescription opioids such as hydrocodone.                                                                              
Representative Gara turned to slide 6: "HB 268":                                                                                
     Is a patient information bill which seeks to provide                                                                       
     new regulations for prescribing:                                                                                           
Representative  Gara  reported  that the  bill  was a  patient                                                                  
information  bill.   He  considered  that  if   patients  were                                                                  
informed  about   the  dangers  and  addictive   qualities  of                                                                  
opioids,  it  would   be  possible  to  find   less  dangerous                                                                  
alternative treatments.                                                                                                         
Representative  Gara discussed the  language from the  bill on                                                                  
slide 7: "HB 268 con't":                                                                                                        
     Requires  the  state  Board   of  Dental  examiners,  the                                                                  
     State  Medical  Board,  the  Board of  Nursing,  and  the                                                                  
     Board    of    Examiners    in   Optometry    to    adopt                                                                  
Representative   Gara   advanced   to   slide   8:   "HB   268                                                                  
     Requiring prescribers to:                                                                                                  
     "Advise  patients, using  oral  and written  information,                                                                  
     before  prescribing an opioid,  of the potential  dangers                                                                  
     of  opioid  addiction,  and alternatives  to  the  opioid                                                                  
     prescription the provider considers reasonable"                                                                            
Representative   Gara  qualified  that  the  bill   would  not                                                                  
interfere   with  the   provider-patient   relationship.   The                                                                  
intent  was to make  the bill  as simple  as possible so  that                                                                  
it was  useful for providers.  The bill  aimed to give  boards                                                                  
leeway   to   make  exceptions   to   the   requirement.   The                                                                  
requirement   would  generally   apply  to  outpatients,   and                                                                  
providers  could  exempt  classes of  patients.  He  discussed                                                                  
prescriptions  of opioids  for cancer  patients and  suggested                                                                  
some  thought  that cancer  patients  did  not need  the  same                                                                  
information  on the  dangers of  opioids. He  thought a  board                                                                  
might determine  that it was not  sensible to have  to provide                                                                  
information  in  certain  circumstances  such as  for  Hospice                                                                  
care  patients.  He discussed  extenuating  circumstances  and                                                                  
asserted that boards should have leeway.                                                                                        
Representative    Gara   discussed    slide    9:   "HB    268                                                                  
     The boards may:                                                                                                            
     "Determine  which classes of  patients may be  reasonably                                                                  
     exempted   from  the  information  requirement   and  may                                                                  
     allow  an exemption from  the requirement for  violations                                                                  
     the  board   considers  to  be  unintentional,   periodic                                                                  
     accidental  violations,  and  for good  cause,  including                                                                  
     when  a  licensee  needs  to  attend   to  the  perceived                                                                  
     immediate health care of another patient."                                                                                 
Representative Gara scrolled to slide 10: "HB 268 DHSS":                                                                        
     HB 268  also requires that  the Department of  Health and                                                                  
     Social Services                                                                                                            
     "Post   on  the   department's   Internet  website,   and                                                                  
     provide  access  to a  printable  version  of, a  written                                                                  
     statement,  which  may include  graphics,  that  provides                                                                  
     easily    understandable    information    on    opioids,                                                                  
     including   the   potentially   addictive   and   harmful                                                                  
     qualities of opioids."                                                                                                     
     This  written   statement  will  assist   prescribers  in                                                                  
     complying   with  the  patient  information   regulations                                                                  
     adopted by the state boards under this bill                                                                                
3:09:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Gara  reviewed  slide  11:  "Making   HB  268                                                                  
Effective Without Hurting Doctor-Patient Relationship":                                                                         
     No civil liability for violating bill requirements                                                                         
     Prescribers given broad leeway to make honest mistakes                                                                     
Representative  Gara expressed that  he did not want  there to                                                                  
be  interference in  the  doctor-patient  relationship by  the                                                                  
threat  of lawsuits.  He  reiterated that  the  intent was  to                                                                  
give  boards the  ability to  allow practitioners  the  leeway                                                                  
to make honest mistakes.                                                                                                        
Representative   Gara   explained  how   the   idea  for   the                                                                  
legislation  was brought to  his attention  on slide  12: "CDC                                                                  
Checklist  for   Prescribing  Opioids:  Bill   Implements  CDC                                                                  
Opioid Crisis Voluntary Recommendations":                                                                                       
     Bill    Implements    CDC   Opioid    Crisis    Voluntary                                                                  
     The CDC  recommends that  prescribers discuss the  risks,                                                                  
     benefits,  and  alternatives  to opioid  medication  with                                                                  
     their patients when they prescribe ... and much more.                                                                      
Representative   Gara  thought   that   many  providers   were                                                                  
providing the opioid information, but many were not.                                                                            
Representative  Gara  showed  slide  13:  "CDC  Checklist  for                                                                  
Prescribing  Opioids: Checklist  for  prescribing opioids  for                                                                  
chronic  pain." He  noted that  the CDC  guidelines were  much                                                                  
more comprehensive  than what  was proposed  in the bill;  and                                                                  
boards could adopt more if desired.                                                                                             
Representative   Gara  reported  on  slide  14:   "Why  Inform                                                                  
Patients?" He read the bubbles from the slide:                                                                                  
     We  know of  no other  medication  routinely  used for  a                                                                  
     nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently?"                                                                     
     Only  about  5  percent  of  patients   being  prescribed                                                                  
     opioid  painkillers   are  receiving  them   for  chronic                                                                  
     pain.  But that small  group accounts  for nearly  three-                                                                  
     quarters of opioid prescriptions. 1                                                                                        
     More  than 70  percent  of patients  who  die of  opioid-                                                                  
     related  overdoses became  addicted  while being  treated                                                                  
     for chronic pain. 1                                                                                                        
     The  CDC  found  that  "many  patients  lack  information                                                                  
     about   opioids  and   identified   concerns  that   some                                                                  
     clinicians    miss    opportunities     to    effectively                                                                  
     communicate about safety."                                                                                                 
          1.The Washington Post, CDC Warns Doctors About                                                                        
          the Dangers of Prescribing Opioid Painkillers,                                                                        
          (March 15 2016)                                                                                                       
          2.Dowell  D,  Haegerich TM,  Chou  R. CDC  Guideline                                                                  
          for  Prescribing Opioids  for Chronic Pain    United                                                                  
          States,  2016. MMWR  RecommRep 2016;65(No.  RR-1):1                                                                   
          49. DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.rr6501e1                                                                    
Representative    Gara   lamented    that   expanded    opioid                                                                  
information  was  not  being communicated   to patients  in  a                                                                  
uniform way.  The bill  proposed to  require providers  to get                                                                  
training   to   understand   the  dangers   of   opioids   and                                                                  
Representative Gara looked at slide 15: "CDC Guidelines":                                                                       
     This   first  national   guidance  on   the  subject   is                                                                  
     nonbinding,  and doctors cannot  be punished for  failing                                                                  
     to comply.                                                                                                                 
     ...the  head  of  the Centers  for  Disease  Control  and                                                                  
     Prevention,   which  issued  the  guidelines,   said  the                                                                  
     effort  was critical to bringing  about "a culture  shift                                                                  
     for patients and doctors."                                                                                                 
     "Starting   a   patient  on   opiates   is  a   momentous                                                                  
     decision,  and  it should  only be  done  if the  patient                                                                  
     and   doctor   have   a   full   understanding   of   the                                                                  
     substantial risks involved."                                                                                               
     --CDC Director Tom Frieden                                                                                                 
     Source:  The Washington  Post,  CDC  Warns Doctors  About                                                                  
     the  Dangers of  Prescribing Opioid  Painkillers,  (March                                                                  
     15 2016)                                                                                                                   
Representative   Gara  stated   that  while   there  was   not                                                                  
conclusive  proof,  it was  known that  not  all doctors  were                                                                  
providing the  opioid information,  and therefore the  CDC had                                                                  
issued the guidelines.                                                                                                          
3:13:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara advanced to  slide 16: "Recognition  that                                                                  
Prescribers  Don't Always  Inform Patients  about the  Dangers                                                                  
of Opioids." He read a portion of the slide:                                                                                    
     This  problem of overprescribing  opioidsand,   according                                                                  
     to  other research,  failing to warn  patients about  the                                                                  
     risks   of  dependence  and   overdoseisn't   unique   to                                                                  
     emergency  doctors.  Physicians   in  other  specialties,                                                                  
     like  internal  medicine   and  primary  care,  prescribe                                                                  
     even  more  opioids,  Barnett says.  "The  whole  medical                                                                  
     community has a responsibility for this."                                                                                  
     --TIME  Health,  How  Doctors   Are  Fueling  the  Opioid                                                                  
     Epidemic (Feb 17, 2017)                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara relayed  that other  states had  followed                                                                  
the  same approach  as  proposed  in the  bill.  It was  found                                                                  
that emergency  room doctors understood  the need  for greater                                                                  
information  as they  witnessed  the ill  effects of  opioids.                                                                  
He referenced  similar legislation  in the states  of Michigan                                                                  
and  Maine.  He felt  that  the medical  community  was  still                                                                  
catching up to the body of information about opioids.                                                                           
Representative  Gara  wanted to  go through  the  presentation                                                                  
quickly,  and to  provide  additional information.  There  had                                                                  
been  progress   with   the  bill.  The   Dental  Society   (a                                                                  
prescribing  authority) had testified  as to the necessity  of                                                                  
the bill.  Optometrists had a  board and had not  communicated                                                                  
a position  on the bill.  Nurse practitioners  had a  board. A                                                                  
board   covering   doctors  and   osteopaths   had   initially                                                                  
objected  to the  bill  and had  referenced  informed  consent                                                                  
from  patients  for  any  treatment  from  a  physician.  Most                                                                  
recently  the   board  for  physicians  had  advised   it  was                                                                  
considering  regulations to  comply with  CDC guidelines.  The                                                                  
regulations   of   doctors   would    not   govern   dentists,                                                                  
optometrists,  and  advanced nurse  practitioners;  who  would                                                                  
be  governed  by  the  bill.  He  considered   that  when  the                                                                  
physicians  and osteopaths  came onboard  it would solve  over                                                                  
90 percent of the problem.                                                                                                      
Representative  Gara thought  the bill  was a  matter of  life                                                                  
and death.  He stated that the  bill had addressed  the opioid                                                                  
issue  in as  non-intrusive  a  way  as possible  for  medical                                                                  
practitioners  by giving  them help  and  leeway to  formulate                                                                  
exceptions  to  the  rules.  He  made  himself  available  for                                                                  
Co-Chair  Foster  relayed  the  available  testifiers  on  the                                                                  
3:17:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  referred  to slide  4  and asked  about  the                                                                  
probability  of  using  opioids  for  one  year  versus  three                                                                  
years. He  wondered if it  meant that  only half as  many were                                                                  
continuing to use.                                                                                                              
Representative  Gara  responded  that the  1-year  probability                                                                  
was  maintaining  and  overusing  opioids  for one  year.  The                                                                  
number  of  people  that  used  for 3  years  was  smaller.  A                                                                  
number  of people  that used  for  one year  did not  continue                                                                  
for  three years.  The  information was  provided  by the  CDC                                                                  
and was in the governor's packet from 2016.                                                                                     
Representative  Wilson asked whether  each board had  a chance                                                                  
to look at the bill and determine the outcomes.                                                                                 
Representative  Gara  responded  that  the Medical  Board  had                                                                  
originally opposed  the bill but  was now coming  onboard with                                                                  
the  legislation.  He  had  no  other   information  from  the                                                                  
Department  of Commerce,  Community  and Economic  Development                                                                  
(DCCED) that other boards had adopted the regulations.                                                                          
Representative  Wilson asked if  the boards had the  chance to                                                                  
discuss the  legislation.  She wondered if  the bill  had been                                                                  
on any of their agendas, so it could be a full discussion.                                                                      
Representative  Gara responded that  he had communicated  with                                                                  
boards through  DCCED and had only  heard a response  from the                                                                  
Medical Board.  He stated there  were some practitioners  that                                                                  
were supportive,  and some that  were not. For those  who were                                                                  
already providing  the information  would not be impacted.  He                                                                  
thought boards  should be  aware of the  bill, which  was pre-                                                                  
filed. The  current version  of the bill  was more relaxed  in                                                                  
terms of adoption of regulations.                                                                                               
3:21:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked  how the bill  would be  policed.                                                                  
She  looked  at page  3  of the  "E"  draft  of the  bill  and                                                                  
wondered  how   classes  of   patients  would  be   reasonably                                                                  
exempted. She asked about the term "good cause."                                                                                
Representative   Gara  responded  that  "good   cause"  was  a                                                                  
commonly  understood  term, and  a board  could  come up  with                                                                  
additional  exemptions  that  it  determined   reasonable.  He                                                                  
used  hospice   patients  and   certain  cancer  patients   as                                                                  
reasonable  examples of  exemptions  that would  be under  the                                                                  
purview of  boards. He reiterated  the desire to leave  boards                                                                  
with  leeway  to  make  exceptions   and  interfere  with  the                                                                  
patient-provider  relationship   as  little  as  possible.  He                                                                  
stated that  the term  "reasonable" was  also well defined  in                                                                  
Representative    Wilson   asked    about   quantifying    the                                                                  
percentage  of   providers  that  did  not  provide   expanded                                                                  
opioid information.                                                                                                             
Representative  Gara  argued that  any providers  not  sharing                                                                  
the  information  were too  many.  The  CDC had  decided  that                                                                  
enough  providers  were  not  providing  information  that  it                                                                  
necessitated  the  adoption  of  national  guidelines,  and  a                                                                  
number  of  states  had  addressed   the  issue  as  well.  He                                                                  
relayed  that the head  of the  CDC had been  very clear  that                                                                  
the evidence  showed providers were  not routinely  giving out                                                                  
the information.                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  if the  invited testifiers  were                                                                  
Co-Chair   Foster  indicated   that   none   of  the   invited                                                                  
testifiers were not online.                                                                                                     
Representative  Gara argued that  the bill was a  policy call.                                                                  
He continued  that  a number  of practitioners  had  contacted                                                                  
his  office  with  support  as  well  as  opposition.  He  was                                                                  
willing  to listen  to other  medical board  input and  stated                                                                  
that  the Medical  Board  had already  impacted  the bill.  He                                                                  
was not  interested in  a response that  included not  wanting                                                                  
to  be regulated.  He  emphasized  the  need to  mitigate  the                                                                  
deaths from opioid abuse and addiction.                                                                                         
3:26:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  agreed  that  the bill  was  a  policy                                                                  
call. However,  she thought  an invitation  to testify  should                                                                  
be extended  for boards. She questioned  how to make  a policy                                                                  
call without input from medical boards.                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Foster conveyed  the names  of  others available  to                                                                  
testify on the bill.                                                                                                            
Representative  Gara responded that  he had sat down  with the                                                                  
deputy  director at  DCCED  that worked  with  boards. He  had                                                                  
authored letters  requesting boards  to comment and  hoped for                                                                  
a response  by the time the bill  moved to the other  body. He                                                                  
hoped the  bill would not get  held in committee.  He believed                                                                  
that  having  proactive  legislation  such  as HB  268,  would                                                                  
result in  boards examining  the CDC  guidelines and  deciding                                                                  
to make them mandatory.                                                                                                         
Representative  Wilson  did  not  want  to hold  the  bill  in                                                                  
committee.  She wanted  to  understand what  boards  currently                                                                  
required.  She did  not want  to duplicate  efforts that  were                                                                  
already in place.                                                                                                               
3:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton referred  to slide  11  of the  presentation.                                                                  
He  asked  about  the provision  of  no  civil  liability  for                                                                  
violation  of bill  requirements  and wondered  if it  applied                                                                  
to providers or boards.                                                                                                         
Representative  Gara  informed  that  the former  bill  was  a                                                                  
requirement  enforced  in  statute. The  current  bill  simply                                                                  
asked  boards  to adopt  regulations,  and  the  boards  would                                                                  
decide  on punishment  and the  adoption of  rules. There  was                                                                  
no civil liability attached to the bill.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Seaton wanted  to  make sure  that  the terms  would                                                                  
not prevent  the boards  from having  sanctions on  providers.                                                                  
He  discussed  statistics  associated  with  Medicare  Part  B                                                                  
prescriptions.  There  were large  areas  of the  state  where                                                                  
9.5  percent  of  all  prescriptions   for  seniors  were  for                                                                  
opioids; which  was more than  twice the national  average. He                                                                  
was very  concerned  that the  problem was  much greater  than                                                                  
was known.  He agreed with  the bill.  He thought it  was much                                                                  
better for boards to be more involved in the process.                                                                           
3:33:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg had no  doubt that therapeutic  and                                                                  
behavioral  health  providers  recognized  that  there  was  a                                                                  
huge  opioid epidemic.  He did  not believe  that the  medical                                                                  
community  thought it was  their problem.  He asked where  the                                                                  
doctors   considered   the   problem   came   from,   when   a                                                                  
significant  part of  the problem  came  from prescribing  and                                                                  
over-prescribing.  He asked if  doctors understood  their role                                                                  
in the matter.                                                                                                                  
Representative  Gara  thought  many  doctors  and  prescribers                                                                  
had a  good idea of  the problem. However,  he thought  it was                                                                  
true  for  every profession  that  some  people  did  stronger                                                                  
work  than others.  He was  impressed with  an emergency  room                                                                  
physician  from Mat-Su  that understood  the  problem and  had                                                                  
recommended  passing a bill with  a sunset. He chose  to leave                                                                  
the  regulation  to  the boards  instead.  He  referenced  the                                                                  
opioid  addiction training  required  by HB 159,  which had  a                                                                  
deadline in the following two months.                                                                                           
3:37:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg was  concerned  with the fact  that                                                                  
the  boards had  not  come up  with a  policy  to address  the                                                                  
Co-Chair Foster OPENED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Seaton was  confused regarding  the effective  dates                                                                  
of  the bill.  He referred  to  page 7  of the  bill. He  read                                                                  
from  Section 7  and Section  8. He  asked if  there was  some                                                                  
contradiction  in the language.  He wondered if the  dates for                                                                  
implementing  regulation  was a  long enough  time period.  He                                                                  
thought  it  was  important  to  raise  the  question  earlier                                                                  
rather than later.                                                                                                              
Representative  Gara stated  he would  provide greater  detail                                                                  
at  the  next  hearing  of  the  bill.  He  offered  that  the                                                                  
department  could put  the  information  up on  a website  for                                                                  
doctors to  access. He wanted the  bill to provide  boards the                                                                  
time  to give  public  notice  and perhaps  retract  and  redo                                                                  
regulations.  The regulations  would not have  to be  in place                                                                  
until February 1, 2019.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Foster   indicated  that  amendments   were  due  on                                                                  
Wednesday, April 4th at 5:00pm.                                                                                                 
HB  268   was  HEARD  and  HELD   in  committee  for   further                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 221                                                                                                            
     "An   Act  relating   to  the   duties   of  the   Alaska                                                                  
     Commission  on  Postsecondary  Education;  relating to  a                                                                  
     statewide  workforce  and  education-related   statistics                                                                  
     program;   relating  to  information   obtained   by  the                                                                  
     Department  of  Labor  and  Workforce   Development;  and                                                                  
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
3:41:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE    HARRIET   DRUMMOND,   SPONSOR,    introduced                                                                  
herself. She read from a prepared statement:                                                                                    
     Thank you, Finance Committee Co-Chairs, members of the                                                                     
     House Finance Committee                                                                                                    
     For  the record, my  name is Harriet  Drummond, Chair  of                                                                  
     the  House  Education  Committee,  and  with  me  are  my                                                                  
     aide,  George  Ascott, and  Stephanie  Butler,  Executive                                                                  
     Director  of  the  Alaska  Commission   on  Postsecondary                                                                  
     I  am  honored to  sponsor  HB  221  as part  of  ongoing                                                                  
     efforts  in the legislature  to take  a detailed  look at                                                                  
     ways  to  improve  how  we  as a  state  spend  money  on                                                                  
     education and job training in Alaska.                                                                                      
     HB 221  will help  the Legislature  to best allocate  and                                                                  
     utilize  increasingly   scarce  resources  available  for                                                                  
     education  and  workforce   training  by  clarifying  the                                                                  
     authority  of  the  Alaska  Commission  on  Postsecondary                                                                  
     Education  (ACPE) to  receive and  analyze existing  data                                                                  
     from  state entities  through a  statewide workforce  and                                                                  
     education related statistics program.                                                                                      
     HB  221 also  changes the  law to  permit the  Department                                                                  
     of   Labor    and   Workforce   Development    to   share                                                                  
     Unemployment  Insurance  data  for  the purposes  of  the                                                                  
     statistics    program,    as   permitted    in    federal                                                                  
     regulation,  and  contingent  upon  a  written  agreement                                                                  
     with ACPE.                                                                                                                 
     HB 221  is not at all about  tracking or collecting  data                                                                  
     on  individuals.  It is  about statistical  outcomes.  It                                                                  
     is about  taking a  bird's eye view  of spending  results                                                                  
     based  on  analyzing  and  aggregating  data  we  already                                                                  
     have to create outcomes statistics.                                                                                        
     HB 221 will help policy makers in the following ways:                                                                      
          It provides a more secure method to transport                                                                         
          data between agencies                                                                                                 
          It lowers costs to access and analyze information                                                                     
          It combines multiple processes into a highly                                                                          
          secure, automated, and cost-effective process                                                                         
          It provides greater access to longitudinal                                                                            
          It reduces the time and cost required to perform                                                                      
          program outcomes reporting                                                                                            
     Alaska   spends  more   than  $2   billion  annually   on                                                                  
     education  and workforce  training,  but we  do not  know                                                                  
     which  programs  produce trained  Alaskans  who are  more                                                                  
     like  to   remain  in  Alaska   and  contribute   to  our                                                                  
     What   is   the  return   we   receive  on   these   huge                                                                  
     HB  221 will  allow  for more  meaningful  assessment  of                                                                  
     program  outcomes  across K-12,  postsecondary  programs,                                                                  
     and into the workforce.                                                                                                    
     And it has no additional cost to the state.                                                                                
     I would  note that  we will have  invited testimony  from                                                                  
     Stephanie  Butler,  Executive   Director  of  the  Alaska                                                                  
     Commission   on   Postsecondary   Education,   who   will                                                                  
     provide  more  detailed technical  information  about  HB
     At  this time,  if  it pleases  the committee,  my  aide,                                                                  
     George  Ascott will  provide a  brief sectional  analysis                                                                  
     of the bill.                                                                                                               
3:44:46 PM                                                                                                                    
GEORGE ASCOTT, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE HARRIET DRUMMOND,                                                                          
introduced himself and read the sectional Analysis:                                                                             
     Hello  and  good  afternoon  Chairs  Seaton  and  Foster,                                                                  
     members of the House Finance Committee.                                                                                    
     For  the  record, my  name  is George  Ascott,  staff  to                                                                  
     Representative  Harriet  Drummond. I  am here to  provide                                                                  
     a  brief  sectional  analysis  to  describe  what  actual                                                                  
     changes will occur to state law under HB 221.                                                                              
     If you  take a look  at the bill  you will notice  it has                                                                  
     five sections.                                                                                                             
     Section 1:                                                                                                                 
     The  first  section  of  the  bill   is  mostly  existing                                                                  
     statute and goes to the beginning of the third page.                                                                       
          Under   existing  law,  the  Alaska   Commission  on                                                                  
          Postsecondary   Education   is   allowed  to   adopt                                                                  
          regulations  to administer  financial aid  programs,                                                                  
          institutional     authorization    functions,    and                                                                  
          interstate    compacts   -   which    includes   the                                                                  
           collection and confidentiality of data.                                                                              
          HB   221  creates  additional   authority   for  the                                                                  
          Commission to adopt regulations. These are:                                                                           
          Regulations   relating   to   the   collection   and                                                                  
          analysis   of  K-12   data,  as   approved  by   the                                                                  
          Department   of Education   and  Early  Development,                                                                  
          under   its  current   authority  to  collect   that                                                                  
          information (Page 2, Line 2)                                                                                          
          AND  regulations  for a new  purpose:  Administering                                                                  
          a   statewide   workforce  and   education   related                                                                  
          statistics program (Page 3, Line 4)                                                                                   
     Section 2: (All new statutory language)                                                                                    
     Beginning  Page   3,  line  6  -  is  all  new  statutory                                                                  
     language.  Currently  the law  allows  the Commission  to                                                                  
     collect  data  and  share   it  with  the  governor,  the                                                                  
     legislature  and other  state and  federal agencies,  but                                                                  
     they   don't  have  clear   authority  to  maintain   and                                                                  
     analyze the data.                                                                                                          
     Section  2 of  HB 221  changes  the law  by adding  three                                                                  
     new subsections so that:                                                                                                   
          (b)  The  commission  can maintain  a  database  for                                                                  
          the   purposes   of   administering    a   statewide                                                                  
          workforce    and   education   related    statistics                                                                  
          program   and  enter  into  cooperative   agreements                                                                  
          regarding  education   and  employment,  with  other                                                                  
          (c)   The   Commission   is   required   to   remove                                                                  
          personally  identifiable  information  before it  is                                                                  
          entered  into the database,  and it may not  provide                                                                  
          personally    identifiable   information    to   the                                                                  
          Federal Government                                                                                                    
          (d) A "unit record" is defined as information                                                                         
          pertaining to an individual                                                                                           
     Section 3: (All new statutory language)                                                                                    
     Currently   the   Department   of   Labor   &   Workforce                                                                  
     Development  is  not  allowed  to  share  data  regarding                                                                  
     unemployment insurance with other agencies.                                                                                
     Beginning  on page 3 line  22, Section 3 changes  the law                                                                  
     to  permit   the  Department   of  Labor  and   Workforce                                                                  
     Development  to share such data  for the purposes  of the                                                                  
     statewide  workforce  and  education  related  statistics                                                                  
     program,   as  permitted   in  federal  regulation,   and                                                                  
     contingent upon a written agreement with ACPE                                                                              
     Section 4:                                                                                                                 
     Beginning  on page four, line  five. This makes  it clear                                                                  
     that the  department of  Labor and workforce  development                                                                  
     can  share data  obtained  before the  effective date  of                                                                  
     HB 221.                                                                                                                    
     Section 5:                                                                                                                 
     The section is just an immediate effective date.                                                                           
     With   that,  I  will   turn  the   microphone  over   to                                                                  
     Stephanie  Butler,  Executive  Director  of  ACPE.  Thank                                                                  
     you, Representatives  Seaton  and Foster, members  of the                                                                  
3:48:12 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE BUTLER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA COMMISSION ON                                                                      
POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY                                                                      
DEVELOPMENT, read a prepared statement:                                                                                         
     Thank you, Mr. Chair, Mr. Ascott.                                                                                          
     For  the  record, this  is  Stephanie  Butler,  Executive                                                                  
     Director  at  ACPE. With  me  in  the audience  is  Kerry                                                                  
     Thomas, Operations Director at ACPE.                                                                                       
     Some   very  brief   background   information:  ACPE   is                                                                  
     charged  with  providing  Alaska's  citizens  with  tools                                                                  
     and  resources  to  access  and   experience  success  in                                                                  
     college  and  career   training.  Some  of  the  ways  we                                                                  
     accomplish  that are by  managing the Alaska  Performance                                                                  
     Scholarship  and  Alaska Education  Grant  programs  (APS                                                                  
     and AEG),  offering low-cost  student loans, among  other                                                                  
     But  are  these  the  most  effective  ways  to  increase                                                                  
     access   and   success?   In  this   time   of   severely                                                                  
     constrained   resources,   are  we   using  the   state's                                                                  
     increasingly  limited  resources  in  ways  that  produce                                                                  
     the  best return  for  our students  and  for the  Alaska                                                                  
     public to whom we are responsible?                                                                                         
     What  is the return  on investment  in programs like  the                                                                  
     APS and the AEG?                                                                                                           
     The  things that we  can currently  easily measure,  like                                                                  
     the number  of program participants  or even the  numbers                                                                  
     of  program  completers,  cannot  answer that  return  on                                                                  
     the  public  investment  question.  To  answer  that  ROI                                                                  
     question,   we  need  to  know  the  long-term   outcomes                                                                  
     across different public sectors, such as:                                                                                  
     Alaska  spends approximately  $5 million annually  on the                                                                  
     Alaska  Education Grant program.  Do recipients  graduate                                                                  
     at  higher  rates  than  non-recipients?   Does  it  help                                                                  
     recipients  enter  the workforce  sooner  than  similarly                                                                  
     situated non-recipients? Do they earn more?                                                                                
     Or  earlier  in  this  session  we  had  questions  about                                                                  
     whether  loan  forgiveness   was  successful,  given  the                                                                  
     costs  of  that forgiveness.  If  we had  a  cross-sector                                                                  
     outcomes   database  back  then,   we  could   know:  Did                                                                  
     students   who  took  forgivable  loans   complete  their                                                                  
     degrees  and  return  to  Alaska  at  rates  higher  than                                                                  
     other  students? And  did they work  in Alaska? Did  they                                                                  
     stay in Alaska at higher rates than others?                                                                                
     In other  words, are  we spending  public money in  smart                                                                  
     ways  that make  the most  difference  for students,  and                                                                  
     for  the   Alaska  economy?   The  University   and  DEED                                                                  
     indicate  they  want to  answer similar  questions  about                                                                  
     their programs.                                                                                                            
     The  challenge to  answering questions  like this  is not                                                                  
     that  we  don't  have  the  data:  we  do  have  it.  The                                                                  
     challenge  is  that  the  data  is  currently  housed  in                                                                  
     separate  transactional  databases. Each  time we have  a                                                                  
     question  like this, about  long-term outcomes,  agencies                                                                  
     have  to put  together a  data-sharing  MOU, extract  the                                                                  
     relevant  data from  our various  systems,  match it  and                                                                  
     link it  up, and then get  the answers to the  questions.                                                                  
     And in  accordance with federal  law, once we  have those                                                                  
     answers  to  our  questions,   we  have  to  destroy  the                                                                  
     linked  data to protect  individual privacy, which  means                                                                  
     if  we have  a follow-up  question,  the  process has  to                                                                  
     start  again.   This  process  can  be  inefficient   and                                                                  
     expensive,  and it can  result in  the need to  duplicate                                                                  
     identifiable citizen data.                                                                                                 
     HB  221   streamlines  this   process  by  allowing   the                                                                  
     Department  of Labor to  share unit-level employment  and                                                                  
     wage  records  with  the  Outcomes   database,  which  is                                                                  
     maintained  by ACPE.  This database  securely houses  de-                                                                  
     identified  linked statistics  from ACPE,  from UA,  from                                                                  
     DEED,  and from Labor,  but right  now only training  and                                                                  
     GED  data form Labor.  With HB 221,  it would also  house                                                                  
     the  employment  and wage  record statistics.  Once  data                                                                  
     is  linked,  personally  identifiable  information  (PII)                                                                  
     is stripped  off, and that  PII is never stored  with the                                                                  
     resulting statistics.                                                                                                      
     What  this  Outcomes  database  offers  us is  a  faster,                                                                  
     more  cost-efficient  way  to  do  longitudinal  outcomes                                                                  
     assessments,   and   a  key   part  of   doing  this   is                                                                  
     minimizing     the    proliferation     of     personally                                                                  
     identifiable  data.  Also,  it allows  us  to retain  the                                                                  
     de-identified  linked statistics,  so  we can respond  to                                                                  
     follow-up   questions  or   efficiently  perform   future                                                                  
     As previously  noted, Alaska  currently spends  more than                                                                  
     $2    billion    dollars    annually   on    our    K-12,                                                                  
     postsecondary,  and  technical/workforce   training,  but                                                                  
     we  don't  currently  have  a  database  that  can  fully                                                                  
     provide    efficient,    cost-effective     and    secure                                                                  
     statistics  to  the Legislature  and  the  Administration                                                                  
     on the value received from these public investments.                                                                       
     HB  221  enhances   Alaska's  ability  to   provide  that                                                                  
     feedback in several ways:                                                                                                  
          It  allows  the  Department   of  Labor  to  provide                                                                  
          unit-level   employment   and  wage   data  to   the                                                                  
          Outcomes   database   for   longitudinal   analysis,                                                                  
          something 28 other states already do,                                                                                 
          It  prohibits sharing  of any  unit-level data  from                                                                  
          the    Outcomes    database    with   the    federal                                                                  
          It  codifies in law that  data in the database  must                                                                  
          be  de-identified  and  sets  out what  that  means,                                                                  
          It   clarifies   ACPE's    authority   to   maintain                                                                  
           longitudinal statistics of this nature.                                                                              
     HB 221  does not commit  any funding for these  purposes;                                                                  
     it  just allows  for the  inclusion  of these  additional                                                                  
     statistics   in  the  Outcomes   longitudinal   database,                                                                  
     which  was  created  a  few years  ago  under  a  federal                                                                  
     Specific  to funding,  you will note  that this bill  has                                                                  
     a zero  fiscal note.  The Outcomes  database was  created                                                                  
     to accept  the workforce  data, so  there is no  new cost                                                                  
     Longer  term,  it  is  our  intent   to  seek  resources,                                                                  
     potentially  through  another federal  grant, to  provide                                                                  
     outcomes  reports once  these additional  statistics  are                                                                  
     available  in  the Outcomes  database.  In  this time  of                                                                  
     such  severely constrained  resources,  we believe  there                                                                  
     is significant  opportunity to  attract grant dollars  to                                                                  
     this project,  recognizing that  tough budget times  make                                                                  
     it even  more important than  ever that policy-makers  be                                                                  
     able  to access  the  cross-sector statistics  needed  to                                                                  
     be able to evaluate program outcomes.                                                                                      
     I  would also like  to be  clear for  the record that  we                                                                  
     do  not  anticipate that  we  would  be able  to  produce                                                                  
     these  reports  and outcomes  analyses  immediately  upon                                                                  
     passage  of HB  221 since  we would need  funding to  use                                                                  
     the  data and  do those  analyses; however,  HB 221  does                                                                  
     get  us a step  closer    a very  important step  closer,                                                                  
     and  a step without  additional cost    to being  able to                                                                  
     provide  you with  those kinds of  outcomes analyses,  as                                                                  
     we seek grant or other funds.                                                                                              
     In summary,  the long-term  goal is  to have the  ability                                                                  
     to  quickly  and easily     and inexpensively     produce                                                                  
     reports  like  the APS  outcomes report  to  look at  the                                                                  
     outcomes  of other  programs,  K-12 programs  as well  as                                                                  
     collegiate  and  career  training  programs  and  provide                                                                  
     you with  the information to  know not just how  much the                                                                  
     program  costs,  but  what the  return  is on  that  cost                                                                  
     Thank   you  for   this  opportunity   to  present   this                                                                  
     information.  I hope  it has  been useful  to you,  and I                                                                  
     would be happy to respond to any questions.                                                                                
3:55:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster asked about additional testifiers.                                                                              
Ms.  Butler  responded   that  she  would  engage   additional                                                                  
testifiers  if   there  were  technical  questions   from  the                                                                  
Vice-Chair   Gara  liked  the  bill.   He  had  a   couple  of                                                                  
concerns.  He wanted to  make sure the  data was not  misused.                                                                  
He  relayed  that  folks  from  broken  homes  tended  to  get                                                                  
financial  aid   or  needs-based  loans  and   suggested  that                                                                  
first-generation  college students  were not as successful  as                                                                  
those  students whose  parents  had gone  to  college. He  was                                                                  
concerned  that the statistics  would be  used in a way  where                                                                  
it  was   determined   that  students   with  less   resources                                                                  
wouldn't  get help  after  not  doing as  well  as those  from                                                                  
traditionally college-bound homes.                                                                                              
Ms.  Butler  responded stated  that  the  statistical  process                                                                  
compared  "apples   to  apples,"   and  compared  high   needs                                                                  
students with other high-needs students in the program.                                                                         
Vice-Chair   Gara   appreciated   Ms.  Butler's   answer.   He                                                                  
provided  a hypothetical  scenario, and  considered the  lower                                                                  
wages  for  those  pursuing  careers  in writing  or  art.  He                                                                  
wondered  about  the intrinsic  value  in education  that  was                                                                  
not  related  to  money  and  wages.  He  reiterated  that  he                                                                  
wanted to make sure the data was not misused.                                                                                   
Ms.  Butler anticipated  the comparison  of  groups at  fairly                                                                  
high levels,  looking at college  graduates compared  to other                                                                  
college  graduates. She  pondered that  the more granular  the                                                                  
data  was at  the college  major level;  the  better the  data                                                                  
would  show  greater  earning power  of  certain  majors.  She                                                                  
stated  it would  be difficult  to not  consider the  question                                                                  
of one's college major being a personal choice.                                                                                 
Representative  Thompson  had talked  with  several people  in                                                                  
labor  and   carpentry  jobs  from   his  district   over  the                                                                  
previous  weekend.  He  was  curious   about  the  numbers  of                                                                  
people  in  the state  that  graduated  from  colleges  versus                                                                  
technical schools  and apprenticeship  programs. He  noted the                                                                  
wage  differences for  various pathways.  He  wondered how  to                                                                  
encourage more  kids to go to  vocational programs.  He stated                                                                  
that  the carpenters  union was  looking for  young people  to                                                                  
join its apprenticeship program.                                                                                                
Ms.  Butler  thought  the  proposed   database  could  aid  in                                                                  
answering    Representative     Thompson's    question.    She                                                                  
referenced  a  counselor  that  wanted  wage  statistics  from                                                                  
different  occupations,  but  there was  no  such  information                                                                  
specific  for Alaskans.  She spoke  of using  the database  to                                                                  
provide to counselors and teachers with additional tools.                                                                       
4:00:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson stated she  had been on the  ACPE board                                                                  
and  asked about  the  Answers Program  that  had been  funded                                                                  
with $4 million in 2012.                                                                                                        
Ms.  Butler responded  that  there was  a 2012  grant used  to                                                                  
create   the  Answers   Program,  but   there  had  not   been                                                                  
additional  funding,  so the  program did  not  take off.  She                                                                  
relayed  that the  proposed database  had  been created  under                                                                  
the program.                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked how  the proposed database  would                                                                  
be different than the Answers Program.                                                                                          
Ms. Butler  stated  that the Answers  Program  had bee a  much                                                                  
broader  scoped proposal  that  would have  included  research                                                                  
and  analysis, as  well as  online databases  with  dashboards                                                                  
and informational  products for  parents. The bill  proposed a                                                                  
much smaller scope database.                                                                                                    
Representative   Wilson  thought  the  proposal   was  talking                                                                  
about  adults  that  might  be  receiving   unemployment.  She                                                                  
wondered about  permission to use  the data, and if  there was                                                                  
an opt-out provision.                                                                                                           
Ms. Butler  answered there  was not  currently an opt-out  box                                                                  
on any  paperwork.  She elaborated  that a  provision to  opt-                                                                  
out  would  require identification  of  individuals,  and  the                                                                  
primary  premise  of the  database  was that  the  information                                                                  
was de-identified.                                                                                                              
Representative  Wilson  suggested that  if there  was an  opt-                                                                  
out box, the data would not be present in the first place.                                                                      
Ms.  Butler  replied  in  the  affirmative.   She  added  that                                                                  
individuals  would  need  to  be identified  in  order  to  be                                                                  
opted out of the database.                                                                                                      
Representative  Wilson  noted that  there  was  a zero  fiscal                                                                  
note. She  asked about  potential funding  for utilization  of                                                                  
the proposed database.                                                                                                          
Ms. Butler  did not have  exact figures  but relayed  that the                                                                  
department had been encouraged to apply for federal grants.                                                                     
Representative  Wilson  asked  for  approximate  numbers.  She                                                                  
noted the  state had spent  $4 million  on a program  that had                                                                  
been  discontinued due  to a  lack  of funding.  She asked  if                                                                  
there was a target amount for funding the program.                                                                              
Ms. Butler would follow up with the information.                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki asked  about  what information  would                                                                  
be received  from the Unemployment  Insurance Division  in the                                                                  
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD).                                                                           
4:04:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Butler  responded   that  information  on   wage  records                                                                  
(through  the  unemployment  database)  would be  gathered  in                                                                  
order  to  identify   the  amount  being  earned   in  various                                                                  
Representative  Kawasaki   asked  for  verification  the  only                                                                  
additional  information  from  DLWD  would  be wage  and  hour                                                                  
Ms. Butler responded in the affirmative.                                                                                        
Representative  Kawasaki asked for  the reason the  department                                                                  
needed  the information  up  front. He  wanted  to reduce  the                                                                  
number of places the personal information was seen.                                                                             
Ms. Butler  answered that the  proposed database would  reduce                                                                  
the  number  of times  the  information  needed to  be  passed                                                                  
around.   For   research  related   to   workforce   outcomes,                                                                  
currently  the information  had to be  extracted from  various                                                                  
systems and  matched. One goal  would be a long-term  database                                                                  
free  from  personally  identifiable  information.  She  noted                                                                  
that there  were a number  of reports  that could be  produced                                                                  
in future  years  if the bill  passed  - at a  lower cost  and                                                                  
without having  to link personally identifiable  information.                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg   shared  that  he  was  a  retired                                                                  
laborer.  He was always  amazed that people  who could  not do                                                                  
math problems  were able to do  complex practical  field work.                                                                  
He  spoke about  merging  databases. He  asked  how much  data                                                                  
was mergeable.  He thought merging  databases was  problematic                                                                  
if everyone  was not  aligned and  could create  a huge  cost.                                                                  
He asked for greater detail.                                                                                                    
Ms.  Butler  answered  that the  commission  would  only  link                                                                  
select   elements  that   would  be   relevant  to   measuring                                                                  
outcomes  from each  data  systems. She  stated  that all  the                                                                  
work to make  the databases communicate  had been done  by the                                                                  
grant  mentioned by  Representative  Wilson. A  grant used  in                                                                  
the future  would be to  do the research  and analysis  to use                                                                  
the  data  to  develop  the  statistics  to  provide  outcomes                                                                  
4:08:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  wondered  why  the state  had  not                                                                  
been doing the analysis before.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Foster OPENED public testimony.                                                                                        
DOUG  WALRATH,   DIRECTOR,  NORTHWESTERN  ALASKA   CAREER  AND                                                                  
TECHNICAL  CENTER,  NOME (via  teleconference),  testified  in                                                                  
support  of  the  legislation.  He  discussed  data  reporting                                                                  
that  neglected   to  account  for  the  impact   of  teaching                                                                  
students engaged  and in school.  He detailed that  75 percent                                                                  
to  80 percent  of  his organization's  high  school  training                                                                  
population  were students  enrolled in grades  9, 10,  and 11.                                                                  
Employment   measures  that  were   taken  months   after  the                                                                  
training could  present a skewed  view of success as  the data                                                                  
was  missing  one-third  of the  subjects.  He  reported  that                                                                  
rural  Alaska  graduation  rates  tended to  track  lower.  He                                                                  
considered   that  the  bill  was   a  tool  for   measurement                                                                  
purposes tracking  employment. He  thought the database  could                                                                  
provide tracking  from exploration-level  training leading  to                                                                  
certificated  courses  leading  directly  to  employment.  The                                                                  
bill  protected  identifiable student  information  and  would                                                                  
be valuable.                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked  if the  program kept  statistics                                                                  
of students  in the Northwestern  Alaska Career and  Technical                                                                  
Mr.  Walrath  answered  that  the   center  kept  records  for                                                                  
purposes  of programming.  The program had  a small staff  and                                                                  
it was  difficult to  follow up  on all  former trainees.  The                                                                  
bill  would provide  a tool  to extend  beyond the  capability                                                                  
of the center.                                                                                                                  
Representative Wilson thanked Mr. Walrath for his work.                                                                         
4:12:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
Representative  Wilson asked what  information unions  used to                                                                  
follow students.                                                                                                                
Ms.  Butler   answered  that   generally  unions  engaged   in                                                                  
tracking  but  did  not  know  what  specific   elements  were                                                                  
Representative  Wilson would appreciate  the information.  She                                                                  
referenced  statistics  from  DLWD.  She  wondered  about  the                                                                  
data  unions  gathered to  show  success  of apprenticeships.                                                                   
She  asked  about  other  issues  unions  might  have  finding                                                                  
students to do apprenticeships.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair   Seaton  appreciated   the  bill   and  the   Alaska                                                                  
Performance  Scholarship   report  in  the  packets  (copy  on                                                                  
file).  He  thought  the  information   could  be  helpful  in                                                                  
identifying  effective programs. He  referenced page 3  of the                                                                  
bill  and asked  about  the removal  of  personal  information                                                                  
from  the  database.  He  wanted  to  know  if  the  bill  was                                                                  
proposing  to  look  at  key  elements.  He  asked  about  the                                                                  
meaning of "unit data."                                                                                                         
Ms.  Butler  responded  that "unit  data"  simply  meant  data                                                                  
that referred to a specific individual.                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Seaton tried to  understand how  unit data  would be                                                                  
4:16:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Butler explained  that  as the  unit data  was  received,                                                                  
the  personally  identifiable information  would  be  stripped                                                                  
off, and  the remaining  statistics that  would be used  would                                                                  
be  assigned  a  random  number  and  moved  into  a  separate                                                                  
database.  She  confirmed  that  an  individual's   personally                                                                  
identifiable  information would  never be  stored in the  same                                                                  
database   as  the   statistics   being   used  for   outcomes                                                                  
Representative  Guttenberg  reiterated  what  he  thought  Ms.                                                                  
Butler  was saying.  He wondered  about the  assignment of  an                                                                  
identifiable  number.  He  wondered  how  new  data  would  be                                                                  
identified to merge with existing data.                                                                                         
Ms. Butler  indicated that Representative  Guttenberg  had the                                                                  
right idea.  She indicated that  there was staff available  to                                                                  
provide additional detail.                                                                                                      
Representative Guttenberg was fine.                                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Gara  MOVED to  report  HB  221 out  of  Committee                                                                  
with individual  recommendations  and the accompanying  fiscal                                                                  
Representative  Wilson  OBJECTED.  She  would be  offering  an                                                                  
Co-Chair   Foster   indicated   that   amendments   were   due                                                                  
Wednesday, April 2nd by 5:00 PM.                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara WITHDREW his motion.                                                                                            
Co-Chair Foster thanked the bill sponsor.                                                                                       
HB  221   was  HEARD  and  HELD   in  committee  for   further                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 400                                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to the collection of fees by the                                                                          
     Department of Public Safety for fire and explosion                                                                         
     prevention and safety services."                                                                                           
4:20:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster  informed that  if  it was  the  will of  the                                                                  
members, it would pass HB 200 out of committee.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS,  SPONSOR,  introduced                                                                  
CATHY  SCHLINGHEYDE, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  JONATHAN  KREISS-                                                                  
TOMKINS, introduced herself.                                                                                                    
Representative  Kreiss-Tompkins  indicated  the  bill was  one                                                                  
page  and  was  simple. There  had  been  a  statutory  change                                                                  
recommendation  in  a House  Finance  Subcommittee  under  the                                                                  
auspices  of   the  House  Community   and  Regional   Affairs                                                                  
Committee.   The  recommendation   would   try  to  help   the                                                                  
Department  of   Public  Safety  streamline  its   operations,                                                                  
operate  more  efficiently,   and  cut  down  on  Unrestricted                                                                  
General Fund  (UGF) spending. The  UGF would be replaced  with                                                                  
user fees  or Designated General  Funds (DGF). The  state Fire                                                                  
Marshal's  Office  had identified  the  opportunity,  and  the                                                                  
subcommittee    unanimously    agreed    the   idea    merited                                                                  
exploration.  The  bill had  passed  the House  State  Affairs                                                                  
committee in  four hearings,  after consideration of  multiple                                                                  
amendments that had not passed.                                                                                                 
Representative Wilson read from page 2 of the fiscal note:                                                                      
Fire Inspections  - $50 per hour with a one-hour minimum. DFLS                                                              
anticipates  the average  inspection  to take  two hours.  The                                                                  
goal  is  to  accomplish  1,500  inspections   per  year;  but                                                                  
currently  500  is  more   likely.  Considering  500  two-hour                                                                
inspections  per year at  $50 per hour,  the estimated  annual                                                                  
revenue would be $50,000.                                                                                                       
Representative  Wilson asked what  happened to the  additional                                                                  
1,000 properties  that  would not receive  an inspection.  She                                                                  
wondered  if properties on  the road  system were more  likely                                                                  
to receive inspections.                                                                                                         
Representative  Kreiss-Tompkins  deferred  to  the state  fire                                                                  
4:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  TYLER, DIVISION  OF FIRE  AND LIFE  SAFETY,  DEPARTMENT                                                                  
OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  explained                                                                  
that  the   $50  per   hour  charge   was  arrived  at   after                                                                  
considering  potential   outcomes.  He  discussed   inspection                                                                  
rates   and  size   of   properties.  He   acknowledged   that                                                                  
properties  on  the  road  system  received   inspection  more                                                                  
frequently  as  there was  easier  access.  Increased  funding                                                                  
would  allow  the inspectors  to  reach  more  communities  so                                                                  
that inspections would be more equitable across the state.                                                                      
Representative  Wilson  asked  about  properties  not  on  the                                                                  
road system that needed inspection.                                                                                             
Mr. Tyler  responded that the  properties not being  inspected                                                                  
and would not be charged a fee.                                                                                                 
Representative  Wilson   asked  him  to  tell  her  about  the                                                                  
places that  were not currently  being inspected and  would be                                                                  
subject to a $50 per hour fee.                                                                                                  
Mr.  Tyler replied  that hotels,  lodges,  and large  assembly                                                                  
areas  such as  auction houses  and  schools would  be in  the                                                                  
4:26:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson supported  the bill  but was  concerned                                                                  
with justifying  the charging  of fees.  She wondered  how the                                                                  
state  would keep up  with the  demand. She  thought it  would                                                                  
be difficult to justifying the fees.                                                                                            
Mr.   Tyler  indicated   that  by   charging   the  fees   the                                                                  
department would  be better able  to reach the outlying  areas                                                                  
to  do  additional  inspections  and  hit the  goal  of  1,500                                                                  
structures per year.                                                                                                            
Representative  Wilson  asked if  $50 per  hour would  provide                                                                  
enough money for the travel to outlying areas.                                                                                  
Representative  Wilson  did not  want to  charge  more to  the                                                                  
communities  in rural area. She  discussed fees. She  asked if                                                                  
the  bill  was  governed by  square  footage  rather  than  by                                                                  
Mr. Tyler  thought a flat rate  for square footage was  a much                                                                  
fairer way of billing for the service.                                                                                          
4:29:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Thompson  noted  that  the City  of  Fairbanks                                                                  
had its  own building department,  codes, and fire  department                                                                  
which   completed  inspections.   He  noted   that  the   fire                                                                  
department  certified   building  plans.  He   suggested  that                                                                  
there  were   private  companies   in  Fairbanks  that   could                                                                  
inspect  fire extinguishers  and  fire  extinguisher  systems.                                                                  
He asked  if the  state was  adding another  layer of  charges                                                                  
to cities that had existing codes and departments.                                                                              
Mr.  Tyler  explained  that   the  City  of  Fairbanks  was  a                                                                  
deferred  jurisdiction and  did all  the work  itself; as  did                                                                  
the cities  of Juneau and Anchorage.  It was his goal  for any                                                                  
community (that  was able) to  do the inspection work  itself.                                                                  
He thought  a local community  could do  a much better  job of                                                                  
accomplishing   the  work.   He  relayed   that  the   private                                                                  
companies    that   did   the    inspections   mentioned    by                                                                  
Representative Thompson were certified by the division.                                                                         
Representative  Kawasaki  asked  about  the ability  to  waive                                                                  
fees for non-profits such as churches.                                                                                          
Mr. Tyler  believed bill  was worded so  that it was  possible                                                                  
to waive the fees.                                                                                                              
Representative  Kawasaki  stated  that  the bill  would  allow                                                                  
the director the ability to waive the fees.                                                                                     
4:33:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg did  not believe  the state  should                                                                  
simply  do inspections  because  it could  charge  for it.  He                                                                  
asked if  there was a statistical  analysis on prevention.  He                                                                  
mentioned non-conforming properties in rural Alaska.                                                                            
Mr. Tyler  reported that from 2001  to 2007 there had  been 76                                                                  
uncontained  fires in  public schools  with  a total  monetary                                                                  
loss  in  excess of  $50  million.  Fires  in Hooper  Bay  and                                                                  
Talkeetna  schools had  resulted in  total losses.  In FY  08,                                                                  
the   division  had   requested   and  received   a   $105,000                                                                  
increment to  get the fire inspections  current. From  2008 to                                                                  
2012, there  was 47 uncontained  fires in school with  a total                                                                  
monetary  loss of  $1.4  million. Since  2012  there had  been                                                                  
staffing  issues  and a  reduction  in travel  funding.  Since                                                                  
2013  the total  fire  loss had  added up  to  $7 million.  He                                                                  
emphasized  that the  inspections  made a  difference  through                                                                  
education and elimination of hazards.                                                                                           
Representative  Tilton  asked  about  the  permit  period  for                                                                  
fire  systems   technician  permits   and  fire   extinguisher                                                                  
technician   permits.    She   wondered   if    the   building                                                                  
inspections  only  required  in  an initial  inspection  or  a                                                                  
longer term.                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Tyler  responded  that  the division's  goal  was  to  do                                                                  
inspections  every 2 years.  He elaborated  that the  industry                                                                  
standard was  to do inspections  every year but did  not think                                                                  
it was realistic for Alaska.                                                                                                    
Representative  Tilton asked  how many  inspections were  done                                                                  
in the previous year.                                                                                                           
Mr.  Tyler reported  that  the  division  had done  about  213                                                                  
inspections  the previous  year, but his  department had  been                                                                  
short  by 2  deputy fire  marshals.  He expected  to  complete                                                                  
close to 500 inspections in FY 18.                                                                                              
Representative  Tilton  wondered   how  many  buildings  there                                                                  
were    that   needed    inspection,    not   including    new                                                                  
Mr.  Tyler  estimated  there  was a  little  more  than  3,000                                                                  
structures  the   division  was  statutorily   responsible  to                                                                  
Representative Wilson asked if the regulations were new.                                                                        
Mr.  Tyler  replied   that  the  statute  that   required  the                                                                  
inspections was existing.                                                                                                       
4:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster OPENED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED Public Testimony.                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Gara  read FN  1  from the  Department  of  Public                                                                  
Safety,   OMB   Component   number    3051.   The   note   was                                                                  
indeterminate.  It was  estimated  that the  bill would  raise                                                                  
about $84,000 of DGF through fees.                                                                                              
Representative  Wilson  indicated  that  for  her it  was  not                                                                  
about the  fees; but rather  the amount  of money spent  after                                                                  
inspections  were not done, resulting  in fires and  damage to                                                                  
schools.  She   hoped  for  further  inspections   to  prevent                                                                  
Co-Chair  Seaton  MOVED to  report  HB  400 out  of  Committee                                                                  
with individual  recommendations  and the accompanying  fiscal                                                                  
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
HB  400  was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                  
recommendation    and    with   one    previously    published                                                                  
indeterminate fiscal note: FN1(DPS).                                                                                            
4:40:33 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0221 Additional Document ACPE Short Q&A 03.23.2018.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB0221 Additional Document ACPE Wage Data Bullet Points 03.23.2018.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB0221 Sectional Analysis ver A 3.23.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB0221 Additional Document SLDS_infographic 03.23.2018.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB0221 Sponsor Statement 3.23.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB0221 Supporting Document ACPE Letter 3.23.2018.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB0221 Supporting Document NACTEC Testimony 3.23.2018.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB400 Sectional Analysis 3.20.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Sponsor Statement 3.20.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Supporting Document- DPS Letter of Support 3.20.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 400
HB 268 PP HFIN 4.2.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 268
HB268 Draft Proposed Blank CS ver E 4.2.18.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 268
HB 221 APS Outcomes Report.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 221
HB 268 CS vE Explanation of Changes (N-E).pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 268
HB 268 Support ALPHA Owen.pdf HFIN 4/2/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 268