Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/22/1995 03:25 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE LABOR & COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE March 22, 1995 3:25 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Pete Kott, Chairman Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman Representative Kim Elton Representative Gene Kubina Representative Brian Porter Representative Beverly Masek Representative Jerry Sanders MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR Confirmation Hearing: Ray Smith to the Alaska Labor Relations Board HJR 23: Relating to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's inshore/offshore allocations and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 60: "An Act relating to impairment rating guides used in evaluation of certain workers' compensation claims." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 224: "An Act relating to the state plumbing code." HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER RAY SMITH, Business Representative; and Financial Secretary Painter's Union 4020 Dale Street, No. 1 Anchorage, AK 99517 Telephone: (907) 279-3556 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding his confirmation to the Alaska Labor Relations Board REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Building, Room 434 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2487 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor HJR 23 KIM METCALFE HELMAR, Special Assistant to the Commissioner Department of Community & Regional Affairs P.O. Box 112100 Juneau, AK 99811-2100 Telephone: (907) 465-2948 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 23 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Building, Room 503 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HJR 23 ELIZABETH ROBERTS, House Researcher to Representative Bettye Davis Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Building, Room 430 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 456-3875 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor of HB 60 PAUL GROSSI, Director, Division of Worker's Compensation Department of Labor P.O. Box 25512 Juneau, AK 99811-5512 Telephone: (907) 465-2797 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 60 REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 428 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2186 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor of HB 224 ROBERT MINCH Alaska Design Professional Council P.O. Box 20857 Juneau, AK 99802 Telephone: (907) 586-1321 POSITION STATEMENT; Testified in support of HB 224 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant to the Commissioner Department of Labor P.O. Box 21149 Juneau, AK 99802-1149 Telephone: (907) 465-2700 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 60 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Building, Room 102 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 224 MARK BLACKWELL 1210 O'Conner Road Fairbanks, AK 99709 Telephone: (907) 452-3293 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 224 DAN PORTWINE, Portwine Plumbing & Heating 1500 Alaska Way Fairbanks, AK 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-3046 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 MICHAEL HIRT, Owner, Comfort Mechanical P.O. Box 81863 Fairbanks, AK 99708 Telephone: (907) 479-3771 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 LEONARD KIMBALL, Building Official City of Kodiak P.O. Box 1397 Kodiak, AK 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-8070 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 JOHN BUTLER, Johns Heating P.O. Box 2610 Kodiak, AK 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-3706 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 TOM STREIFEL, Streifel Plumbing & Heating P.O. BOX 2070 Kodiak, AK 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-3794 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 LEE HOLMES 2710 Scarbrough Drive Anchorage, AK 99504 Telephone: (907) 333-5735 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 224 LEE DESPAIN P.O. Box 73246 Fairbanks, AK 99707 Telephone: (907) 479-4062 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 224 STEVE SHUTTLEWORTH, Building Official City of Fairbanks 2588 Riverview Drive Fairbanks, AK 997078 Telephone: (907) 479-4279 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 LARRY LONG, Plumbing Inspector City of Fairbanks 326 Baranof Street Fairbanks, AK 99701 Telephone: (907) 459-6724 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 BILL SAGER, President Chandler Plumbing & Heating 129 Minnie Street Fairbanks, AK 99701 Telephone: (907) 456-5282 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 224 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Building, Room 421 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4797 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 224 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 23 SHORT TITLE: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FISHING QUOTAS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN,Ivan,Foster,Finkelstein JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/25/95 129 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/25/95 129 (H) FSH, LABOR AND COMMERCE 01/30/95 180 (H) COSPONSOR(S): FINKELSTEIN 02/08/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/08/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/08/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/08/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/09/95 675 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) NEW TITLE 4DP 03/09/95 676 (H) DP: G.DAVIS, OGAN, ELTON, AUSTERMAN 03/09/95 676 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 03/22/95 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 60 SHORT TITLE: IMPAIRMENT RATING GUIDES FOR WORKERS COMP SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 36 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 36 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 36 (H) L&C, HES, FIN 03/22/95 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 224 SHORT TITLE: STATE PLUMBING CODE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOHRING,Green JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/03/95 564 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/03/95 564 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE 03/22/95 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-22, SIDE A Number 000 The House Labor & Commerce Committee meeting was called to order by Chairman Pete Kott at 3:25 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Kott, Kubina, Elton and Masek. Members absent were Representatives Sanders, Rokeberg and Porter. CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT stated there were three matters to come before the committee, including the confirmation hearing for the Alaska Labor Relations Agency. Chairman Kott stated for the record that Representative Sanders had joined the meeting directly after the call to order. CONFIRMATION HEARING - RAY SMITH, ALASKA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Smith to clarify a memo the committee had received stating he was being confirmed to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency. Number 046 RAYMOND SMITH testified via teleconference that he was being appointed to the Alaska Labor Relations Board. He stated he had returned to Alaska in 1976, but had missed the pipeline. He has been involved in labor most of his life. In Oregon, he had been a garbage man, and upon returning to Alaska became involved in the Painters Union and is a glazier by trade. He has served on the Executive Board and has taught classes. Six years ago, he was elected Business Representative and Financial Secretary for the union. He has tried to entrench himself in labor issues throughout the state. He is also President of Electric Alaska Building and Construction Trades Council. He feels the Alaska Labor Relations Board is very important, and he told the committee he would serve impartially and successfully. He said he would strive to fulfill his duties. CHAIRMAN KOTT stated there are six members appointed to the board by the Governor. Two have backgrounds in management, two in labor, and two are from the general public. He pointed out that Mr. Smith would be filling one of the seats from the labor aspect. MR. SMITH responded this was correct; he was replacing Daryll Smith from the plumbers. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked for clarification that his appointment date was March 6 with an expiration date of June 30. Chairman Kott also asked whether Mr. Smith was only being appointed for a three month period. MR. SMITH responded this was the same information he had received. Number 108 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK asked if this position is usually a two or a four-year term. CHAIRMAN KOTT said the Boards and Commissions handbook indicated the term is three years. He added Mr. Smith may only be filling the remaining portion of one of the other member's terms. Number 121 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA stated that someone from the department was presently checking on why this appointment was only for three months. CHAIRMAN KOTT reiterated that unless there was an error in the paperwork, Mr. Smith would be filling the remaining portion of another member's term. MR. SMITH added he believed the term to be three years and that he, in fact, would be filling Daryll Smith's remaining term. He said the term expires in 1995. He would be interested in continuing to serve after this term expires. Number 136 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if one had to wait until the term expired before someone else could be appointed. CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that in this situation, it would be odd to appoint someone for six months because they'd be back in Juneau to reexamine the appointment. He asked if there were any further questions for Mr. Smith. REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA suggested they set this aside until someone from the department got back to them regarding the length of the term. CHAIRMAN KOTT concurred they would hold this over until a determination had been made that the confirmation dates were correct. He said this should be by the end of the day, and he thanked Mr. Smith for his testimony. REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON asked to confirm Mr. Smith's telephone number so the committee staff could let him know the disposition. MR. SMITH stated his work number was 279-3556. HJR 23 - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FISHING QUOTAS Number 184 CHAIRMAN KOTT said the next matter before the committee was HJR 23, sponsored by Representative Alan Austerman. Number 191 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN, PRIME SPONSOR OF HJR 23, stated the committee had before them a copy of the CS and he would like to read the following statement for the record: "HJR 23 asks the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to reauthorize the inshore/offshore allocations and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program before they expire at the end of this year. "The inshore/offshore allocation stipulates that 35 percent of the pollock in the Bering Sea and 100 percent of the pollock in the Gulf of Alaska be brought ashore to processing facilities. The CDQ program developed a partnership between Western Alaska communities and the multimillion-dollar Bering Sea groundfish industry. The economic successes of these programs are crucial to the small communities throughout Western and Southwest Alaska. "Extending the inshore/offshore allocation, and the pollock CDQ program, will preserve stability in the groundfish industry during the period required for the Council to develop a comprehensive rationalization plan. The inshore/offshore allocation and pollock CDQS were initially passed to serve as a bridge to comprehensive rationalization. It has taken the Council longer than anticipated to accomplish their goal of the comprehensive rationalization plan." REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said the inshore/offshore issue was very vital to the coastal communities in the Gulf of Alaska and in the Bering Sea. He said 90 percent of the Pacific cod catch was being brought ashore in addition to 100 percent of pollock to be processed in the Gulf of Alaska. He explained this was the reason for the CDQ program, to create jobs for Alaskans. He commented that he wasn't familiar with the total history of how the CDQ program was eventually tied in with the inshore/offshore issue but acknowledged it was an intricate part of that issue. He pointed out that if this program goes by the wayside, processing will again return offshore and many jobs will be lost, not only in the coastal communities but also in places like Anchorage that have a large influx of seafood processing jobs. He stated a representative from the Department of Community & Regional Affairs, who administers the program, and a representative from the Department of Fish & Game would answer any questions the committee might have. CHAIRMAN KOTT stated for the record that Representatives Rokeberg and Porter had joined the meeting at 3:35 p.m. Number 249 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA commented that the $1.4 billion paid to the fish harvesters was a huge amount. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN noted these were groundfish off the coast of Alaska. He said close to 80 percent of the poundage landed off the coast of Alaska, including salmon, are groundfish. This is in comparison to the overall catch of seafood products. Number 262 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if line 13 on page 1, which states the CDQ program sets aside 7.5 percent of the quota for the communities, was correct. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN answered it was. REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if there was a way to increase this percentage. Number 268 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN responded there had been discussion on this and he would defer any technical questions to the department. He added there was also an effort to include other products in the CDQ program, but at this time, the resolution addresses only the pollock issue. He explained the system is set up so that, in the Bering Sea, the 7.5 percent comes off the top of the total allowable catch. The remaining allowable catch is divided by the 35 percent that comes onshore in addition to the 7.5 percent. He said that 65 percent of the remaining fish is processed offshore by the large processors. Number 282 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the three departments involved in monitoring the CDQ program are the Department of Fish & Game, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Community & Regional Affairs. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN replied this was correct, and there would be someone from C&RA joining them at the table. CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that backup materials indicate the United Fisherman of Alaska (UFA) do not support expansion of the CDQ program to fisheries in the Gulf Alaska. He asked if the CDQ program was currently in the Gulf, and if they are talking about expanding the program. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN responded there aren't any CDQ programs in the Gulf of Alaska, and based upon the dynamics of the Gulf, he doubts there ever would be. He explained if there were a CDQ program in the Gulf, it could include some communities on the California coast. He said they never expect a CDQ program in the Gulf of Alaska, and this is what they are talking about when referring to expansion. They don't want it expanded. He added that 100 percent of the pollock in the Gulf of Alaska is allocated to shoreside plants. CHAIRMAN KOTT, referring to a letter from UFA, asked Representative Austerman to clarify the last paragraph which states, "Therefore, UFA endorses reauthorization of the existing CDQ program in the Bering Sea pollock sea fishery in existing inshore/offshore programs for both the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska." Number 295 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN explained that in the Gulf of Alaska there is no CDQ program. However, 100 percent of the pollock catch is allocated to shoreside processing. If catcher processors come up from the Lower 48, they must bring their catch onshore to be processed. He reiterated that 90 percent of the Pacific cod in the Gulf is processed onshore. He said in the Bering Sea, there is an allocation of inshore/offshore in the CDQ program. He said because of the lack of infrastructure, Western Alaska coastal communities don't have the ability to go out and catch this product; it is all being caught off their shores, but there is no way for them to capitalize on it. He said this allows them to have an allocation for fish they can resell to processors. This also generates revenue for the community. He acknowledged comments had been made that this resembled a social program, but without this program the product would, most likely, go to Seattle and would not benefit Alaska. Number 341 KIM METCALFE-HELMAR, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS, reiterated that the Department of Community & Regional Affairs, the Department of Fish & Game, and the Department of Commerce are involved in regulating the CDQ program on a state level. The National Marine Fisheries Service is the regulator on the federal level. She gave the following brief history on the CDQ program: The CDQ program was approved by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council in December 1992. The program allocated 7.5 percent of the total allowable catch of the Bering Sea pollock to 56 Alaska villages located within 50 miles of the Bering Sea Coast. The communities participating in the program range from the Seward Peninsula continuing to the Southwestern Aleutian community of Atka. There are also communities on the Pribilof Islands, St. Lawrence Island and Diomede Island. She said the CDQ program was a unique opportunity to bring jobs to regions traditionally having few employment opportunities. The program allowed access to the fishery that the residents of the regions would otherwise not have been able to afford. She stated the data gathered in the 1990 census showed that 25 percent of the people in the region were below the poverty level, and only 49 percent of the adults held jobs. MS. METCALFE-HELMAR continued that the CDQ program was fashioned to allow the CDQ communities to harvest their allocation on an annual basis. It allowed them to fish their quota whenever they chose. The groups contracted with private sector seafood companies to ensure that the pollock would be harvested and processed in an economically efficient manner. She said the partners offer the CDQ groups various training, employment and educational opportunities on vessels or at shoreside processing plants. She cited data from a draft report the Department of Community & Regional Affairs is currently working on: The CDQ group areas had an average of a 16 percent unemployment rate. Of the people employed, the largest number, at 26 percent, were employed by the school district. Only 2 percent of the population at the time, held fishery-related jobs. The per capita annual family income for CDQ communities averages $10,000 per year, and the average income per household according to the 1990 census was $36,479 per year. She said in 1993, the six CDQ groups reported wages totaling $2.5 million. In 1994, they reported wages of $5.2 million. The number of CDQ jobs in 1993 totaled 173; in 1994, the jobs totaled 387. Wages earned by CDQ employees averaged $14,500 in 1993, and $13,300 in 1994, although some 4th quarter earnings had not been reported at that time. She continued that the reauthorization of the inshore/offshore allocations in the CDQ program had the wholehearted support of the Knowles Administration. The Administration believes this is a great example of a program that encompasses the Administration's stated goals of public/private partnerships and job creations, and therefore, the Administration would ask the committee to support this resolution. Number 392 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the net result would be if the North Pacific Fishery Management Council was not reauthorized. MS. METCALFE-HELMAR responded there were many programs still in the beginning stages that were started in late 1992. The villages involved are just now starting on these projects. She said one of the villages is sending students to the Seward Vocational Center to learn how to build aluminum boats. Those students will go back with that skill, and the boats will go back to the community. Number 405 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if the outlook was good for the reauthorization. MS. METCALFE-HELMAR replied at this time the prognosis was good. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN commented that he was not sure how closely tied the inshore/offshore issue was with the CDQ program. He said the inshore/offshore issue of bringing the product to shore for processing was a hard fought battle that had gone all the way to Washington, D.C. a number of times. He said without that allocation, the bulk of the product would be going South. He said it was imperative for the coastal communities to not lose any allocation for the product coming ashore. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative Ivan to join the members at the table. Number 427 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN, ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE, stated he represents some of the communities in the Coastal Village Cooperative area for the group of CDQ villages in the Lower Yukon. He said the six groups involved in the program are given the opportunity to participate in the offshore pollock fishing operation that they partner with established industries. He said the proceeds are invested by each CDQ group, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of their economic situation. He commented that across the board contributions are made to scholarship programs and individual job training. He concluded by saying the program was a foot-hold, and an extension would provide an opportunity for ongoing, established fisheries in the Western communities. They also are trying to prevent ongoing limited entry permits. For example, in Bristol Bay these groups partner with local established communities and are part of the infrastructure. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any questions for Representative Ivan or anyone else wishing to testify. Hearing none, he closed public testimony. Number 460 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER made a motion to move CSHJR 23(FSH) from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. CHAIRMAN KOTT stated there was a motion to move CSHJR 23(FSH) out of committee with individual recommendations. He asked if there were objections. Hearing none, the motion passed. HB 60 - IMPAIRMENT RATING GUIDES FOR WORKERS CO CHAIRMAN KOTT stated the next order of business was HB 60. Number 418 ELIZABETH ROBERTS, HOUSE RESEARCHER TO REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS, ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 60, stated this was a very friendly bill. She said the Department of Labor, the Division of Worker's Compensation and the American Medical Association (AMA) all support the bill. She said HB 60 deals with an existing statute that says the Division of Worker's Compensation has to use a 1986 AMA impairment guide. Since 1986, they have had two revised editions and a 200-page supplement. Since then, they have come up with many more diseases. She explained if a disease or injury is not included in the book, then it has not been rated, in which case the injured worker would not qualify for any compensation. She said the AMA recognizes the shortcomings of the new book, the 4th edition, and they recommend the supplement, "Understanding the AMA Guides," be used in conjunction with it. She explained the bill mandates the use of the newest revised edition and supplemental material. She added it carries a zero fiscal note. CHAIRMAN KOTT observed the Prime Sponsor of the bill, Representative Bettye Davis, had joined the meeting. Number 498 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS stated this legislation could garnish bipartisan support. She said it was important for people to use this guide, to have the most up-to-date information. She said it is supported by the AMA, as well as the Department of Labor. She thanked the committee and hoped they would move it in a timely manner. Number 506 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked what the industry's opinion of the bill was. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS responded that they support it. Number 516 PAUL GROSSI, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF WORKER'S COMPENSATION, stated the department supports the bill. He said the 1980 amendments require that AMA guides be used in rating physical and mental problems. He explained the problem is that every time there is a change in the guides there must be regulatory changes. To keep current they must go through the regulatory hearing process. This bill simplifies that process and makes it automatic. He noted this had been tried previously, a few years back, by regulation, but the division was told by the Department of Law that a statutory change would be required. He reiterated the department supports the bill because it streamlines the regulatory process. CHAIRMAN KOTT commented it would seem that the department would use the most current information available. MR. GROSSI pointed out the department was told by the Department of Law this was too vague and regulatory change was required. He said they were currently using the 3rd edition; however, the 4th edition is out, and they would probably hold regulatory hearings this summer to become current. He added, by the time the regulation gets signed in, there may be another change in the guide and they would be behind again. This is the problem they're facing. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the department had a copy of the 4th edition in their possession. Number 531 MR. GROSSI responded that they had it in their possession, but could not use it. Number 544 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA commented this would be a cheaper way to do it and there would most likely be a zero fiscal note because the regulatory hearings would not be mandated. MR. GROSSI agreed, but said they usually would combine it with other regulatory hearings. And, in fact, if there happened to be no other reason to hold a regulatory hearing, it could be they would have to pay the transportation costs for the board members just to change the regulations. Number 551 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if anyone else would be testifying on HB 60. Number 564 CHAIRMAN KOTT answered that no one else had signed up to testify. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER commented that he had seen these types of discussions that everyone agreed on go too far. He would entertain a motion. Number 569 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what the insurance industry's position on the bill was. MR. GROSSI said he assumed they would support it, as it was the most current and accurate scientific body of knowledge for rating injured workers. CHAIRMAN KOTT closed public testimony on HB 60. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that he had spoken to representatives from the Alaska National Insurance Company and they said it was okay with them. Number 574 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made the motion to move HB 60 from committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were objections. Hearing none, the motion passed. HB 224 - STATE PLUMBING CODE Number 581 CHAIRMAN KOTT said they would now hear from the Prime Sponsor of HB 224. REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 224, pointed out there was a zero fiscal note accompanying the bill. The basic intent of the bill was to give the Department of Law the authority to adopt and amend the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). He said it does not make any changes to the existing code or adopt a new version of code. It simply changes the process by which the code is adopted. HB 224 has been supported by various labor unions and plumbing contractors, as well as engineering firms. The Department of Labor would administer the code in a more timely manner. He said this was a safety issue as far as setting minimum safety standards of plumbing installations. Because the UPC code is so technical, it would make more sense for the Department of Labor to be the administrator. He concluded by saying the Plumbing Code was the last code that still required legislative approval. He respectfully requested the committee's consideration of the bill. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any questions for the prime sponsor. Number 619 ROBERT MINCH, ALASKA DESIGN SPECIALTY COUNCIL, testified they were in favor of the bill. He said it would go a long way in cleaning up the process of adopting regulations covering the construction and design industries. He encouraged them to pass this from committee, and he added he would answer any questions. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were questions. He then called Dwight Perkins to the table. Number 626 DWIGHT PERKINS, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, testified the department supports HB 224 with a technical change. On page 2, line 3 through line 9, beginning with, "unless changed by the department", under C & D of the section, he said they found lines 3 through 9 redundant. This is addressed in the 1991 Plumbing Code which the state is currently using. This particular language came about when they were under the previous code which did not address the Federal Clean Water Standard Act regarding lead in water. This is federally mandated; therefore, this language has to apply. He said it is addressed in two separate sections of the 1991 Plumbing Code. He reiterated that the department supports the bill. Number 641 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Perkins to briefly describe the process for the adoption of the plumbing code in the state. Number 648 MR. PERKINS responded that currently the (indiscernible). TAPE 95-22, SIDE B Number 000 MR. PERKINS continued, saying the plumbing code is adopted by statute. The Department of Labor does not have the authority, by regulation, to adopt new codes as they become effective. The most recent code became effective on June 12, 1991. HB 224 would allow the department to hold public hearings for contractors and design professionals to have the opportunity to either add to, or delete from the plumbing code. Number 034 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if any mechanical engineers were on staff at the Department of Labor. Number 038 MR. PERKINS answered that two of the inspectors are plumbers, and the chief engineer is an electrician. Number 050 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if this was coincidental or required by statute. MR. PERKINS responded he wasn't familiar with the job descriptions. Number 055 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked who wrote the regulations. MR. PERKINS stated the mechanical section of the Department of Labor would write those regulation. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if mechanical engineers were part of that. MR. PERKINS responded he was not sure if they were licensed to do mechanical engineering within the state. Number 065 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if they hold public hearings in order to adopt local amendments to the codes. Number 070 MR. PERKINS said that was correct. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if, historically, this was what the legislature has done. MR. PERKINS replied that, historically, amendments had been proposed in regards to other plumbing codes. Those amendments never were adopted, and the codes were adopted as originally written. He said, "Alaska is a different place, and in some instances things don't work the way they should, but the department and the users of the code would have the opportunity to make amendments, where needed, to alleviate problems." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the legislature has ever made amendments to the code. MR. PERKINS said in a past life, he had been a lobbyist who was involved with trying to make amendments to the code. He said because of the lack of understanding of the technical portion of the code, the legislature did not feel they were enough of an informed body to take what he said as gospel. Number 098 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Perkins to explain the difference between a single and double wall heat exchanger. Number 105 MR. PERKINS replied that primarily in areas where oil fired domestic boilers are used, there is a heat exchanger submersed inside the boiler that protects potable water. He explained that propylene glycol is added to the system. If the heat exchanger should rust out, the water in which it is immersed would leak into the potable water system. He said with a double wall exchanger you would have that extra protection. Number 139 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the department's position would be on retaining the single wall heat exchanger. Number 141 MR. PERKINS stated the department recognizes the need for looking into this section of the code to amend it and allow single wall exchangers in certain areas. He said, "until they have the authority to make regulatory changes, they are at a loss to do so, and the inspectors are following what they can by the code, and the code says one thing, and until they are given the regulatory to make those changes their hands are tied." REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA interpreted that as saying the department doesn't want to put exceptions into the law. They want the ability to write the regulations themselves. Number 164 MR. PERKINS stated they would fine tune the codes to Alaska's needs, and in this instance, with heat exchangers, they do see a need for change. Number 170 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if the department didn't want to write those changes into law. MR. PERKINS responded no. They feel the contractors and plumbers should sit down with the Department of Labor and hammer out their differences so the results would be in the best interest of the state. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the state presently (indisc.) electrical codes and national codes that had been adopted. He asked if this was a similar regulatory plan on a three year cycle, or do they only make local amendments if there is public input. Number 184 MR. PERKINS explained that the public is notified through newspapers and public advertisements that the department will be adopting the next version of the code, along with any suggested changes. He said the public process is followed so any changes to the code will be heard at locations throughout the state. Number 198 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the drafting attorneys made the ultimate decision. He commented that even though there is public input, it doesn't always mean those interests are followed. Number 202 MR. PERKINS said with the exception of the Elevator Code, this is the last construction code yet to be adopted by regulation. He pointed out the Electrical Code was adopted last year, and the department now has the authority to adopt regulations for that code. The department does not view this legislation as adversarial to the users of the code, but as a streamlining process. The public would have the opportunity to be involved in adopting codes and making amendments. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative Rokeberg to hold his questions as they had many more people to testify. He asked Representative Jeannette James to join them at the table. Number 225 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES voiced her concerns about HB 224. She stated that the Department of Labor should not be given "carte blanche" authority to write regulations. She pointed out that when the department had been given specific points to work with in the past, the regulations still haven't always come out as they should. In that regard, she disputes the bill. However, if the bill is to move forward, it should be amended. She recognized that the Department of Labor said they would address the concerns some people have with single wall heat exchangers. However, from past experience, the people in her district are not satisfied this will, in fact, happen. The legislature is lazy to have spun off the opportunity to make law by giving it to the Administration. When it comes to codes directly affecting Alaska, there is a policy decision. When it comes to making policy, the policies ought to be made by elected officials of the legislature. If the legislature gives the authority to the Department of Labor, it would be totally derelict in its duty. She said the department should be implementing the statutes as the legislature imposes them. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES continued that with single wall heat exchangers, there generally isn't any potable water in the system. Propylene glycol is a nontoxic fluid and not a problem. She added they have also been hearing from the people that "when you write regulations and make us dance this other dance that we haven't been dancing, please tell us and figure out how much it will cost to dance the other dance." She asked if the cost and benefit would be balanced. As the current bill is written, coupled with existing law, home owners wouldn't have the means to have single wall heat exchangers. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES offered an amendment to HB 224 to address the concerns of people being affected physically and financially by the legislation. "This amendment would allow that in single wall construction, if the heat transfer medium is water and either propylene glycol or other essential nontoxic fluids, having a toxicity rating of Class One, or class of one as listed in Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, Fifth Edition, and the pressure of the heat transfer medium is limited to a maximum of 30 pounds per square inch by an approved safety relief valve. And the heat exchanger is permanently and (indisc.) labeled with instructions concerning Sections 1 and 2 of this section." She said the rest of the three-page amendment is legal drafting that "permits this to happen and continue happening." Number 313 CHAIRMAN KOTT opened testimony on the teleconference line. Number 318 MARK BLACKWELL, PLUMBING CONTRACTOR, testified via teleconference on HB 224. He read the following statement: "I would like to address the current fact-finding committee on the proposed inclusion of HB 224, and the impact of not including the 10.03 K amendment the city of Fairbanks adopted January 1, 1993. I specifically would like to address the use of single wall heat exchangers, common component of domestic water systems in use for 80 years. The multiple thousands of systems are in daily use around Fairbanks and many millions of these systems are used worldwide on a daily basis. The single wall domestic heat exchanger coil remains the industry standard in terms of application and affordability to the end user, namely you and I, in our residences, apartment buildings, even in commercial buildings. I know of no verifiable deaths or illness directly attributable to its use in Fairbanks due to a compromised or failed coil. The cost benefit equation, far outweighs any life safety issues that may remotely arise with its continued use. I, therefore, urge the committee to consider the 10.03 K amendment which carries the prudent thinking of not only people in Fairbanks, but also manufacturers, engineers and contractors worldwide." Number 355 DAN PORTWINE, PORTWINE PLUMBING & HEATING, testified from Fairbanks via teleconference on HB 244. He urged the committee not to pass HB 224 without the 10.03 K amendment. The single wall coil should be fully acceptable for heating domestic hot water under most circumstances. The vast majority of boilers in the Fairbanks area have single wall coils in use. He has been in the plumbing business in Fairbanks for 21 years. In that time, he has experienced three leaking coils. All three coils were new, but had manufacturers defects which were discovered upon installation. He has never experienced any health hazards caused by the single wall coil. (Indisc.) under normal circumstances the domestic side of the coil, which operates at a higher pressure than the boiler enclosed side, will flow into the boiler, over pressure the boiler and turn the pressure release valve on the boiler (indisc.--mumbling). He said requiring nontoxic glycol in water as the heating fluid should adequately address the safety issue. He stated requiring double wall coils would place unreasonable hardships on home and property owners. Double wall coils are available for normal boilers. Tank-type water heaters with double wall boilers are very expensive and inefficient. Operating electric or gas hot water heaters in Fairbanks is very expensive. The oil fired water heaters are expensive to purchase and install. His basic concern is a product that has been in use for 80 to 100 years does not warrant the expense and hardships placed on the citizens of this state. The Department of Labor has been aware of this problem. Number 382 MICHAEL HIRT, OWNER, COMFORT MECHANICAL testified via teleconference that on February 24, 1995, he received a long distance phone call from the acting Chief Mechanical Inspector, Gerard Mankel, for the state. Mr. Mankel referred to a single wall coil that Mr. Hirt had installed at the Alaska Veterinary Clinic, 410 Trainer Gate Rd., Fairbanks. Mr. Mankel asked if he intended to change the system in order to comply with the 1991 Uniform Plumbing Code Section 1003 K. He informed Mr. Mankel that at the time the job was bid and designed, the 1979 UPC was enforced with the state. The 1988 UPC was enforced by the city, and did not include language referring to single wall coils. He told Mr. Mankel the project was built within the city of Fairbanks and was subject to the administration authority of the City Building Department. The city of Fairbanks, during construction of this project, adopted the 1991 UPC at approximately the same time the state did. However, the city of Fairbanks chose to amend and clarify the code language to the city ordinance so it would be consistent with the UPC's intent. He stated that he, in good faith, paid for a permit with the city and expected the city to be the administrative authority to follow. He told Mr. Mankel he had no intention of changing anything at the present time. They also spoke of other interpretations of the ASME Code. Recent misinterpretation by state officials has caused thousands of dollars of expense to interior owners, only to find the officials had misinterpreted its intent. He then asked if Mr. Mankel agreed with the city ordinance in allowing single wall coils in cases where potable water was on both sides of the coil. He said Mr. Mankel's response was that he only enforces the state statutes, he doesn't try to interpret them. MR. HIRT stated he would like to see HB 224 amended by having the heat exchanger amendment and also that the administrative authority be defined as being the most local authority. For example, a city would be more local than a borough. Depending on building demand, they would have a part or full-time official on the payroll to administer the UPC, within its defined boundaries. This is essential for proper application of the code. The Department of Labor would interpret things as they see fit. Number 420 LEONARD KIMBALL, BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR THE CITY OF KODIAK AND THE KODIAK ISLAND BOROUGH, testified via teleconference that single wall coil heat exchangers had been in use for many years in Kodiak without any serious cost connection problems. The 1991 edition of the UPC out ruled these systems in spite of the fact they had done very well with oil fired burners. Much of the United States still allows for this system. Natural gas is not available in Kodiak, and they feel the UPC is unfairly impacting their community. In 1991, the Kodiak Code Review Committee, made up of contractors and citizens, recommended an exception to the code allowing the continued use of single wall heat exchangers. He said the City Council and Kodiak Island Borough Assembly, after holding public hearings, unanimously approved the exception. He said that by refusing to accept tried and tested material, still approved in many parts of the country, and tolerating requirements that are excessive, permits the code to provide basic minimal provision necessary for (indisc.), the UPC code is straying from its stated purpose to provide minimum requirements and standards for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare. He closed by asking the committee to support the amendment allowing the continued use of single wall heat exchangers as proposed by the city of Fairbanks, the city of Kodiak, and the Kodiak Island Borough. Number 447 JOHN BUTLER, JOHN'S HEATING SERVICE IN KODIAK, testified via teleconference that if HB 224 is initiated, he would like to see the amendment to the single wall coil. In the last 20 years they haven't had any problems with people being poisoned from backflow or anything resulting from failure of the coil. These added costs would be passed on to the consumer. The officials in Kodiak are capable of making the right decision for these codes. Number 460 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if double wall exchangers would take more energy to produce the same amount of heat for the water. MR. BUTLER stated it would take 30 to 40 percent more energy to produce the same amount of hot water with the double walled coil, as opposed to the single wall coil. Number 468 TOM STREIFEL, STREIFEL PLUMBING & HEATING testified via teleconference that it is not often that so many plumbers get together and agree they don't want to make money. He stated they could charge more for the double wall coils but they just don't work. They are building systems so people can afford them. This would cut efficiency. The "feds" are already mandating a limit to the number of BTUs that can be put into a house. When they have to figure heat loss, and they go over the limit by 10 percent, if they must use double wall coils, they won't get the numbers to work. Number 481 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the standard life span of a single wall coil was. Number 489 MR. BUTLER answered he had been doing heating work for the past 20 years and there are a lot of single wall coils in existence that preexist the 1964 tidal wave. Number 490 LEE HOLMES, LICENSED MECHANICAL ENGINEER, RSA ENGINEERING, past president of Alaska Special Design Council, and Charter member of Alaska Chapter of the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials, testified via teleconference in support of HB 224. He stated it had taken 12 years to upgrade the Plumbing Code this last time. He believes the professionals who deal with codes on a daily basis should have the authority to come up with the amendments and adopt the code in a timely manner. He has sat on the municipality of Anchorage Code Review Committee since 1988, working to pass amendments needed to modify the code to meet local requirements unique to Anchorage. There has been misleading information and misunderstandings. Amtrol makes both single and double wall heat exchangers that are hooked up to boilers as a separate item. The double wall heat exchanger is $8.00 cheaper. In 1991, when the code went into effect, it caught many manufacturers off guard. Over the past three years, they have caught up and actually exceeded the number of double wall exchangers originally anticipated. In talking with a manufacturer's representative recently, 90 percent of the heat exchangers he sells, dealing with potable water, are double wall exchangers. The 10 percent of single wall exchangers that are sold are for steam and potable water on both side systems. He expounded on the flagging of boilers and the use of propylene glycol. He stated that propylene glycol is toxic, the same as alcohol is toxic. It is not as toxic as ethylene glycol. There are various grades of propylene glycol. The type listed by Representative James is not what you would purchase if you went to (indisc.) and asked them for premixed propylene glycol. He stated propylene glycol is corrosive to piping. Therefore, inhibitors are added to prevent corrosion. These inhibitors are not classified as nontoxic. He said in bush communities, when a boiler goes down and it is refilled, you are just as likely to get Prestone installed into the system. In remote areas where home owners have modified systems or extremely corrosive water, unlike Fairbanks or Kodiak, (indisc.). Another misunderstanding was that the exchangers are less efficient, using 30 to 40 percent more energy. The Amtrol double wall heat exchanger water heater that works as a zone off of the boiler, takes no more energy to create the same amount of hot water than a single wall unit. He said double wall side arm heaters, which fit right into the boilers, do not create as much hot water as single wall heaters, but they do not draw any more energy to heat that water. He concluded if an amendment is needed, it should be adopted by the Department of Labor when they go through the amendment process. He does not feel there is uniform consensus throughout the industry. He knew of no engineer who would support single wall heat exchangers over double wall exchangers due to the ethics and personal liability involved. He feels that they should not be tied into technology based 15 to 20 years ago when the industry itself is changing to support the double wall heat exchangers. Number 560 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the Anchorage Code Review was like the Board Examiner of Appeals for the municipality of Anchorage. MR. HOLMES responded when new codes come out, they go to the professional and construction communities and ask individuals to sit on the committee to go through the code and make recommendations for amendments. He said there are separate committees for Fire, Mechanical, Structural, Plumbing and the Uniform Building Codes. Number 568 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if, after the recommendations those go to the assembly, or to the Board of Examiner Review. MR. HOLMES answered they go out for public comment; then eventually, they go to the assembly to be adopted by resolution. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if you could have additional public hearings after issuing a first draft. MR. HOLMES stated this was correct. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG continued it then goes to the assembly for approval, at which time a citizen can make a complaint or ask for further amendments. MR. HOLMES said this was correct. CHAIRMAN KOTT invited Representative Gene Therriault to sit at the table. LEE DESPAIN, DESPAIN PLUMBING & HEATING, testified via teleconference, that he had been in the plumbing business for 40 years. He stated Mr. Holmes commented on the double wall heat exchanger costing $8.00 less than the single exchanger. However, he forgot to say the installation alone would cost between $1000 to $1500 extra, because you're not able to use the coil that comes in most boilers they install in Fairbanks. Mr. Holmes also commented he knew of no engineers who would opt to install the single wall exchangers over the double wall exchangers. Mr. Despain said it was his understanding the Code Review Commission has mechanical engineers on it and that the commission unanimously supported the use of single wall coils, as long as they are installed with the provision that the city of Fairbanks has for those applications. MR. DESPAIN continued by reading a prepared statement: "It appears to me that the Department of Labor is making a run for power. You legislators can ill afford to delegate your responsibility for maintenance of the current applicable codes to the Department of Labor. These codes affect every resident in this state with no exceptions either directly or indirectly. If you feel I've overstated my position, please feel free -- how much of the population of Alaska, regardless of age, creed, color or national origin or religion, does not use water. There are several other codes in this legislation that also apply to Alaskans, in addition to the Plumbing Code. This legislation will establish the Department of Labor as the Internal Revenue Service of plumbing and other codes, Alaska-style. If an appeal is necessary after this piece of legislation, a person can go see the next higher Department of Labor person. It sounds like DOL justice to me, or is that IRS justice? I can hardly wait to see how much money the Department of Labor can leverage from the legislature if this ill-conceived piece of legislation is approved. Please, legislators, keep these codes within your jurisdiction and abolish this ill-conceived piece of legislation, HB 224." MR. DESPAIN stated there are presently exemptions to the code existing under state statute concerning code compliance. He asked if this legislation would still allow for those exemptions, which concern municipalities and some small rural communities. Number 618 MR. PERKINS responded they amend the administrative sections of the codes. He didn't feel this would be a problem. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out he was asking if there is an exemption from the codes when you have a code in a municipality? MR. DESPAIN asked if that exemption disappears with this piece of legislation. MR. PERKINS apologized for misunderstanding the questions, and he added, "When exemptions are applied for and the department feels they are in the best interest, then they are granted." MR. PERKINS clarified there are existing exceptions to the legislation allowing codes to be processed in Juneau at this time. Those exemptions are for municipalities and certain rural communities. His question whether these exemptions still apply "when DOL is made God instead of the state legislature?" Will they still be in effect? MR. PERKINS responded he didn't know why they wouldn't be. MR. DESPAIN reiterated there seemed to be poor information being disseminated with regard to the double wall coil. His concern is that the double wall coil issue is insignificant in comparison with establishing the Department of Labor as the group (indisc.--end of tape) TAPE 95-23, SIDE A, Number 000 MR. DESPAIN continued that they should continue to let the legislature do what they have been doing for years. Number 004 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if they were to enact this legislation, whether the new Plumbing Code, as administered by the Department of Labor, would be superior to the municipal codes in Anchorage, Fairbanks and elsewhere. MR. PERKINS stated at this time, the state's UPC is a minimum standard. It says the municipalities may make the codes more stringent, but not less stringent. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if this was for all codes. MR. PERKINS stated he was only referring to the Plumbing Code. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the state had adopted the Uniform Building Code. MR. PERKINS answered that to his knowledge, yes. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG queried whether they couldn't be less stringent than the UPC. MR. PERKINS said he could only refer to the Plumbing Code right now. The municipalities can be more stringent than the 1991 code, but not less stringent. Number 059 STEVE SHUTTLEWORTH, BUILDING OFFICIAL, CITY OF FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference. He commented they had only received notice of the teleconference the day prior, and would have appreciated more notice. He said the city has several concerns regarding HB 224. The city of Fairbanks recognizes that HB 224 was initiated by the Alaska Professional Design Council, not the Department of Labor. The city of Fairbanks also recognizes that the purpose of the bill is to adopt the state plumbing code by regulation. They do not feel they will receive a "fair shake" from the Department of Labor regarding the actual regulatory process. The city of Fairbanks has received little cooperation from the DOL. He pointed out that on page 2, line 11, the bill acknowledges only one code. He said there are several nationally recognized plumbing codes that should be considered. This code is the only code that prohibits single wall coils. He said that on page 3, lines 17 and 18, the language is inappropriate. He quoted, "best interest of the state," and then asked, what about the people, cities, and accountability? The current language suggests an agenda which recommends revision or deletion of lines 17 and 18, as noted. He referred the committee to page 17 in the handbook of the State Constitution. He asked why HB 224 was only referred to one committee, bypassing State Affairs. He said the city of Fairbanks would consider supporting HB 224, provided the Fairbanks and Kodak amendment is included. He asked the committee not to underestimate the city of Fairbanks' commitment to the passage of this amendment. This issue affects his office every day. The collective wisdom regarding plumbing and single wall coils has been, or is, vested with the Department of Labor; nor is it vested in communities with natural gas. There has been a concern that if they accept this amendment, what about all the others? Isn't this the governmental process? In summary, he stated the single wall coil issue will not go away. In Fairbanks, they have a genuine problem with the currently overly restrictive double wall heat exchanger state requirement. If the proposed Fairbanks and Kodiak amendment is not adopted, they will work diligently for the defeat of HB 224. CHAIRMAN KOTT thanked him for his testimony and assured him that the state was under new management. The committee does not arbitrarily teleconference every Labor & Commerce Committee meeting. The request came late from either the bill sponsor or a member of the public. In response to being the only committee of referral, he assured Mr. Shuttleworth that the Labor & Commerce Committee would thoroughly evaluate HB 224. He asked Mr. Shuttleworth for his phone number. MR. SHUTTLEWORTH stated that it was 459-6725. LARRY LONG, PLUMBING INSPECTOR FOR THE CITY OF FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference. He commented that Mr. Shuttleworth was his supervisor. He said: "This limiting, even the consideration of any other plumbing code except the UPC, we all know where that comes from." He said they should consider the best code for the state of Alaska, not one that is a private vested interest. He commented on what Mr. Despain had said in regards to changing the transfer of power by the legislature. It creates another IRS, EPA, and a totally out of control administration. He said he could not believe anyone could think the single wall/double wall coil is a safety hazard. He was in much more danger driving to the teleconference than he ever would be drinking water from a single wall boiler. He reiterated that the Department of Labor is not a pleasant subject in Fairbanks. He does not trust anything anyone says from the department. Number 226 BILL SAGER, CHANDLER PLUMBING & HEATING, testified via teleconference. He said the ability of any department to be able to change or adopt codes administratively is not in the best interest of the state. He concurred with previous speakers regarding the double wall coil requirements as being unnecessary. He urged that the requirement of the double wall coil be deleted from whichever code is adopted. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was anyone else wishing to testify. Hearing none, he closed public testimony and asked Representative Therriault to join them. REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT stated his staff had been in contact with a number of people in Fairbanks and that a few people were upset with the sponsor of the bill. He said Representative Kohring had no ulterior motive in introducing the bill; that he was a fellow member on the House Finance Committee, and they could work these problems out. Number 250 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated they had heard much testimony in the past hours, along with feeling much heat. He said they have learned a lot and understand the issues related to HB 224. He said that these issues are substantial and need to be addressed in a subcommittee. He appointed Representative Rokeberg as chair, along with Representative Elton and himself. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Labor & Commerce Committee, Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at 5:20 p.m.