Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/22/1995 03:00 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                          
                       February 22, 1995                                       
                           3:00 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Represent Pete Kott, Chairman                                                 
 Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman                                 
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 Representative Beverly Masek                                                  
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Gene Kubina                                                    
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 *HCR 3:   Relating to correcting errors in a workers'                         
           compensation pamphlet published by the Department of                
           Labor.                                                              
                                                                               
           HEARD AND HELD                                                      
                                                                               
 *HB 147:  "An Act relating to the Alaska Sport Fishing Industry               
           Marketing Council and a nonresident sport fishing                   
           license surcharge."                                                 
                                                                               
           HEARD AND HELD                                                      
                                                                               
 *HB 65:  "An Act establishing a loan guarantee and interest rate              
          subsidy program for assistive technology."                           
                                                                               
          PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
 HL&C - 02/22/95                                                               
 SB 55:   "An Act repealing the sunset of the enhanced 911                     
          emergency reporting systems."                                        
                                                                               
          SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                              
 (* First Public Hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 ELIZABETH ROBERTS, Researcher                                                 
   for Representative Bettye Davis                                             
 Capitol Building, Room 430                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3875                                                    
 Position Statement:  Provided sponsor statement for HCR 3                     
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant                                             
   to the Commissioner                                                         
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P.O. Box 33922                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2700                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provide information on HCR 3.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 24                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor HB 147                                     
                                                                               
 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant                                             
   to Representative Joe Green                                                 
 Capitol Building, Room 24                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 147                                      
                                                                               
 JOHN BURKE, Deputy Director                                                   
 Sport Fish Division                                                           
 Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                            
 P.O. Box 25526                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526                                                     
 Telephone: (907) 465-4180                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 147                                      
                                                                               
 JEFF BUSH, Deputy Commissioner                                                
 Department of Commerce                                                        
   and Economic Development                                                    
 P.O. Box 110800                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 147 as it was currently             
                      written                                                  
                                                                               
 GEORGE UTERMOHLE, Attorney                                                    
 Legislative Affairs Agency                                                    
 130 Seward Street, Suite 409                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-2105                                                     
 Telephone: (907) 465-2450                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 147                             
                                                                               
 BUD HODSON, Owner                                                             
 Tikchik Narrows Lodge                                                         
 Founding Member, Alaska Sport Fishing Industry Association                    
 4852 Hunter Drive                                                             
 Anchorage, Alaska 99503                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 243-8450                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 147                             
                                                                               
 DUKE BERTKE                                                                   
 Chelatna Lake Lodge, Inc.                                                     
 Founding Member, Alaska Sport Fishing Industry Association                    
 3941 Float Plane Drive                                                        
 Anchorage, Alaska 99502                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 243-7767                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 147                                      
                                                                               
 MITCH GRAVO, Lobbyist,                                                        
 Alaska Sport Fishing Industry Association                                     
 170 Botanical Circle                                                          
 Anchorage, Alaska 99515                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 244-2406                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 147                                      
                                                                               
 BEN ELLIS, Executive Director                                                 
 Kenai River Sport Fishing, Incorporated                                       
 P.O. Box 1228                                                                 
 Soldotna, Alaska 99669                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 262-8588                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in tentative support of HB 147                 
                                                                               
 PAUL DALE                                                                     
 King Salmon Fund                                                              
 P.O. Box 701                                                                  
 Kenai, Alaska  99611                                                          
 Telephone: (907) 776-5342                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 147                                      
                                                                               
 MAX LOWE, General Manager                                                     
 Regal Alaskan Hotel                                                           
 4800 Spenard Road                                                             
 Anchorage, Alaska  99517                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 243-2300                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 147.                            
                                                                               
 BILL SIMS, Owner                                                              
 Lake Illiamna Lodge                                                           
 3851 Chiniak Bay Drive                                                        
 Anchorage, Alaska  99515                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 522-3355                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 147.                            
                                                                               
 BARBARA BINGHAM, Member                                                       
 Sitka Charter Boat Operator's Association                                     
 P.O. Box 6112                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 747-5777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 147                                  
                                                                               
 JOSEPH JOLLY, Board Member                                                    
 United Cook Inlet Drift Association                                           
 Commercial Fisherman                                                          
 HCO 2, Box 753                                                                
 Soldotna, Alaska 99669                                                        
 Telephone: (907) 283-3600                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 147                                 
                                                                               
 KEITH JOHNSON                                                                 
 3646 North Point Drive                                                        
 Anchorage, Alaska 99515                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 243-5087                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 147                             
                                                                               
 ROD BERG                                                                      
 266 Redmood Court                                                             
 Soldotna, Alaska 99669                                                        
 Telephone: (907) 262-6064                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 422                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 4457                                                        
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor HB 65                                      
                                                                               
 NANCY ANDESON                                                                 
 9346 Parkview Court                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 789-2914                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified                                                
                                                                               
 KEN DEAN                                                                      
 1136 Slim Williams                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 789-4309                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 ELENA KILBUCK                                                                 
 1621 Tongass Avenue                                                           
 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 225-4735                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 PATRICK REINHART, Independent Living                                          
 701 East Tudor Road, Number 280                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska 99503                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 562-5613                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 JIM JANSEN                                                                    
 Challenge Alaska                                                              
 P.O. Box 164                                                                  
 Girdwood Alaska 99587                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 783-2453                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 GREG ALLISON                                                                  
 Southeast Alaska Independent Living                                           
 P.O. Box 35097                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99803-5097                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 789-5097                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 PAM GUY, State Employee, Deaf Advocate                                        
 P.O. Box 20377                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 780-4551                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 STAN RIDGEWAY, Deputy Director                                                
 Division of Vocational Rehabilitation                                         
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 West 10th Street, Suite 200                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-6932                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 65                              
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HCR  3                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: WORKERS' COMPENSATION PAMPHLET ERRORS                            
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS                                         
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 01/17/95        50    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/17/95        50    (H)   LABOR AND COMMERCE                                
 02/22/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 147                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: SPORT FISHING MARKETING COUNCIL/SURCHARGE                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN, Mulder                                   
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 02/03/95       235    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/03/95       235    (H)   LABOR AND COMMERCE, FINANCE                       
 02/10/95       322    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): MULDER                              
 02/22/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 65                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY LOAN GUARANTEES                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PORTER, Davies, Brice, Brown,                   
             Mackie, B.Davis, Finkelstein, Kubina, Kott, Elton,                
             Foster, Ivan, Robinson, Nicholia                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                   ACTION                                  
 01/06/95        37    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        37    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        38    (H)   L&C, HES, FIN                                     
 01/26/95       147    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BRICE, BROWN, MACKIE                
 01/26/95       147    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): B.DAVIS, FINKELSTEIN                
 01/26/95       147    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA                              
 01/27/95       162    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOTT, ELTON                         
 01/30/95       180    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): FOSTER, IVAN                        
 02/06/95       256    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON                            
 02/10/95       321    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): NICHOLIA                            
 02/22/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 55                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: REPEALING SUNSET OF ENHANCED 911 SYSTEM                          
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TORGERSON; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Navarre,                  
             Phillips, Bunde                                                   
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 01/26/95           (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                    
 01/26/95           (S)   LABOR & COMMERCE                                     
 02/02/95              (S)   L&C AT 01:30 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 02/02/95              (S)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/03/95       162    (S)   L&C RPT  4DP                                      
 02/03/95       162    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DHSS, DPS, DCED)               
 02/07/95              (S)   RLS AT 11:40 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203               
 02/07/95              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 02/08/95       205    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  2/8/95                         
 02/08/95       207    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 02/08/95       207    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                    
                             CONSENT                                           
 02/08/95       207    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 55                        
 02/08/95       208    (S)   PASSED Y17 N1 E2                                  
 02/08/95       208    (S)   ADAMS  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                  
 02/09/95       219    (S)   RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING                 
 02/09/95       220    (S)   RECONSIDERATION HELD TO END OF                    
                             CALENDAR                                          
 02/09/95       223    (S)   PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y19 N- E1               
 02/09/95       226    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 02/10/95       291    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/10/95       291    (H)   L&C                                               
 02/10/95       323    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): NAVARRE                         
 02/20/95       426    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): PHILLIPS                        
 02/22/95       453    (H)   FIN REFERRAL ADDED                                
 02/22/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-8, SIDE A                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT called the meeting of the House Labor and                  
 Commerce Standing Committee to order at 3:00 p.m.  Members                    
 present at the call to order were Representatives Kott, Rokeberg,             
 Sanders, Masek, Porter and Elton.  Representative Kubina was                  
 absent due to a family emergency.                                             
 HL&C - 02/22/95                                                               
 HCR 3 - WORKERS' COMPENSATION PAMPHLET ERRORS                               
                                                                               
 Number 049                                                                    
                                                                               
 ELIZABETH ROBERTS, RESEARCHER FOR REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS,                
 Prime Sponsor of HCR 3, explained is resolution relates to                    
 correcting errors in a worker's compensation pamphlet published               
 by the Department of Labor.                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS said the little blue pamphlet entitled "Workers'                  
 Compensation and You," is frequently the first information the                
 injured worker receives.  It is essential the information                     
 contained inside the pamphlet is accurate and up to date.                     
 Unfortunately, the new revised edition contains misleading and                
 unconstitutional information.                                                 
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS said there are inconsistencies between statements                 
 made in the pamphlet and the requirements of the Americans with               
 Disabilities Act in that the pamphlet misstates what information              
 may be requested of future employees.  The correction of errors               
 and inconsistencies may take the form of an erratum insert until              
 the next formal revising of the pamphlet.                                     
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS stated HCR 3 is a bill that they had hoped wouldn't               
 have to become a bill.  Ms. Roberts quoted from the pamphlet on               
 page 3, under the heading "What If You Don't Tell The Truth," as              
 follows: "There are strict penalties for not telling the truth.               
 When you fill out applications for work, be sure to answer                    
 questions about your health truthfully.  If you lie about your                
 health when you apply for a job, you may not be able to get                   
 workers' compensation benefits if you get hurt." (AS 23.30022).               
 Ms. Roberts stated according to the Americans with Disabilities               
 Act (ADA), it is unconstitutional to ask anybody about their                  
 health until you actually employ them.  She stated they would                 
 like to see this corrected, in the form of an erratum insert.                 
 The Department of Labor has assured her this will be taken care               
 of.  However, she said the pamphlet was published in August, and              
 her office has had no formal notification that anything was                   
 actually going to happen.  She stated Representative Bettye Davis             
 wanted to be assured of a time line when the whole pamphlet                   
 itself will be checked for inconsistencies and misstatements and              
 then corrected.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 101                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if Ms. Roberts had noted any other                        
 inconsistencies in the pamphlet, or whether she was asking the                
 department to review this to insure that there was nothing but                
 accurate information provided in the pamphlet                                 
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS stated at the beginning of last summer, the                       
 department had contracted out to have the pamphlet revised.                   
 However, the person had quit before the job was done.  She stated             
 that the department then advised Representative Davis' office                 
 that the director of the division had finished the job and, in                
 fact, there are more inconsistencies.  However that director was              
 no longer with the department.  Ms. Roberts stated that she did               
 not have the background to know what else was misleading and that             
 the pamphlet was very complicated, probably too complicated for               
 the average working man.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked Ms. Roberts if the ADA                   
 statute specifically prohibits inquiring into health status.                  
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS read from the ADA as follows:  "Except as permitted,              
 it is unlawful for a covered entity to conduct a medical                      
 examination of an applicant or to make inquiries as to whether an             
 applicant is an individual with a disability or as to the nature              
 or severity of such disability."  She stated that after you hire              
 someone, you may then ask anything you want, for insurance                    
 purposes, or to see if the employee is physically capable of                  
 doing the job.                                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that this was not asking about              
 health specifically, it was asking about a persons able                       
 bodiedness.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS said when Ms. Roberts stated "except             
 as permitted," this statement covers a large amount of territory.             
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS continued to read, as follows:  "Discrimination,                  
 general rule;  no covered entity shall discriminate against a                 
 qualified individual with a disability because of the disability              
 of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the               
 hiring advancement or discharge of employees, employee                        
 compensation, job training and other terms conditions and                     
 privileges of employment."  She stated that you're not allowed to             
 discuss an applicant's health during a job interview, only after              
 the hiring.  This is so you're not prejudiced against people with             
 disabilities.                                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated you can ask someone whether or not they can              
 perform certain tasks associated with that job prior to the                   
 actual hiring.                                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated his understanding of the law was you             
 may ask certain questions, and even go so far as to test, prior               
 to hiring, for specifically qualified job requirements.  But                  
 those requirements have to be related specifically to the job,                
 not to some general condition.  He further stated he could see                
 where this paragraph might need to be reworded, but not to the                
 extent that no questions regarding physical conditions may be                 
 asked.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that he was in full support of                 
 this resolution.                                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he agreed, but the question he had was how to              
 go about it.  He stated that he felt a resolution was overkill.               
 With the change in Administrations, there is some allowance to                
 make sure things get caught up.  He comment that, "it seems we're             
 killing a fly with a nuclear bomb."                                           
                                                                               
 MS. ROBERTS stated that she had been told it would take two to                
 three weeks for the erratum insert, and two to three months for a             
 reprint.  Representative Davis just wants to be assured that                  
 these guidelines were met.                                                    
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT             
 OF LABOR, stated he had been in contact with Representative                   
 Davis' office.  He stated currently, they were going through a                
 revision of the pamphlet.  He explained that it was hard to read              
 for the average person, and they were working to make it shorter              
 and easier to read.  He referred to what was mentioned earlier                
 about AS 23.3022, if the committee didn't like the wording in the             
 pamphlet, the pamphlet could quote the statue in total;  but, as              
 long as the statute exists, the board must apply it.  He stated               
 that they would have the erratum ready in two to three weeks, and             
 they would forward a copy for the committee to review.                        
                                                                               
 Number 307                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Perkins if he agreed the statute cited in             
 the booklet did not conform with the ADA standards.                           
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS stated it could be a potential conflict.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if inconsistent state laws were preempted                 
 under the supremacy clause.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS stated he did not know, but would get back to the                 
 committee on that issue.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER stated that this question should be               
 turned over to the Department of Law, which could come up with                
 wording that would balance the existing statute and ADA.                      
                                                                               
 Number 321                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON agreed with Representative Porter.  He               
 stated in reading the pamphlet, it was like reading a legal ad.               
                                                                               
 Number 335                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that it shouldn't be the responsibility of               
 the committee to thoroughly analyze the pamphlet.  He would ask               
 the Department of Labor, through the Division of Workers'                     
 Compensation, to work on the pamphlet.  He said the committee                 
 would hold the bill.                                                          
 HL&C - 02/22/95                                                               
 HB 147 - SPORT FISHING MARKETING COUNCIL/SURCHARGE                          
                                                                               
 Number 379                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 147, stated he                  
 introduced the bill to establish, within the state, a proponent               
 for encouraging non-resident sports fisherman to come to the                  
 state and enjoy what we can offer them.  He said the bill would               
 not be geared to bringing non-residents to places suffering from              
 over use such as the Russian and Kenai Rivers.  The purpose of                
 this council would be to appeal to non-resident sports fisherman,             
 the people who want to be in the "out back."  The council would               
 direct publicity and advertising towards that end.                            
                                                                               
 JEFF LOGAN, LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT TO REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN,                
 stated Alaska was a maturing tourism market.  He made reference               
 to specialized marketing, such as eco-tourism, which focuses on               
 environmental tourism, and senior citizen tourism, which brings               
 senior citizens up during the off seasons.  He stated that this               
 market was ready for the Alaska sport fishing experience, as a                
 specialized market.  This bill does not create a new organization             
 as much as it helps bring together the members of an existing                 
 industry to promote themselves.  He stated in the committee                   
 member's packet was a page from the Governor's transition report,             
 where the Governor's Task Force on Fisheries recognizes that an               
 effort to market a sport fishing experience is something the                  
 state needs to do.  HB 147 creates a marketing council, which is              
 directed by a board, and managed jointly by the Commissioner of               
 Commerce and a qualified trade association.  As the bill was                  
 initially written, the board would have 19 members.  Mr. Logan                
 stated he had some proposed amendments for HB 147.  He stated                 
 that they would amend the number of members to 11.  The board                 
 then would be comprised of the director of the Division of                    
 Tourism, and the director of the Division of Sport Fish, in which             
 both would be permanent positions.  The sport fishing industry                
 would nominate five members, and the Governor would nominate                  
 four.  The board would be responsible for directing the efforts               
 of the council in entering into agreements with private and                   
 public organizations to market Alaska as a sport fishing                      
 destination.  The bill says that the board may not hire                       
 employees.  It brings an existing industry together to promote                
 itself.  The board and the council would have the ability to                  
 enter into contracts to accomplish their duties, but it wouldn't              
 be necessary to hire any new people to do this.                               
                                                                               
 Number 476                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated since the legislature was appropriating some             
 money in the form of per diem, it would be creating another layer             
 of bureaucracy.  Whether this was essential or necessary is the               
 issue.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said it was his understanding that the                  
 Alaska Tourism Marketing Council (ATMC) members pay their own way             
 to board meetings, and that would be the case here as well.                   
                                                                               
 Number 493                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that the bill allows per diem                     
 expenses within the state but not outside the state.  He stated               
 that there would be a self generating extreme surplus of funding.             
 The current fiscal note shows a large amount of money going to                
 this council; however, that isn't the intent of the council.  It              
 would be less than $100,000 for the first couple years.  He                   
 stated that it would never approach the $900,000 shown on the                 
 fiscal note.  In essence, the added layer would be more of a kin              
 to an advisory council.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 511                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that the fiscal note reflects over $1             
 million a year.  He inquired as to how they estimated their                   
 expenditures at substantially less than that amount.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented that this was one of the items to              
 which Mr. Logan referred to, in that the fiscal note should be                
 down sized considerably.  He stated that the misunderstanding in              
 the preparation of the note was in thinking that all of the items             
 were expenditures, with the balance of the fund being used by the             
 council for advertising.  He stated that in reality, the fiscal               
 note would be 15 percent of that.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN added that in the preparation of the fiscal note, there             
 were a number of assumptions the department utilized.  There were             
 a large number of unanswered questions in the preparation of the              
 fiscal note.  Now that they'd seen it, the note would be a                    
 working document.  He acknowledged that it posed a number of                  
 questions, and that they would answer those questions.  The                   
 fiscal note then would change.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 528                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that some of the outstanding costs                 
 would be for travel.  To accomplish the purposes of the council,              
 he assumed there would be a substantial amount of contractual                 
 money.  He inquire regarding the anticipated size of that                     
 expenditure.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 538                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said the amount utilized would depend on                 
 what the Department of Fish and Game actually allocates.  There's             
 the possibility that once the funds are realized, Fish and Game               
 wouldn't allocate anything.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN stated that a marketing program would take a lot of                 
 money.  He referred to the difference is in the fiscal notes for              
 FY 96 and 97 and said they don't expect to have too much income               
 generated by that point, so those numbers will be reduced                     
 considerably.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 559                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER surmised that there wouldn't be any net                 
 impact on the general fund.  He stated that with the program                  
 receipts going back into the general fund from the sale of                    
 brochures and the $5 increase on the 220,000 out of state                     
 licenses, there was a chance that the receipts would never come               
 back to the program.  He stated that it was not inappropriate to              
 dedicate them all to this program.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 571                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated the proponents of this council were               
 concerned in having money coming in then having to allocate back              
 out, they were willing to take that chance.  The more money                   
 available, the better the advertising.                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated he had concerns with the                       
 memorandum sent by Mr. Bertke and Mr. Hodson, dated the February              
 21.  He said the committee should be talking about whether they               
 should continue considering the bill before the problems were                 
 cleared up.  The point of the memorandum was that they could be               
 guilty of diverting federal funding and be in jeopardy of losing              
 $10 million of federal funds.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT pointed out to Jeff Logan that on page 4,                 
 line 30 of the bill, it suggests that the council shall deposit               
 the money in the general fund, and on page 5, line 16, the money              
 collected from the $5 surcharge will be deposited into the fish               
 and game fund.  He asked if the $5 surcharge goes to the fish and             
 game fund, we don't have to divert monies from the general fund               
 to the fish and game fund, which is currently being done.  He                 
 asked if under federal law, the money that went to the fish and               
 game fund would have to stay there.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN stated that in the committee member's packet, there is              
 a memorandum from George Utermohle, Attorney, Legislative Affairs             
 Agency, explaining the workings of the fish and game fund.  He                
 further stated that once the $5 surcharge went into the fund, it              
 stayed there and could only be used for sport fish research or                
 management.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if there was an anomaly between the two             
 sections on pages 4 and 5.                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN answered, "No."                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 619                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHN BURKE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, SPORT FISH DIVISION, ALASKA                      
 DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME (ADF&G), AND FEDERAL AID COORDINATOR,             
 explained he is in charge of federal aid to sport fish                        
 restoration for the ADF&G, and stated he had spoken several times             
 with the Federal Aid Office in Anchorage and was told they would              
 view this as a diversion of funds.  Money collected for licenses              
 must, in turn, be used to directly benefit sports fisherman.                  
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-8, SIDE B                                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the Sport Fish Division receives any money             
 at this time.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. BURKE replied no.  They were asking for $200,000 next year,               
 specifically to support the Earl West Cove project through the                
 Crystal Lake Hatchery.  Outside of this, they have no general                 
 funds.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 013                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated there had to be a way to craft this              
 legislation so that it didn't fall under the federal mandate.  He             
 was requesting those involved try to get around this.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG agreed with Representative Porter.  He                
 stated that he was conceptually in full support of the council,               
 but at this stage, he would be uncomfortable moving on the bill.              
                                                                               
 Number 041                                                                    
                                                                               
 JEFF BUSH, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND                    
 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, stated that his department favored any                  
 efforts to market Alaska in any form.   However, he regretfully               
 stated that the department would oppose this bill as it is                    
 currently written.  His concern with the bill is that essentially             
 the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council (ATMC) has always run a                  
 generic marketing campaign, but this bill sounds like the                     
 sponsors would like to essentially make marketing "target                     
 specific" for sport fish.  The concern was that the state has a               
 limited amount of marketing money available.  If they start                   
 fragmenting those efforts, by taking out $1 million for sport                 
 fish, the next people at the table would be the hotel operators               
 and other specialized groups.  He stated that he didn't oppose                
 these efforts.  If the money is there for more marketing, then                
 great.  What he opposes was that they have a finite amount of                 
 money, and he didn't want it being fragmented.  Another problem               
 he had is that it was a state entity.  If the state can raise $1              
 million and the legislature deems that they can use this for                  
 sport fish marketing, then they could do this through a grant.                
 He doesn't want the Department of Commerce and Economic                       
 Development to be creating an association for this particular                 
 industry.  He felt that this would end up having a snowball                   
 effect.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 190                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if current marketing, in Alaska, within ATMC              
 or the Division of Tourism, couldn't use its own staff to assist              
 in this procurement or delineation of (indisc.).                              
                                                                               
 MR.BUSH answered, "certainly."  But, what they would be asking                
 them to do was to take on more work with an already overworked                
 staff.  This would be taking efforts away from what they do on a              
 daily basis.  Since they are working with program receipts, he                
 didn't feel it would be unreasonable to add a Marketing                       
 Coordinator.  The response he has received from the people                    
 supporting this legislation is that they don't want to create                 
 more bureaucracy.  They feel they can contract out.  They need to             
 find a person who is a specialist in advertising or marketing.                
 He said that what they need is an administrator.  He stated that              
 you need one state employee to administer this program.                       
                                                                               
 Number 160                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that he was sympathetic to Mr. Bush's             
 plight.                                                                       
                                                                               
 GEORGE UTERMOHLE, ATTORNEY, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS AGENCY, stated                
 that the issues raised by the Department of Fish and Game, on                 
 behalf of the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service, concerns the                 
 diversion of fish and game license fees.  The state participates              
 in the federal aid program for sport fisheries.  As a result, the             
 state gets a large sum of money from the federal government.  The             
 state has to dedicate its fish and game license fees to a                     
 particular fund that can only be used for sport fishing purposes.             
 If participation in the federal program was to be suspended, we               
 would lose the ability to be able to dedicate those funds.  We                
 cannot divert the fish and game license fees to a purpose other               
 than the management of sport fisheries.  The federal regulations              
 relate only to the diversion of license fees, not to the                      
 diversion of any other state money that might go to the ADF&G or              
 the Division of Sport Fisheries.  It does not address the issue               
 of general funds.  Mr. Utermohle stated that HB 147 does not                  
 provide for any diversion from the fish and game fund.  He felt               
 there was no logic behind the position of the Fish and Wildlife               
 Service.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 283                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if there was a similar program where              
 this problem had been addressed.  He asked if we could have the               
 existing license fee, with an additional $5 marketing surcharge               
 directed to the general fund as opposed to this other dedicated               
 fund.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. UTERMOHLE replied that we can't, under the terms of the                   
 federal program.  The fish and game license fee is any fee                    
 imposed upon a person which conveys the right to engage in sport              
 fishing.  If you can't go sport fishing without a sport fishing               
 marketing fee, its considered a license fee for purposes of the               
 federal program and must be dedicated to this program.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if the Sport Fish Program does not                  
 receive general funds, are they taking general funds out of a                 
 different part of the ADF&G or another department's budget?                   
                                                                               
 MR. UTERMOHLE stated that would be the case, but he didn't see                
 how that could come out of the Commercial Fisheries Division's                
 budget.  The loss to their budget in general fund dollars could               
 not be offset by money taken by the Sport Fish Program because                
 that money is restricted to sport fish purposes.  Therefore, the              
 commercial fisheries program would take a loss, and that would be             
 out of the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Service.                     
                                                                               
 BUD HODSON, OWNER, TIKCHIK NARROWS LODGE; FOUNDING MEMBER,                    
 ALASKA SPORT FISH INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, stated that he was a                  
 proponent of this bill.  He stated that they had a mechanism to               
 be self-funding, but they are running into some roadblocks.  What             
 they are trying to establish with the marketing council is not to             
 bring more people into problem areas.  He stated that they wanted             
 to provide a vision for sport fishing and to target fisheries                 
 that were under utilized.  It also is a goal to help the industry             
 identify where it could expand or recuperate closed fisheries.                
 Their intent is not to pump more anglers into the Kenai, it is to             
 educate the public and the industry to look at what the options               
 are for helping people survive closures.  The industry and the                
 state needs to look at where they are going to be in ten years.               
                                                                               
 Number 373                                                                    
                                                                               
 DUKE BERTKE, CHELATNA LAKE LODGE; FOUNDING MEMBER, ALASKA SPORT               
 FISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, stated that the sport fishing                   
 industry was in no way trying to fragment the ATMC.  He felt they             
 could operate under the umbrella, doing value-added marketing to              
 help keep the tourists happy.  They felt they could direct people             
 out of problem areas out and into Western Alaska, Prince William              
 Sound, or parts of the valley that haven't been utilized.  The                
 funding mechanism is in no way an assault on the ADF&G or the                 
 general fund.  They felt they had something in mind to carry its              
 own weight.  They are willing to go back and do whatever it takes             
 to accomplish that goal.                                                      
                                                                               
 MITCH GRAVO, LOBBYIST, ALASKA SPORT FISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION,             
 stated with respect to fragmentation issue, they do not take any              
 money from any marketing organization.  If that happens, he                   
 stated, he would ask the House and the Senate to withdraw the                 
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 373                                                                    
                                                                               
 BEN ELLIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KENAI RIVER SPORT FISHING                      
 INCORPORATED, testified via teleconference.  He stated that he                
 was speaking in tentative support of HB 147, providing that the               
 funding mechanism can be addressed.  He gave the following                    
 testimony:  "Alaska contains some of the world's best sports                  
 fishing opportunities.  It is only right that the state market                
 this potential in a clear concise, accurate, and logical manner.              
 We believe that it is fair to say that, regardless of whether                 
 you're a strong advocate of commercial fisheries or a staunch                 
 supporter of sport fishing, we all agree that the states                      
 fisheries have been a crucial part of Alaska's past and will be               
 an important aspect of the state's future.  I think we can also               
 agree that Alaska's fishing footprint is changing.  Depressed                 
 prices in commercially caught fish, overseas competition from pen             
 reared salmon and the waste of hundreds of thousands of tons of               
 incidental by-catch each year has sent commercial fishing not                 
 only in Alaska but across the United States in a tailspin.  While             
 the state's commercial fishing industry is facing its toughest                
 decade ever, sport fishing has grown from a `wet behind the ears              
 toe head,' to a `full blown adult' in the state's economic                    
 employable arena.  Sport fishing continues to fuel a growing                  
 tourist economy that accounted for more than $1 billion.  In a                
 recent memo to the Governor's fisheries transition, former Deputy             
 Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game, Chuck Meacham,               
 underlined the potential for sport fishing across the state, and              
 he quotes, `We have great challenge ahead in terms of how we                  
 promote and develop our fisheries he wrote under the section of               
 sport fishing.  Alaska contains more than 40 percent of the                   
 nation's surface water resources, while not all of our lakes and              
 streams contain sport fish resources, there are over 12,000 known             
 anadromous fish streams with 120,000 to 180,000 linear miles of               
 fresh water.  Alaska also has thousands and thousands of                      
 coastline and adjacent marine waters rich with sport fishing                  
 opportunities.  With over half of the sport fishing effort                    
 presently concentrated in the Cook Inlet Region, there is                     
 substantial area into which this industry can be encouraged to                
 expand."                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. ELLIS continued by stating that the need for marketing a                  
 quality sport fishing experience was noted in a recent report by              
 the Governor's Fisheries Transition Team.  For the state sport                
 fishing industry to grow, it is imperative to advance the concept             
 that is behind this bill.  He stated that HB 147 will provide the             
 tool to polish this jewel in the ruff, called Alaska's sport                  
 fishing.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 467                                                                    
                                                                               
 PAUL DALE, representing THE KING SALMON FUND, testified via                   
 teleconference.  Mr. Dale stated that The King Salmon Fund is a               
 non-profit organization in the Kenai area interested in                       
 protecting the Kenai River habitat.  He stated that he was                    
 pleased to hear that this legislation would not increase user                 
 activity on the Kenai River; but the bill does not specifically               
 prohibit marketing increased sport fishing on the Kenny Peninsula             
 or the Kenai River.  He stated that people fishing for halibut                
 off the coast, or fishing for salmon in Seward, would be in the               
 area.  He felt that would result in increased pressure on the                 
 Kenai River.  He would feel much more comfortable with the                    
 legislation if it specifically precluded the Kenai Area from                  
 being marketed.  There should be a consensus among agency people,             
 or user participants, that we have addressed the habitat concerns             
 and developed policies and infrastructure to handle the load that             
 exists currently.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 503                                                                    
                                                                               
 MAX LOWE, GENERAL MANAGER, REGAL ALASKAN HOTEL, testified via                 
 teleconference, that he has watched the continued positive impact             
 of the Alaska sport fishing industry on individual tourism                    
 related businesses.  He feels it imperative that tourism, sport               
 fishing, and smaller businesses have a voice in their own future,             
 especially as it relates to visitor preferred activity.  The                  
 Alaska Sport Fishing Industry Marketing Council is a good idea,               
 and it allows fair representation by all the individuals in                   
 Alaska who actually have invested in our state resources.   He                
 stated that, like any other marketing effort, it will create more             
 jobs, more revenue, and it will bolster the state of Alaska, the              
 sport fishing industry, and all related industries.                           
 Number 536                                                                    
                                                                               
 BILL SIMS, OWNER, LAKE ILLIAMNA LODGE, testified via                          
 teleconference that we need this council because the fisherman                
 that normally would come to Alaska are now traveling to foreign               
 countries that we are competing with.  He stated many of his                  
 clients are traveling to Russia because of their advertising                  
 campaigns.  He also pointed out when there are closures, we need              
 to let people know that the whole state is not being closed.  A               
 closure in the Cook Inlet area doesn't mean that Bristol Bay and              
 the Prince William Sound areas are also closed.                               
                                                                               
 BARBARA BINGHAM, MEMBER, SITKA CHARTER BOAT OPERATOR'S                        
 ASSOCIATION, testified via teleconference that, in Sitka, the                 
 state marketing of sport fishing to non-residents will aggravate              
 an already tense situation.  Many resident anglers and charter                
 operators are very concerned about local fish recourses.  She                 
 explained that, in the Southeast king salmon are allocated                    
 between commercial and sport anglers.  The proposed allocations               
 of halibut between Alaska sport and commercial users is currently             
 before the North Pacific Fisheries Management Counsel.  She noted             
 that the local Sitka's Visitor's Bureau and the private sector                
 were doing a good job marketing in Sitka                                      
                                                                               
 Number 580                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOSEPH JOLLY, BOARD MEMBER, UNITED COOK INLET DRIFT ASSOCIATION,              
 and COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN, stated that there was nothing in HB                 
 147, as it is currently written, to insure that only remote                   
 location promotion will be done.  As it stands, the people who                
 would benefit from this act would be the sport fish entities in               
 the already overworked areas with habitat problems.  He stated                
 that the commercial fisheries industry would be harmed further by             
 the reduction in raw fish taxes, jobs would be lost, and the                  
 trucking and support industries would suffer.  This, he said,                 
 would keep snowballing and the taxpayer would end up paying the               
 bill.  Mr. Jolly stated he was against HB 147.                                
                                                                               
 Number 616                                                                    
                                                                               
 KEITH JOHNSON explained he was the owner and operator of a lodge              
 in Southwest Alaska.  He stated he was in favor of HB 147.  It                
 has the potential to start the organizational business of taking              
 care of the sport fishing, guiding, and lodge activities                      
 throughout the state.  He agreed that the Kenai, Russian, Deshka,             
 et cetera, were over worked.  The way to ease that pressure would             
 be to build a road from Wasilla across the drainage ditches to                
 Talkeetna Bay.  He concluded that HB 147 would bring in money and             
 let the people in the lower 48 know that there's is organized                 
 fishing all over the state.                                                   
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-9, SIDE A                                                             
 ROD BERG, testifying via teleconference, stated HB 147 has some               
 merits; however, the ATMC, the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Council                
 and other entities, were adequately promoting all angles of                   
 tourism within the state.  He noted when the king salmon stamp                
 was added onto licenses a few years ago, funds were suppose to go             
 back into a king salmon enhancement fund.  However, 60 percent to             
 70 percent of the funds are generated in Southcentral Alaska, but             
 less the 50 percent is going back into that area.  Being from the             
 Kenai Peninsula area, he testified that he was totally opposed to             
 any more governmental involvement in the promotion of the area.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT closed public testimony on HB 147, and pointed out              
 that the basic problem with the bill was the funding mechanism                
 He stated that he was hopeful that Representative Green would be              
 able to work out the funding problems and, thereafter, bring the              
 bill back before the committee.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 119                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted that the funding problem had been                  
 brought to his attention only just prior to the meeting.  Had he              
 known about it sooner, he stated, he wouldn't have brought the                
 bill before the committee.  He pointed out though, that it had                
 been a very beneficial meeting, addressing a wide cross section               
 of ideas.  He thanked the committee and said he would bring the               
 bill back with changes.                                                       
 HL&C - 02/22/95                                                               
 HB 65 - ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY LOAN GUARANTEES                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked for the sponsor of HB 65 to give an opening               
 statement.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES read the following sponsor statement               
 for HB 65, "An Act establishing a loan guarantee and interest                 
 rate subsidy programs for assistive technology."                              
                                                                               
 "According to a 1991 study, over 20,000 Alaskans experience at                
 least one form of disability.  Assistive technology, such as                  
 specialized keyboards, hearing aids, or wheelchairs make the                  
 difference to many disabled as to whether they keep a job or live             
 independently.  Of the disabled, approximately 63 percent need                
 adaptive devices and are unable to purchase these items due to                
 personal financial constraints.                                               
                                                                               
 "HB 65 establishes a loan guarantee and interest rate subsidy                 
 program for those in need of assistive technology.  It is a                   
 unique public-private sector partnership that enables persons                 
 with disabilities to obtain loans who would not otherwise                     
 qualify.  The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation administers               
 the loan program with seed money from the federal Vocational                  
 Rehabilitation Technology-Related Assistance Program.  Private                
 lending institutions process the loan and arrange a loan                      
 guarantee and any interest rate subsidy with the applicant and                
 the Division.                                                                 
                                                                               
 "A study by the National Council of Disabilities has shown that               
 over half of the disabled persons receiving assistive technology              
 loans were able to reduce  their dependence on public assistance.             
 This bill establishes an assistive technology loan program for                
 Alaskan residents."                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated that the legislation will help                   
 people help themselves.  The individual gains in self-sufficiency             
 and self-respect, society wins because the individuals become                 
 more productive members of the work force.  The state treasury                
 benefits by the reduction in need for assistance payments.                    
                                                                               
 Number 201                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT was going to open testimony on the teleconference               
 line, then learned that individuals in Juneau were being picked               
 up at 5:00 p.m., so he opened public testimony in Juneau.                     
                                                                               
 NANCY ANDESON stated that this was a classic example of why                   
 independence was so important.  The Care-A-Van was there to pick              
 them up at the Capitol Building at 5:00 p.m.  They must give the              
 operators of the Care-A-Van 24 hours advance notice.  She                     
 explained that she, herself, had a van waiting to get outfitted.              
 Currently, she works at home, but if she could get a wheelchair               
 and scooter that worked without duct tape she could go into the               
 office and be independent.  The bottom line she stated, was to                
 make everyone taxpayers.  The best way to do that was to allow                
 people the independence and the ability to go to work, keeping in             
 mind that just getting to and from work is not all that's                     
 involved.  Having disabilities is very expensive.  Even if you're             
 fully insured, that doesn't cover buying light-weight comforters              
 because your feet can't turn over in bed under a heavy wool                   
 blanket.  She stated that she was in the range that did not                   
 qualify for any of the programs.  She was either too rich, too                
 poor, too young, too old, not mentally disabled, et cetera, to                
 qualify.  The Assistive Technology Council has had very good                  
 records in other states, the default rate is close to zero. It is             
 something they really want, and they are not going to default.                
                                                                               
 KEN DEAN explained that his chair cost $13,500, the van he                    
 normally uses cost another $26,000.  He stated that he was the                
 exception to the rule, as he was able to fund those things                    
 through insurance.  For every one of him, he explained, there                 
 were at least five to ten others that fall through the cracks.                
 He stated he had a full-time job.  Half the day he works for                  
 Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL), and the other half he             
 is a paralegal at his home.  One of the basic human tendencies is             
 to be able to get out of the house, some of the disabled can't                
 even leave their homes unless they have some assistance to be                 
 able to buy a van or whatever it takes to get them out.  He                   
 stated that in the studies that he's done, from 5,000 to 10,000               
 people would become functional parts of society instead of being              
 a "blob" in a room, kind of like in years past people with                    
 disabilities were pretty much locked in the closet.                           
                                                                               
 ELENA KILBUCK testified via teleconference.  She read a letter                
 from Brenda Spintz, which stated HB 65 was just what she needed.              
 She is care giver, thus, the power of attorney, and is the                    
 daughter of Laura Roberts who, is disabled with progressive                   
 super-nuclear palsy, which is a neurological degeneration that                
 effects muscle control and forms of communication with related                
 dementia.  She stated her goal was to keep her mother in a home               
 setting for as long as possible.  Assistive technology is a                   
 necessity to survive on a daily basis, income is strained at all              
 times.  If these loans were to become available with low                      
 interest, this would be the long term answer for them.  She                   
 stated that with this loan, they could see a future in their                  
 home, and they could purchase needed handicapped equipment for                
 the bathroom.  She concluded that HB 65 would enable her mother,              
 and other individuals, to live happier fuller lives in their                  
 family surroundings and outside of institutions.                              
                                                                               
 Number 341                                                                    
                                                                               
 PATRICK REINHART, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, STATE INDEPENDENT LIVING                
 COUNCIL (SILC), stated he was in support of HB 65.  SILC believes             
 that this legislation is a critical part of a whole array of                  
 independent living services.  It is an enabling piece of                      
 legislation, allowing Alaskans with disabilities, or families                 
 with disabled members, to purchase needed adaptive equipment and              
 devices for their needs.  Contrary to current popular belief, not             
 all persons in need want government help  They want the                       
 opportunity to do it on their own.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 360                                                                    
                                                                               
 JIM JANSEN, CHALLENGE ALASKA, testified via teleconference, in                
 favor of HB 65.  He stated that he designs and builds adaptive                
 recreational equipment.  He has seen a lot of improvement in                  
 people's attitudes and health because of their experiences with               
 recreation.  He felt it will be worth the money, in the long run,             
 to give people with disabilities the opportunity to function in               
 recreational settings as well as in employment, and by granting               
 them independence.  These loans can get people off welfare,                   
 thereby decreasing the cost of caring for persons.  The loans                 
 will increase people's self-worth through doing more of their own             
 things.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 401                                                                    
 GREG ALLISON, SAIL, stated that he couldn't emphasize enough the              
 importance of assistive technology, such as hearing aids, which               
 cost $2,000 dollars each.  He stated that there are many                      
 communities that require you to have hearing aids for their                   
 communication needs at home, at play, and during everyday use.                
 He pointed out that the closed caption and TDD machines needed                
 cost as much as $600 dollars and need to be replaced every five               
 years.  He stressed the importance of these types of equipment in             
 the deaf community, and he reiterated his support for HB 65.                  
                                                                               
 Number 436                                                                    
                                                                               
 PAM GUY, STATE EMPLOYEE, DEAF ADVOCATE, stated how important HB               
 65 was to people in helping them to achieve their goals, with                 
 more independence.  The 90 percent loan guarantee would help,                 
 especially those people whose benefits are cut.  She stated that              
 this would be great for their needs.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 451                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated this was a bill that every                       
 legislator, regardless of their position in the spectrum of                   
 philosophy, could support.  He stated that if you are a hard                  
 hearted conservative you can support it because this will get                 
 people who might otherwise be on welfare or general assistance                
 back off of those roles.  If you are a bleeding heart liberal,                
 you are actually improving the quality of life for some citizens              
 in the state.  Representative Porter moved and asked unanimous                
 consent to move HB 65 out of committee with individual                        
 recommendations.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked if they were talking about $100,000.             
                                                                               
 STAN RIDGEWAY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL                        
 REHABILITATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, stated that there was a              
 fiscal note of $300,000.  This is $100,000 each year for the next             
 three years, with the possibility of additional funding the                   
 fourth year.  This is federal funding.  This grant ends in five               
 years, and in the fourth year gets cut to 75 percent.  In the                 
 fifth year it gets cut 50 percent.  However, they are not sure                
 how much will be available those years.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked how many people they could help with             
 only $100,000.                                                                
                                                                               
 MR. RIDGEWAY answered that most of the loans would be under                   
 $5,000.  They were hoping to leverage the money by buying bonds               
 or an insurance policy.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 542                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS stated that this money would go much                   
 farther if it were possibly a 60 percent loan, instead of a 90                
 percent loan.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. RIDGEWAY stated that the banking industry had been in support             
 of this bill.  It would help those people in the banking                      
 community to deal with their community reinvestment loans.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked at what point would they would                   
 oppose this.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. RIDGEWAY answered that, at this point, he wouldn't make a                 
 recommendation without speaking with the Alaska Banker's                      
 Association.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated HB 65 had two other committee                  
 referrals and that he'd keep an eye on it.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 554                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that there was a motion to move HB 65 out of             
 committee.  Hearing no objections, the motion passed.                         
 He then stated that SB  55, "An Act repealing the sunset of the               
 enhanced 911 emergency reporting systems," would be heard on                  
 Monday, February 27, 1995.                                                    
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the House Labor &              
 Commerce Committee, Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at 5:15               
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects