Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/06/1993 03:00 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                               
  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                     
            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                                                   
  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                                                         
  Position Statement:  Supported HCR 17                                        
  BOB LOHR, Executive Director                                                 
  Alaska Public Utilities Commission                                           
  1016 W. 6th Ave., Suite 400                                                  
  Anchorage, Alaska  99501-1963                                                
  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                                                   
  Position Statement:  Testified HB 237                                        
  KATE TESAR                                                                   
  Alaska Coastwise Pilots                                                      
  P.O. Box 2754                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska  99802                                                        
  Position Statement:  Testified on HB 237                                     
  MICHAEL SPENCE                                                               
  Alaska Coastwise Pilots                                                      
  P.O. Box 3040                                                                
  Ketchikan, Alaska  99901                                                     
  Position Statement:  Opposed HB 237                                          
  CHARLES BATES                                                                
  Independent Contract Pilot                                                   
  P.O. Box 210001                                                              
  Auke Bay, Alaska  99821                                                      
  Position Statement:  Testified on HB 237                                     
  REP. BETTYE DAVIS                                                            
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                   
  Position Statement:  Prime Sponsor of HB 12                                  
  GORDON EVANS                                                                 
  Health Insurance Association of America                                      
  318 4th St.                                                                  
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  Position Statement:  Supported HB 12                                         
  HARLAN KNUDSON                                                               
  Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association                             
  319 Seward St., #1                                                           
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  Position Statement:  Supported HB 12                                         
  RESA JERREL, Lobbyist                                                        
  National Federation of Independent Business                                  
  9159 Skywood Lane                                                            
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  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                                                                
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HUDSON,Phillips,Brice,                         
  TITLE: "An Act relating to marine pilot licensing and                        
  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,                    
  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                                                                
  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                               
  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,                  
  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                       
  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                                                                   
  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                          
  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                           
  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                            
  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                                                                   
  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                                                                   
  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                 
  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                   
  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                         
  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                 
  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'                     
  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                   
  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                   
  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                          
  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                                                                   
  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                   
  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                 
  No objections were heard; it was so ordered.                                 
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON adjourned the meeting at 6:04 p.m.                           

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