Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/03/1998 03:24 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
    HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                
                   April 3, 1998                                               
                     3:24 p.m.                                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
                                                                               
Representative Norman Rokeberg, Chairman                                       
Representative John Cowdery, Vice Chairman                                     
Representative Joe Ryan                                                        
Representative Tom Brice                                                       
Representative Gene Kubina                                                     
                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
                                                                               
Representative Bill Hudson                                                     
Representative Jerry Sanders                                                   
                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
                                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 451                                                             
"An Act relating to assistive technology devices and mobility aids             
for physically disabled persons."                                              
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 451(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 158(L&C)                                                
"An Act relating to motor vehicle liability insurance covering a               
person who has had the person's driver's license revoked for                   
possession or consumption of alcohol while under 21 years of age."             
                                                                               
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 158(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                
                                                                               
(* First public hearing)                                                       
                                                                               
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
                                                                               
BILL: HB 451                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY & MOBILITY AIDS                              
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) GREEN, Davies, Berkowitz                        
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
02/18/98      2361     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
02/18/98      2361     (H)  L&C, JUDICIARY                                     
03/06/98      2552     (H)  FIRST COSPONSOR:  DAVIES                           
03/11/98               (H)  L&C AT  3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                         
03/11/98               (H)  MINUTE(L&C)                                        
03/27/98               (H)  JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                        
03/27/98               (H)  MINUTE(JUD)                                        
04/03/98               (H)  JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                        
04/03/98               (H)  MINUTE(JUD)                                        
04/03/98               (H)  L&C AT  3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                         
                                                                               
BILL: SB 158                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: INSURANCE CHANGES FOR DR. LIC REVOC.                              
SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY BY REQUEST                                               
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
04/02/97       935     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
04/02/97       935     (S)  L&C, JUD                                           
02/05/98               (S)  L&C AT  1:30 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                  
02/05/98               (S)  MINUTE(L&C)                                        
02/19/98               (S)  L&C AT  1:30 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                  
02/19/98               (S)  MINUTE(L&C)                                        
02/20/98      2591     (S)  L&C RPT  CS  1DP 4NR  NEW TITLE                    
02/20/98      2591     (S)  DP: KELLY                                          
02/20/98      2591     (S)  NR: MACKIE, HOFFMAN, MILLER, LEMAN                 
02/20/98      2591     (S)  ZERO FNS TO SB & CS (ADM, DCED)                    
03/02/98               (S)  JUD AT  1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                     
03/02/98               (S)  MINUTE(JUD)                                        
03/03/98               (S)  RLS AT 11:35 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                  
03/03/98               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                        
03/03/98      2715     (S)  JUD RPT  2DP 1NR (L&C)CS                           
03/02/98      2715     (S)  DP: TAYLOR, MILLER  NR: PARNELL                    
03/02/98      2715     (S)  PREVIOUS ZERO FNS (DCED, ADM)                      
03/05/98      2749     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR  3/5/98                          
03/05/98      2750     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                               
03/05/98      2751     (S)  L&C  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                       
03/05/98      2751     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING  UNAN                    
                            CONSENT                                            
03/05/98      2751     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 158(L&C)                 
03/05/98      2751     (S)  PASSED Y14 N6                                      
03/05/98      2759     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                 
03/06/98      2533     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
03/06/98      2533     (H)  L&C, JUDICIARY                                     
04/01/98               (H)  L&C AT  3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                         
04/01/98               (H)  MINUTE(L&C)                                        
04/03/98               (H)  L&C AT  3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                         
                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
                                                                               
JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant                                              
   to Representative Joseph Green                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 118                                                     
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 465-6841                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented amendments to HB 451 as sponsor's               
                     representative.                                           
                                                                               
SHIRLEY ARMSTRONG, Legislative Assistant                                       
   to Chairman Rokeberg                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 24                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 465-4968                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 451.                           
                                                                               
RALPH BENNETT, Legislative Administrative Assistant                            
   to Senator Robin Taylor                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 30                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                          
Telephone:  (907) 465-3717                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented House committee substitute for                  
                     CSSB 158(L&C).                                            
                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
                                                                               
TAPE 98-43, SIDE A                                                             
Number 0001                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN NORMAN ROKEBERG called the House Labor and Commerce                   
Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:24 p.m.  Members present              
at the call to order were Representatives Rokeberg, Cowdery, Ryan              
and Kubina.  Representative Brice arrived at approximately 3:27                
p.m.  Chairman Rokeberg commented some large framed photographs had            
been loaned to the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee for             
display in the committee chambers.  He indicated Unocal Corporation            
provided a photograph of the Steelhead platform, the Municipality              
of Anchorage provided a photograph of the Anchorage skyline,                   
Anchorage International Airport provided an aerial photograph of               
the airport, Totem Ocean Trailer Express Incorporated (TOTE)                   
provided a photograph of the S.S. Great Land, and BP Exploration               
(Alaska) Incorporated provided five large photographs of North                 
Slope activities.                                                              
                                                                               
HB 451 - ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY & MOBILITY AIDS                                  
                                                                               
Number 0150                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the committee's first item of business             
was HB 451, "An Act relating to assistive technology devices and               
mobility aids for physically disabled persons."                                
                                                                               
Number 0157                                                                    
                                                                               
JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joseph Green,              
came forward to testify.  He noted Representative Green was at                 
another committee meeting and hoped to join the committee shortly.             
Mr. Logan referred to previous the House Labor and Commerce                    
Standing Committee hearing on HB 451, commenting that the                      
committee's instructions had been to provide a more concise                    
definition of the term "collateral costs" on page 5, line 26,                  
subsection (3) which read, "(3) "collateral costs" means expenses              
incurred by a consumer in connection with the repair of a                      
nonconformity including the costs of obtaining an alternative                  
assistive technology device or mobility aid;".  Mr. Logan noted the            
committee members had a memorandum and amendment from the bill                 
drafter, Terri Lauterbach, legislative counsel.  He said the                   
amendment narrowed the definition of collateral costs to medical               
expenses, replacement rental, shipping and communication with the              
manufacturer.  He also noted Ms. Lauterbach's memorandum stated the            
collateral cost provision only applied to Section 620 of the bill,             
not Section 610.  He said the sponsor intended for the collateral              
costs section to apply to both Section 610 and Section 620; they               
were offering an additional amendment on page 2, line 6, adding,               
"and the manufacturer shall refund collateral costs incurred by the            
consumer.".                                                                    
                                                                               
Number 0298                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG stated that amendment would be marked Amendment              
1.  Amendment 1 read:                                                          
                                                                               
     Page 2/Line 6                                                             
     after "repaired" INSERT                                                   
     "and the manufacturer shall refund collateral costs                       
     incurred by the consumer."                                                
                                                                               
Number 0308                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA made a motion to adopt Amendment 1.                 
                                                                               
Number 0315                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE objected for discussion purposes,                     
indicating the use of "refund" meant the consumer who has been                 
wronged would have to pay these costs initially rather than the                
manufacturer.  He suggested, "manufacturer shall pay the collateral            
costs incurred by the customer".                                               
                                                                               
Number 0380                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. LOGAN said they have no objection to that, noting the point was            
well-taken and that situation was considered.                                  
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG suggested, "liable for payment of the collateral             
costs".                                                                        
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE noted the shipping costs for sending the                  
assistive technology device would be the large cost.                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN commented it was difficult for this                    
legislature to accept the concept of "time value of money" done                
throughout industry.  He stated, "When you have to spend your money            
it could be earning money for you, and very easy that the person               
who has to reimburse you shall include the time value of money for             
the period of time you were without the use of your funds."  He                
indicated this concept had existed for thousands of years,                     
suggesting an increment of interest be added to reimbursement.                 
                                                                               
Number 0470                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG directed Representative Ryan's attention to the              
second amendment defining collateral costs, noting he thought they             
would be "stretching the envelope enough" without adding something             
like interest charges.                                                         
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked what language the chairman was                     
envisioning.                                                                   
                                                                               
Number 0495                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated there were two ideas conceptually, "the            
manufacturer shall pay" or, in his thoughts, "the manufacturer                 
shall be liable for payment of".                                               
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE indicated that was acceptable to him.                     
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA noted "shall pay" or "payment" were both                 
acceptable to him.                                                             
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said the difference was the timing of payment.               
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE commented that returning a wheelchair would               
cost a large amount of money and the consumer should be able to                
send it COD (cash on delivery, collect on delivery).                           
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked the committee's preference.                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE indicated the chairman should decide.                     
                                                                               
Number 0600                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG stated, "Let's just change it to 'shall pay the              
collateral costs' and we'll have the Judiciary Committee                       
(indisc.)."  He noted there was an amendment to Amendment 1 to                 
delete "refund" and add "pay the".  He asked if there were any                 
objections to the amendment to the amendment.  There being none,               
the amendment to Amendment 1 was adopted.                                      
Amendment 1 as amended read:                                                   
                                                                               
     Page 2/Line 6                                                             
     after "repaired" INSERT                                                   
     "and the manufacturer shall pay the collateral costs                      
     incurred by the consumer."                                                
                                                                               
SHIRLEY ARMSTRONG, Legislative Assistant to Representative Norman              
Rokeberg, stated the term "refund" appeared again on page 2, line              
15 [from lines 14 and 15: "... within 30 days, refund any                      
collateral costs;"].                                                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA noted it was saying within 30 days there.                
                                                                               
Number 0628                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG commented that was a little different and                    
indicated the language could be changed to "refund or pay for".  He            
asked for Mr. Logan's opinion, noting it wasn't clear if the                   
language needed to be changed because it specified "within 30                  
days".                                                                         
                                                                               
MR. LOGAN replied it seemed sufficient at this point.                          
                                                                               
Number 0688                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Mr. Logan to examine this further for a                
recommendation to the next committee of referral.  He asked if the             
objection to adoption of Amendment 1 still stood.                              
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE withdrew his objection.                                   
                                                                               
Number 0720                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG, hearing no objections, stated Amendment 1 was               
adopted as amended.  He noted the committee had before it Amendment            
2, marked 0-LS1538\E.1, Lauterbach, 4/3/98.                                    
Amendment 2 read:                                                              
                                                                               
     Page 5, lines 26 - 28:                                                    
          Delete all material and insert:                                      
               "(3) "collateral costs" means the following                     
          expenses incurred by a consumer:                                     
                    (A) medical expenses for the treatment of                  
          a physical injury caused by a nonconformity in an                    
          assistive technology device or mobility aid;                         
                    (B) the cost to rent a substitute                          
          assistive technology device or mobility aid during                   
          the time repairs are attempted for an assistive                      
          technology device or mobility aid that has a                         
          nonconformity and during the time preceding receipt                  
          of a replacement when repairs have been                              
          unsuccessful;                                                        
                    (C) the cost of shipping an assistive                      
          technology device or mobility aid that has a                         
          nonconformity to a manufacture, lessor, or                           
          authorized dealer for repair or replacement; and                     
                    (D) the documented costs of long-distance                  
          telephone calls and facsimile transmissions used to                  
          contact the manufacturer, lessor, or authorized                      
          dealer for the purpose of effecting a repair or                      
          replacement of an assistive technology device or                     
          mobility aid that has a nonconformity;"                              
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to adopt Amendment 2.                      
                                                                               
Number 0747                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG, hearing no objections, stated Amendment 2 was               
adopted.                                                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to move HB 451 as amended to               
the next committee of referral, with individual recommendations and            
the accompanying zero fiscal note.                                             
                                                                               
Number 0768                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there were any objections.  There being             
none, CSHB 451(L&C) moved out of the House Labor and Commerce                  
Standing Committee.                                                            
                                                                               
CSSB 158(L&C) - INSURANCE CHANGES FOR DR. LIC REVOC.                           
                                                                               
Number 0775                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the committee's next order of business             
was CSSB 158(L&C), "An Act relating to motor vehicle liability                 
insurance covering a person who has had the person's driver's                  
license revoked for possession or consumption of alcohol while                 
under 21 years of age."                                                        
                                                                               
Number 0785                                                                    
                                                                               
RALPH BENNETT, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Senator                 
Robin Taylor, came forward.  He indicated there was a proposed                 
committee substitute, Version R, which embodied the changes                    
suggested in discussion with the department and the industry at the            
April 1, 1998, hearing.  Mr. Bennet noted the changes had been in              
Section 2 of the bill.  He indicated the language "in a situation              
where the person was not driving and was" had been inserted on page            
2, line 10.  The addition of that language essentially gave the                
insurance industry some further assurance that they would not be               
dealing with the other things mentioned in [AS] 28.15.183 or                   
28.15.185.  He said, "We will restrict ourselves only to those non-            
driving offenses."  On page 2, line 13, under subsection (b), he               
indicated the language "based upon loss experience" had been                   
substituted for "for a loss experience", commenting it was a minor             
and technical change.  Section 2 of Version R read:                            
                                                                               
     *Sec. 2.  AS 21.89 is amended by adding a new section to                  
     read:                                                                     
          Sec. 21.89.027.  Motor vehicle insurance following                   
     driver's license revocation.  (a) Notwithstanding AS                      
     21.36.210, an insurer offering insurance in this state                    
     may not (1) refuse to issue or renew motor vehicle                        
     liability insurance coverage; (2) cancel an existing                      
     policy of motor vehicle liability insurance; (3) deny a                   
     covered claim; or (4) increase the premium on a motor                     
     vehicle liability insurance policy if the refusal,                        
     cancellation, denial, or increase results only from the                   
     fact that the person's driver's license was revoked under                 
     AS 28.15.183 or 28.15.185 for possession or consumption                   
     of alcohol in a situation where the person was not                        
     driving and was in violation of AS 04.16.050 or a                         
     municipal ordinance with substantially similar elements.                  
          (b) The provisions of (a) of this section may not                    
     prevent an insurer from underwriting or rating based upon                 
     loss experience in the same manner as it would for a                      
     person who has not had the person's driver's license                      
     revoked under AS 28.15.183 or 28.15.185.                                  
                                                                               
Number 0879                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA made a motion to adopt Version R, the                    
proposed committee substitute for CSSB 158(L&C), labeled 0-                    
LS0839\R, Ford, dated 4/3/98.  There being no objections, Version              
R was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he took it that it still got to the                 
point.                                                                         
                                                                               
MR. BENNETT answered in the affirmative.                                       
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if Representative Brice needed any further             
explanation [Representative Brice had not been present for the                 
April 1, 1998, hearing].                                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE indicated he would speak with Mr. Bennett at              
a later time.                                                                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA commented the department was "okay with it               
now."                                                                          
                                                                               
Number 0920                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BENNET stated Senator Taylor was happy with the current                    
version.  He noted every change they had made had been discussed               
exhaustively with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the                    
Division of Insurance, Mr. George [John George, Lobbyist for                   
National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII)] and the                   
industry.  Mr. Bennett commented they would be discussing further              
changes before the bill came before the House Judiciary Standing               
Committee.  He stated, "Specifically, the effective date may be too            
stringent for ... any business as complex as the ... insurance                 
industry to comply with the requirements of this legislation and               
reorient ... the type of response to their customers that we would             
expect them to have, so we may want to adjust the effective date in            
Judiciary Committee, if not other things that have occurred to you             
gentlemen."                                                                    
                                                                               
Number 0967                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG said he assumed the bill would go into effect 90             
days after it was signed into law by the Governor.                             
                                                                               
Number 0975                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BENNET indicated the chairman was correct.  Mr. Bennet stated              
January 1 had been suggested as a possible date and he indicated               
this change might be requested in the House Judiciary Standing                 
Committee to allow the industry further time.                                  
                                                                               
Number 1004                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG confirmed none of the witnesses signed up wished             
to testify at that time.  He noted representatives from the                    
Division of Insurance and the insurance industry were present, and             
there seemed to be a general consensus on the legislation.                     
Chairman Rokeberg said, therefore, he would entertain a motion.                
                                                                               
Number 1024                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN COWDERY made a motion to move the proposed                 
committee substitute for CSSB 158(L&C) with individual                         
recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note.  There being no             
objections, HCS CSSB 158(L&C) was moved out of the House Labor and             
Commerce Standing Committee.                                                   
                                                                               
Number 1050                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked the chairman if he would consider                  
moving HB 323 out of committee as well.  Representative Kubina                 
noted the committee had previously heard the legislation dealing               
with nine-month school employees and retirement issues, commenting             
the bill had a couple more committees of referral.                             
                                                                               
Number 1074                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated he had not been previous consulted                 
about this request.                                                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked the chairman to consider it for the                
next committee meeting.                                                        
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG stated he would take the matter under advisement.            
                                                                               
Number 1085                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RYAN commented he had originally told the sponsor of            
HB 323 he would support hearing the legislation and perhaps moving             
it to the next committee.  Representative Ryan commented they had              
been "sandbagged" by the unexpected $7 million fiscal note from the            
Division of Retirement and Benefits [Department of Administration].            
                                                                               
Number 1120                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA indicated the committee had seen legislation             
before with very inaccurate fiscal notes the committee knew were               
not correct.  He commented Representative Brice had been willing to            
write his own fiscal note for the bill.                                        
                                                                               
Number 1145                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG called an at ease at 3:40 p.m.  The committee                
came back to order at 3:46 p.m.                                                
                                                                               
Number 1158                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated he was in receipt of a memorandum from             
the Speaker of the House asking the committee chairs to have their             
committee business completed by May 3, 1998, with the exception of             
the House Finance Standing Committee.  Chairman Rokeberg briefly               
mentioned two large pieces of legislation the committee would be               
taking up at subsequent meetings, indicating one concerned common              
ownership and the other involved banking securities regulation.                
                                                                               
ADJOURNMENT                                                                    
                                                                               
Number 1204                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG adjourned the House Labor and Commerce Standing              
Committee meeting at 3:48 p.m.                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects