Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/08/1995 03:10 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE                              
                         March 8, 1995                                         
                           3:10 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Pete Kott, Chairman                                            
 Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman                                 
 Representative Beverly Masek                                                  
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Gene Kubina                                                    
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 *HB 46:  "An Act relating to the practice of architecture,                    
           engineering, and land surveying."                                   
          HEARD AND HELD                                                       
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 24                                                        
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor HB 46                                      
 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant                                             
   to Representative Joe Green                                                 
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 24                                                        
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 46                                       
 GRAHAM ROLSTAD, Interim CEO                                                   
 Matanuska Telephone Association                                               
 1740 South Chugach Street                                                     
 Palmer, AK 99645                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 745-5412                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 JIM ROWE, Executive Director                                                  
 Alaska Telephone Association                                                  
 4341 B Street                                                                 
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 563-4000                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 NANCY SCHOEPHOESTER                                                           
 ARCO Alaska                                                                   
 P.O. Box 100360                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99508                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 263-4655                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director                                                   
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110806                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-25388                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 46                                       
 PAULA ELLER                                                                   
 Yukon Telephone                                                               
 P.O. Box 873809                                                               
 Wasilla, AK 99687                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 373-6007                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 BLAINE BROWN, Division Manager Network Planning                               
 Anchorage Telephone Utility                                                   
 600 Telephone Avenue, Mail Station 12                                         
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 564-1216                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 MIKE TAURIAINEN, Professional Engineer                                        
 Mike Tauriainen Consulting Engineers                                          
 35186 Spur Highway                                                            
 Soldotna, AK 99669                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 262-4624                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 46                                  
 ALAN SEE                                                                      
 Alaska Power and Telephone Co.                                                
 Skagway, AK                                                                   
 Telephone:  (907) 983-2800                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 DAN GORDON                                                                    
 Tel Alaska, Incorporated                                                      
 2121 Abbott Rd.                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska 99507                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 349-2400                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 RANDY NELSON                                                                  
 GTE Alaska Incorporated                                                       
 4300 B Street Suite 303                                                       
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 563-2199                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 TOM CRAFFORD, Manager                                                         
 Minerals and Coal                                                             
 Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated                                               
 2525 C Street                                                                 
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 274-8638                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 BYRON HAYNES                                                                  
 4830 Ridge Top Circle                                                         
 Anchorage, AK 99508                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 338-9373                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 46                              
 AL DICKENS                                                                    
 Arctic Slope Telephone                                                        
   Association Cooperative                                                     
 4300 B Street, Suite 501                                                      
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 563-3989                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 46                               
 COLIN MAYNARD                                                                 
 1400 West Benson, Suite 500                                                   
 Anchorage, AK 99503-3690                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 274-3660                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 46                                  
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 46                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 01/06/95        32    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        32    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        33    (H)   LABOR AND COMMERCE, STATE AFFAIRS                 
 03/08/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-16, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 The House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was called            
 to order by Chairman Pete Kott at 3:10 p.m.  Members present at the           
 call to order were Representatives Kott, Rokeberg, Masek, Elton,              
 and Kubina.  Representatives absent were Porter and Sanders.                  
 HL&C - 03/08/95                                                               
 HB 46 - ARCHITECT, ENGINEER & SURVEYOR REGULATION                           
 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT stated that there was one matter before the                
 committee, HB 46, but that it was not his intent to move this bill.           
 Number 025                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, Prime Sponsor of HB 46, stated that                 
 Sections 1 and 2 of the bill were new.  He said, there are                    
 additional ramifications dealing with registration.                           
 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green,                
 explained the reasons for the changes to HB 46.  He said Section 1            
 is a rewrite, not a change in the intent of the bill.  It states              
 that when a registrant (registered engineer) issues final documents           
 or drawings, they shall sign the documents and affix their seal.              
 He stated that it was an attempt to clarify that it is the                    
 responsibility of the board to maintain the integrity of the seal.            
 It is not the responsibility of the board to require that the seal            
 be on a document.  He continued that Section 2 contains language              
 from the original bill, which is statutorily ambiguous.  The                  
 change, taking out "a registered", clarifies and conforms the                 
 section so that it is clear that the legislature's intent is that,            
 when a person says "an engineer," that this means they are an                 
 engineer.  He said that Section 3 is an exemption section that adds           
 subsection ten.  This subsection was in the law until 1990; it was            
 taken out in HB 182.  Mr. Logan stated that he has reviewed the               
 entire public record for that bill, and he has listened to the                
 tapes of every hearing.  He said that the deletion of this                    
 subsection has had enormous impact on a number of Alaskans and                
 Alaskan businesses.  He continued by saying that during the hearing           
 on HB 182, there was no public testimony, except for that given by            
 the board.  He stated that the public clearly did not have their              
 Number 131                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT entertained a motion to adopt the CS for HB 46.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt CSHB 46(L&C).           
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the motion carried.  The F version dated February 17, 1995, was               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER joined the meeting at 3:20 p.m.                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Logan if during those meetings there had              
 been any discussion by the board, as to why this section had been             
 MR. LOGAN responded that at that time Randall Burns, Director of              
 the Division of Occupational Licensing, had given a very good                 
 presentation on the bill.  The reason they removed the exemption              
 was that they believed it was too broad.  The example given was               
 that of a bank that went to the division and said that they had an            
 engineer who was not a professional engineer (PE), but, that he was           
 going to design a building, and in essence, there was nothing the             
 board could do about it.  He said it was felt by the people who               
 testified that the exemption was too broad.                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if they further realized the consequences of              
 that exemption.                                                               
 MR. LOGAN responded that there was no discussion of that.                     
 Number 178                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON asked if the zero fiscal note would remain           
 the same.                                                                     
 MR. LOGAN answered that it would.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON queried whether Section 1 clarified that the             
 plans shall be signed by the registrant.  He asked if that was all            
 they were trying to accomplish.                                               
 MR. LOGAN stated that was correct.                                            
 Number 205                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the language in Section 1 would              
 clarify certain circumstances that had occurred in the Anchorage              
 jurisdiction in the previous year.                                            
 MR. LOGAN replied no.                                                         
 Number 225                                                                    
 indicated he is also a registered engineer in the state of Alaska             
 as well as the state of Washington.  He testified in favor of HB              
 46.  Mr. Rolstad stated that he was also the Chair of the Alaska              
 Telephone Association's Engineering and Planning Committee and was            
 testifying on behalf of the member companies.  He stated that in              
 the telephone business, engineers are required to follow                      
 specifications that have been established over the years.  These              
 specifications are used universally, keeping in mind public safety            
 and the requirements for maintenance and protection of the plant.             
 He did not believe that this should require a PE to stamp the                 
 specifications if the individual worked for the company.  He stated           
 that the company takes responsibility for any plants they put in              
 the field.  He said if there was a problem that occurred regarding            
 public safety, there is an avenue for redress, both financial as              
 well as administrative.  He stated that they had tried to work                
 through the regulations last year to make this issue less onerous.            
 He stated that this exemption is in the public interest.                      
 Number 345                                                                    
 JIM ROWE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Alaska Telephone Association (ATA),             
 testified in support of HB 46.  He said that it allows the local              
 exchange carriers to build telephone infrastructure.  It allows               
 them to have access to a service and does not burden them with an             
 extra cost of paying for a service that has no use to them, such as           
 the sealing of documents.  He stated that at least 36 states                  
 totally exempt utility engineers from the requirements of                     
 licensure.  He commented that by restricting the number of people             
 entering the profession, licensure can result in increased cost to            
 consumers and a shortage of licensed professional services in                 
 certain geographic areas, such as Alaska.                                     
 Number 393                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the ATA supported the extension of the                 
 Alaska Public Utilities Commission (APUC).                                    
 MR. ROWE stated that the ATA does advocate the reauthorization of             
 a regulatory body.                                                            
 CHAIRMAN KOTT inquired if the APUC were not extended, what                    
 protection would the consumer have.                                           
 MR. ROWE responded that the administrative code would offer that              
 protection, regardless of the APUC.                                           
 Number 409                                                                    
 NANCY SCHOEPHOESTER, ARCO ALASKA, testified in support of CSHB 46.            
 She stated that the Occupational Licensing Program offers                     
 parameters for testing the requirements of those people qualified             
 to serve in the public sector and hold the seal for registered                
 documents.  She commented that they support Section 1 of the bill             
 because it clarifies ambiguous language with respect to the use of            
 the seal.  She said that in Section 2, they would prefer language             
 that would state a person may not declare he/she is a registered              
 engineer unless he/she is, in fact, a registered engineer.  Ms.               
 Schoephoester continued that 36 other states have an in house                 
 exemption.  She pointed out that there are parties from both sides            
 of this issue that want to sit down and look at some compromise               
 language.  She said that ARCO supports and encourages this.                   
 Number 430                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA asked how this legislation would affect            
 MS. SCHOEPHOESTER replied that ARCO currently employees a number of           
 in-house engineers; some of these engineers are registered, some              
 are not.  She explained that without the exemption, they would be             
 required to have registered engineers seal final drawings and final           
 specifications, which with an in-house exemption could by-pass                
 registered engineer. She reiterated that this is strictly in-house            
 work.  She stated that a number of state and federal agencies                 
 regulate their work, and in those cases where a seal is required by           
 a registered engineer, they comply.                                           
 Number 450                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the North Slope Borough had any              
 type of building codes, or did the state building codes affect the            
 operation of ARCO in the outlying areas.                                      
 MS. SCHOEPHOESTER replied yes, but she would have to check on that            
 for certain.                                                                  
 administrative implementation of this bill is not difficult.  She             
 anticipated the CS would be a zero fiscal note.  She stated that              
 the department has a neutral position on the legislation at this              
 time;  however, the Board of Occupational Engineers and Land                  
 Surveyors is in opposition.  She said that her concern was that               
 the oil industry may use highly qualified employees for their                 
 design work and have state and federal agencies oversee their                 
 design work, but there are other businesses or individuals who                
 choose to construct structures, using their own employees, without            
 any engineering or design background in areas without building                
 codes.  Therefore, she said that it was possible that structures              
 might go up that can't with-stand snow loads or earthquakes.  She             
 concluded that it was her hope that the committee could come up               
 with a way to protect health and safety while not obstructing                 
 industries that are already adequately regulated.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON inquired if there had been public safety                 
 problems before this exemption was removed.                                   
 MS. REARDON responded that she did not have any facts on that                 
 Number 503                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the board did or did not oppose              
 this legislation.                                                             
 MS. REARDON answered that they do oppose it.                                  
 CHAIRMAN KOTT commented that the board's position was to retain the           
 use of the term registered in reference to architects, engineers,             
 and land surveyors.  He asked if she knew the rationale behind                
 MS. REARDON stated that they had taken the position on the original           
 HB 46, when it was a more limited issue.  Their letter to her                 
 stated that their position was to retain the use of the word                  
 "registered" in reference to architects, engineers and land                   
 surveyors in Section 2.  She felt their concern was that within the           
 same firms, there were people who were not registered engineers,              
 and perhaps it was overly restrictive to limit the term architect             
 or engineer only to themselves.                                               
 Number 532                                                                    
 PAULA ELLER, YUKON TELEPHONE, testified via teleconference that she           
 supported HB 46.  She stated that they were an electric, telephone            
 and cable T.V. company in business since 1960.  She stated that               
 they had never had any problems and didn't think they needed a PE             
 to stamp their records.  She stated that customers rates are higher           
 because of the area they serve and asked the committee to take that           
 into consideration.                                                           
 TELEPHONE UTILITIES (ATU), testified via teleconference in support            
 of HB 46.  He stated they had been trying for several months to               
 find a PE outside the plant supervisor to no avail.  He stated that           
 they use their joint use agreements and build their plant in                  
 accordance with various specifications.  He referenced the Alaska             
 Administrative Code, under the APUC AAC 52.260, and said that ATU             
 does comply with specifications under the Bell System Standards,              
 OSHA and the National Electric Safety Code.  He stated that all of            
 their engineers are trained in these practices and refer to them              
 when designing jobs.                                                          
 Number 570                                                                    
 ENGINEERS, testified via teleconference that he has been a                    
 registered professional engineer since 1972, and has been on the              
 Architects, Land Surveyors and Engineers Board (ALSE) since 1991.             
 In referring to Section 1, he stated that the original language               
 required final documents covered by AS 08.48 to be sealed and                 
 signed by a registered architect, engineer and/or land surveyor.              
 The proposed language does not restrict an unlicensed person from             
 issuing final drawings, specifications and surveys.  In Section 3,            
 he said the new paragraph would enable entities, whether they be              
 developers, builders contractors, or hotels, to employ anyone they            
 want to design structures as long as they are not offering                    
 engineering services to the public.  He explained that national               
 hotel chains could retain an in-house designer to design a hotel              
 and the law wouldn't, under the proposed language, be required to             
 be registered, yet the public would be using that facility.  He               
 said that ALSE Board has supported some exemptions for electrical             
 utilities and realizes the need to do the same for telephone and              
 cable T.V.  He said that he believed the ALSE Board should be                 
 charged with defining and implementing appropriate exemptions via             
 the regulatory process.  He finished by saying that this would                
 relieve the legislature from having to address technical issues of            
 relative risks to the public.  He feels that section two of the               
 original bill was overly restrictive and confusing to the public.             
 TAPE 95-16, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MR. TAURIAINEN continued that people needing a registered engineer            
 will be less confused if that term is used instead of the generic             
 term engineer.                                                                
 Number 020                                                                    
 ALAN SEE, ALASKA POWER AND TELEPHONE COMPANY, testified via                   
 teleconference in support of HB 46.  He stated that the telephone             
 utilities follow many standards and are fully regulated by the                
 APUC.  They feel that additional regulations are not necessary.               
 Number 040                                                                    
 DAN GORDON, TEL ALASKA, INCORPORATED, testified via teleconference            
 in support of HB 46.  He stated that they didn't want the added               
 cost of the construction being passed on to the consumers, and                
 construction would require time with the limited number of PE                 
 within the state.  He stated that they are certified and deemed fit           
 and able.                                                                     
 Number 061                                                                    
 RANDY NELSON, GTE ALASKA, INCORPORATED, testified via                         
 teleconference in support of HB 46.  He stated that they had a                
 commitment to the state of Alaska and their customers.  They have             
 millions of dollars invested in the state and it was not in their             
 interest to build substandard plants.                                         
 Number 088                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if there was any organization that              
 oversees the quality of the workmanship that his people produce.              
 MR. NELSON responded that to his knowledge, there was not a                   
 specific agency;  however, they do have requirements through the              
 permitting process with the Department of Transportation.  This               
 would also fall under the federal regulations and they also have              
 the National Electric Safety Code Standards.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG inquired if Mr. Nelson felt any necessity             
 for further review.                                                           
 MR. NELSON stated that they had adequate internal review.                     
 Number 121                                                                    
 INCORPORATED, speaking on behalf the Alaska Producers Council,                
 testified via teleconference in support of HB 46.  He stated that             
 it is standard industry practice to not have a PE status for mine             
 design or mine planning documents.  He said that he didn't see any            
 problem existing within the mining industry regarding certification           
 of engineers, and felt that a requirement of that sort would only             
 add additional complexity and cost.                                           
 Number 142                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG inquired if there was any oversight that              
 provides a check on the work done in-house by mining companies.               
 MR. CRAFFORD responded that the mining industry is very thoroughly            
 regulated.  There are periodic examinations of underground mines by           
 the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).  Surface mining           
 falls under the same types of inspections.                                    
 Number 165                                                                    
 BYRON HAYNES, REGISTERED ENGINEER, testified via teleconference in            
 support of HB 46.  He said he is a registered engineer in the                 
 states of Alaska and Texas.  MR. HAYNES stated that he works for              
 British Petroleum, and in his company there are both registered and           
 non-registered engineers.  He said that, while BP is endeavoring to           
 stay in compliance with the Alaska registration engineering                   
 statutes, their ability to move engineers to Alaska where their               
 expertise is of the greatest value, has been significantly hampered           
 by the loss of the in-house exemption for registered engineers.  He           
 concluded that this restriction on the ability of companies to best           
 utilize their people resources and brain power is not good for                
 Number 223                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what the status was of the uniform              
 building code (UBC) in the unincorporated areas that don't have               
 jurisdiction or building code enforcement.                                    
 MR. HAYNES said that he wasn't aware of any.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the non-registered engineers                 
 working for BP are under direct supervision of the registered                 
 MR. HAYNES  replied yes, they are under supervision by the                    
 registered engineers.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the exemption would give them                
 greater flexibility.                                                          
 ME. HAYNES stated that the flexibility exists with bringing new               
 people in all the time.  They have to be mindful of the backgrounds           
 of the people being brought into the state.                                   
 Number 263                                                                    
 testified via teleconference in support of HB 46.  He stated that             
 if sealing the documents by a professional engineer would enhance             
 the quality of services they provide or enhance safety to their               
 employees and the general public, he would support that, but the              
 only thing this process accomplishes was an added expense.                    
 number 281                                                                    
 teleconference in opposition to HB 46 in its entirety.  He stated             
 Section 3 should be narrowed.  He gave an example of a Burger King,           
 in Fort Wainwright, designed by engineers in Texas that did not               
 have a vapor barrier or heating system in the restrooms.  He stated           
 that there was already an exemption, in the bill, for modifying               
 buildings where public safety is not at risk.  He stated that the             
 telecommunications industry does not involve public safety, and it            
 would be fairly simple for the board to exempt most of their work.            
 He said in the case of the oil industry, they don't have a problem            
 with exempting down hole reservoir engineering that does not affect           
 the public safety.  However, buildings and pipelines that already             
 require registrations should remain that way.  He stated that there           
 was no requirements of the oil companies that every engineer be               
 licensed, the person in charge has to be licensed.  He said that              
 the state of Alaska did not have any building codes outside of                
 Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT closed public testimony on HB 46.                         
 Number 373                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Representative Green to go over                 
 Section 2 again.                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that Section 2 takes out the word                 
 "registered" at the request of the professional engineering group.            
 He stated that the concept is to make it more restrictive rather              
 than less restrictive.  If this legislation were to pass, you could           
 not profess to be an engineer for public hire, unless you were                
 licensed.  The way it currently is, all you'd have to do is leave             
 that term off of your application to the public, and you would not            
 be violating the law.                                                         
 Number 447                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that he was concerned that they                
 didn't hear from any land surveyors or architects.  He questioned             
 why they were changing this if everyone under the exemption was               
 okay as it currently stands.                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated Section 2 covers those areas exempted             
 and those areas not exempted.  It must address both areas.  He said           
 that dropping the word registered would not allow people to do                
 something that they otherwise aren't allowed to do.  It's just the            
 reverse.  He concluded that it was closing a loophole, not opening            
 Number 483                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made an observation that companies that would           
 generally build faulty projects would usually need to get financing           
 for their projects.  He stated that they are not going to get                 
 financing with faulty designs.                                                
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added that it was essentially the employer who would            
 be liable if there was faulty work done, and they wouldn't                    
 generally accept that.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if it was the intent of the committee             
 to hold this bill over until the next committee meeting.                      
 CHAIRMAN KOTT replied that Representative Green was going to do               
 further work to smooth the edges.                                             
 There being no further business to come before the House Labor and            
 Commerce Standing Committee, Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at           
 4:30 p.m.                                                                     

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