Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/03/1998 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 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.