Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/25/1996 03:08 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 March 25, 1996 3:08 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Pete Kott, Chairman Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman Representative Kim Elton Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Brian Porter Representative Gene Kubina MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Beverly Masek OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Williams COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HOUSE BILL NO. 497 "An Act relating to chiropractic peer review; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12 Supporting the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Alaska and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers. - PASSED CSHR 12(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE *HOUSE BILL NO. 432 "An Act relating to the practice of veterinary medicine." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 497 SHORT TITLE: CHIROPRACTIC PEER REVIEW SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MULDER BY REQUEST JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2723 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2723 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE 03/20/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/20/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/25/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HR 12 SHORT TITLE: UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS,B.Davis JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2721 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2721 (H) HES, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/19/96 (H) HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/19/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/21/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/21/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/21/96 3258 (H) COSPONSOR(S): B.DAVIS 03/22/96 3265 (H) HES RPT 2DP 3NR 03/22/96 3265 (H) DP: ROBINSON, BRICE 03/22/96 3265 (H) NR: ROKEBERG, BUNDE, TOOHEY 03/22/96 3265 (H) FISCAL NOTE (UA) 03/22/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/22/96 3265 (H) REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE 03/25/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 432 SHORT TITLE: VETERINARY LICENSING SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/19/96 2484 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/19/96 2485 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR & COMMERCE 02/15/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/15/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/15/96 2772 (H) STA RPT 1DP 5NR 02/15/96 2772 (H) DP: JAMES 02/15/96 2772 (H) NR: PORTER, GREEN, ROBINSON, WILLIS 02/15/96 2772 (H) NR: OGAN 02/15/96 2772 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM) 02/15/96 2772 (H) REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE 02/26/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/26/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/25/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 WITNESS LIST TIM SULLIVAN, Staff Representative Eldon Mulder Alaska State House of Representatives Capitol Building, Room 411 Juneau, Alaska 99811 Telephone: (907) 465-2647 POSITION STATEMENT: Offered sponsor statement on behalf of HB 497. KYLE JOHANSEN, Staff Representative Bill Williams Alaska State House of Representatives Capitol Building, Room 128 Juneau, Alaska 99811 Telephone: (907) 465-3424 POSITION STATEMENT: Offered sponsor statement on behalf of HR 12. RALPH MCGRATH, President Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers 2533 Providence Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 562-2660 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. ERIC LEEGARD, ACCFT Representative University of Alaska Southeast P.O. Box 32306 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Telephone: (907) 780-4021 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. RAY ZAGORSKI Kenai Peninsula College P.O. Box 3474 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-0348 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. DAYNE CLARK, ACCFT Representative Kenai Peninsula College 34820 College Drive Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-3541 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. PHILIP SLATTERY, ACCFT Representative Sitka Campus, University of Alaska Southeast P.O. Box 1864 Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-8482 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. CHARLES WADE, Professor of Applied Business University of Alaska Kuskokwim Community Campus P.O. Box 506 Bethel, Alaska 99559 Telephone: (907) 543-2847 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. JOLI MORGAN, Professor of Applied Business University of Alaska Kuskokwim Community Campus P.O. Box 844 Bethel, Alaska 99559 Telephone: (907) 543-2013 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. WILLIAM K. JERMAIN, Attorney Jermain, Dunnagan and Owens, P.C. 3000 A Street, Suite 300 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: 563-8844 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. DAVE DAU, Treasurer Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers 2533 Providence Anchorage, Alaska 99508 Telephone: (907) 562-2660 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. GEORGE GUTHRIDGE, Associate Professor of English Dillingham Community Campus University of Alaska P.O. Box 883 Dillingham, Alaska 99576 Telephone: (907) 842-5483 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. ROE THOMAS, CHAIRMAN Ketchikan Central Labor Council P.O. Box 8282 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-4858 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. BOB WARNER, Associate Professor of Library Science University of Alaska Southeast, Ketchikan Campus 888 Monroe Street Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-4722 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12. PRISCILLA SCHULTE, ACCFT Representative Ketchikan Campus University of Alaska Southeast P.O. Box 5721 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-4722 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HR 12 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President University Relations University of Alaska P.O. Box 155000 Fairbanks, Alaska Telephone: (907) 474-7582 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HR 12, and in support of attached fiscal note. GEORGE DOZIER, Staff Representative Pete Kott Alaska State House of Representatives Capital Building, Room 432 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3306 POSITION STATEMENT: Offered sponsor statement in support of HB 432. DEANNA J. THORNELL, D.V.M. Board of Veterinary Examiners P.O. Box 61263 Fairbanks, Alaska 99706 Telephone: (907) 479-2800 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 432. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-29, SIDE A Number 0025 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT called the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee to order at 3:08 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Kott and Sanders. Chairman Kott announced the committee would stand at ease until a quorum was present. He called the committee back to order when Representatives Elton and Kubina arrive. Representatives Porter and Rokeberg arrived late. Representative Masek was absent. HB 497 - CHIROPRACTIC PEER REVIEW Number 0095 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the first order of business to come before the House Labor and Commerce Committee was HOUSE BILL NO. 497, "An Act relating to chiropractic peer review; and providing for an effective date." TIM SULLIVAN, of Representative Eldon Mulder's staff, read a sponsor statement for HB 497, as follows: "The Chiropractic Peer Review Committee was formed by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners in 1994 pursuant to statute 08.20.185(a), the statute we are proposing to amend today with this bill. The initial Peer Review Committee consisted of three chiropractors. The board then added a lay person to the committee. Under current statute, only the chiropractors on the committee have immunity for decisions they make as committee members. The lay person does not have immunity for those same decisions. House Bill 497 would extend immunity to the lay person by extending immunity to all members of the committee." Number 0314 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA made a motion to move HB 497 from the House Labor and Commerce Committee, with attached zero fiscal note and individual recommendations. It was noted for the record that the Board of Chiropractic Examiners supports HB 497. Number 0348 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no objection, HB 497 was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee with attached zero fiscal note and individual recommendations. HR 12 - UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT Number 0438 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next order of business to come before the committee was HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12, "Supporting the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Alaska and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers." KYLE JOHANSEN, of Representative Bill Williams' staff, read a sponsor statement in support of HR 12, as follows: "I introduced House Resolution 12 on behalf of the Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers. "It is my understanding that on May 8, 1992 the University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University of Alaska and the ACCFT. "In June of 1993, through a change in University policy, the Collective Bargaining Agreement was compromised. An April 1995 arbitration decision ruled the original Collective Bargaining Agreement should be fulfilled. I am asking that the legislature support the ruling of the arbitrator." Number 0536 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS asked where the fiscal note came from. MR. JOHANSEN responded that he was not prepared to testify on that subject. CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that the fiscal note resulted from the contract not being funded by the University. Number 0600 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated his belief that the fiscal note represents "a little bit of trickery." CHAIRMAN KOTT concurred, and stated that the committee would take up the matter of the fiscal note, after hearing testimony from witnesses. CHAIRMAN KOTT called on the first witness, Ralph McGrath. Number 0800 RALPH MCGRATH, President, Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers (ACCFT), stated that the ACCFT is the bargaining agent for approximately 280 faculty, who are largely responsible for the continuation and delivery of community college programs within the University of Alaska. This includes vocational\technical, adult basic education, and continuing education type courses. He further stated that the ACCFT supports HR 12 as it was originally submitted. The current version, which was amended in the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee, contains a fiscal note which the ACCFT does not support. Number 1041 MR. MCGRATH further testified that HR 12 came about because a contract between the ACCFT and the University of Alaska Board of Regents, which provided for a 3 percent cost of living increase, was not honored by the board of regents. The matter was then taken to arbitration, and the arbitrator directed the university administration to pay the 3 percent. The university took the position that the arbitrator's award meant that the university had to request the money from the legislature. During last year's legislative session, the university made a funding request. However, no action was ever taken on the request. When the legislative session ended in May, the university communicated to the ACCFT that the legislature had rejected the funding necessary for the 3 percent pay increase. The ACCFT takes the position that non-action by the legislature is not the same as action to reject. The university now takes the position that they will not request the money to fund the increase for 1995. Therefore, HR 12 is intended to express legislative intent. Number 1061 MR. MCGRATH explained that the ACCFT believes legislative intent is consistent with last year's session, when the legislature was looking at the funding of Local 71 and the Inland Boatman's contracts. At that time, the legislature requested an interpretation from legislative legal counsel, Teresa Cramer. The ACCFT based its resolution on Ms. Cramer's interpretation, which states that if the legislature does not take a specific action to reject, but does appropriate salaries, then they have in fact appropriated the terms of the contract. Mr. McGrath reiterated that the ACCFT believes the fiscal note attached in House HESS is not necessary. In closing, he reminded the committee that if the university had honored the arbitrator's award, he would not be appearing before them today. Mr. McGrath reiterated that the university has failed to perform its responsibilities as a state agency. Number 1097 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the fiscal note alluded to would cover the costs for FY 95 or FY 96. MR. MCGRATH responded that it would cover FY 95. His understanding is that the $500,000 the university is requesting would simply bring the faculty up to where they should have been. The additional one million dollars is to maintain the level for future years, which would cover only FY 95 costs. CHAIRMAN KOTT stated his understanding of the proposed resolution. In early 1992, the university negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the ACCFT, which became binding when approved by the board of regents in May of 1992. In June of 1993, the university suspended that policy. Number 1190 MR. MCGRATH concurred. However, there was no impact on the faculty members until July of 1994. At that time, the ACCFT filed a grievance. The grievance process resulted in binding arbitration, and the arbitrator ruled in April of 1995 that the faculty members were entitled to a 3 percent pay increase. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the negotiations which took place in July of 1992 applied to FY 93. MR. MCGRATH responded that the terms of the contract applied through July of 1994. Then, according to the contract and state law, the conditions remain in place until a successor contract is negotiated. A successor agreement has not yet been reached. Number 1236 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked if the contract was now the subject of litigation. MR. MCGRATH responded in the affirmative. He stated that Mr. Bob Jermain, ACCFT attorney, was on line to answer questions related to the legal case, but that it is his understanding that the legal case focuses on the university's statutory and constitutional obligations. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that he would like the committee to discuss the Cramer legal opinion. He stated that HR 12 had received two hearings in the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee, and there were comments that Ms. Cramer's opinion had been taken out of context. MR. MCGRATH responded that the ACCFT's legal counsel feels the proposed resolution is consistent with Ms. Cramer's opinion. Number 1334 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next witness would be Eric Leegard. ERIC LEEGARD, ACCFT representative for the University of Alaska Southeast campus, noted that he and other ACCFT members had submitted written testimony for the committee. ACCFT members believe that they have upheld their end of the contract, and are asking that the university uphold its end. Number 1417 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the committee would now take testimony via teleconference. He stated that the first person on the line was Mr. Ray Zagorski, testifying from Kenai. RAY ZAGORSKI, a faculty member at Kenai Peninsula College, testified that he feels the university must stop passing the buck. Mr. Zagorski explained that he came to the university in March of 1994, under a tenure track appointment. He came with teaching experience from four other universities. When he came, certain promises were made to him as a tenure track faculty member, which included an annual 3 percent cost of living increase. He noted that the university's actions are negatively impacting on faculty morale. Mr. Zagorski reiterated that faculty should receive the compensation they are entitled to, under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement. Number 1511 DAYNE CLARK, testifying via teleconference from Kenai, stated that he is the Kenai campus faculty representative for ACCFT. Mr. Clark emphasized that the university knew the consequences of failing to honor the ACCFT's contract, and stated it is his feeling that the university is playing games, and trying to get rid of the union. He urged the committee to pass HR 12, so that the university would be encouraged to honor its contract, and faculty could go back to concentrating on teaching. Number 1566 PHILIP SLATTERY, Sitka campus representative for the ACCFT, testified via teleconference from Sitka. He stated that nine faculty members on the Sitka campus are represented by the ACCFT. Mr. Slattery concurred with previous testimony. He pointed out that in the arbitration which resulted in the pay increase, the university won on three other items. The university was pleased to accept the arbitrator's decision on those items. Yet, they refuse to honor the faculty pay increase. Mr. Slattery explained that he has been with the university for 22 years, and that this type of difficulty has been ongoing. Number 1652 CHARLES WADE, Professor of Applied Business with the University of Alaska Kuskokwim Community Campus, testified via teleconference from Bethel. He expressed his frustration with the university administration, a frustration which he believes is shared by all the faculty at the Bethel campus. These faculty entered into a negotiated contract with the university. Faculty have upheld their part of the bargain, and the university hasn't. Mr. Wade stated it has been his experience, over his 19-year association with the university, that this type of behavior is not unusual. He asked the committee to help the university do the right thing, by passing HR 12 out of the committee. Number 1715 JOLI MORGAN, Professor of Applied Business with the University of Alaska Kuskokwim Community Campus, testified via teleconference from Bethel. He stated that he has been with the university since 1976. Professor Morgan noted that other countries, such as Japan, have learned from their management-labor strife. In Japan, management and labor now share a common goal: the success of the enterprise. Refusal to learn this simple lesson has made the United States not number one, but number ten. Professor Morgan asserted that today's hearing bears witness to this fact. Rather than spending his time developing lesson plans, teaching courses, and advising students, he has had to siphon time from his duties in order to testify. The university broke its contract with the union, which resulted in both sides agreeing to binding arbitration. At the arbitration hearing, the university won three decisions but lost on one--the 3 percent raise. Yet, the university has not honored the arbitration award. Article 4 of the ACCFT's negotiated contract states, "The decision of the arbitrator shall be final, and the parties shall abide by it." PROFESSOR MORGAN further stated that HR 12 asks the legislature, as representatives of the people, to tell the university to act in a responsible manner, to honor its contracts, and to abide by the arbitrator's decision. He urged the committee to support HR 12. Number 1800 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted the presence in the committee room of Representative Bill Williams, prime sponsor of HR 12. He then announced that the committee would hear from Bill Jermain. WILLIAM K. JERMAIN, attorney for ACCFT Local 2404, stated that he has represented the ACCFT for 22 years. He further stated that HR 12 is a rare opportunity for the legislature to express its own statement of intent, as opposed to having its intent interpreted by the courts. The resolution deals with a fairly narrow issue. The University of Alaska has taken the position that unless the legislature specifically appropriates funds to pay its obligations under collective bargaining agreements, then it will not pay them, no matter how much money the legislature may appropriate for personal services, or other items that would cover the negotiated amounts. At the same time, the university has taken the position that it will pay any type of increase for any of the non- represented faculty, without having any expression of legislative intent. MR. JERMAIN further stated that the university interprets the Public Employee Relations Act (PERA) to restrict its ability to meet the obligations that it has agreed to at the collective bargaining table; in this case, an obligation that the legislature approved as early as 1992. Mr. Jermain explained that he is well aware of the history of PERA. As Deputy Commissioner of Labor from 1967 to 1970, he helped draft the first PERA legislation, which became law in 1972. He believes that it is not PERA's intent to discourage collective bargaining. It is also not the intent of the law to have employers fail to honor their obligations. MR. JERMAIN asserted that the university's position has been that it will honor obligations arbitrated in its favor, but that it will not honor its obligations under general funds or personal service funds for pay increases. This is totally incompatible with the purpose of PERA and collective bargaining agreements. HR 12 only addresses the university's responsibility to honor its obligations under a collective bargaining agreement. Mr. Jermain further stated that HR 12 is based on the opinion of Teresa Cramer. The resolution does not interfere with the separation of powers. The legislature has the power to reject contracts, but it has not done so in this case. By failing to honor its fiscal responsibility, the university has passed the buck to the legislature. Number 2015 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA thanked Mr. Jermain for his testimony. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked about the status of the lawsuit. MR. JERMAIN responded that two suits have been filed. One was filed by the Classified Employees' Association, against the University of Alaska. The other suit was filed by the Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers Local 2404 against the University of Alaska. Both suits are in the preliminary stages. Mr. Jermain further explained that both lawsuits address constitutional issues regarding university obligations. The ACCFT lawsuit also addresses the arbitration award, which is a different issue than what is contained in HR 12. He emphasized that the courts will attempt to determine legislative intent, and that HR 12 provides an opportunity for the legislature to express its intent with regard to the obligation. Number 2026 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that the resolution does speak to the arbitration. MR. JERMAIN replied that the university did not appeal the arbitrator's award. Therefore, the union is now attempting to enforce that award. That is one aspect of the litigation. CHAIRMAN KOTT called on the next witness, Dave Dau. Number 2148 DAVE DAU, Treasurer of the ACCFT and Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He noted that during the House HESS Committee hearings, he had heard University Vice President Wendy Redman testify that the university does not like HR 12 because it bypasses the collective bargaining process. Professor Dau noted that the hearing was being held only because the university has violated a collective bargaining agreement, and has refused to honor the award of an arbitrator in binding arbitration. The university has consistently demonstrated callous disregard for the collective bargaining process. Professor Dau urged the committee's support for HR 12. He emphasized that HR 12 asks for no new appropriation from the legislature. Number 2215 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next witness would be George Guthridge, testifying via teleconference from Dillingham. GEORGE GUTHRIDGE, Associate Professor of English at the Dillingham Community Campus, testified in support of HR 12. He stated that the university has a long history of picking and choosing what it will and won't pay, and obscuring that fact with a lot of rhetoric. Litigation will only add more costs, and will result in the university having to ask the legislature for additional money. Professor Guthridge emphasized that the university has a legal and moral obligation to meet its contractual responsibilities. Number 2273 ROE THOMAS, Chairman of the Ketchikan Central Labor Council, testified via teleconference from Ketchikan. Mr. Thomas stated it is unconscionable for the university regents not to honor a moral and legal obligation to faculty members. Number 2331 BOB WARNER, Associate Professor of Library Science, University of Alaska Southeast, Ketchikan campus, testified via teleconference from Ketchikan. He stated that his major concern is the frustration, and the time lost from teaching to deal with this matter. Professor Warner thanked Representative Williams for bringing the matter to the attention of the legislature. PRISCILLA SCHULTE, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology and Campus ACCFT representative at the University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Campus, testified via teleconference from Ketchikan. Professor Schulte urged the committee to support HR 12. She emphasized that teachers want to spend their time teaching, and find it very frustrating when their salary agreements are not honored. When they are told that the university cannot honor its agreements without direction from the legislature, they don't know which way to turn. Professor Schulte further testified that new faculty coming into the system cannot understand why an agreement is not an agreement. Number 2405 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if anyone else wished to testify regarding HR 12. WENDY REDMAN, Vice President for Public Relations at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks. Ms. Redman stated she is perplexed and somewhat incredulous over HR 12. She has been with the university for 25 years, and has been representing the university in Juneau for 20 years. Ms. Redman stated that HR 12 would set several precedents. It is an intervention in the collective bargaining process, as well as an intervention in an issue that is currently being litigated. It will cause significant budget reductions to the university's base budget, and re-writes a legislative history. Ms. Redman emphasized that she wished to clarify several issues. The arbitration award did tell the university that it must pay the salary increase provided by the contract. Provided by the contract is the relevant phrase. The collective bargaining contract states that compensation increases shall be subject to legislative appropriation. It further states that any provision of the agreement requiring a legislative appropriation to permit its implementation will be subject to legislative approval. TAPE 96-29, SIDE B Number 0024 MS. REDMAN further testified that the university has never taken an issue which was turned down by the legislature and funded it internally. The contract language is very clear, from the university's standpoint. The Teresa Cramer memo dealt with the issue of what exactly the legislature had to do to reject contracts, and the legislature specifically and deliberately failed to fund legitimately negotiated collective bargaining agreements in 1995, including the university's. The Cramer memo states that failure to fund requires specific language. However, the last paragraph of that memo states, "If there were a monetary term of a contract that required a separate appropriation, unrelated to other budget items, then, given the language of AS 23.40, that monetary term would be considered to have failed, unless the legislature made an appropriation for that purpose. However, I believe that is an unlikely factual situation." Ms. Redman asserted that is not, in fact, how state contracts are written. The university's contracts are written to require specific and separate appropriations. That is what the legislature was acting on last year when it failed to fund the university contract. The university requested the money from the legislature, and the legislature failed to act. Ms. Redman further noted that the fiscal note accompanying the current version of HR 12 was added at her request. If the legislature agrees that the university needs to pay and honor its contracts, then it is incumbent upon the legislature to appropriate the necessary funds. She also pointed out that the legislature currently has before it FY 96 and FY 97 salary amounts for the ACCFT, and asked that the legislature also fund those. Number 0126 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked how much the university is spending to litigate this issue. MS. REDMAN responded that she could not answer that question. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON then asked if the university was out-sourcing its legal services, or using in-house counsel. MS. REDMAN replied that the university is out-sourcing its legal services on this issue. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that he would be interested in seeing a copy of that contract. MS. REDMAN stated that she would be glad to provide one. Number 0156 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asserted that the issue goes beyond binding arbitration. The real issue is legislative intent. Based upon what occurred last year, the legislature specifically rejected certain contracts. By omission, it specifically did not reject other contracts, including the one before the committee. He then made a motion that HR 12 be passed from the committee with individual recommendations, and without the accompanying fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked Ms. Redman if binding arbitration was supposed to prevent litigation. MS. REDMAN responded that she could not recall a time in her 25 years at the university when it had not honored an arbitration ruling. This arbitration ruling states that the university will pay the increase provided by the collective bargaining agreement. The agreement outlines how the university obtains funds for pay increases. Ms. Redman further stated that she was at the House Finance Committee meeting last year, when the issue was raised as to whether specific language was needed to reject the university contract. At that time, the committee decided that specific language was not needed, because university contracts are clear on the need for specific and separate appropriations. Number 0267 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA suggested a technical amendment to HR 12. On line 4, insert the words Alaska Community College between "the" and "Federation". Representative Kubina also suggested that the resolution should be moved out with a zero fiscal note, rather than with no fiscal note, as suggested by Representative Porter. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER withdrew his motion, so that the resolution could be amended. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that there being no objection, the technical amendment to include the words "Alaska Community College" was passed. Number 0326 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER restated his motion, to move HR 12 as amended, with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note, out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected, for discussion purposes. He stated that the resolution does have fiscal ramifications. He asked, "Is this an attempt to bypass the Finance Committee?" REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that he could not recall a resolution ever having a fiscal note. A resolution simply asks someone to do something. It does not mandate. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that the resolution attempts to create gold out of paper. The money has to come from somewhere. The issue is, is it coming out of the university's appropriated budget, or does it require a new appropriation? Number 0377 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON pointed out that the university budget is handled much differently from agency budgets. The legislature appropriates a lump sum, and the board of regents allocates the funds as they see fit. He stated that, even though he is on the university subcommittee, he does not know whether the university president's salary has increased, for example, because the money is not appropriated by position. Therefore, although he would hate to see it happen, there is nothing to stop the university from using the financial resources which it has to absorb the costs of this pay increase. Representative Elton affirmed that his preference would be to see the legislature do the right thing, and appropriate the money to fund the pay increase. Even if that doesn't happen, however, a fiscal note is not needed. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that the fiscal note is large enough for him to feel concerned about by-passing it. CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that on lines 9 - 12, the resolution states that the legislature funded appropriations for salaries. Therefore, if you support the resolution, you cannot support a fiscal note. MS. REDMAN commented that the legislature funded only base salaries, and not a salary increase. Number 0500 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA stated that last year, the legislature rejected some contracts. Those contracts were then re-negotiated, and are now before the legislature again. That is not the case with the ACCFT contract. His understanding is that once contracts are funded, they are approved. The university then has a responsibility to live up to the contract. The purpose of binding arbitration is to avoid litigation, yet the arbitration still winds up in court. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that the purpose of collective bargaining is to solve a conflict, not to lower costs. Number 0560 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if Representative Rokeberg maintained his objection. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied he sensed it was the will of the committee to move the resolution. He stated for the record that he would like to see the university revert to a community college/university system. He then withdrew his objection. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no further objections, HR 12 as amended was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. HB 432 - VETERINARY LICENSING Number 0625 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next order of business to come before the House Labor and Commerce Committee was HOUSE BILL NO. 432, "An Act relating to the practice of veterinary medicine." GEORGE DOZIER, staff to Chairman Kott, explained HB 432 accomplishes three or four different goals. He said it contains a provision which prescribes the fraudulent use or procurement of a veterinarian license. It also prescribes the act of fraudulently claiming to have such a license. It makes it a unclassified misdemeanor with up to a $10,000 fine for violation of those provisions. Mr. Dozier explained the second section of the bill recognizes that at one time an organization used to give standardized tests. That organization is no longer in existence. It is now called something else and the test is also called something else. It changes certain references to the licensure provisions from the National Board of Veterinarian Examiners to the National Board of Examination Committee. The same thing is done further on changing the old organization known as the American Veterinarian Association's Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinarian Graduates to the National Board of Examination Committees Education Commission for foreign Veterinarian Graduates. Mr. Dozier explained the bill also requires veterinary technicians to be licensed and requires the board to promulgate regulations concerning that licensure. Number 0723 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the first witness would be Dr. Dee Thornell, testifying via teleconference from Anchorage. DEANNA J. THORNELL, of the Board of Veterinary Examiners, stated that while current law makes it illegal to practice veterinary medicine in the state without a license, no penalties are mandated. HB 432 would mandate a $10,000 fine and imprisonment of up to one year for a person found in violation of the licensing requirements. Number 0850 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if all recommendations contained in HB 432 have been approved by the Board of Veterinary Licensing. DR. THORNELL responded that they have. She added that the change related to licensing veterinary technicians is consistent with every other state in the union. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he was somewhat surprised that the provisions for licensing veterinary technicians are to be supervised by the veterinary board. This seems like having doctors oversee licensing requirements for nurses. He asked if this was a common procedure. DR. THORNELL replied that it is consistent with the other states. Also, it would not be financially feasible to create a separate board for licensing veterinary technicians, because there are so few in the state. Some states do provide extra seats on the veterinary board for licensed technicians. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON then asked if the cost of the licensing procedures for veterinary technicians would be borne by the veterinarians. DR. THORNELL responded that the technicians are already bearing the cost of their own examinations. In essence, the legislation only changes the title from "registered veterinary technician" to "licensed veterinary technician." All of the statutes are already in place for registering veterinary technicians. Number 1016 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, stated that she was available to answer questions from the committee. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no questions or additional witnesses wishing to testify, public testimony on HB 432 was closed. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion that HB 432, with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note, be passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no objections, HB 432 with individual recommendations and accompanying zero fiscal note was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 1021 There being no further business to come before the House Labor and Commerce Committee, CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the meeting at 4:24 p.m.