Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/19/1996 03:10 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE February 19, 1996 3:10 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Pete Kott, Chairman Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman Representative Beverly Masek Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Brian Porter Representative Kim Elton Representative Gene Kubina MEMBERS ABSENT All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HOUSE BILL NO. 450 "An Act relating to trademarks; amending Alaska Rule of Appellate Procedure 609; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 450(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE *HOUSE BILL NO. 478 "An Act allowing licensed real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers, and real estate salespersons to prepare certain documents; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED HB 478 OUT OF COMMITTEE EXECUTIVE ORDER 93 Relating to Executive Order transferring the ARDOR Program to the Department of Community and Regional Affairs from the Department of Commerce and Economic Development. - TABLED IN COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 456 "An Act relating to the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 456(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 450 SHORT TITLE: ALASKA TRADEMARK ACT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THERRIAULT JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/26/96 2541 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/26/96 2541 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY 02/19/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 478 SHORT TITLE: REALTORS MAY PREPARE CERTAIN LEGAL DOCS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/07/96 2650 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/07/96 2650 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE 02/19/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 456 SHORT TITLE: BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/30/96 2569 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/30/96 2569 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE 02/14/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/14/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 02/19/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 WITNESS REGISTER WILDA WHITAKER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Gene Therriault Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 421 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4797 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave sponsor statement for HB 450. MIKE MONAGLE, Supervisor Records and Licensing Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110808 Juneau, Alaska 99811 Telephone: (907) 465-2530 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 450. CRAIG JOHNSON 217 Center Street Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-2000 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 478. LAURA STOHL BEALEY Associated Island Brokers P.O. Box 408 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-2000 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 478. RON JOHNSON ERA 610 Attla Way, Suite 6 Kenai, Alaska 99611 Telephone: (907) 283-7755 1-800-ERA-KENAI POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 478. BRUCE MARION Address and Telephone Unavailable Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 478. LAMAR COTTEN, Deputy Commissioner Department of Community and Regional Affairs P.O. Box 112100 Juneau, Alaska 99811-2100 Telephone: 465-4700 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on Executive Order 93. JEFFREY BUSH, Deputy Commissioner Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110800 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0800 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on Executive Order 93. DONNA TOLLMAN, President ARDOR Association P.O. Box 9 Glennallen, Alaska 99588 Telephone: (907) 822-5001 POSITION STATEMENT: Had no objection to Executive Order 93. JOHN BARNETT, Executive Director Board of Storage Tank Assistance Division of Spill Prevention and Response Department of Environmental Conservation 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1795 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 456. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-10, SIDE A Number 001 The House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee was called to order by Chairman Pete Kott at 3:10 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Sanders, Porter, Elton, Rokeberg and Kott. HB 450 - ALASKA TRADEMARK ACT Number 050 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT announced the first order of business the committee would address would be HB 450, "An Act relating to trademarks; amending Alaska Rule of Appellate Procedure 609; and providing for an effective date." WILDA WHITAKER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Gene Therriault, Alaska State Legislature, read the sponsor statement into the record: "This legislation is intended to update the State Trademark Act. Alaska's current law is modeled upon the 1964 Lanham Act. The proposed revision is to bring Alaska's trademark law current with the changes to the Lanham Act over the past 30 years, and is modeled closely to the Model State Trademark Bill written by the International Trademark Association. This revision will allow the registration of marks that currently cannot be registered under state law, such as service marks, certification marks and collective marks. The legislation was introduced at the request of the Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations. Passage of the legislation is needed to strengthen the intellectual property rights for Alaska's business community." MS. WHITAKER said in addition, she would like to ask for a simple amendment that would allow the department to implement regulations so they will be in effect by the time the bill becomes effective. An amendment is needed to be able to do that. Ms. Whitaker said there is a letter of support from Don and Rose Harris, Owners, Red Dog Saloon. She indicated they have had to fight several infringements on their trademark over the past several years. They have found existing law protection to be vague and almost impossible to defend. MS. WHITAKER noted the Department of Commerce and Economic Development has provided a position paper. The department says the major improvements are to broaden trademark protection to protect service providers, adding additional remedies to trademark owners for infringement and providing anti-dilution provisions for intellectual property owners whose trademark has become famous in this state. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced Representative Kubina arrived at 3:14 p.m. Number 288 MIKE MONAGLE, Supervisor, Records and Licensing, Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, came forward to testify on HB 450. He informed the committee he is a member of the International Association of Trademark and Corporate Administrators (IATCA). Mr. Monagle explained that several years ago the United States Trademark Association, which is currently known as the International Trademark Association (INTA), approached his organization with the idea of updating the State Model Trademark Act. He noted the existing model dated back to the early 1960s. They saw a need to get a model out there that would bring in a lot of the changes that have taken place in the federal Lanham Act. They desired to see some consistency among the states as practicing attorneys who have to file at the federal level often ran into problems with various states having different variations of the law. They approved it. The Act has also been approved by the National Association of Secretaries of State and IATCA. He said it is his understanding that the American Bar Association Committee on Model Legislation has tentatively approved it and will formally do so within the next year. Number 389 CHAIRMAN KOTT said HB 450 refers to an applicant's entitlement to register a mark and asked what the general time frame would be that the commissioner could be expected to respond. MR. MONAGLE explained the commissioner who is listed in the existing law also is the officer who would file. He noted his agency is the dedicated agency that files on behalf of the commissioner. Their typical turnaround time is about a week of processing time and it shouldn't change. CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to the filing fee and asked what changes are expected. MR. MONAGLE said currently, the fee set out in statute is $10 per class code. You would have a separate registration for each class of goods that you registered under. Part of the bill takes that fee out of the statute and puts it into regulation. He noted he believes the fiscal note the committee has is based on a proposed fee of $50 per class code. Mr. Monagle said he realizes that is a substantial increase but there hasn't been a change in 30 years to that fee. A survey done by IATCA several years ago showed that the average fee charged by states was approximately $35 with about eight states charging anywhere from $50 to $100. Mr. Monagle explained the federal registration for a trademark is about $350 per class. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the amount is sufficient enough to cover the cost of the program. MR. MONAGLE explained there is currently one full-time person working 20 hours a week processing registrations. The term of the registration would also match what is being done with the federal act. Currently, the length of the registration is ten years and would be decreased to five years. The renewal fee would be the same as the initial registration which is similar to what it currently is. Number 570 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON referred to a trademark registered with the federal government and asked if a person would also have to register it with the state. MR. MONAGLE said it is technically correct that they wouldn't have to register with the state. In practice, a lot of attorneys will register in each state on the assumption that litigation is cheaper or they avoid litigation if they register in each state in addition to the federal government. The reason is most states check with the federal government when they have a registration. What the practices will do is take a federal registration out and then make sure they get a registration in each state that their clients are doing business. The federal registration covers interstate commerce. Number 639 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there is a real problem being addressed by reducing the renewal from ten years to five years. MR. MONAGLE explained the intent is to get rid of the "dead wood." Once the registration goes into effect, that mark is tied up for ten years. Under the federal proposal, their initial registration is good, he thought, for one or two years. The person registering has to reaffirm that they are using that mark within that period and then it will be extended out for the remaining five years. He said he doesn't anticipate it would cause any problems. He noted all states have some type of renewal or assignment provision. Number 760 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to wording in Section 12, "An application for renewal of a registration must include a verified statement that the mark has been used and is still in use", and asked Mr. Monagle to define "verified." MR. MONAGLE said typically for the department, it means a notarized signature on a statement that the mark is being used. The person signing the application would have a notarized signature. If it is a corporation it would be one of the officers, if it is a partnership it would be one of the general partners. CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to a business being in a rural area of the state where there isn't a notary available and asked what would be used. MR. MONAGLE explained he believes the under the notary laws, most postmasters can act as notaries. He said he also believes there is a provision under the Notary Act where you can have witnesses who can sign to your notarized signature. Number 820 CHAIRMAN KOTT said Section 15 talks about notifying those individuals who are going to have to reapply or re-register and that notification is sent out in writing by the department six months prior to the expiration. He asked if it is the department's intent to send that notification through certified or registered mail. MR. MONAGLE said they could, but don't currently do that. Currently, the department must send out notification of registrations that will expire after ten years. He said in 85 percent to 90 percent of the time, those addresses are no longer valid and most of that mail is returned as being undeliverable. He noted the department wouldn't have an objection to doing that sending them registered or certified. Number 898 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the fee going up, as indicated in the fiscal note, and said the department will be collecting the fee twice as often because the renewal will be changed from ten years to five years. He said the fee collection fund would grow substantially because instead of collecting once every ten years, it'll be done twice every ten years. MR. MONAGLE said that is correct. He noted the department doesn't have a tremendous number of these filings. Mr. Monagle said he has checked with the INTA and there isn't single attorney in the state of Alaska who is a member of that organization. The largest omission with the current act is it simply precludes most service providers, banks, insurance companies, etc., from registering. He said he doesn't think there will be a significant increase in revenue. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said the record should reflect that he probably didn't mean that there is no intellectual activity in the state. Number 1017 There being no further discussion on HB 450, REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG made a motion to move HB 450 out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee with individual recommendations and the attached positive fiscal note. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, it was so ordered. HB 478 - REALTORS MAY PREPARE CERTAIN LEGAL DOCS Number 1088 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business would be HB 478, "An Act allowing licensed real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers, and real estate salespersons to prepare certain documents; and providing for an effective date." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG, prime sponsor of the measure, said the bill would allow real estate agents, real estate brokers and realtors to prepare certain legal documents. The bill was a request by the Alaska Association of Realtors in which he is a member of and a practicing commercial real estate broker. Representative Rokeberg said the request from the Association of Realtors was based on Rule 33.3, which was approved by the governing board of the Alaska Bar Association, transmitted in October to the supreme court for adoption. That rule is located in the committee members' packets. The intent of the rule was to define the practice of law for the purposes of the enforcement by the supreme court and the Bar Association. In so doing, he believes they threw out a net to expand their authority. By doing so, the threat that they could impede commerce by encroaching on areas that have traditionally been undertaken by realtors is important and is the bases for the need of the legislation. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said for a number of years, the Sword of Damocles has been hanging over the head of realtors because of this implied threat. He said by his reading of the Bar rule recommendations and his understanding the circumstances surrounding it, it is clear that the legislation is necessary. The Bar rule goes so far to say that the court and attorneys have to approve all documents used in any transactions. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG informed the committee that there is correspondence in the committee packets from the Bar Association that denies the fact that their intent is to bring real estate practitioners within the meaning of the definition. Representative Rokeberg stated that realtors are governed by a very strict code of ethics and have a grievance procedure within their organizations. He referred to Article 13, which was in the committee packets, and said it points out clearly that under the code of ethics for realtors they will not be practicing law. When it's necessary to provide and advise clients that an attorney, accountants, etc., are necessary, they are required to do so by their standard of ethics. In addition, the consumers in Alaska are protected by the assurity bond system which is under the licensing provisions of the state. It provides monetary compensation to people who have been damaged, from the assurity fund. He noted the fund is a self funding bonding fund that operates with the dues from the real estate communities. Representative Rokeberg explained there are a number of things that would preclude any possibilities of a realtor practicing law without a license. All the realtors of the state want to be able to do is continue their practice and their business as they've been doing for decades, nothing more - nothing less. Number 1383 CRAIG JOHNSON testified via teleconference from Kodiak in support of HB 478. He recalled a recently agreed to transaction between a buyer and a seller where an attorney was involved and explained it involved a lot of negotiation. Mr. Johnson said (indisc.) an attorney if the transaction was not consummated, you'd have that difficulty to deal with. There is the extra burden of meeting and drafting addendums, counter offers and offers back and forth between the parties. Mr. Johnson said he understands that on the national level the trend is away from attorneys. There has been other states that have enacted legislation similar to the Bar rule that Representative Rokeberg referred to. At one time the trend was to put attorneys in the loop. Now at the national level, the trend is away from that. That seems to be appropriate for our state. It doesn't seem to be an easy solution to add attorneys into the contract loop. He noted he had faxed information to each of the committee members the previous Friday. Number 1513 LAURA STOHL BEALEY, Associated Island Brokers, was next to testify via teleconference from Kodiak. She informed the committee she has been a real estate associate broker in the Kodiak area for 15 years. Ms. Bealey said she is testifying in support of HB 478. She said it seems to her that the bill protects real estate agents against what the attorneys are trying to accomplish. The attorneys are trying to accomplish something in their interest and not the interest of consumer, the public or the real estate entity. She said she thinks the real estate industry has a code of ethics that regulates ethical behavior very well. They have the assurity bonds protecting consumers that have been (indisc.). Ms. Bealey said she always recommends to customers and clients that they have an attorney review their paperwork if they so choose to do so. She urged HB 478 be passed. Number 1588 RON JOHNSON, ERA, testified via teleconference from Kenai. He informed the committee he served on the Real Estate Commission for eight years, two full terms. He has been licensed since 1982. Mr. Johnson said the law, as written, clarifies what they do today. It appears that the reason the law was written was to defend a position they have had for some time. Mr. Johnson said he thinks that the assurity fund, the realtor code of ethics and the inbred fear, as a result of the required education and continuing education that has been brought about in the past few years, causes the real estate community not to get involved in the practice of law. Mr. Johnson stated that his concern is the cost to the consumer. He said he just returned from the ERA National Conference in Phoenix and said part of the discussion was with real estate professionals from the East Coast. Mr. Johnson referred to Alaska and said he would suggest that the average commission in closing costs and other related costs, are in the neighborhood of 8 percent to 10 percent of the closing of a sales transaction. On the East Coast, they're paying 12 percent to 14 percent and sometimes higher. A great deal of their percentage cost increases are relative to attorney costs. Mr. Johnson said there isn't a real estate professional in the state that won't call for an attorney to get involved if something is real technical. He urged support for the bill. Number 1738 BRUCE MARION testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He noted he is a realtor, legislative chairman for the Valley Board of Realtors, Alaska Association of Realtors, (indisc.). Mr. Marion urged the committee to support HB 478. Realtors must meet extensive education requirements for the completion of the forms which are drawn by and approved by attorneys. The forms are commonly used by real estate practitioners with protection to the consumer. Passage of the bill would facilitate the transfer of real estate in Alaska without adding an extra cost. He thanked the committee. Number 1777 There being no further witnesses, CHAIRMAN KOTT closed public testimony. Number 1784 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA made a motion to pass HB 478 out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. There being no objection, HB 478 moved out of committee. HB 450 - ALASKA TRADEMARK ACT REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS referred to HB 450, "An Act relating to trademarks; amending Alaska Rule of Appellate Procedure 609; and providing for an effective date," which moved out of committee earlier in the meeting and said the committee neglected to adopt a proposed amendment. Number 1828 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS made a motion to rescind the action of passing HB 450 out of committee. Hearing no objection, HB 450 was back before the committee. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced there is a proposed amendment in the committee packets which relates to the transition regulations and has an effective date of January 1, 1997. Number 1843 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS made a motion to adopt Amendment 1. Hearing no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS moved to pass HB 450, as amended, with fiscal notes, out of committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, CSHB 450(L&C) was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. Number 1919 EO 93 - TRANSFERRING THE ARDOR PROGRAM Executive Order (EO) 93, relating to transferring the ARDOR Program to the Department of Community and Regional Affairs from the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, was the next order of business. Number 1948 LAMAR COTTEN, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Community and Regional Affairs, explained EO 93 concerns the transfer of the ARDOR Program from the Department of Commerce and Economic Development to the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. The ARDORs, as they're called, are regional development organizations that have been in existence since 1987. The Department of Commerce and Economic Development and the Department of Community and Regional Affairs, through a series of meetings and discussions, went through an inventory of the different activities that they do which may be in conflict or duplication, surrounding rural economic development. As a part of that process, it was decided it would be more appropriate to transfer the administrative responsibilities of the ARDORs to the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. The was because the ARDORs are probably more active and have more state interaction with those ARDORs that are located in rural Alaska. The Department of Community and Regional Affairs has an office in Dillingham, Kotzebue, Nome, Bethel, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau. They also have a lot more outreach into rural Alaska from their offices in the urban areas. It was felt that they could provide better technical and administrative assistance to those ARDORs. This doesn't mean that there is a lessor of a role for the Department of Commerce and Economic Development or other departments. He referred to cases in rural Alaska and said the services that the Department of Community and Regional Affairs provides seem to have a better connection with the ARDORs. Mr. Cotten said for a number of reasons, his department is providing the administrative costs at a lessor amount than the Department of Commerce and Economic Development. He said he believes it was roughly about $250,000. In the budget for the Department of Community and Regional Affairs, it is about $60,000. Number 1039 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said it looks like a new addition is being added in statute. He asked if this is a new regime and methodology for the establishment of additional ARDORs. MR. COTTEN indicated it doesn't establish additional ARDORs. It relates to the transfer itself. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if Section 4 is new. MR. COTTEN indicated he didn't have the executive order in front of him, but noted the only changes that were made was to switch the program from the Department of Commerce and Economic Development to the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. There aren't any program changes. Number 2109 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA referred to the order as not dealing with the funding of ARDORs. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if this separates or consolidates things. MR. COTTEN said it consolidates those efforts that directly affect rural Alaska within the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if there will be any rural economic development activity in the Department of Commerce and Economic Development. MR. COTTEN said he couldn't speak for the Department of Commerce, but there always has been and will be. The distinction that has been made between the two departments is that Community and Regional Affairs focus is primarily dealing with either governments or nonprofits. It deals more with what he would characterize as community development. That is the water, the sewer, the roads, the waterfront projects. He said you're never going to attract private capital or someone to risk capital in rural Alaska unless you have that basic infrastructure in place. That is where the Department of Community and Regional Affairs has taken a stronger presence. You're not going to have somebody attracted to a community if the community government is dysfunctional. The Department of Community and Regional Affairs focuses on working directly with councils, clerks and city managers. Commerce takes a broader regional approach. It deals with the private sector and other issues such as international trade, Alaska seafood marketing, etc. The Department of Commerce deals on the basics with all municipalities, but in a large part, smaller rural communities. Number 2225 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the administrative costs being much less and said he would have expected a negative fiscal note because there won't be any need in the Department of Commerce and Economic Development to maintain that $250,000 administrative umbrella. MR. COTTEN said the reductions happen in part because they think they can accomplish some of the similar tasks with existing staff, particularly in rural Alaska. Mr. Cotten said he thinks that the $250,000 was actually a separate line item in the Department of Commerce's budget as opposed to the amount shown in the Department of Community and Regional Affairs' fiscal note which is for the ARDORs. Number 2267 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he believes there are two grant administrators in the Department of Commerce and Economic Development that administer the ARDOR Program. He asked what will happen to those two positions. MR. COTTEN said those two positions aren't in his department's budget. Number 2287 JEFFREY BUSH, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, explained the $250,000 that has been used in the past to administer the ARDOR Program was funded through federal EDA money. He said the department anticipates that the EDA money is not going to be forthcoming, effective at the end of this fiscal year. That money is disappearing and is not being transferred. It doesn't show up in the budget because it is essentially a designated program receipt line item in the budget. They are still applying to EDA for those funds. He said they have been told they cannot come through with ARDOR funding. Mr. Bush said they have also been told that there is at least a possibility that they may get funding for other forms of economic development, including the Governor's Marketing Alaska Program. He noted they have no idea how much funding there will be. If they don't get funding, the two grant administrator positions will go away. Those people have been notified that those positions are not funded at the present time. Number 2360 DONNA TOLLMAN, President, ARDOR Association, testified via teleconference from Glennallen. She stated her organization didn't have an objection to this move. Their basic interest is to continue the work they are currently doing within their region. The ARDOR Program is not just a rural program, it is also a urban program. She thanked the committee for listening to her testimony. Number 2379 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA pointed out that he has a couple of ARDORs in his district and urged that the Administration keep moving because people doing things and the local level is the best way to get economic action moving in areas of the state. Number 2412 CHAIRMAN KOTT closed public testimony on Executive Order 93. REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the executive order would go into effect unless it is turned down by the legislature. CHAIRMAN KOTT said March 8, 1996, is the date that it must be complete. Number 2450 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what the Community and Regional Affairs Committee did. CHAIRMAN KOTT said the Community and Regional Affairs passed it out of committee. He noted the order would go to the Finance Committee once it is passed out of the Labor and Commerce Committee. If they don't want to hear it, it becomes law without them hearing the order. Number 2458 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said if the committee doesn't object to the order, they would need a motion to table or take no action. CHAIRMAN KOTT said it could be passed on to State Affairs and Finance then to the speaker. Number 2458 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to table EO 93. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Number 2490 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected for the purpose of discussion. He asked if Chairman Kott would prefer to send the EO on to the State Affairs Committee. TAPE 96-10, SIDE B Number 001 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he hasn't really heard any strong opposition to moving the matter forward. He referred to discussion that took place in another committee and said he didn't hear strong opposition to moving the EO. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER indicated he supports the motion. He said if there is something that comes up later that hasn't been considered and needs consideration, it could be done in the committee. CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that there is a time element of March 8. Number 059 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if there is a companion EO in the Senate. CHAIRMAN KOTT indicated there is a companion EO in the Senate and it was referred to the Community and Regional Affairs Committee, the Labor and Commerce Committee and the Finance Committee. Number 072 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said his concern is that the ARDORs include such groups as the Anchorage Economic Development Council, which is a very vibrant and excellent organization which has done a significant amount of work in the Anchorage and Upper Cook Inlet areas. A vast majority of their funding is privately generated into the municipality of Anchorage. One thing that troubles him is that there are a number of ARDORs that do almost nothing and receive money. Then there are several ARDORs that do a lot of things and get the same amount of money. Representative Rokeberg said there was testimony that the Department of Community and Regional Affairs is a group that is interested in building infrastructure in rural areas. That is all good, but he doesn't think that is what ARDORs are all about. Representative Rokeberg then withdrew his objection. Number 1333 CHAIRMAN KOTT said they aren't supposed to address the merits of the program. They are to address whether or not they want to see the program shifted from one department to another. CHAIRMAN KOTT said there is a motion to table EO 93. He said if there are no objections, EO 93 will be tabled. HB 456 - BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the last order of business would be the continuation hearing HB 456, "An Act relating to the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and providing for an effective date." He said there was a concern regarding the number of members to be on the board. Number 173 JOHN BARNETT, Executive Director, Board of Storage Tank Assistance, Division of Spill Prevention and Response, Department of Environmental Conservation, informed the committee he has spoke to the board members and also contacted the Alaska Underground Tank Owners and Operators Association and presented the committee's concerns for having an eighth member on the board or whether or not a members should be replaced or a ninth member added. Mr. Barnett said although the preference was to add a ninth member, in the interest of fiscal conservancy, they felt it would be much more appropriate to replace one of the existing members. Their consensus was they would concede to go with seven members, which is the current number of board members. The consensus was the to replace the representative representing the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF). The matter was discussed with the DOT/PF designee and the department concurred that although they had a major goal in the early days of the program relating to regulation development, they felt it was very important that DOT/PF's concern and voice was heard during the regulation development stage. Since the program has matured and the regulations are currently in place, they feel they would concede to taking a back seat roll at this point. The department does support their seat being replaced by the public member. Mr. Barnett noted the chairman of the board wants to continue to have the DOT/PF designee as an advisor so the board will continue to post their meetings with the DOT/PF. Number 255 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON proposed the following amendment: Page 1, line 10 Delete "s" from the word "commissioners" Page 1, lines 10 and 11 Delete "and transportation and public facilities" Insert "or the commissioner's designee" REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked unanimous consent the proposed amendment be adopted. Number 289 CHAIRMAN KOTT said the change would read, "The board consists of the commissioner of environmental conservation, or their designees,". CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, Chairman Kott announced conceptional Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 315 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON made a motion to move HB 456 out of committee with the attached zero fiscal note, as amended. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, CSHB 456(L&C) was moved out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the House Labor and Commerce Committee meeting at 4:10 p.m.