Legislature(1997 - 1998)
03/07/1997 03:24 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 7, 1997 3:24 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Norman Rokeberg, Chairman Representative John Cowdery Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Joe Ryan Representative Tom Brice Representative Gene Kubina MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Bill Hudson COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HOUSE BILL NO. 161 "An Act relating to deregulation of public utilities furnishing collection and disposal service of waste material." - HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 161 SHORT TITLE: DEREGULATION OF GARBAGE UTILITIES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES, Kohring JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/25/97 466 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/25/97 466 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE 03/06/97 570 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING 03/07/97 (H) L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 102 Telephone: (907) 465-6822 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 161. SAM COTTEN, Chairman Alaska Public Utilities Commission 1016 West Sixth Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1963 Telephone: (907) 276-6222 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 161. ALYCE HANLEY, Commissioner Alaska Public Utilities Commission 1016 West Sixth Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1963 Telephone: (907) 276-6222 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 161. ROBERT LOHR, Executive Director Alaska Public Utilities Commission 1016 West Sixth Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1963 Telephone: (907) 276-6222 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 161. LARRY KELLY Kelly and Associates 331 Gold Claim Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 Telephone: (907) 452-7542 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 161. GLEN THOMPSON Tongass Sanitation, Incorporated P.O. Box 7701 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-5561 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 161. BOB DOYLE, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Mat-Su School District 1900 Porcupine Trail Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Telephone: (907) 376-3172 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 161. PETE KINNEEN, Co-Owner Commercial Recycling Center P.O. Box 870070 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Telephone: (907) 279-3323 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 161. FRED MORINO, Hauler Arrow Refuse 3200 Hospital Drive Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-6255 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 161. JOEL GRUNWALDT, Director Department of Solid Waste Services Municipality of Anchorage P.O. Box 196650 Anchorage, Alaska 99519 Telephone: (907) 343-6262 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 161. MIKE MEATH, President Star Sanitation 2090 Van Horn Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-2009 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 161. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-17, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN NORMAN ROKEBERG called the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee to order at 3:24 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Rokeberg, Cowdery, Sanders, Brice and Ryan. Representative Kubina arrived at 3:30 p.m. HB 161 - DEREGULATION OF GARBAGE UTILITIES Number 025 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the committee would address HB 161, "An Act relating to deregulation of public utilities furnishing collection and disposal service of waste material." Number 057 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, sponsor of HB 161, read the following statement into the record: "House Bill 161 deletes the authority of the Alaska Public Utilities Commission (APUC) to regulate the furnishing of collection and disposal service of garbage. "Alaska appears to be one of the few states that has this type of utility regulated on a partial statewide basis, some cities currently set their own rates, as Haines does. Perhaps garbage rates should be under local control if they are to be monopolies at all. Competition is healthy, and should be encouraged whenever possible. "I have been, as a state representative, involved in two attempts at regulation of garbage monopolies by the APUC, wherein the APUC were and are unable to deal with garbage utilities in a timely manner due to problems such as APUC personnel and commissioner turnover, federal mandates related to telecommunications issues, and other excuses. Perhaps the APUC simply does not have the time, interest, or money to properly regulate this class of utility. "I offer HB 161 as a point of beginning, an opportunity to encourage open discussion on this issue, to hopefully provide solutions to resolve what appears to be an ongoing concern. The question is, `Should the state or any other governmental agency regulate the furnishing of collection and disposal service of garbage?'" REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted she currently isn't asking for any action on the bill, but would like to wait a couple of weeks after it is determined what the proper way is to go. She said she believes it is a very important issue. She stated she has heard from a lot of the garbage companies and some are in favor of the legislation and some are opposed. She gave committee members a copy of a position paper from Anchorage Refuse, Incorporated (ARI). Number 261 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the position paper would be included in the committee file. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted Walt Wilcox of her staff is present and he is the staff person for the Administrative Regulation Review Committee from which the legislation originated. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN COWDERY said the municipality of Anchorage is in the garbage business and there isn't much comfort in the fact that since they are in the business themselves, they may not protect another company's interest. Number 380 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that scenario is probably is true. She stated she doesn't believe that it is proper for the municipality to be in the garbage business. It should be fully competitive and the municipality shouldn't be calling the shots. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY said the fact is that they are in the business. He said he worked for about five or six years trying to get them out of the business, but didn't have success. Representative Cowdery explained he has a problem that the municipalities or the city governments would take over regulations after a given time. Number 440 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that would be an option. The other option would be for them not to take it over. It could be totally unregulated and fully competitive. She said it would be up to the people in the districts as to what they wish to do about that. It would be a public policy issue. Representative James said she understands Representative Cowdery's concern. She believes there are severe problems with the way garbage has been managed over the years. We have created monopolies and then allowed competition within the monopolies. Representative James pointed out the APUC has allowed competition, but it is restricted competition. She said the market ought to drive the system. Representative James indicated she has received complaints that APUC doesn't respond to questions that have been asked. She said there is a systemic problem. The place where the problem is felt the most is in the garbage service. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY said most of the complaints are from her district, but there have been complaints from around the state. Number 588 REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN questioned what is done in the rural areas where there are small markets and there are monopolies that charge whatever they can bear and then blame in on gypping from Seattle. He asked how this will be addressed. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said it would depend on what caused the monopoly. If the monopoly is caused because only one person in a small area has a certificate of convenience from the APUC, therefore, they're ripping the public off, that's a supply and demand problem. If it gets too painful for the people, somebody else will come along and compete. The problem is when they make an application to the APUC, if the APUC thinks it's an area that's not big enough to have two people, then they're not going to accept the threat to come in unless compelling interest has been shown. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the issue was raised by the city of Healy where there are approximately 1,700 people in the entire borough. The problem in Healy was a person had a certificate of convenience for providing the picking up of garbage and he passed away. At about the same time all the rules and regulations that came down on landfills, the landfill there was managed by the Healy Fire Department, pretty much on a volunteer basis. The Healy Fire Department decided they couldn't manage the landfill anymore because of the overwhelming amount of responsibility and liability they had by managing a landfill. The person who had the license is dead and his family isn't following up and following through. The residents now have to haul their garbage to Nenana, which is about 75 miles away. She questioned who is going to haul the garbage. Representative James explained several people said they would get a truck and haul the garbage, so they all made application to be able to haul garbage. Those people never received a response from the APUC. The garbage was piling up and nobody was hauling the garbage. They finally started hauling it for free because they couldn't charge as they didn't have a certificate of convenience. She said that issue was finally resolved due to her interference. Representative James said she has received complaints from Wasilla, Anchorage, Ketchikan and Fairbanks. Number 810 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN explained this same concern echoes a complaint from last year when they tried to deregulate electric utilities. He said Mike Kelly from Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) said they didn't want deregulation because the big outfits would come in, skim off the cream and leave the little more nonprofitable utilities with hardly the ability to survive. That would mean a reduction in service to the rural communities. They felt it should stay the way it is so there would be adequate service. They didn't want someone to come in and skim off the cream. Representative Ryan said there is the same concern with garbage in that a large company that is well funded would come in, take the choice routes and leave the people in peripheral areas, where it's more expensive to haul, on their own or somebody else would have to try and make it a living doing it where it wouldn't be profitable. He stated he doesn't think government has business in the marketplace. Number 877 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that issue has been brought to her attention. She said in the Fairbanks area there was a similar situation that happened under APUC regulations. It was where competition was allowed and the competition destroyed some of the players. She said it has been her experience that the APUC hasn't made a lot of protection for that. The APUC exists and all those conflicts continue to exist with the APUC. She said she doesn't see where they're solving that problem. Number 946 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG questioned if the problem is with the APUC having a problem in responding or is it a philosophical issue relating to deregulation and open competition. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES informed the committee that her personal position is that garbage ought to be competitive and that we ought not to be regulating it. The market forces should drive the system, but that is not the reason the bill is before the committee. The bill is before the committee because of problems with the APUC not responding to the needs around the state. Representative James explained she received a complaint from someone in Fairbanks where a decision was made on an application last September and as of today, he hasn't received a response. There was another case where a person hasn't received a response and it has been over a year. She noted this was something that came through the Administrative Regulation Review Committee, which she chairs, that prompted her to introduce legislation. Number 1066 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if that complaint was from Hite Construction. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES answered in the affirmative. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Representative James if her testimony is that the APUC has not issued that certificate despite of the fact that it appears that they agreed to issue it. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the APUC told Mr. Hite that a decision was made and that he had been approved. There was nothing in writing. It was just during a conversation. Number 1095 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA asked if that is still the case. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "That is still as of today." CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Mr. Cotten to give an overview of the APUC's position regarding waste regulation. Number 1174 SAM COTTEN, Chairman, Alaska Public Utilities Commission, testified via teleconference. He explained that the APUC would be happy to consider a position on the bill, but hasn't done so as of yet. Traditionally, they wait until the legislature asks for a position. They then hold a public meeting and if they can come to an agreement, they would then inform the legislature of their position. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she hasn't specifically not requested an opinion from the APUC Board. She said in speaking to Chairman Cotten, he had indicated they would only do that if she made a written request and she hasn't done that. Number 1229 MR. COTTEN informed the committee that the APUC isn't at liberty to discuss the merits of the cases being talked about. He referred to the Hite Construction application and said a couple of things have happened since the panel considered the case. Two of the commissioners that were on the panel are no longer on the commission. If a decision had been reached on that, somebody is misunderstanding what has happened. He said, "It sounded as though someone was told that the commission had agreed to approve the application and told somebody that but we just haven't issued the written order. Was that somebody's understanding?" CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG answered in the affirmative. MR. COTTEN said the APUC staff recommended the approval of the certificate, but the commission didn't take any action for or against it. He noted Commissioner Hanley was on that panel. Mr. Cotten said, "If somebody got the impression that the commission had approved it, but just hasn't written out the order, that was incorrect." Number 1306 ALYCE HANLEY, Commissioner, Alaska Public Utilities Commission, said there has been no written order and that is unfortunate. A decision was made, but the written orders did not go out. There has been no public communication about what that decision was. She noted she is the only original member left on that panel. There are two new panel members and they hope to discuss the issue and come to a decision soon. Number 1362 MR. COTTEN added that in addition to the application in Fairbanks, there is also an application in Anchorage for at least two people to compete with the existing service provider. There is also one on the Kenai Peninsula. He noted they are not able to talk about the merits of the case while the cases are pending, but they haven't been swept aside and they are doing the best they can under the circumstances. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked what the time lines are in issuing written decisions. MR. COTTEN responded that there are no written requirements for time lines. There are different response times. He noted they currently have a backlog and they aren't happy about that. They are making efforts to improve that. They have also arranged for additional training for the commissioners and staff so more people can be involved with the drafting and the final writing of the orders which are very technical. Mr. Cotten said they have asked the legislature for two more paralegals to assist. There has already been approval from the Governor's office. The APUC is also attempting to work with the utility organizations such as the Alaska Telephone Associations and the Alaska Rural Electric Association. Mr. Cotten referred to the question of how long does it take them to write an order and said he doesn't have an answer, but they do it as quickly as they can. Sometimes it is not that easy to come to a decision. Number 1486 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there is a percentage of revenues that the refuse wage companies contribute to the maintenance of the APUC. MR. COTTEN said it is between 3 percent and 4 percent of the APUC's budget. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG questioned how much money that is. Number 1507 ROBERT LOHR, Executive Director, Alaska Public Utilities Commission, said the APUC receives approximately $130,000 a year. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked what other states regulate garbage collection similar to the way Alaska does. MR. COTTEN said they had hearings last fall about the application to compete in Anchorage. The expert witnesses provided by both sides used examples of other communities around the country. Some resemble Anchorage and some don't. In Seattle, they cut the city up into different districts and only allow one provider per district. Other communities have gone to wide open competition with various degrees of success. Mr. Cotten noted before he was on the commission, the commission did allow competition. It seemed like the pattern was that two companies would go head to head. One would fail and the other would consume the loser and there would be one company again. Number 1589 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG referred to having a deregulated regime and asked if under existing statutes, would the municipalities have the ability or right to regulate within their boundaries. He also asked Mr. Cotten if he has an opinion to the impact of the cost of service to the consumers. MR. COTTEN responded that he thinks that the municipalities will have an interest in it. He said in Anchorage, the municipality does part of the garbage service and they require the people to take the service. The authority for that is the protection of the health and safety of the community. You can't just let the garbage pile up, so the city has taken some responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen. Number 1641 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked what the APUC's statutory responsibilities are regarding waste regulation. Number 1667 MR. LOHR explained his understanding is the commission is basically involved in two areas of regulation with respect to refuse. The commission is required to issue certificates of public convenience and necessity to any regulated public utility that is found by the commission to be fit, willing and able to provide refuse service. That is a determination of basic fitness to operate. About 43 certificated refuse facilities operate in Alaska at the current time. If the annual operations of those utilities exceed a certain threshold, then those utilities are economically regulated by the commission. That means the commission is involved as it is for elected telephone utilities in regulation of the rates, services and practices of those utilities, including their tariff provisions. Mr. Lohr said to that extent, currently there are 13 regulated public refuse utilities in the state. Those tend to be the larger utilities operating in the more urban areas. For example, the commission looks at the rates, services and practices for Anchorage Refuse, Incorporated. MR. LOHR said in addition, when a certificate is applied for by a utility, if there is an existing certificate already covering that service area, then the commission is forced to make a decision of whether or not competition among refuse utilities would be in the public's interest. Those cases tend to be more complex and controversial ones. The appropriate market structure is one of the key decisions in those cases and tend to take longer than the regular plain garden certificate or rate cases. Number 1773 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if he is correct in saying that the Municipality of Anchorage regulates and requires the public to utilize their services. MR. COTTEN said it is his understanding that the municipal ordinance requires the residents in that service district to take the service. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if that is the municipality's service or could it be someone in the private sector that provides that same service. MR. COTTEN responded that the municipality is the only company that provides service in that area and has a certificate. He noted the APUC doesn't economically regulate the city. It is up to the municipality as to whether they want competition in that area. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if the APUC regulates the rates for the Municipality of Anchorage. MR. COTTEN indicated they don't. Number 1840 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY questioned how the municipality's boundaries were established. MS. HANLEY said she thinks the boundaries are a small section of mid-town. It is apparently the old boundaries of the city where the garbage utility operates. Number 1878 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the APUC doesn't regulate the municipality's refuse service, but they do regulate the Anchorage Refuse Service. MS. HANLEY said that is correct. She explained municipal utilities are exempt and the APUC doesn't regulate any municipal utilities. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if the APUC could not certify a competitor for the municipality's boundaries. MR. COTTEN explained said they currently have a pending application from somebody who wants to compete there. He referred to Title 29 and said there is a section that talks about the municipality having the right to buy out any of the competitors the APUC lets in there. Mr. Cotten said the city allows competition with some of their commercial services. They contract some of it out and he believes they have more than one person doing some of their work for them. Number 1941 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said he serves on a subcommittee that reviewed the APUC's budget a couple of weeks ago. He said as he remembers, the APUC has about 35 or 40 employees. MR. COTTEN said there is a total of 40 employees including the five commissioners. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said he has information before him from Mr. William Brunelle of Commercial Refuse, Incorporated. Mr. Brunelle stated he spent a lot of time and $100,000 just to get a hearing and hasn't received any communication for two years. There is also a person by the name of Berry Hite from Fairbanks has been waiting for 18 months for a response. He read from a letter from Mr. Hite that says he is forbidden to talk to the commissioners. The only contact Mr. Hite can have is with Patricia Clark, the hearing officer. It says he has called every week and she can't help him because she isn't allowed to tell him anything. Representative Ryan said with 40 people, he has difficulty understanding why these things can't be resolved in a more timely manner. Perhaps there are too many in-house rules that they have to conform with. He said he can't understand why people should have to wait two years and spend $100,000 to get a hearing. MR. COTTEN said he can't argue with Representative Ryan. He referred to the Anchorage case and said hearings have been held and the commission has met on the subject. They are attempting to complete their work. Mr. Cotten noted he can't discuss the reasons why they are having difficulty, but he is hopeful that it will be resolved soon. He said they don't think it is acceptable to wait that long and they are taking steps to improve their ability to act more timely. Number 2127 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said, "Wouldn't it seem a lot simpler just in any kind of a place where there is a municipality with a local government, that a local government deals with this totally, and we as a state overall agency stay out of it? And if there are places that are not to have local government I can understand that -- I guess I'm asking why do we need you involved in the municipality of Anchorage or the municipality of Fairbanks or any of them?" MR. COTTEN said his personal opinion is he agrees with Representative Kubina. Number 2108 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said he thinks the state has a constitutional mandate to be aware of what happens in terms of sanitation because of our requirement under the constitution regarding the health of citizens. Number 2138 LARRY KELLY, Kelly and Associates, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks. He noted he does management consulting for various companies. Mr. Kelly explained his concern about deregulation of refuse hauling, etc., stems strictly from a personal perspective in that he doesn't want to see a reduction in the quality of life that would result in a decrease of the regulation and the quality requirements that are handed down by the APUC. Mr. Kelly said he would like to see the APUC, whose mission statement is to make decisions and promote competitiveness amongst the players, be done in a more timely manner so that the representatives of the industry would be able to make some decisions as to what to do with equipment, etc. MR. KELLY said he has never heard of the APUC trying to deregulate telephones and pipelines. He said he would assure the committee that if you don't get good phone service, it's an inconvenience, but if you don't get your trash hauled, it is the beginning of a major health problem. Mr. Kelly noted he has lived in Fairbanks most of his life and in 1950 was the last time he saw a rat there. He said there are some things occurring, specifically the complex that Mr. Bartlett has out by the dump. He said by the decrease in regulation, it creates a tremendous opportunity for rat infestation and other vermin infestation. Mr. Kelly said he is somewhat associated with some of the knowledge of players and he believes they require regulation so that there is established criteria. He noted concern regarding the APUC being able to take things up in a timely manner. Number 2260 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY referred to the opportunity for rat infestation and asked if that is a problem of the landfill or a problem with the people who pick the garbage up. MR. KELLY clarified it is not a problem with the North Star Borough landfill or with the haulers at this time. He said Mr. Bartlett, who is just across the street from the landfill on private land, is an unregulated entity. He has been stacking paper, etc, claiming some day that he would recycle it. On Mr. Bartlett's property there are large quantities of paper, newspaper, etc., stacked up in an uncontrolled manner and it would be perfect for the generation of a rat infestation population. Number 2313 GLEN THOMPSON, Tongass Sanitation, Incorporated, testified via teleconference from Ketchikan. He said there are two points for deregulating and several points against deregulating. One of the points for deregulating is increased competition may create efficiency and lower rates in the long term. The second point is a reduced workload for the APUC may create a potential budget savings for the state. MR. THOMPSON read from his statement explaining the following points against deregulating: "Public health may be endangered. Regulation creates some guarantee that garbage is collected and disposed of properly. If public health does become an issue, who will be the new policing agency? Local police, state troopers or will a new agency be created to police the scofflaws? "Service may suffer, especially residential. Competitors will target high dollar volume, commercial customers, `the cream,' at the expense of smaller customers. "Residential service will not be mandated as a condition of certification and unprofitable routes may be jeopardized. "Commercial rates will likely drop due to increased competition while residential rates will increase due to the labor intensive nature of this type of service. Rates are currently developed based on combining the commercial and residential operations. "Monopolies are a given to get situation with regards to the refuse industry: Limited profits, full cost disclosure, regulated operations, reporting requirements, etc., in return for potentially sole source certificate granted by APUC. There is clearly a difference between having an exclusive operating area under income restrictions and a true monopoly with little or no regulation. This is especially true considering that unlike electricity, telephone, sewer, etc., garbage customers have the choice to utilize the service or not. "Certificates granted by the APUC may have a marketable value much like IFQs in fishing. Elimination of this license to operate may constitute an eminent domain taking by the state and create a financial liability for the state." Number 2427 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she doesn't think Mr. Thompson has seen the letter from Anchorage Refuse where they suggest a couple of changes to the bill. She said one change would phase it out so we could deal with whatever the amortization is on the cost of their license so there wouldn't be a taking. The other issue was to eliminate the repeal of AS 29.35.050 which would ensure that constitutionally protected property interest of ARI and other currently certified refuge haulers would be protected from unlawful taking. TAPE 97-17, SIDE B Number 003 BOB DOYLE, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, Mat-Su School District, testified in support of HB 161 from Wasilla. He said deregulation of utilities is good in general and free enterprise should be encouraged by any legislature. Mr. Doyle said he thinks utilities should be allowed to work in a marketplace. He explained when the Mat-Su Borough was allowed to competitively bid the same people that had a monopoly on the school district have actually dropped their rates by $50,000. He explained $50,000 for the school district is a teacher in the classroom. With adequate competition in the state, businesses could recoup their investments in a competitive bidding environment and monopolies should be avoided whenever possible. Mr. Doyle referred to enforcement of regulations and making sure they (indisc.) standard of life in Alaska is appropriate and said he isn't sure what kind of enforcement there currently is by APUC. He said if there are 35 employees and they can't get certification back in two years, he isn't sure how many more people there would have to be to enforce the regulations. He said he would think deregulation would save the state and school districts money. Mr. Doyle said he hopes the legislature would allow deregulation to continue. MR. DOYLE explained that Mat-Su has the city of Palmer providing garbage service. Wasilla Refuse has a monopoly certification in a lot of the areas. There are also areas of the borough that don't have that monopoly. He noted there are some places in residential areas where there is some competition. For the consumers, competition can save even single family homeowners 40 percent to 50 percent of their garbage collection fees. This isn't just a district issue, it can save a lot of people money. Mr. Doyle said, "In the borough, there is some kind of an exemption where the borough is able to move transfer sites and have folks haul it to the main landfill. We tried to piggyback on that and we had the borough try and handle our bids so that we could try and operate under that and we were stopped with the lawyers. I appreciate their diligence, but in this case, they're doing it for billable hours and it's costing everybody, including the taxpayers, and I think deregulation would stop that." CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the school district is part of the borough and asked why they couldn't piggyback. MR. DOYLE said there was a threat of a lawsuit and rather then going out to bid, and having the potential of losing a lawsuit, they backed off and are going back to the APUC to try and get some clarification on the issue. He said it sounds like it will be several years down the road before they hear back from the APUC. Number 269 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked what the pickup fees are for a four cubic yard container. MR. DOYLE said the district doesn't have that many four yard dumpsters. Most of them are 33 yard roll on, roll off. He said they have actually built their own dumpsters so they don't have to lease them from anyone. Mr. Doyle noted they have trimmed their administrative overhead down to about 3.45 percent and are self insured in many areas. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Mr. Doyle when he gets his rate chart if he would send it to Representative Cowdery and the Labor and Commerce Committee. Number 339 PETE KINNEEN, Co-Owner, Commercial Recycling Center, testified via teleconference from Wasilla. He informed the committee that he went to the APUC and they gave him did a computer read out of their stance over the years from 1970 until the present time as to whether they wished to be regulated or not. The essence of it is that consistently, they have been since the beginning in favor of being out of this regulatory phase. The Division of Legislative Audit has done several audits in this regard and they seem to be in favor of deregulation. He referred to an audit and said the APUC did a survey of 49 states. He explained 29 out of the 32 states that responded stated to the APUC that they do not regulate this on a statewide basis at all. Mr. Kinneen said another point that was made is that this in no way affects local government's ability to handle the health, safety and welfare (indisc.) of the citizens. He continued to discuss the audit in further detail and said he would make the documents available to the committee. MR. KINNEEN explained their commercial recycling center has been in existence for six years and they have done some experiments and are ready to move forward on significant serious recycling. He said they find themselves stymieing to participate because the providers in Anchorage have been consistently on the record that they have elected not to provide curb side or consumer recycling because (indisc.) particular demand for it from the consumers. Mr. Kinneen said, "We are therefore restricted by circumstance to commercial which means somebody - the way I detect it they're all (indisc.) and bring it to us. So you're limited, by definition, to commercial businesses. We found that through our own studies that 25 to 35 percent of the people in the Anchorage area would in fact subscribe to a limited curb side recycling if it was available at a price not exceeding what they're paying at the moment." Mr. Kinneen said by deregulating or through some other methodology of allowing providers to come in and offer recycling services, that would be accomplished and there would be more recycling going on. Number 608 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked Mr. Kinneen if his recycling business is profitable. MR. KINNEEN indicated it is very profitable. Number 685 FRED MORINO, Hauler, Arrow Refuse, came before the committee to give his testimony. He explained his business is a hauling business where they haul refuse for the public and commercial sector to the local landfill. He indicated he has distributed information to the committee of some of his thoughts regarding HB 161. Mr. Morino said a consideration is the economy of scale in regards to the competitive nature of the service they provide. The minimum expenditure in his area would be in the neighborhood of $750,000 plus dollars just for the consideration of vehicles. For a community the size of Juneau, it would be very difficult to say that you could allow anyone to come in and have free competition. He informed the committee that all states have laws on the books regarding the handling of municipal solid waste. Mr. Morino said, "In many states, it is allowed to be regulated by the municipality or by the city or local government in the way they feel they should under the direction of the state in the laws that they've provided for the handling of municipal solid wastes." So all of the states are regulated and they do have laws regarding the handling of municipal solid wastes. MR. MORINO said one of his concerns is the fact that the bill provides no regulation regarding the handling of municipal solid waste. The competitive factor is another interesting aspect. In Juneau, for a capacity of 92 gallons per week they charge $22.38. The city of Seattle charges $33.00 plus dollars for the same service. The city of Portland charges in excess of $22.00 for a 60 gallon capacity. All of those communities have competition. The city of Portland started out in 1989 or 1990, with 120 providers. Today, they are down to less than 50 providers. Mr. Morino said, "What's happening in America is there are a few large companies who have gone out and acquired and have become very large as a government agency or a large bureaucratic private company and are not as efficient. And some of this now is turning again so that the larger companies are showing less profitability although they are still acquiring more of the market share which has been exemplified by some of the larger banks, some of the business, as well as in the refuse industry." Mr. Morino said it might be easy in some of the areas in Alaska to say, "We have a large enough population that we can handle this adequately." He said he isn't sure that many of the smaller communities like Juneau would have the expertise or the financial ability to say, "Handle it as well as the APUC may be handling it for us today." MR. MORINO said a consideration needs to be given to those areas where there aren't regulations in place regarding the handling of municipal solid waste. He said he thinks that is one of the services that APUC does provide. Mr. Morino stated he hasn't run into any obstacles in dealing with the APUC. He said he doesn't have anything to say against them. It seems that the system works well in most communities. If there is a perception that a regulator, for example the APUC, has a problem or it is perceived that they have a problem, then maybe that should be addressed. Mr. Morino said he doesn't think that the industry is doing a poor job in the state of Alaska. Number 911 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Mr. Morino if he has a monopoly in Juneau. MR. MORINO said he doesn't believe he has a monopoly. He noted he is the only certificated hauler. The citizens of Juneau have an opportunity to go directly to the landfill, which he has no financial interest in. People in Juneau have a choice regarding hauling refuse where they don't have a choice with water, sewer, telephones or electricity. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG referred to utility services and pointed out that a person could have his own septic tank, water well, satellite dish for communications, generate electric power with a generator and then take his trash to the landfill. Unless a person threw his trash over the bank, they would need some type of regulated landfill. MR. MORINO said he would need a regulated landfill. He pointed out the landfills will be the basis for the our municipal solid waste at least for the next 100 years until the technological advances change and make other options available. He said someone could reproduce some of the utility functions that are available to them now. Mr. Morino said he believes that self hauling would be more expensive than the service his company provides. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said Seattle has a $33 rate, but don't they have a recycling factor. MR. MORINO said there is a fee for recycling in Seattle. He said he is talking about providing a similar service. So a 92 gallon service in the city of Seattle, irrespective of recycling, would cost 33 plus dollars a month, where in Juneau it is $22.38. Number 1053 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked Mr. Morino if they handle the large dumpsters of four or five cubic yards. MR. MORINO explained the largest they provide is a three yard container. He noted they do have up to 40 yard containers as well as compactors. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked Mr. Morino if his business services all of Juneau. MR. MORINO indicated they do. He said they go 30 miles out the road. He noted he has five packer and two roll off trucks. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked what the average cost of a packer truck is. MR. MORINO responded that the minimum expense for a packer is 150,000 plus dollars. Number 1114 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there isn't a provision in statute or regulation that provides for "gypo operators" to give limited service. MR. MORINO said, "Again, legally I don't know what the aspects of that are. I think probably APUC could identify that much clearer. There may be somebody here. I believe it's four commercial customers under it's either nine or ten that someone can provide that service today." CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said an uncertified, unregulated trash hauler could service a limited number of sites. MR. MORINO said he believes that is true. Number 1168 JOEL GRUNWALDT, Director, Department of Solid Waste Services, Municipality of Anchorage, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He informed the committee that within the Municipality of Anchorage there are four certificated refuse haulers. Each of them have specific areas. Peninsula Sanitation services Potter to Portage. Anchorage Refuse, Incorporated, services the Anchorage bowl, excluding what is referred to as the city service area. He noted the city service area was the city of Anchorage at the time of unification in 1975. Eagle River Refuse is also a certificated carrier serving the area north of the military bases up to Eklutna. Mr. Grunwaldt said the Department of Solid Waste Services provides mandatory refuse collection and (indisc.) within the city services area. They are a APUC certificated carrier, however, they aren't economically regulated. The remaining private haulers are economically regulated by the APUC. Mr. Grunwaldt informed the committee that Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base provides their own service. Elmendorf Air Force Base provides their service by contract and Fort Richardson is by civil service employees. He said he doesn't have direct testimony with respect to either endorsing or opposing HB 161. He noted they just recently became aware of the legislation. Number 1288 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN questioned how the municipality would be affected if the law were to change so that they could no longer provide garbage services. MR. GRUNWALDT said he doesn't see HB 161 affecting the municipality's ability to provide service. The municipality provides a service via AS 29.35.050, where the municipality may regulate it within its area. He said he has a legal question which has to do with the municipal charter. The charter limits the expansion of authority for powers that didn't exist upon unification unless there is a vote of the people. He said Title 29 gives the municipality the power to do it, but is there a constraint for the municipality to regulate refuse carriers outside the city service area should HB 161 pass. Number 1377 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked Mr. Grunwaldt if the municipality has to have the approval of the APUC to change the rates for garbage collection. MR. GRUNWALDT said they do not need approval. He explained that prior to 1981, municipal refuse carriers were not regulated by the APUC. Only the private haulers were regulated. That exemption changed in 1981, and at the point in time, the municipality submitted an application for a certificate as was required under the new statute. At the same time, they requested an exemption from economic regulation because Title 42 did provide for that exemption. The municipality of Anchorage was granted the exemption. He said his assumption is that it is based primarily on the municipality's ability to regulate it by ordinance and the historical regulation was in place prior to the state saying, "You have to have a certificate." REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked how they established their rates. Number 1454 MR. GRUNWALDT explained their rates are established on a revenue requirements analysis that is done annually. Their last rates were approved in 1990. They are done by the adoption of an ordinance, which is subject to a public hearing by the Anchorage Assembly. He explained that from an economic standpoint, they would continue to do a rate setting basis based on revenue requirements. He said there would not be a impact on other utilities relating to municipal refuse collection utility rates. Refuse collection is a "stand alone utility," and they service private businesses provide that are operating within the municipality wouldn't impact the municipality's rate. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if the municipality's rates are comparable with the entities. MR. GRUNWALDT said to best of his knowledge, they are the lowest in the state. Number 1557 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said with deregulation of the garbage business, that would mean that there wouldn't be the requirement of having a certificate from the APUC. She asked what the result would be if there wasn't the requirement of obtaining a certificate from the APUC. MR. GRUNWALDT indicated there wouldn't be an impact. He noted the certificate they currently hold would be of no value. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if there is currently a value to the certificate. MR. GRUNWALDT said considering that it is owned by the government, probably not. Number 1607 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said if another company wanted to come in and buy the municipality's certificate and service area, wouldn't it then have value. MR. GRUNWALDT said from that standpoint it would. He noted that the municipal code would have to change. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if a vote of 6 percent of the voters in Anchorage would all the utility to be sold. MR. GRUNWALDT said it would allow the utility to be sold and it has a value in that sense. Number 1649 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Representative James if the bill were to pass as written, would the municipality still be able to regulate its own refuse within its own boundaries. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that existing language says, "The assembly acting may regulate, fix, establish and change the rates and charges imposed." She said that doesn't change. MR. GRUNWALDT said, "As long you don't change 29.35.050, paragraph (A) you aren't removing authorities that the municipalities in the state can -- you aren't taking anything away from the municipalities." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated the bill isn't intended to do that; however, there is an elimination of the 29.35.050 (B). It was suggested by a witness that that repeal be eliminated. Number 1755 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if the municipality would be willing to open their boundaries to competition if it was mandated under state statute. MR. GRUNWALDT said it would be a policy decision that would have to be established by the Administration and the Assembly. He said his opinion is that as you open competition, in some cases you will see the reduction of rates. In some cases, it may be a short-term reduction of rates. Over time, it can possibly go up. He noted they would have to consider where the competition would be allowed. There would be very little, if any, in a residential collection area. There would be more competition in the commercial collection area because that is the more profitable aspect of the business. Number 1849 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Mr. Grunwaldt if the municipality presently allows a company like Anchorage Refuse to come into their service area with extremely large containers. MR. GRUNWALDT indicated they allow the collectors to collect the roll-off units in the city service area. It is because the years ago the utility didn't have the equipment and made the decision not to enter that phase of the business. He noted that is by code. Number 1884 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY questioned what the municipality's rates are. MR. GRUNWALDT responded that their rates are currently $15 per month, per household, for curbside service once a week. He referred to the commercial rate and said it depends on the frequency and the container size. He referred to a three yard container, serviced once a week, and said the monthly rate is $50.50. There is an additional charge if the customer rents the container from the municipality before he owns it. If he owns his own container, then there is no additional charge. He noted a container rents for $9.50 per month. Number 1968 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN asked how the tipping fees are established and how they relate to the rates. MR. GRUNWALDT explained in Anchorage, there are two separate utilities. The rates are established by a revenue requirement analysis. He noted the last one they did was in 1986, projecting the opening of the new Anchorage regional landfill and central transfer station. At that time, the rates were set both for implementation over a three year period. One rate was in 1987, another in 1988 and one in 1989. He noted they have not moved off the 1989 rate of $45.00 per ton. Number 2031 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if anything has happened in Anchorage where a small operator came in took the amount of pick up sites that they could do under existing law without having to go through APUC. MR. GRUNWALDT informed the committee members they have exempted approximately 70 of the large commercial, retail and wholesale type businesses that require use of the roll off units. They are serviced by three different haulers. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if Carrs is one customer or many customers. MR. GRUNWALDT informed Representative James that Carrs is many customers. He noted the APUC defines customers as the location of a pick up service. Number 2106 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN asked if there is an average weight per yard of refuse. MR. GRUNWALDT said you could arrive at a number, but there will be a significant variation from one type of customer to another type of customer. It all depends on the type of business. For example, wet food waste out of a restaurant can be significantly heavier per cubic yard than mixed office paper coming out of a typical office. Mr. Grunwaldt referred to an average three yard dumpster that is serviced once a week and said the monthly weight is about 1,000 per month. Therefore, the weekly waste in a three yard container would be roughly 250 pounds. He noted that curb side waste collected per week, per home, is about 230 pounds. Number 2218 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he isn't in favor of opening everything to complete deregulation. He asked if the Municipality of Anchorage could, themselves, handle all of the APUC's decisions within their borough boundaries without having the APUC make those decisions. He asked if the municipality, borough and the city of Anchorage couldn't make all those decisions themselves instead of having a state body do it. MR. GRUNWALDT said there is a cost to regulating refuse collectors. The question is, "How much does that cost and how would the municipality recover those costs if it in fact decided to provide oversight or regulatory authority over (indisc.)?" He said that is unknown. Number 2307 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if the municipality of Anchorage pays any percentage to the APUC for regulation. MR. GRUNWALDT explained they presently do not pay because they are economically exempt. Number 2352 MIKE MEATH, President of Star Sanitation in Fairbanks, came before the committee to give his testimony. He said he believes a lot of the points he was going to discuss have already been addressed, particularly in Mr. Morino's testimony. Mr. Meath discussed the history of the competition that has happened in Fairbanks. He said it has been tried twice over the last decade. The first time there was no economic regulation it resulted in both companies experiencing losses to the point where one finally bought the other out returning the area to a monopoly status. The second time his company was involved. He said the competition became so intense that the competitors were forced to provide services below cost which resulted in huge losses for both companies. Mr. Meath noted he has given committee members an APUC staff report that speaks to that competition and what the financial situation of the two companies involved were. Both companies were both placed in jeopardy of failing to the point where there wouldn't be a refuse provider for Fairbanks which would lead to health and safety issues. TAPE 97-18, SIDE A Number 001 MR. MEATH continued, "...want multiple trucks with different companies going down the same roads, unsafe, that haven't been maintenanced, haven't been serviced, it becomes a serious safety issue." Mr. Meath explained their competitor, Far North, who was Star Sanitation's competitor, sold out to them. Star North is currently the sole provider in a part of the Fairbanks area. He noted there is competition in another part of the Fairbanks area which filed for bankruptcy within the last year. MR. MEATH explained reliable refuse collection is absolutely critical to public health, safety and the environment. A gap of a few days in which refuse isn't picked up could become a very serious problem. Mr. Meath said those are some of the things that could happen if there are multiple competitors. There will be people out there with pick up trucks collecting trash. He said he isn't convinced that a local government will do a better job than the APUC. Mr. Meath said the issues of his company have been resolved before APUC in a fairly timely manner. He said he thinks we are jumping way too fast if the APUC were to be completely deregulated. MR. MEATH referred to there being unfairness to existing certificate holders and said his company has proven their viability and experience to APUC's satisfaction. He said they have an obligation to service each and every customer in their certificated areas and cannot deny service; therefore, they have had to buy the equipment necessary to service all those customers thinking they had some protection from the APUC. Mr. Meath informed the committee his company has bought about seven trucks at a cost of $140,000 to $150,000. He said, "Now we're going to deregulate it and let someone come in, buy one truck, ten containers and go out and cream skin the market, and here we are with this mass amount of equipment." He noted there isn't much of a market for used garbage equipment. He questioned how the equipment will be paid for. Mr. Meath urged the committee to table HB 161 and look at other alternatives. Number 331 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked Mr. Meath how many employees are employed by his business. He also asked what their hauling boundaries are. MR. MEATH said there are about 15 employees including himself. They service the whole Fairbanks North Star area except North Pole. He noted he goes as far as Chena Hot Springs, up past Fort Knox gold mine out to Skinny Dick's on the Parks highway and as far south as the Tanana River. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked what their residential and commercial rates are. MR. MEATH said their commercial rate for three cubic yards is $43.00 or $47.00 per ton. The tipping fee is $1.85 per yard. That is multiplied by the size of the container times an average of 4.35 picks per month. He said that is a straight pass through. They are not allowed to make money on the tipping fees. He noted the weight is approximately 89 pounds to 92 pounds per yard. Number 493 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if the summer and winter rates are the same. MR. MEATH indicated they are the same. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked what the residential rates are. MR. MEATH responded residential rates are $12.12 for a three can pick up once a week. He said if there is pack out service where they walk into a driveway and pack out the cans, there could be an additional $10.00 charge. Mr. Meath noted customers have an option of renting a container from them. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked Mr. Meath how many trucks he has. MR. MEATH responded they have five to six trucks that leave the plant every day. There are back up trucks in case one breaks down. In the summer, there are eight to ten trucks that leave the plant every day. There is that much fluctuation from summer to winter. Number 589 REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if they service their own trucks. MR. MEATH explained they have an approximately 30,000 square foot shop where they manufacture containers and do truck repair and maintenance. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if their overhead is higher than what it is in Juneau. MR. MEATH responded that it is significantly higher. Number 680 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN asked if the city of Fairbanks is indulging in hauling trash. MR. MEATH informed the committee the city of Fairbanks, Public Works Department, does the residential service for households within the city limits of Fairbanks. REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said if the section that allowed municipalities to engage in this trade were repealed and the city of Fairbanks had to allow others come in, would that detriment his business. He said he believes they charge about $12 to $14 per month. MR. MEATH said they have what he would call a fairly cheap rate. He noted the residents are allowed unlimited bags. During spring clean up, a resident may have 35 bags. They have to pick it up. He said he thinks the residents of Fairbanks are receiving a good deal. He said if his company was able to do that work within the city limits, they would analyze it. At this point, he couldn't say they would. Number 864 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if there is a section in the bill that would require the city to get out of the business. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that is not part of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA explained in Valdez, the garbage rate is paid through the mill rate of their homes, which is also tax deductible. Number 919 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG referred to the case U94-19 and questioned what case that was. MR. MEATH said that is the staff report that talked about competition when his business was competing with Far North Sanitation. He noted the APUC didn't take action on that because his company purchased Far North Sanitation a short time after the staff report was issued. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked what the time frame was for the APUC to issue the staff report from the time they held the hearing. MR. MEATH explained he believes the report was a result of their annual reports being filed. The APUC looked at the financial conditions of the companies and they got nervous that the financial status of both companies were in jeopardy. Number 998 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said he would allow members of the APUC a chance to make comments about the testimony that has been given. Number 1018 MS. HANLEY said Representative James talked about the problem in Healy with landfills. She said it is important to realize that the APUC doesn't regulate landfills. The APUC addressed the problem in Healy with the only certificated hauler there. The commission, a couple of years ago, traveled to Healy and had a public input hearing. While they were there, they made a ruling granting temporary certificates to the two companies who were trying to address the needs of the people in that area. Ms. Hanley said they were charging nine customers and then were hauling for the rest of the people for free because the certificated hauler was having some problems and wasn't picking up the trash. MS. HANLEY indicated the APUC hasn't received a filing from the Mat-Su School District. She noted the APUC isn't familiar with the filing or the situation Mr. Doyle described. Number 1098 MS. HANLEY referred to the Fairbanks area and said the APUC recently had a certificate transfer from Drake Sanitation to Mr. Hite. Mr. Hite now has the North Pole refuse hauling business. Ms. Hanley explained that the decisions involving certificates that may change the amount of competition or the market structure are more complicated than controversial. They do take longer than the regular rate setting cases or a simple transfer of a certificate. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she was curious how many little complaints that the APUC gets. She asked if things are routinely handled or if they handled in a timely fashion. MS. HANLEY said as Chairman Cotten indicated, they haven't addressed a few things in a timely fashion. She explained sometimes other utilities take priority because public safety has been involved in issuing new certificates. She said the commission hasn't responded in a timely fashion they would like to and are working to change that. Ms. Hanley said they occassionally receive requests for clarification, particularly from Mat-Su. With the competitive environment there, there is a very complex situation about who can serve duplexes, triplexes, businesses, etc. Number 1261 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said as she understands the procedure, an application for a certificate of convenience needs to accompanied by information that would indicate the area that a company wants to serve and their financial and physical abilities to serve the area. A certificate of convenience does not, at that point in time, regulate the charges. She asked if that is a second process after a company receives a certificate of convenience or is it all done together. MS. HANLEY responded that not everyone who has a certificate is required to be economically regulated. The statute says that they do not economically regulate any garbage utility whose annual revenues are under $300,000. Those companies do have a certificate, but aren't economically regulated by the commission. Number 1331 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES referred to companies that do have certificates and asked what would be the process if they were not maintaining health and safety issues in a proper way. She asked if it would take a complaint from the public to the APUC against the company's certificate. MS. HANLEY said if there was a public complaint that a trash hauler who has a certificate wasn't meeting their obligations, the APUC would become involved. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES pointed out that there was a long delay in the Healy process. MS. HANLEY said she believes the delay Representative James was referring to was the issuing of the permanent certificates. She said once they issued temporary certificates so the companies could operate and the public needs were being met, the issuing of the permanent certificates went to the bottom of the APUC's orders that needed to go out. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she remembers there being a long time frame before the hearing was held for the temporary certificates. Number 1470 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG thanked everybody for their testimony. He asked Mr. Cotten if he would forward results of surveys done by the APUC on this issue to the committee. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG thanked Representative James for bringing the issue forward. He said he would appoint a subcommittee on HB 161. Representative Sanders was appointed as the chairman of the subcommittee and Representatives Brice and Hudson were appointed as members. ADJOURNMENT Number 1621 CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG adjourned the House Labor and Commerce Committee meeting at 5:20 p.m.