Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/17/1995 03:15 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
           HOUSE LABOR & COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                           
                         March 17, 1995                                        
                           3:15 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Pete Kott, Chairman                                            
 Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman                                 
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 Representative Gene Kubina                                                    
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Beverly Masek                                                  
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
                                                                               
 OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                   
                                                                               
 Representative Gail Phillips                                                  
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 Confirmation Hearing:  Paige Hodson to the Board of Certified Real            
                        Estate Appraisers                                      
                                                                               
 SB 78 am:  "An Act related to the authority of certain beverage               
            dispensary licensees to stock alcoholic beverages in               
            guest rooms and prohibiting certain room rentals for the           
            purpose of providing alcoholic beverages to a person               
            under 21 years of age."                                            
                                                                               
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 * HB 233:  "An Act extending until 1999 the termination date of the           
            Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners, Board of                  
            Marital and Family Therapy, State Medical Board, Board             
            of Nursing, Board of Nursing Home Administrators, Board            
            of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners,             
            Real Estate Commission, and Hazardous Substance Spill              
            Technology Review Council; extending until 1996 the                
            termination date of the Board of Marine Pilots and the             
            Correctional Industries Commission; and providing for an           
            effective date."                                                   
                                                                               
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 * HB 236:  "An Act relating to reductions in compensation for state           
            officers and employees; and providing for an effective             
            date."                                                             
                                                                               
            HEARD AND HELD                                                     
                                                                               
 (* First Public Hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 PAIGE HODSON                                                                  
 821 "N" Street, Suite 105                                                     
 Anchorage, AK 99501                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 274-8258                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding her confirmation            
                      to the Board of Certified Real Estate                    
                      Appraisers                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR BERT SHARP                                                            
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 514                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3004                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor of SB 78                                   
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director                                                   
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce & Economic Development                                 
 P.O. Box 110806                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0806                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2538                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 233                                      
                                                                               
 WALLY ROMER, Manager                                                          
 Alaska Correctional Industries                                                
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 P.O. Box 112000                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-2000                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3309                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 233                                      
                                                                               
 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant                                              
  to the Commissioner                                                          
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 240 Main Street, Suite 700                                                    
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone (907) 465-4640                                                      
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 233                                      
                                                                               
 RACHAEL YATES                                                                 
 Alaska Association of Marriage                                                
   and Family Therapists                                                       
 200 West 34th, Number 508                                                     
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 562-3081                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 233                             
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HANLEY                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 507                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4939                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor of HB 236                                  
                                                                               
 ALISON ELGEE, Deputy Commissioner                                             
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110200                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0200                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-5668                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 236                             
                                                                               
 ART SNOWDEN, Administrative Director                                          
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, AK 99501                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 463-4770                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 ALLEN ODELL                                                                   
 P.O. Box 160                                                                  
 Copper Center, AK 99573                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 892-3341                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 RICHARD SEWARD                                                                
 Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA)                                     
 American Federation of State County and                                       
   Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 52                                       
 315 Barnette, Suite 104                                                       
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 452-2300                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 DEBRA CHRISTIANSEN                                                            
 751 Old Richardson Highway, 300                                               
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 451-2650                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 BRUCE LUDWIG, Business Manager                                                
 Alaska Public Employees Association                                           
 Alaska Federation of Teachers                                                 
 211 4th Street Suite 306                                                      
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 586-2334                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 DON ETHERIDGE, Business Representative                                        
 Local 71                                                                      
 710 West 9th Street                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 586-6993                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 GINA SAMUELS                                                                  
 P.O. Box 3367                                                                 
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
 Telephone:  (907) 283-6174                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 ELAINA SPRAKER                                                                
 P.O. Box 2534                                                                 
 Soldotna, Ak 99669                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 262-9592                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 PAT MOSS                                                                      
 P.O. Box 61155                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99706                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 479-3249                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 FATE PUTNAM, Lobbyist                                                         
 Alaska State Employees Association                                            
 AFL-CIO                                                                       
 American Federation of State County and                                       
   Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 52                                       
 Legislative Lobbyist                                                          
 641 Willoughby, Suite 100                                                     
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 586-5657                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 236                                 
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 78                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: ALCOHOL SALES IN HOTEL ROOMS                                     
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) SHARP, Ellis, Zharoff, Taylor, Pearce;                 
 REPRESENTATIVE(S) Ogan                                                        
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 02/08/95       207    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/08/95       207    (S)   L&C, FIN                                          
 02/14/95              (S)   L&C AT 01:30 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 02/14/95              (S)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/15/95       287    (S)   L&C RPT  1DP 3NR                                  
 02/15/95       287    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV #1)                         
 02/28/95       425    (S)   FIN REFERRAL WAIVED                               
 03/02/95              (S)   RLS AT 11:25 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203               
 03/02/95              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 03/03/95       470    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  3/6/95                         
 03/06/95       501    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 03/06/95       501    (S)   ADVANCE TO 3RD READING MOTION WITHDRAWN           
 03/06/95       501    (S)   THIRD READING 3/7 CALENDAR                        
 03/07/95       522    (S)   RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 1  UNAN CONSENT           
 03/07/95       523    (S)   AM NO  1     ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                 
 03/07/95       523    (S)   AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING                    
 03/07/95       523    (S)   PASSED Y13 N5  E2     SB 78 AM                    
 03/07/95       523    (S)   ADAMS  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                  
 03/08/95       542    (S)   RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                      
 03/08/95       544    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 03/09/95       671    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/09/95       671    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE                                  
 03/17/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 233                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: EXTENSION OF MISC BOARDS & COMMISSIONS                           
 SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 03/06/95       590    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/06/95       590    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE                         
 03/17/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 236                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: REDUCTION IN STATE EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION                         
 SPONSOR(S): FINANCE                                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 03/06/95       597    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/06/95       597    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE                         
 03/17/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-19, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House Labor & Commerce Standing Committee meeting was called to           
 order by Chairman Pete Kott at 3:15 p.m.  Members present at the              
 call to order were Representatives Kott, Sanders and Kubina.                  
 Members absent were Representatives Rokeberg, Elton, Masek and                
 Porter.  Representative Rokeberg arrived at 3:20 p.m.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT stated the committee wouldn't have a quorum                
 until the next member arrived.  He said that the first order of               
 business would be the confirmation hearing for Paige Hodson.                  
                                                                               
 Number 031                                                                    
                                                                               
 PAIGE HODSON, testified via teleconference, regarding her                     
 confirmation.  She informed the committee she was a lifelong                  
 resident of Alaska.  She had been a residential real estate                   
 appraiser since 1982.  She said she holds the senior residential              
 appraiser (SRA) designation with the Appraisal Institute and serves           
 on various boards and commissions.  Ms. Hodson explained she has a            
 degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on real estate.            
 Her goals are to maintain the highest level of quality of work; to            
 keep active in the community as it relates to real estate                     
 appraisal; and to maintain a high level of education during that              
 process.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 057                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to her resume' and asked what was meant when           
 she listed "qualified as an expert witness in appraising in various           
 levels of the State of Alaska Court System".                                  
                                                                               
 MS. HODSON responded that the major call was to give testimony in             
 dealing with divorces.                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if she had done any appraisals on the new court           
 building.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MS. HODSON stated that she was strictly a residential appraiser.              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT thanked Ms. Hodson for her testimony on behalf of the           
 committee.  For the record, he stated that Representative Rokeberg            
 had joined the meeting at 3:20 and that they now had a quorum.                
 SB 78 AM - ALCOHOL SALES IN HOTEL ROOMS                                     
                                                                               
 The next order of business was SB 78 am.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR BERT SHARP, ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE, PRIME SPONSOR, stated           
 that tourists, especially European and Japanese travelers, feel               
 that this is an amenity that they want in hotel rooms.  This bill             
 seeks to authorize the Alaska Beverage Control (ABC) Board to allow           
 beverage dispensary license holders the right to allow self serve             
 liquor sales in hotel and motel rooms.  He said that the current              
 plan is to allow alcoholic beverages to be stocked in lockable                
 refrigerators placed in the rooms.  Once the hotel or motel staff             
 has determined the registered guest to be at least 21 years of age,           
 a key to the locked unit can be obtained along with the room key.             
 He stated that the bill has been introduced at the urging of many             
 hotel and motel operators, as well as the Alaska Hotel and Motel              
 Association, the Alaska Cabaret Hotel Restaurant and Retailers                
 Association, and others.  He pointed out that the Seventeenth                 
 Alaska Legislature had passed SB 183, which was an identical bill,            
 but that Governor Hickel had vetoed it.  He stated there is a zero            
 fiscal note and that the director of the ABC Board, Pat Sharrock,             
 had furnished a letter stating, "because the bill retains the                 
 provision that the board must authorize stocking of alcohol                   
 beverages in hotel rooms and the board may provide for permit for             
 stocking by regulation, the board does not object to the proposed             
 amendment to the current statutes which this bill encompasses."  He           
 read a portion of a letter from Frank Rose of North American Asset            
 Management which stated, "I believe that it's important legislation           
 for the hospitality business.  It allows a service to be provided             
 that many facilities outside Alaska provide to vacation and                   
 business travelers.  In fact, it has become an expected amenity.              
 The new mini bar systems have a number of features that allow for             
 control, such as the time of use, automatic inventory, special key            
 systems, et cetera.  Additionally, statistics show that the primary           
 use of the mini bar is for dispensing snacks and non-alcoholic                
 beverages, but the alcoholic beverage sales are important because             
 they make the system profitable."                                             
                                                                               
 Number 175                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out the differences between SB 78 and HB 162.           
 He said that SB 78 contains the requirement that the person                   
 stocking the alcoholic beverages be at least 21 years of age and              
 can only take place during certain hours.  He stated that it also             
 contains provision that the key cannot be removable from the unit's           
 lock unless the unit is in fact locked.  SB 78 further makes the              
 provision for the ABC Board to issue permits for the dispensary               
 service, and by regulation, set the fee for the administrative                
 cost.  He stated that it deletes the provisions of minimum rooms.             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the refrigerated unit, using a key or                  
 combination lock system within the guest room, is included in those           
 systems that are electronically controlled by the front desk.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP responded that was correct.                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG made a motion to move SB 78 am, out            
 of the House Labor and Commerce Committee, with individual                    
 recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the motion passed.                                                            
 HB 233 - EXTENSION OF MISC BOARDS & COMMISSIONS                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that the next bill before them is HB 233,                
 sponsored by the House Labor and Commerce Committee.  He continued            
 the bill extends a number of boards and commissions which are                 
 either sunsetting or in their wind down year.  The affected boards            
 and commissions perform regulatory and licensure services.  He                
 stated they are all essential, necessary and in the best interest             
 of the state.  He referred to the proposed committee substitute               
 (CS), Lauterbach, Version M, dated 3-16-95, and said sections                 
 eight, nine and ten have been added.  Those are the Real Estate               
 Commission, the Special Education Service Agency, and the Board of            
 Storage Tank Assistance.  He said these were overlooked.  He                  
 indicated they did have a report by the Legislative Budget and                
 Audit Committee that recommends their extensions.                             
                                                                               
 Number 262                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA stated that he was interested in Section           
 12, and asked if this was the correctional industries sunset date.            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if he was referring to the original bill or the           
 proposed CS.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA responded he was referring to Section 12 of             
 the proposed CS.  He explained he had been asked by live stock                
 producers in his district if that date could be extended until                
 1999.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that they first would need to adopt the                  
 proposed CS.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to adopt the CS.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the CS for HB 233 was adopted.  In response to Representative                 
 Kubina's question, Chairman Kott stated that they had extended the            
 Correctional Industries Commission for an additional year based               
 upon comments made by the commissioner regarding the supplemental             
 budget.  He said there was some discussion that the whole program             
 is in jeopardy and may just be deleted.  He said that rather than             
 extending the date four years, and then finding out that they don't           
 have a program, they opted to go with one year.  Chairman Kott said           
 that if something happens between now and the time this bill passes           
 the Senate, it can be amended.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA commented that he wouldn't offer an amendment           
 at this time but would like to work with the Chairman.  In case               
 things change, they could amend the bill on the floor.                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated there is a meeting scheduled with the                    
 correctional industry in hopes that they can resolve some of the              
 financial problems.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG agreed with Representative Kubina in                  
 wanting to work something out before the bill got to the floor.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT offered two conceptual amendments.  The first, was on           
 page 2, line 1 of the CS, dealing with Board of Marine Pilots, to             
 conform with the transportation bill that extends them until 1999.            
 The amendment would extend the Board of Marine Pilots until 1999.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to delete line 1.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that it would be line 1, change "1996" to                
 "1999".  The change would reflect the same bill that is being                 
 sponsored by Representative Gary Davis.  The second change would              
 delete line 9 and 10 on page 2, that deals with Section 6.  He                
 stated that this particular area would now be within the Department           
 of Administration.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if they were addressing the amendments            
 separately or as one.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT preferred that they address them separately.                    
 He stated that amendment one had already been adopted, that being             
 the change of 1996 to 1999.  He stated this amendment would be                
 conceptual amendment two, deleting section six.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 2.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added that along with the two amendments, the title             
 would have to be amended and requested that a comma be placed after           
 "Real Estate Commission."                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 370                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked why some boards are extended to the               
 year 2004, and some are to 1999.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 372                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that in the Legislative budget and audit              
 reports, most of these boards have gone to a ten year provision.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the section numbers needed to be             
 conformed.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that they would change the section numbers            
 accordingly.  He explained the three changes as adding three areas:           
 deleting the Board of Nursing Home Administrators, making a                   
 grammatical change, and extending Marine Pilots to 1999.  He                  
 continued Amendment 2 had been adopted and that they still had                
 Amendment 3.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 3.                   
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the motion passed.  He stated that they now had the CSHB 233(L&C)             
 with accompanying fiscal notes before the committee.  He asked if             
 there was anyone wishing to testify.                                          
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING,              
 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, explained that               
 eight of these entities were within the Division of Occupational              
 Licensing.  She commented that the Department of Commerce, Division           
 of Occupational Licensing, would be administering the program of              
 Nursing Home Administrators.  She mentioned that the Big Game                 
 Commercial Services Board was also in it's wind down year and is              
 not mentioned in this bill.  It is included in HB 102, which does             
 extend that board.  She said that there is a positive fiscal note;            
 however, it does not indicate any increase over the current                   
 operating budget.  She explained with sunset legislation, they are            
 required to reflect the entire cost of administering these boards,            
 rather than reflecting that it is a zero fiscal note.  She also               
 stated that the Division of Legislative Audit has recommended                 
 continuing all of these boards for either eight or ten years,                 
 rather that the four year period.  They see this as being more                
 efficient.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 436                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked why it would cost $260,000  for                 
 personnel services for the State Medical Board.                               
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON stated that they have an executive secretary in                   
 statute, which is more or less an Executive Director along with two           
 other staffers assigned to them.  She stated that her division                
 operates off of a self sufficiency mandate, which means that the              
 fees charged to licensees must cover 100 percent of the cost of               
 licensing and disciplining that particular profession.  In order to           
 do this, each employee writes down how much time they spend on a              
 particular profession for every two week pay period, and accounts             
 for all phone calls, which must be attributed to one profession or            
 another.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 453                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that they tried to come up with a composite              
 list which covered all boards and commissions that needed to be               
 covered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 WALLY ROMAN, MANAGER, ALASKA CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES, DEPARTMENT OF           
 CORRECTIONS, stated that he was there to answer any questions.                
                                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT  commented he had seen information which suggested              
 that they may be at a point where they have to discontinue the                
 Correctional Industries Program.  He asked Mr. Roman if he had any            
 information.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN stated that he had no information.                                  
                                                                               
 JERRY SHRINER, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF           
 CORRECTIONS, stated that the budget issues are for the supplemental           
 budget, not FY 96.  The department is comfortable that they have              
 sufficient money in the supplemental budget, and they will be able            
 to continue to operate correctional industries, statewide, as long            
 as they receive the funding as it now stands.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 490                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if it was the department's desire to              
 leave the date at 1996, or raise it to 1999.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 500                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. SHRINER responded that the department considers correctional              
 industries an integral part of the efforts of reformation and                 
 population management.  From the Corrections stand point, it is               
 first a program of rehabilitation and vocational training.  In the            
 effort to do that, they interject themselves into the private                 
 community.  He said they work with Mt. McKinley Meats, they provide           
 a vital service to various farmers from Delta to the Mat-Su Valley.           
 He stated they have public/private efforts with a casket company              
 out of Spring Creek, and also with a laundry service here in                  
 Juneau.  He stated private businessmen need to be able to plan                
 longer than June 30, of one year to June 30, of another.  He said             
 they would like to not have the sunset date at all, or have it                
 considerably longer than the one year, not only for planning                  
 internally, but also because its difficult dealing with the private           
 sector when they aren't sure that the correctional industries can             
 follow through from one year to the next.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 523                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that Mt. McKinley Meats slaughters, cuts and              
 packages.  He said that the slaughtering is not competing with the            
 private sector.  However, the cutting and packaging processes are             
 by one third or one half.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 532                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN stated in FY92 and FY93 when there was concern among the            
 red meat industry that Mt. McKinley Meats might go out of business.           
 They have held several public hearings and, from the testimony, the           
 ranchers in the valley clearly stated that Mt. McKinley Meats                 
 should continue its operations.  The commission at the time                   
 appointed a private sector committee to look into the problem.                
 That committee recommended that the correctional industries enter             
 into the custom cut and wrap operation.  The commission voted to              
 enter into this.  He said their pricing is on the low end of the              
 scale.  On March 31, they will be meeting with the Correctional               
 Industries Commission and the private sector to determine what                
 process they should establish.  He explained the correctional                 
 industries is caught in the middle.  One side of the private sector           
 wishes them to lower their prices because they provide a service to           
 the public, and the other side of the private sector is in that               
 business and they don't want them to fall below the market price.             
 He stated that they need to clarify how they arrive at these prices           
 and it should be reviewed regularly by the commission.  This will             
 all be discussed at the March 31st, meeting along with a survey by            
 the Division of Agriculture and Correctional Industries of how                
 their prices fall in with the rest of the state.                              
                                                                               
 Number 562                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT made the observation that people will always want to            
 pay a lower price for services but that this isn't always feasible.           
                                                                               
 Number 575                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he was under the impression, after                 
 attending an agricultural symposium, that they had in fact raised             
 their prices, and are now five percent above the average.                     
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN responded that this was one of the strategies that they             
 had put forth.  They should be five percent above the private                 
 sector, giving the private sector the edge.  It was then determined           
 that perhaps this would be too high.  He said several scenarios               
 will be brought forth on March 31, and that the prices should be              
 higher than what they are now.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA concurred they shouldn't be undercutting                
 private businesses.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 601                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added if similar prices were charged, there is still            
 an advantage of taking your products to Mt. McKinley Meats, because           
 they are the only ones who do the slaughtering.                               
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN stated there is some benefit at having everything done at           
 Mt. McKinley.  What they have offered to do is truck to private               
 sector companies, providing them the option of having it done at              
 Mt. McKinley Meats or another private sector processor.                       
                                                                               
 Number 601                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what they pay the inmates.                                
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN answered that $1.25 per hour is the top wage.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT added a butcher in Anchorage receives approximately             
 $15 per hour.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. ROMAN pointed out most of the people that come through Mt.                
 McKinley Meats are learning the profession.  Unfortunately, you get           
 what you pay for.                                                             
 Number 610                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA stated that AS 33.32 will be repealed July              
 1st, and they are changing 1995, to 1996.  He said it's not just              
 the commission they are talking about, and that the Chairman may be           
 right on the point of deleting the repeal dates.  He stated if you            
 don't fund them, they are not going to happen anyway.  He would               
 like to see this extended, but if there is controversy, they should           
 get more backup material.  He said it might be better to repeal the           
 whole repealer.                                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if that meant to not have a sunset date at all.           
 He supposed that you could make that an argument for all the boards           
 and commissions, that if you don't fund them, they're not going to            
 be there.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA interjected only this particular repealing              
 date is in the section several times.  They could leave it this way           
 for the commission itself, but for the law as having correctional             
 industries in that section, they are repealing it more than once.             
 It's not just the commission this is effecting.  He asked if they             
 should change the date to 1999.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that he would have no problem with that.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA moved to amend Section 7, AS 33.32 to July,             
 1999, rather than 1996.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 640                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that there was a motion to change Section 7,             
 line 28, from "1996" to "1999".  This would be conceptual amendment           
 4.                                                                            
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-19, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection to Amendment 4.                 
 Hearing none, it was so ordered.                                              
                                                                               
 RACHAEL YATES, ALASKA ASSOCIATION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY                      
 THERAPISTS, stated that she was here to answer any questions.                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the board does and how often they meet.              
                                                                               
 MS. YATES responded that the board licenses and looks over the                
 licensure regulations for marriage and family therapists in the               
 state.  They meet every quarter.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 041                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that the CSHB 233(L&C) as amended was before             
 the committee.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 052                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move the CSHB 233(L&C), as           
 amended, with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal              
 notes.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 060                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none, the             
 motion passed.                                                                
 HB 236 - REDUCTION IN STATE EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION                           
                                                                               
 Number 078                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative Hanley, prime sponsor of HB 236,           
 to come forward.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 078                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARK HANLEY, PRIME SPONSOR of HB 236, commented that there had been           
 a press conference three weeks ago on an overall five year                    
 financial plan.  They had discussed that there were three areas of            
 government that made up 75 percent of the spending.  Those include            
 education, health and social services, employee salaries and                  
 benefits.  He stated that overall employee salaries run about $700            
 million in general funds.  All three areas are growing at about               
 four percent per year.  The overall goal is to reduce spending $70            
 million below last year's budget.  He said without making                     
 reductions in those three areas, it would require incredible cuts             
 in the other 25 percent of the budget.  He stated it was not their            
 intent to balance the budget on the backs of state employees.                 
 There are major reductions in programs that will be affected                  
 throughout the budget, with people all over the state being                   
 affected.  There is the potential for graduated reduction in the              
 lower range salaries instead of the five percent across the board             
 reduction.  He said they are willing to look at areas that will not           
 utilize these particular tools, but the overall goal is to start              
 closing the gap on state spending.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY pointed out that the specifics of the                   
 existing bill is intended to be a five percent reduction for all              
 state employees including the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, who           
 were inadvertently left out.  He stated in the backup section of              
 the bill packets, there is information from the Department of                 
 Administration that gives statistics of relative levels of state              
 salaries compared to the private sector.  The average change in               
 salaries in 1980 to 1991, in the private sector, in comparison to             
 the inflation rate has lost 25 percent, whereas the state wages               
 have lost two percent.  He said that non-covered employees are paid           
 based on a salary schedule in statute, this bill makes a five                 
 percent reduction in those particular salaries.  For employees                
 covered under collective bargaining agreements, as their contracts            
 come up, this bill would require the Governor to negotiate a five             
 percent reduction in the value of those salaries and benefits.  The           
 reductions are required for all parties and are to exist for three            
 years.  Those who take the five percent reduction through the                 
 statutory chart change, at a particular date or those that have               
 their negotiations come up sooner, may take their reductions                  
 sooner, but they will last for three years.  The intent is that               
 everyone would take a five percent flat line and it would last for            
 three years, even though they're not implemented at the same time.            
 Whatever inequities exist, would exist throughout the process.                
 This does not attempt to equalize all of the contracts.                       
                                                                               
 Number 211                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if theoretically, you could have members within           
 the unions not taking any pay cuts.  For instance if the union had            
 just ratified a contract for three years, and a group of                      
 individuals within that group retired in two and a half years,                
 would they not take the cuts.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY replied that would be correct, there would be           
 no penalty for those individuals.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 220                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked why they were singling out this bill              
 before the special session in October.                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY asked if he was speaking of the Long Range              
 Planning Commission.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA responded yes.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY stated the point could be made that why                 
 should any reductions be made now, and the same point could be made           
 of why should we allow any increases.  He said their intent was to            
 put together a five year plan to try to make progress to that.  He            
 said if the commission comes back with some recommendations, they             
 will incorporate them into their plan.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 247                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked how they could implement the sliding            
 scale provisions.                                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY commented that people were interested in                
 achieving the same net result but of having less of a reduction on            
 the lower end of the scale.  He said the concept was reasonable but           
 would take some time to work through it.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 280                                                                    
                                                                               
 ALISON ELGEE, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION,              
 stated that non-covered employees for the state have not had any              
 kind of increase since 1991.  At the present time they are 3.6                
 percent below most of the bargaining unit salaries.  Under the                
 terms of several recently negotiated contracts with the                       
 legislature, another 2.5 percent would be added to that.  The                 
 compounded effect of this will be a 6.2 percent difference between            
 non-covered employees and those protected by collective bargaining.           
 She said the State Personnel Board recommended consideration of an            
 adjustment of this schedule to 6.2 percent looking not only at                
 equity with private sector employers, but also internal equity                
 among state employees.  She continued there are several contracts             
 currently under negotiation.  Section 10 takes much of the                    
 bargaining aspect out of collective bargaining.  Once parties reach           
 impasse, the unilateral implementation of changes to compensation             
 of members could not be done as this legislation envisions.  She              
 explained there are three classes of employees in the State.  Class           
 one employees are not permitted to strike, they include police and            
 fire employees, general prison and correctional employees, and                
 hospital employees.  State statute provides that those employees,             
 should they reach impasse, would go to mediation.  If that was not            
 successful, they would go to arbitration.  Class two employees                
 include public utilities, snow removal, and sanitation employees.             
 If they were to reach impasse, they go to mediation.  If mediation            
 is unsuccessful, they are able to strike.  Class three employees              
 are able to strike if impasse is reached.  Her concern in this                
 section is that there is no anticipation of strike resolution.  If            
 they are bound by an inability to negotiate compensation under any            
 conditions then the five percent reduction and the employees go to            
 strike.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 331                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Elgee to explain how she came up            
 with the 6.2 percent.                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. ELGEE stated that the last pay adjustment for non-covered                 
 employees was passed by the 1991 legislature.  Since that time,               
 employees covered by collective bargaining have received additional           
 increases.  The non-covered employees are 3.6 percent, below the              
 Alaska Public Employees Association (APEA) employees.  She said               
 many of the other smaller units that currently have contracts under           
 consideration by the legislature would include an additional 2.5              
 percent in conjunction with a 40 hour work week.  The compounding             
 effect of these two actions will make the non-covered employees, as           
 of July 1, 6.2 percent below the majority of union members.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the first integer was 3.6 percent            
 and if it had a compounding affect over the life of the average               
 contract.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MS. ELGEE replied that it was 3.6 percent with 2.5 percent on top             
 of the already adjusted base.  The accumulated effect being 6.2               
 percent.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that there were bills in both the House             
 and Senate that would close that gap.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 364                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if the Administration supports this               
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. ELGEE responded that they had not taken a position on the bill            
 yet.                                                                          
                                                                               
 number 368                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked her to comment on Section 10, as to whether or            
 not she could suggest any compromise language that could resolve              
 the no strike provision of the bill.                                          
                                                                               
 MS. ELGEE stated that she would talk to the labor relations analyst           
 to see if they have suggestions that might work.                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the Speaker of the House, Gail                   
 Phillips, had joined the meeting.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 379                                                                    
                                                                               
 ART SNOWDEN, ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA COURT SYSTEM, stated             
 that he had major problems with the substantive contents of this              
 legislation.  He pointed out the non-covered, including judicial              
 employees, have not had a raise in a much longer period than their            
 union counterparts.  He also stated that the 3.6 percent that the             
 Executive Branch talks about should be compounded back to when this           
 raise was given to the unions.  The non-unions have lost the use of           
 that money.  The State Personnel Board, has suggested the                     
 following:  While it appears that state employees are generally               
 adequately compensated, in most job classes the non-represented               
 employees have not received reasonable cost of living increases,              
 received by and offered to represented employees.  The State                  
 Personnel Act requires that the statutory pay plan reflect the                
 principal of like pay, for like work, (AS 39.25.150 2B).  He                  
 continued that the law further requires that the annual pay                   
 schedule be developed, taking into account the statistics and                 
 reasonable internal pay relationships.(AS 39.27.035).  This report            
 suggests that there is a 6.2 percent pay gap.  He stated that we              
 are violating statute right now, and he believes that they are                
 balancing the budget on the backs of the employees, mainly because            
 of the sponsor's statement that the unions would only take a                  
 reduction for the term of their contract.  He stated that when you            
 change the statute, it could be forever.  It doesn't say for three            
 years and then it sunsets.  He pointed out that 70 percent of the             
 court system employees are a range 15 or under.  These people are             
 on the edge of having to receive assistance.  He said that 200 of             
 his employees have already organized, and if this legislation                 
 passes, they'll be hanging out a sign that says "Union Shop."  He             
 said if they want fairness, take the union cuts first once they've            
 achieved those, then they can cut the general pay schedule.  He               
 said that they would then be even and they wouldn't have to cut the           
 general pay as much because unions are already in front of the                
 non-covered in regard to salaries.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. SNOWDEN passed out a document that would take the committee               
 through the judicial side of his testimony.  He disagreed with                
 Representative Hanley's remarks that the state employees had not              
 taken a big hit on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  He illustrated            
 that when you adjust for cost of living that, for example, a                  
 Supreme Court Judge in Atlanta, makes `X' amount and the CPI in               
 Atlanta is `X', a judge in Anchorage makes `Y' and the CPI in                 
 Anchorage is 'Y', based on this report, Alaska's Supreme Court                
 ranks 35th in the nation in pay.  On page 2, it shows the                     
 Intermediate Court of Appeals ranks thirty-third in the nation.               
 The general trial court is thirty-fourth.  He said that since 1975,           
 the Supreme Court judges have lost approximately $17,000 in                   
 purchasing power.  In 1989, the legislature had to provide the                
 judges approximately an $18,000 pay raise because the only                    
 applicants they were getting were out of the public sector;                   
 private sector attorneys wouldn't even apply.  He stated they need            
 to provide a range that attracts some of the most skilled attorneys           
 in the state to the bench.  With this reduction, our courts would             
 drop to forty-fifth in the nation, in salary.  He added judicial              
 employees work two and a half hours more, per week, than the                  
 Executive Branch;  they don't receive overtime until after 40                 
 hours.  They process over 140,000 cases, per year, and they didn't            
 receive the last pay raise.  He asked that the committee change               
 their priorities and demand that the unions negotiate these cuts              
 and, at that point in time, bring the non-covered employees into              
 parody with the unions.                                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked where the document came from.                             
                                                                               
 Number 468                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. SNOWDEN stated that they took from the National Center of State           
 Courts, their report on salaries of judges in all states, and the             
 report from census bureau on the CPI.  He said that they matched              
 these across the country and made the reductions accordingly.                 
                                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made the comment that it would be                     
 interesting to see these same graphs, along with the price of oil,            
 adjusted for inflation.  He said this might help everyone put                 
 things in prospective.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. SNOWDEN stated that since 1975, a range 24 wage has increased             
 by 165 percent, a range ten has increased by 177 percent, a                   
 superior court judge by 99 percent.  These are well behind the                
 other state employees.  In reference to Representative Hanley's               
 recommendation that they start at two percent for lower ranges,               
 graduated for the middle range, and more for the upper ranges, the            
 personnel studies show that the highest paid executives in the                
 state are well under paid.  The Commissioner of Health and Social             
 Services, running a $300 million organization, makes $78,000, he              
 said if there is a negative adjustment for the private sector, it's           
 in the middle.  Therefore, adjusting the salaries as suggested by             
 Representative Hanley, would further exacerbate this problem at the           
 top.  He understands the problems of the state.  However, if they             
 want to cut everybody, don't take the uncovered first this time.              
                                                                               
 Number 496                                                                    
                                                                               
 ALLEN ODELL, testifying via teleconference, said he is an operator            
 for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                    
 (DOT/PF).  He said that he is opposed to HB 236.  His major concern           
 was with them bypassing collective bargaining.  He asked if                   
 troopers and teachers would be included in the pay cuts.                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that yes, there is that provision.                    
                                                                               
 Number 509                                                                    
                                                                               
 RICHARD SEWARD, ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (ASEA) LOCAL 52,           
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES                   
 (AFSCME), said he is the chief spokes person for the General                  
 Government Unit (GGU) at the collective bargaining, currently                 
 taking place, testified via teleconference.  He agreed with the               
 Administration's concerns about the effect of HB 236 on collective            
 bargaining.  He feels that it takes the bargaining out of                     
 collective bargaining and is a detriment to the whole process.  He            
 said he is concerned about the numbers that have been thrown about.           
 The last collective bargaining agreement was January 1990, since              
 that time the CPI has increased by 19 percent.  Their wages have              
 increased by eight percent.  He said that this may be more than the           
 unchartered employees, but he encourages all uncovered employees to           
 "organize, organize, organize."                                               
                                                                               
 MR. SEWARD said that through various negotiations, proposals and              
 research he has done a great deal of comparisons with the private             
 sector.  He said that the numbers he uses are generated by the                
 Department of Labor.  He found that the average hourly wage,                  
 monthly wage and work week for members of the GGU remain in the               
 middle of the private sector.  In the mining and construction                 
 industries, we do much worse.  In the retail trades, we make a                
 better average wage.  He stated that in going from work site to               
 work site, as a business agent for the unions, he has come to                 
 believe the workers in the field are running a fat free operation.            
 He said that Alaska needs to decide what services are no longer               
 needed and, in that way, shrink the size of government.                       
                                                                               
 Number 540                                                                    
                                                                               
 DEBRA CHRISTIANSEN, testifying via teleconference, said she has               
 been employed with the state since 1986.  She said she is a Native            
 Alaskan, single mother of three and is currently a range 10                   
 grossing $526 per week.  She explained that six months ago her                
 children's father filed for a garnishment of her wages.  The state            
 finance office notified the courts that she did not make enough               
 money for a garnishment.  She said that if the legislature                    
 decreases her wages five percent over the next three years, her day           
 care and housing costs would still remain the same.  At that time,            
 it would behoove her to quit her job, obtain food stamps and any              
 other assistance that is out there.  She closed by stating that               
 "our elected officials profess to believe in the sanctity of the              
 Alaskan family.  But Alaskans are seeing with HB 236, is to the               
 contrary".                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT thanked Ms. Christianson for her testimony and                  
 commented that the bill sponsor had made comments on the                      
 possibility of graduating the percentages.  He stated that if this            
 bill did come to fruition, she would be affected very minimally.              
                                                                               
 MS. CHRISTIANSEN stated that any decrease in her salary would                 
 affect her children and she could not afford it, period.  The                 
 people that she works with can't afford it.  She said if you                  
 decrease her salary by even one percent, she wouldn't be able to              
 meet her living costs.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 565                                                                    
                                                                               
 BRUCE LUDWIG, BUSINESS MANAGER, ALASKA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES                       
 ASSOCIATION, ALASKA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS (AFT), testified against           
 HB 236. He said it is inconstant with both the collective                     
 bargaining and merit system.  Bargaining units are established on             
 the basis of a community of interest.  He said that each group is             
 unique, or it wouldn't be its own bargaining unit.  He said that we           
 all have different demands, and working conditions.  They deal with           
 these issues through the bargaining process.  To establish an                 
 across the board cut ignores this process.  He said that the state            
 has the responsibility to establish wages.  Many people think that            
 the unions go in and negotiate the wages, however, the Supreme                
 Court took this away from them several years ago.  He said the only           
 thing they negotiate is the salary schedule.  The state has the               
 right to put classes at different levels.  Depending on the                   
 statute, they may put a clerk typist at a range 6, 8, or 10.  He              
 said that he represents the supervisory unit employees (middle                
 management).  In the last ten years, they have received four                  
 increases.  In 1985, they received a 3.5 percent; in 1990, it was             
 3.3 percent; 1991 was 5 percent; and in 1992, they received a 3.6             
 percent increase.  He said that they had a 3.8 percent scheduled              
 for 1996, but voluntarily gave that up when the price of oil                  
 dropped.  He said hundreds of their members volunteered to a                  
 reduced work week and to leave without pay.  The raises that they             
 have received are 27.8 percent behind the Anchorage CPI since 1993,           
 taking into account the 6.6 percent increase that is before the               
 legislature at this time, negotiated during the Hickel                        
 Administration.  He said they have substantially cut their health             
 plan, holidays, travel and premium pays.                                      
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-20 SIDE A,                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. LUDWIG pointed out that everyone knows that the oil money is              
 tapering off and they aren't going to have the money they used to.            
 He suggests that the state figure out which programs they don't               
 want to operate, or let the employees within the Administration try           
 to mitigate and keep as many programs from going with a certain               
 amount of money to accomplish that.  He closed by saying taking               
 five percent from everyone is not a good idea.  They should bury              
 the bill, and "let it rest in peace."                                         
                                                                               
 Number 015                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Ludwig to summarize the second                        
 recommendation.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 020                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. LUDWIG stated that they are currently working with the                    
 Administration to create a labor management program with the                  
 different state unions.  Their goal is to identify ways of cutting            
 costs by giving workers a target figure.  For example, "Joe" is two           
 years away from retirement.  If we can find a way to have him                 
 retire early, that would save `X' amount of dollars.  "Mary" wants            
 to be a programmer.  If we can get her training, that would leave             
 her position vacant.  He said maybe there is no alternative but to            
 layoff.  However, the employees are the ones that do the work and             
 have the best ideas on how best to do it.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 144                                                                    
                                                                               
 DON ETHERIDGE, PUBLIC EMPLOYEES LOCAL 71, testified that Local 71             
 just finished negotiations with the Administration.  Both sides               
 feel the negotiations were fair, both sides had concessions in that           
 contract.  He said that it wouldn't be fair for this contract to              
 now be thrown out after spending so much time and effort on the               
 negotiations.  They are opposed to a five percent cut in any form.            
 He said in the contract, they voluntarily went to a 40 hour work              
 week with no wage increase.  They did this because they were tired            
 of public ridicule for not putting in a 40 hour work week.  He said           
 that the only thing they wanted with this was their hourly wage.              
 They were offered an increase, at the table, and declined.  He                
 stated that Local 71 has probably been the hardest hit in any of              
 the state bargaining units since the 1986 cuts.  The Buildings                
 Division in Juneau had 33 employees in the 1970s to take care of              
 all buildings in the Juneau area.  Today there are seven caring for           
 those same buildings.  He said that there was more maintenance                
 staff taking care of the Capitol Building, than there are taking              
 care of the rest of the state buildings in the area.  He said that            
 Local 71 has had no step increases, except for longevity, which is            
 three percent after seven years, another three percent after your             
 ninth year.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if the maintenance people in the                  
 Capitol building were all working for the legislature.                        
                                                                               
 MR. ETHERIDGE responded "yes," they work for Legislative Affairs.             
 However, when the Capitol Building was taken from the Division of             
 Buildings, they also took two employees and then gave the Division            
 of Buildings back maintenance of the third floor.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referred to the 40 hour work week, and asked if           
 they were compensated for the extra two and a half hours, and                 
 didn't take a wage increase beyond that.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. ETHERIDGE said that they will be paid the base rate for the               
 extra hours                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 144                                                                    
                                                                               
 GINA SAMUELS testified via teleconference that she is a 25 year               
 resident, and a 10 year state employee for the Department of                  
 Corrections at the Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai.  She                  
 disagrees with the five percent pay cut.  She said that 75 percent            
 of the state employees are under a range 15.  She herself is a                
 range 10 and can't afford a pay cut.  She said that there are other           
 ways money can be cut from the budget.  She said she cannot                   
 understand how the legislature can even consider cutting state                
 employees wages when the Eighteenth Legislative Council voted to              
 increase their per diem rate.  She asked how can it be fair to                
 raise per diem rates and then turn around and cut employees wages.            
 She noted that the sponsor of HB 236, along with Chairman Kott and            
 Speaker Phillips, were the people that voted for this increase.               
 She asked that they consider that the bulk of state workers do not            
 make big bucks.  The loss of this money is also a loss to the                 
 communities and local economies.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 192                                                                    
 ELAINA SPRAKER testified via teleconference against HB 236.  She              
 said that she is married to area biologist, Ted Spraker, who works            
 for the Department of Fish and Game.  She said it is obvious that             
 supporters of this bill are balancing the state budget on the backs           
 of the state employees.  She indicated she speaks on behalf of the            
 many of the Department of Fish and Game employees, in using her               
 husband and family as an example.  Her husband averages 60 hours              
 per week.  She said last week, three of the days he worked were 18            
 to 20 hours, per day, with no overtime pay.  Any compensation he              
 receives in his pay, which is called "hazardous pay," is a whopping           
 $2.11 per hour.  She enlightened the committee as to what hazardous           
 pay has included:  One plane crash, one helicopter crash, he fell             
 off the side of a mountain while taking goats, has been bitten by             
 wolves, kicked by moose and crawled into many bear dens, but the              
 most dangerous hazard that he endures is when people don't realize            
 the dedication that he has to his job.  She said that his                     
 colleagues with the same number of years in the department have               
 also endured these hazards as well and she has rarely heard them              
 complain.  Most the employees in the Soldotna Fish and Game Office            
 have not had a pay raise in ten years.  She stated that this gives            
 her heartburn.  With her husbands busy schedule, he is very hard to           
 reach.  Many people call their house figuring that since she lives            
 with him that she too works for the state.  She said that she has             
 personally donated hours and hours of public service to the                   
 department, and is glad to do it because she supports her husband,            
 the Department of Fish and Game and the state of Alaska.  If she is           
 willing to do this, the legislature should be willing to do so                
 also.  HB 236 is taking direct aim at destroying one of the highest           
 standards of resource management in the United States by cutting              
 wages and budgets from skilled and dedicated people.  The wildlife            
 scientist will soon become underpaid historians.  She pointed out             
 that most of the funding from the Department of Fish and Game comes           
 from permits and licensees.  The five percent cut would be very               
 unfair.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 236                                                                    
                                                                               
 PAT MOSS, testified via teleconference that she had been employed             
 with the state since 1989.  She is a 21 year Alaska resident.  She            
 said when she went to work for the state, she took a 50 percent pay           
 cut from her private sector job.  That job, due to automation, was            
 done away with.  She reiterated that low range employees would be             
 very much affected by this.  There hasn't been any cost of living             
 decrease.  She observed that in talking with many of her                      
 co-workers, they were willing to accept a wage freeze, but they are           
 not willing to take a reduction.  What concerns them is the                   
 continued addition of legislative mandates for more work, longer              
 hours with no additional pay and now this five percent decrease in            
 salary.  She said the Department of Labor, Unemployment and Job               
 Placement Division, has experienced a 33 percent staffing                     
 attrition.  Another office within the Department of Labor, has lost           
 more than 50 percent in the past two years, yet are asked to do the           
 same job.  She pointed out that the legislature had said they                 
 intended to reduce all government spending, yet the teachers just             
 negotiated a contract.  The way education handles decreases in                
 money is that they don't decrease salaries of teachers or                     
 administrators, they decrease programs.  She commented that the               
 University of Alaska, Fairbanks campus, is a mess.  The buildings             
 are dilapidated with paint peeling, water dripping and yet, they              
 build a huge new home for the chancellor.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 280                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT appreciated that state employees are doing more with            
 less.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 295                                                                    
                                                                               
 FATE PUTNAM, LOBBYIST, ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION,                    
 AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE AND COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL                
 EMPLOYEES LOCAL 52, reemphasized the previous testimony of members            
 of his union.  He stated that they are a 8,600 member bargaining              
 unit currently in the middle of bargaining contracts.  The                    
 Administration is doing a very good job negotiating that contract             
 to be in the best interest of the state of Alaska.  The offers put            
 across the table are evidence that the legislature is getting a               
 good bargaining position from the state.  He said that they haven't           
 had a pay raise since 1992, the cost of living has gone up, their             
 pay has stayed level.  The purchasing power of the dollar has been            
 reduced.  He said that they are not opposed to a pay freeze, but              
 most of these people are range 10 and below.  They qualify for                
 public assistance.  There are state employees that are on public              
 assistance.  If you ask them to take an additional five percent               
 cut, the number of people opting for welfare assistance will                  
 increase.  He stated that this isn't something they want to see               
 happen, and they go on record as opposed to a pay reduction.  He              
 said that it should be left to collective bargaining to allow them            
 to negotiate a reasonable salary for all state employees.                     
                                                                               
 Number 319                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS asked if the $526.50 received by the             
 lady who testified previously, if this was gross or net.                      
                                                                               
 MR. PUTNAM thought this would be her gross salary.  He said that              
 people on public assistance would have to make over $11 an hour to            
 make it reasonable to come off public assistance.  He said that               
 there are state employees making less than that.                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was anyone else wishing to testify on            
 HB 236.  Hearing none he stated that they would hold HB 236 over              
 until the next committee meeting.                                             
 There being no further business to come before the House Labor and            
 Commerce Committee, Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at 5:15               
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               

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