Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/06/1993 03:00 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE April 6, 1993 3:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Bill Hudson, Chairman Rep. Joe Green, Vice Chairman Rep. Brian Porter Rep. Eldon Mulder Rep. Bill Williams Rep. Jerry Mackie Rep. Joe Sitton MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HCR 17: Relating to a health insurance pool established for residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. MOVED FROM COMMITTEE HB 237: "An Act relating to marine pilot licensing and tariffs." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE HB 12: "An Act relating to health insurance for small employers; and providing for an effective date." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE (* First public hearing.) WITNESS REGISTER REP. GARY DAVIS Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-2693 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor of HCR 17 STAN STEDMAN, Executive Director Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, Inc. 110 S. Willow, Suite 106 Kenai, Alaska 99611 283-3335 Position Statement: Supported HCR 17 BOB LOHR, Executive Director Alaska Public Utilities Commission 1016 W. 6th Ave., Suite 400 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1963 276-6222 Position Statement: Testified as to APUC's role in HB 237 KARL LUCK, Director Division of Occupational Licensing Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110806 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806 465-2538 Position Statement: Testified HB 237 KATE TESAR Alaska Coastwise Pilots P.O. Box 2754 Juneau, Alaska 99802 463-5657 Position Statement: Testified on HB 237 MICHAEL SPENCE Alaska Coastwise Pilots P.O. Box 3040 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 247-8382 Position Statement: Opposed HB 237 CHARLES BATES Independent Contract Pilot P.O. Box 210001 Auke Bay, Alaska 99821 789-3224 Position Statement: Testified on HB 237 REP. BETTYE DAVIS Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-3875 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor of HB 12 GORDON EVANS Health Insurance Association of America 318 4th St. Juneau, Alaska 99801 586-3210 Position Statement: Supported HB 12 HARLAN KNUDSON Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association 319 Seward St., #1 Juneau, Alaska 99801 586-1790 Position Statement: Supported HB 12 RESA JERREL, Lobbyist National Federation of Independent Business 9159 Skywood Lane Juneau, Alaska 99801 789-4278 Position Statement: Supported HB 12 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HCR 17 SHORT TITLE: KENAI PENINSULA INSURANCE POOL BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) G.DAVIS TITLE: Relating to a health insurance pool established for residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/24/93 760 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/24/93 760 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, HES, FINANCE 04/06/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 237 SHORT TITLE: MARINE PILOT LICENSING AND TARIFFS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HUDSON,Phillips,Brice, Sitton,Sanders TITLE: "An Act relating to marine pilot licensing and tariffs." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/19/93 707 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/19/93 707 (H) L&C, TRANSPORTATION, STA AFF, FINANCE 03/30/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 04/01/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 04/01/93 (H) TRA AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 12 SHORT TITLE: GROUP HEALTH INS. FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS BILL VERSION: SSHB 12 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Ulmer,Nordlund,Brice TITLE: "An Act relating to health insurance for small employers; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/04/93 27 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/11/93 27 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/11/93 27 (H) HES, L&C, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/27/93 167 (H) COSPONSOR(S): NORDLUND 02/10/93 312 (H) COSPONSOR(S): BRICE 02/18/93 380 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 02/18/93 380 (H) HES, L&C, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/23/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/23/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/24/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/24/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/26/93 779 (H) HES RPT 4DP 1DNP 2NR 03/26/93 779 (H) DP: G.DAVIS, B.DAVIS, NICHOLIA, BRICE 03/26/93 779 (H) DNP: VEZEY 03/26/93 779 (H) NR: BUNDE, TOOHEY 03/26/93 779 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 3/26/93 03/31/93 (H) MINUTE(ECO) 04/06/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-34, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN HUDSON called the House Labor and Commerce Committee Meeting to order at 3:25 p.m. Members present were Reps. Hudson, Porter, Green, Mulder, Williams and Mackie. HCR 17 KENAI PENINSULA INSURANCE POOL REP. GARY DAVIS, PRIME SPONSOR of HCR 17, read the following sponsor statement: "The Legislature established a Health Resources and Access Task Force in 1991. That Task Force submitted a final report with recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature in January 1993. The recommendations can be found on page 2 of this resolution. "The Kenai Peninsula Borough Economic Development District has established a Kenai Peninsula Borough Health Care Advisory Council to develop recommendations for a health care plan for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. This plan is a step in the right direction to address health care reform issues. They would like to have the plan address health care reform issues. They would like to have the plan implemented as a model for other areas statewide. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Health Care Advisory Council would like to be recognized as a model regional area for pooling insurance requirements, for establishing community rating for insurance premiums, for developing small group insurance regulatory reform measures, and for establishing a health maintenance organization. "HCR 17 requests that the Governor direct the Commissioner of Health and Social Services assist the Kenai Peninsula Borough Health Care Advisory Council in their pursuit of a model region wide health access and basic care program." Number 117 STAN STEDMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KENAI PENINSULA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT and CO-CHAIR of the HEALTH CARE ADVISORY COUNCIL, testified in support of HCR 17. Mr. Stedman pointed out that in the packet he included an overview of the project and was available to answer questions. MR. STEDMAN stated that his group's primary goal would be to make available affordable health insurance to all residents, which would thereby increase access and utilization of the local health care system. Number 229 REP. PORTER asked if this project would provide insurance to some of the people who don't have insurance. Number 235 ME. STEDMAN stated that this project would provide insurance to a certain number of persons who currently don't have insurance. Mr. Stedman added that it would not be feasible to cover everyone at this time. Number 250 CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if this program would be all voluntary. MR. STEDMAN replied that it would. Number 253 CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that the information states that they will access revenue bonding capabilities and asked what some of the expenses would be anticipated that would require raising millions of dollars. He asked if the group was anticipating building clinics, etc. Number 268 MR. STEDMAN answered that they would be just capitalizing against risk. Number 278 REP. GREEN asked if this concept was like a cooperative and what would prevent this organization from going under because of too many high risk persons joining. MR. STEDMAN stated that it was a complex issue and the project was being constantly worked on to be cost competitive. Number 296 REP. MACKIE moved for passage of HCR 17 with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. No objections were heard; it was so ordered. HB 237 MARINE PILOT LICENSING AND TARIFFS Number 310 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that this bill was crafted to try to solve some of the problems within marine pilotage. CHAIRMAN HUDSON offered amendment 1, moving some of the authority to the APUC (Alaska Public Utilities Commission). REP. MACKIE moved amendment 1 drafted by Lauterbach. Number 350 BOB LOHR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, testified from Anchorage via teleconference in reference to amendment 1. MR. LOHR stated that the commission adopted a position paper regarding the transfer of the authority to set the number of pilots per region to the APUC. He said the APUC believes that the authority should stay with the board and not transfer to APUC. The commission does not believe it has the expertise to undertake this mission. Number 395 KARL LUCK, DIRECTOR, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, testified that the composition of the pilot board would make the selection of a set number of pilots per region very political with very little, if any, analytical determination made. MR. LUCK stated that the whole idea behind the amendment was to remove the process from the board, which is primarily made up of pilots. REP. MACKIE asked what the makeup was of the Board of Marine Pilots. MR. LUCK answered that there are two public members, two pilots, two agents, and a representative of the commissioner of Commerce. Number 433 REP. MACKIE asked Mr. Lohr, if the information were presented to the APUC from the Board of Marine Pilots regarding setting the number of applicants needed to pilot the ships in the state, could the commission handle it? Number 447 MR. LOHR answered that the commission was not unwilling to handle the job, but after talking to other states' commission's, it was felt that the commission does not have the expertise to adequately handle the task's involved. Number 460 REP. MACKIE commented that the commission has handled other complicated and controversial tasks, so why would this be any different. Number 477 MR. LOHR reiterated the commission's position that it is not in a position to adequately handle this process. Number 483 MR. LUCK added that right now there are six pilot organizations in the state and only two are represented on the board. Number 495 CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Mr. Luck what his opinion was on amendment 2 offered by the Alaska Coastwise Pilots that would amend the composition of the board membership. Number 508 MR. LUCK responded that this amendment would not be the answer to the problem of seating a fair and representative board. Number 557 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that he still believes the APUC is the best impartial entity to establish the limits needed for marine pilotage. Chairman Hudson said he understands that the commission will need some extra funds to create and development the expertise needed to tackle this task. Number 606 REP. MACKIE moved amendment 1 by Chairman Hudson. Discussion continued on amendment 1. TAPE 93-34, SIDE B Number 185 Amendment 1 was adopted conceptually. The committee intended that the amendment say that the Board of Marine Pilots, by regulation, shall set the criteria that will be used by the board to issue pilot licenses in a region where the number of qualified applicants for licensing, when added to the number of pilots already licensed for the region, exceeds the number of pilots determined to be needed for that region under AS 08.62.047. (The APUC shall set the actual limits of total number of marine pilots per region.) Number 200 CHAIRMAN HUDSON directed committee staff to work with Legal Services to word the amendment to fit in the bill as intended. Conceptual amendment 1 was adopted. Number 248 KATE TESAR, representing the ALASKA COASTWISE PILOTS, testified on amendment 2. She said this amendment dealt with the creation and membership of the Board of Marine Pilots. Ms. Tesar stated that this amendment grew from a joint meeting with members of various marine pilot organizations, Chairman Hudson's staff and Director Luck. The amendment was proposed to alleviate any perceived conflict of interest on the board. Number 280 REP. MACKIE stated he feels strongly that board appointments are an administrative function that the legislature should not tamper with. Number 304 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated he opposed the amendment. REP. MACKIE moved amendment 2. Amendment 2 failed by voice vote. Number 330 MS. TESAR testified that amendment 3 would conceptually disallow anyone anywhere in the state from limiting the number of pilots in the state. CHAIRMAN HUDSON ruled amendment 3 out of order. Number 391 MS. TESAR testified on amendment 4. Ms. Tesar explained that this amendment would provide for independent, impartial and unbiased examiners not employed by, or affiliated with, or past or present members of, any pilot organization in the state. Number 406 MR. LUCK said he opposed this amendment as written on the grounds that it would not be practicable to bring in out-of- state examiners to do the job that he believed the Board of Marine pilots could handle. Number 425 CHAIRMAN HUDSON suggested that the amendment be modified to delete the reference of who would give the exam and just state that it be independent, impartial and unbiased. Number 439 MS. TESAR said Alaska Coastwise Pilots does not believe one organization should be administering and grading others' exams. Number 467 REP. PORTER moved amendment 4 as amended. Number 475 MS. TESAR testified that amendment 5 would allow the APUC to set a maximum tariff that may be charged by pilots and not fixed tariffs as specified in the bill. MS. TESAR stated that HB 237 as written does not take into account safety records or experience. The bill takes away any competition among marine pilots. Number 485 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated he believes HB 237 as written will encourage industry to hire on performance alone. REP. PORTER moved amendment 5. REP. MACKIE objected. Amendment 5 failed. Number 535 REP. WILLIAMS moved amendment 8. Number 537 MS. TESAR spoke to amendment 8. Ms. Tesar stated that this amendment would establish by regulation the maximum number of pilots to be licensed in a region based on the number needed to assure the safety of human life and property. The number of pilots to be licensed in a region shall not be less than the number of pilots licensed for that region in 1990. Number 550 MR. LUCK spoke against the amendment stating that the 1990 figures would not represent any kind of analytical data that would be representative of what would be needed. Amendment 8 failed. Number 617 MICHAEL SPENCE, ALASKA COASTWISE PILOTS, testified from Ketchikan on amendment 6. Mr. Spence noted that this amendment would change the entry requirements for deputy marine pilots. TAPE 93-35, SIDE A CHAIRMAN HUDSON ruled amendment 6 out of order since it did not pertain to HB 237 before the committee. Number 075 MR. LUCK stated that the marine pilot board addressed this issue and they were adamantly opposed to it. The board felt that this was a major retreat from the present entry level requirements. Number 170 REP. MACKIE stated he would not feel comfortable addressing this amendment now since it would change the existing statute and it was complex in nature. Number 185 CHAIRMAN HUDSON ruled that committee staff, division staff, and members of Alaska Coastwise Pilots work on this amendment. Number 200 MR. SPENCE addressed amendment 7, the nondiscrimination clause, and stated that it is not presently in the marine pilot statute. MR. SPENCE noted that in the 22 years of regulating pilotage, the state of Alaska has never issued a license to an ethnic minority or to a gender minority. Number 211 MR. LUCK expressed concern that this would place a requirement on one board and might indicate a problem that the board has been discriminatory in the past. Number 239 REP. MACKIE pointed out that this amendment was not drawn up by the legal section and he would like to see an opinion that it does not just duplicate some other statute. CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that he looked favorably on anti- discrimination efforts, but suggested that this amendment be amended to delete section c, which would require the board to report annually. Number 273 CHAIRMAN HUDSON ordered staff to work with legal on this issue and make recommendations to the next committee. Amendment 7 was withdrawn. Number 293 CAPTAIN CHARLES BATES, INDEPENDENT CONTRACT PILOT, spoke to amendment 9. He said this amendment would require proof to the board that a pilot engaged in piloting vessels over 1000 gross tons, including vessels of the Alaska Marine Highway. Number 347 MR. LUCK testified that this amendment would be a major change to the current statutes. Mr. Luck pointed out that the Alaska Ferry's don't necessarily travel the same routes as the cruise ships. The current requirements give credit for piloting ferry ships, but also require pilots to cover certain routes to be licensed. Number 441 CHAIRMAN HUDSON set aside amendment 9. MR. LOHR offered some amendments to HB 237. Chairman Hudson asked him to send the amendments down and instructed staff to work them into the bill with the legal drafter. Number 564 REP. MACKIE moved for passage of CSHB 237(L&C) with zero fiscal note and asked unanimous consent. No objections were heard; it was so ordered. HB 12 GROUP HEALTH INS. FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS REP. BETTYE DAVIS, PRIME SPONSOR of HB 12, read her sponsor statement. Rep. Davis stated that SSHB 12 promotes the availability of health insurance coverage for small employers and reforms the small employer health insurance market. Based on model legislation drafted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, SSHB 12 would improve the overall fairness and efficiency of the small employer health insurance market. Number 611 GORDON EVANS, representing the Health Insurance Association of America, testified in support of SSHB 12. Mr. Evans stated that HB 12 was supported by the Health Care Task Force and has been adopted by 24 states. TAPE 93-35, SIDE B Number 015 HARLAN KNUDSON, representing the ALASKA STATE HOSPITAL & NURSING HOME ASSOCIATION, testified in support of HB 12. MR. KNUDSON stated that HB 12 would fit into the National Health reform. Number 030 RESA JERREL, representing the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, testified in support of HB 12. Ms. Jerrel stated that health insurance was a number one priority for business across the states. Number 040 REP. MACKIE moved to consolidate the two amendments offered by Rep. Davis and to pass them. No objections were heard, the amendments were adopted. Number 057 REP. PORTER moved to pass SSHB 12 as amended with individual recommendations. No objections were heard; it was so ordered. CHAIRMAN HUDSON adjourned the meeting at 6:04 p.m.