Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/01/2002 03:20 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 1, 2002                                                                                          
                           3:20 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lisa Murkowski, Chair                                                                                            
Representative Andrew Halcro, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Kevin Meyer                                                                                                      
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                                                                  
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Joe Hayes                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 399                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the  Uniform Mechanical Code and other safety                                                               
codes; annulling  certain regulations  adopted by  the Department                                                               
of Community and Economic Development  relating to the mechanical                                                               
code  that  applies  to   certain  construction  contractors  and                                                               
mechanical administrators; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 436                                                                                                              
"An   Act  relating   to   construction,  plumbing,   mechanical,                                                               
electrical, fire safety, and other  safety codes adopted by state                                                               
agencies and municipalities."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 437                                                                                                              
"An Act  adopting a  version of the  Uniform Mechanical  Code for                                                               
the state  and providing for  adoption of future versions  of the                                                               
code; and relating to the building  code adopted by the state and                                                               
to other safety codes."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 399                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:UNIFORM MECHANICAL CODE                                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF ADMIN REGULATION REVIEW                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/11/02     2204       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/11/02     2204       (H)        L&C                                                                                          
03/01/02                (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 436                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:MECHANICAL CODE                                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)HARRIS                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/15/02     2286       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/15/02     2286       (H)        L&C                                                                                          
02/15/02     2286       (H)        REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                 
03/01/02                (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 437                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:UNIFORM MECHANICAL CODE                                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)HARRIS                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/15/02     2286       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/15/02     2286       (H)        L&C                                                                                          
02/15/02     2286       (H)        REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                 
03/01/02                (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LESIL McGUIRE, Chair                                                                                             
Joint Committee on Administrative Regulation Review                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 418                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the sponsor of HB
399, the Joint Committee on Administrative Regulation Review.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN MANLY, Staff                                                                                                               
to Representative John Harris                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 513                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the sponsor of HB
436 and HB 437.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MAX MIELKE, Business Manager                                                                                                    
UA Local Union 262 Plumbers & Pipefitters                                                                                       
President, Alaska State Pipe and Trade Association                                                                              
President, Juneau Central Labor Council                                                                                         
723 W 10th Street                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that the IMC is all about                                                                        
politics.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
STEVE SHOWS                                                                                                                     
19137 Randall Road                                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Encouraged the legislature to let the                                                                      
regulations of the State Fire Marshall stand.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GENE RUTLAND, Executive Director                                                                                                
Mechanical Contractors of Alaska                                                                                                
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 399.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DWIGHT PERKINS, Northwest Regional Manager                                                                                      
International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials                                                                    
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that the plumbing and mechanical                                                                 
industries should develop the plumbing and mechanical codes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY POWELL, Director/State Fire Marshal                                                                                        
Division of Fire Prevention                                                                                                     
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
5700 E Tudor Road                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided background with regard to the                                                                     
adoption of the IMC.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT BUCH, Member                                                                                                             
UA Local 367                                                                                                                    
3160 W 71st Avenue                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska 99502                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 399.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STEVE MILLER, Member                                                                                                            
UA Local 367                                                                                                                    
610 W 54th                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska 99518                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed the difficulties he has with the                                                                 
International Codes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KIT DAHLSTROM, Mechanical Administrator                                                                                         
Enstar Natural Gas                                                                                                              
PO Box 770725                                                                                                                   
Eagle River, Alaska 99577                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Announced his support of the Uniform set of                                                                
codes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ERNIE MISEWICZ, Deputy Fire Marshal                                                                                             
Fairbanks Fire Department                                                                                                       
656 7th Avenue                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Noted his current opposition to HB 436.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL SAGER, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Mechanical Contractors Association of Fairbanks                                                                                 
1340 2nd Avenue                                                                                                                 
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 399.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BRET HELMS, Member                                                                                                              
UA Local 375                                                                                                                    
1978 Burgess Avenue                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed concerns with changing to the                                                                    
IMC.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS DALMAN, Mechanical Administrator                                                                                         
PO Box 49                                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed concerns with changing to the                                                                    
IMC.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BITNEY, Legislative Liaison                                                                                                
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation                                                                                              
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
PO Box 101020                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska  99510                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified with regard to AHFC's inclusion                                                                  
in HB 436 and HB 437.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-27, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LISA  MURKOWSKI  called   the  House  Labor  and  Commerce                                                               
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:20   p.m.                                                               
Representatives Murkowski  and Crawford were present  at the call                                                               
to  order.   Representatives Halcro,  Meyer, Rokeberg,  and Hayes                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 399-UNIFORM MECHANICAL CODE                                                                                                
HB 436-MECHANICAL CODE                                                                                                        
HB 437-UNIFORM MECHANICAL CODE                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI announced that today  testimony would be heard on                                                               
HB 399,  HB 436, and HB  437, which all deal  with the mechanical                                                               
code.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 062                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LESIL  McGUIRE,   Chair,   Joint  Committee   on                                                               
Administrative  Regulation  Review,   Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                               
testified  on  behalf  of  the  sponsor  of  HB  399,  the  Joint                                                               
Committee    on   Administrative    Regulation   Review    (ARR).                                                               
Representative McGuire  acknowledged that  the subject  matter of                                                               
all three  bills are the same.   However, she expressed  the need                                                               
for  a philosophical  and  public policy  debate  with regard  to                                                               
whether the  Uniform Mechanical Code  (UMC) or  the International                                                               
Mechanical   Code   (IMC)   is   appropriate   for   the   state.                                                               
Representative  McGuire specified  that the  committee substitute                                                               
(CS)  before  the committee  strips  out  the substantive  policy                                                               
decisions.  She  expressed her desire to focus  on the procedural                                                               
issue at hand, which is the separation of powers issue.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 088                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  moved to adopt the  committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for HB 399, Version  22-LS1461\C, Bannister, 2/20/02, as the                                                               
working  document.   There  being  no  objection, Version  C  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  began by providing the  committee a brief                                                               
history of ARR's experience with HB  399.  This summer a group of                                                               
mechanical  contractors   brought  to   Representative  McGuire's                                                               
attention  that there  were proposals  to  change the  mechanical                                                               
contractor code  from the UMC to  the IMC.  The  concerns brought                                                               
to the  ARR committee  mainly dealt with  the process  with which                                                               
this change  in code  occurred.   There was  the belief  that the                                                               
code change was rushed through  and there had been no opportunity                                                               
to offer  testimony with regard to  the merits of the  codes.  At                                                               
that  point, this  past fall,  Representative McGuire  decided to                                                               
hold  an ARR  meeting  on this  matter.   In  attendance at  this                                                               
meeting  were [representatives]  from  the  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety  (DPS),  the Division  of  Occupational  Licensing in  the                                                               
Department of  Community & Economic  Development (DCED).   During                                                               
this  three-and-half hour  meeting  discussing  the proposals  by                                                               
DPS, ARR clearly  expressed concern with the process.   There was                                                               
specific concern noted  with regard to the  current statutes that                                                               
charge the Division of  Occupational Licensing with administering                                                               
a   test  entitled   the  Uniform   Mechanical  Code,   which  is                                                               
copyrighted, trademarked, and proprietary in nature.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  specified that  her intention  in holding                                                               
the ARR  meeting was  to make  [DPS] aware  of the  concerns with                                                               
regard  to the  separation of  powers issues.   Furthermore,  she                                                               
said she  had wanted  to [make clear]  that it's  the legislature                                                               
that  establishes  policy and  the  regulations  are designed  to                                                               
implement that  policy.  She  highlighted that she  had requested                                                               
that DCED  [postpone adoption of  the regulations] and  come meet                                                               
[with ARR]  in January  in order  to discuss  the merits  of both                                                               
codes.    However,  DCED  proceeded  to  adopt  regulations  that                                                               
directly contradict the  statute.  The only recourse  was to hold                                                               
an  ARR   meeting  and   ask  DCED   to  explain   their  action.                                                               
Representative McGuire  said, "I can  tell you with  every degree                                                               
of certainty  ... that there  was no legitimate  explanation that                                                               
came  out of  that meeting."   However,  she recognized  that the                                                               
Division  of Occupational  Licensing  was probably  placed in  an                                                               
awkward position  because of DPS's  broad authority given  by the                                                               
legislature.   In  fact, DPS  has the  ability to  adopt whatever                                                               
regulations [it  deems appropriate].   On the other  hand, DCED's                                                               
statutory authority and licensing  requirements are very clear in                                                               
their reference to  the UMC.  Representative  McGuire pointed out                                                               
that the Department  of Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD) was                                                               
also involved in this and DLWD  chose to adopt the newest version                                                               
of the UMC, which [was] an option that DCED could've chosen.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 187                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE pointed out, "As  a legislative body it is                                                               
our obligation to retain the power  that we have in our branch of                                                               
government.  It's specifically the  purview of the Administrative                                                               
Regulatory Review Committee  to continue to guard  that ... power                                                               
very  safely."   She  informed  the committee  that  in 1980  the                                                               
supreme  court decided  that the  legislature no  longer had  the                                                               
ability   through  mere   resolution  to   annul  a   regulation.                                                               
Therefore,  the  role of  ARR  was  changed significantly.    She                                                               
submitted that  ARR's role was  made even more  important because                                                               
it is the  only watchdog to ensure the  correct implementation of                                                               
the   statutes.     Representative  McGuire   stressed,  "It   is                                                               
absolutely our  responsibility to repeal these  regulations."  In                                                               
closing Representative  McGuire pointed  out that  the references                                                               
to the  UMC under the  Division of Occupational Licensing  are as                                                               
follows:  AS 08.18.171, which specifies  the UMC in regard to the                                                               
definition  of a  mechanical  contractor;  [AS 08.40.270],  which                                                               
specifies that  applicants will  be tested  with regard  to their                                                               
familiarity with the UMC; AS  08.40.490, which is the definitions                                                               
section for the entire licensing chapter.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 241                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI requested that  Representative McGuire inform the                                                               
committee where  things would stand if  HB 399 is passed  and the                                                               
regulations are repealed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE explained  that HB  399 would  return the                                                               
code to the  UMC.  In the  event of a veto, she  said there would                                                               
be a veto override.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if  Representative McGuire had read                                                               
anything regarding  the heat exchanger provision  of the plumbing                                                               
code 1867(c)(3).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE replied no.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  explained  that  the  House  Labor  and                                                               
Commerce Standing  Committee established  the policy  to delegate                                                               
to the  degree of adoption of  amendments.  In other  words, when                                                               
there is a code revision  the appropriate departments would adopt                                                               
the  relevant  periodic  revisions  to   the  code  in  order  to                                                               
eliminate the  need for the  legislature [to be  involved]. "It's                                                               
been  the  policy here  [HL&C]  to  try  to delegate  within  our                                                               
constitutional powers  of delegation,  but retain,  by specifying                                                               
in statute, the specific code," he said.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE  agreed  with  the  expectation  for  the                                                               
departments  to  update the  codes  periodically.   However,  the                                                               
issue here is  a substantive policy change  between two different                                                               
codes.  This situation was one  in which the effort was to change                                                               
the code entirely.   She acknowledged that there  is a separation                                                               
of powers and  although there is delegation,  the legislature has                                                               
to  retain   the  authority.    The   current  statutes  delegate                                                               
authority and revisions to a specific code.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG highlighted,  "Except to  the Department                                                               
of Public  Safety, we have not."   He remarked that  this problem                                                               
may  have  been   created  by  the  legislature   itself  due  to                                                               
conflicting statutes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 326                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  commented that the most  troubling aspect                                                               
of this process goes beyond the  separation of powers issue.  The                                                               
concern  is  that  the  government is  supposed  to  help  people                                                               
succeed  in  furthering  their   futures,  jobs,  and  vocational                                                               
trades.    However, when  the  government  is changing  licensing                                                               
requirements   in  a   potentially   arbitrary   manner,  it   is                                                               
disconcerting.   She reiterated the  need for the  legislature to                                                               
make these policy decisions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES agreed  with  Representative Rokeberg  that                                                               
this  problem is  as  much  the legislature's  [fault]  as it  is                                                               
anyone else's.  Representative Hayes  related his belief that the                                                               
regulations  [by the  Division  of  Occupational Licensing]  were                                                               
done because  the options were few  to none; the division  was in                                                               
between a  rock and a  hard place.   Therefore, he  expressed the                                                               
need  to fix  the  statutes.   Furthermore, Representative  Hayes                                                               
said that  he believes that  the administration was  merely doing                                                               
its job.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO inquired  as  to Representative  McGuire's                                                               
take on the motivation for changing the codes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE  said  that   she  didn't  disagree  with                                                               
Representative  Hayes  regarding  the   situation  in  which  the                                                               
Division of  Occupational Licensing  found itself.   However, she                                                               
did  believe that  the division  had  other options  in that  the                                                               
division could've come  to the legislature in January  to do what                                                               
is being done through HB 436  and HB 437.  Representative McGuire                                                               
expressed her  dislike of subverting  the statute  itself because                                                               
of the precedent  it establishes.  She stressed  that the statute                                                               
is controlling and  the regulation has to follow  rather than the                                                               
other way around.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 379                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  MANLY, Staff  to Representative  John Harris,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, testified on behalf of the  sponsor of HB 436 and HB
437,  Representative Harris.   Mr.  Manly explained  that HB  436                                                               
prohibits state agencies and  municipalities from adopting safety                                                               
codes unless the process the  code was developed through was open                                                               
to  all  interested parties.    The  American National  Standards                                                               
Institute  (ANSI) endorses  those  codes which  are  open to  the                                                               
greatest number of interested parties  during development.  House                                                               
Bill  436 requires  that the  ANSI  standard be  followed in  the                                                               
adoption of these codes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MANLY turned  to HB 437, which corrects the  problem with the                                                               
State  Fire  Marshall's  Office  adopting the  IMC.    This  bill                                                               
stipulates that  the 2000 edition of  the UMC is the  one that is                                                               
adopted for  use in Alaska.   The bill  also allows DPS  to adopt                                                               
subsequent  codes   when  available   and  when   the  department                                                               
determines those are  better suited for the public  policy of the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 403                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI  inquired as to why  both HB 436 and  HB 437 were                                                               
introduced.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MANLY answered  that the bills were  introduced separately so                                                               
that the  issues could  move forward separately  in case  one was                                                               
viewed as a bad idea.   If both are viewed as [appropriate], then                                                               
either  bill's title  would probably  cover the  content of  both                                                               
bills.  Therefore, the bills could be combined.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI  noted that she  was viewing  HB 436 as  option A                                                               
and HB  437 as option B.   That is, HB  437 specifically provides                                                               
that the UMC  is the code to be followed,  while option A doesn't                                                               
specify use of the UMC and  would seem to allow flexibility to go                                                               
outside the UMC.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MANLY, in  reference to HB 436, agreed that  it would seem to                                                               
allow  flexibility to  go outside  the UMC  as long  as the  code                                                               
being considered  met the  ANSI standards.   He pointed  out that                                                               
the IMC is  problematic because it hasn't obtained  the ANSI seal                                                               
of approval.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI surmised that if  the IMC eventually met the ANSI                                                               
standards, [HB 436] would allow  the flexibility to [utilize] the                                                               
IMC.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MANLY agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI inquired as to the preference of the sponsor.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MANLY  answered that the  sponsor would  prefer the UMC.   In                                                               
regard to  the sponsor's  preference between HB  436 and  HB 437,                                                               
Mr. Manly indicated that the sponsor would prefer HB 437.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 435                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG returned  to HB 436 and  pointed out that                                                               
it basically describes the UMC  and the International Association                                                               
of Plumbing  and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)  brochure regarding                                                               
how the code  is put together.  Representative  Rokeberg asked if                                                               
there is currently a code that  is the equivalent of the UMC that                                                               
would meet the [ANSI] standards.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MANLY  related  his  understanding that  there  is  no  such                                                               
equivalent  code.   He noted  that the  National Fire  Protection                                                               
Association (NFPA)  is in  the process  of developing  a building                                                               
code.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   commented  that  Mr.   Manly's  answer                                                               
illustrates the point that there  is a very competitive situation                                                               
between two  different bodies.   He noted the  terrible situation                                                               
in California with  regard to the codes.  He  also noted the lack                                                               
of a body of codes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MANLY mentioned  that there is a Uniform  Building Code (UBC)                                                               
and an International Building Code  (IBC).  Mr. Manly agreed with                                                               
Representative Rokeberg that those are older codes.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 467                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MAX  MIELKE, Business  Manager,  UA Local  Union  262 Plumbers  &                                                               
Pipefitters; President, Alaska State  Pipe and Trade Association;                                                               
President, Juneau  Central Labor Council; provided  the following                                                               
testimony:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Right  here in  Southeast Alaska  I represent  100 plus                                                                    
     members who  install or repair mechanical  systems on a                                                                    
     daily  basis under  13 different  signatory contractors                                                                    
     under  the mechanical  administrator license.   All  of                                                                    
     our  mechanical  contractors  are  licensed  under  the                                                                    
     Uniform  Mechanical  Code  and Uniform  Plumbing  Code,                                                                    
     which mesh with  each other ....  I would  also like to                                                                    
     point out  that my 100 plus  journeymen and apprentices                                                                    
     go through extensive  training on and off  the job site                                                                    
     under  the  Uniform  Mechanical Code  and  the  Uniform                                                                    
     Plumbing Code.   The  International Mechanical  Code is                                                                    
     foreign to us and we  are not licensed under this code.                                                                    
     There've been accusations made that  this is strictly a                                                                    
     union issue.   I would  like to make myself  clear that                                                                    
     this   is  not   true.      All  non-union   mechanical                                                                    
     contractors that I have spoken  with on this issue feel                                                                    
     the  same  way we  do  ....   Under  the  International                                                                    
     Mechanical   Code  committee   voting  structure,   the                                                                    
     mechanical  contractors and  mechanics  who install  or                                                                    
     repair  the  systems  do  not   have  a  vote  on  this                                                                    
     International  Mechanical  Code  committee.   With  the                                                                    
     Uniform   Mechanical   Code,   all  involved   on   the                                                                    
     committees have  votes.   You have  to have  a balanced                                                                    
     committee and one that is  not dominated by ... any one                                                                    
     organization  ....     The   people  that   know  these                                                                    
     mechanical systems  inside and out are  the contractors                                                                    
     and mechanics who  install and repair them.   They have                                                                    
     to  have a  vote.   Under the  International Mechanical                                                                    
     Code committee  they will not  have a vote.   Lastly, I                                                                    
     would  like  to say  that  we  think the  International                                                                    
     Mechanical  Code   is  all  about  politics   and  only                                                                    
     addresses minimum  safety standards for the  safety and                                                                    
     welfare of all Alaskans.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI  welcomed those with written  testimony to submit                                                               
it to the committee to become part of the record.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 494                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   asked  if  Mr.  Mielke   could  define                                                               
mechanical administrator.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIELKE explained  that he  has members  who hold  mechanical                                                               
administrators   license   and    others   who   are   mechanical                                                               
contractors.    Everyone is  licensed  under  the state  plumbing                                                               
license with  a certificate of  fitness.  In further  response to                                                               
Representative Rokeberg, Mr. Mielke  confirmed that [a mechanical                                                               
administrator]  could be  a journeyman  and union  member without                                                               
being  licensed.   However,  mechanical  contractors  have to  be                                                               
licensed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG surmised then  that a licensed mechanical                                                               
administrator would be one who  has the background and experience                                                               
to act as a contractor.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIELKE agreed.   In response to  Representative Rokeberg, Mr.                                                               
Mielke  informed the  committee  that it  takes  10,000 hours  of                                                               
continuous on and  off the job training and/or five  years of job                                                               
training.  Each apprentice has to attend 265 hours of school.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   asked  if  an  individual   holding  a                                                               
mechanical engineering  degree who  passed the  examination could                                                               
become a mechanical administrator without being a journeyman.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIELKE related  his belief that the individual  would have to                                                               
acquire the experience in the field.   He said he couldn't answer                                                               
that question.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG identified  the training  aspect as  the                                                               
key issue when there are transitions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 525                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
STEVE SHOWS  specified that  he is  testifying as  an individual,                                                               
although he  noted that he  has been  an inspector in  Alaska for                                                               
federal, state,  and local  government for 23  years.   Mr. Shows                                                               
also noted  that he  is certified by  every code  being discussed                                                               
today.    Mr.  Shows  encouraged   the  legislature  to  let  the                                                               
regulations of  the State  Fire Marshall stand.   He  pointed out                                                               
that  the legislature  appropriated $100,000  for the  State Fire                                                               
Marshall to bring  expert testimony in order to  adopt codes that                                                               
[secure]  the  health  and  safety  of  Alaskans.    That  expert                                                               
testimony was  [heard] and  led to the  codes that  were adopted,                                                               
the IMC,  which are  coordinated and  dovetail to  work together.                                                               
With  regard to  licensing and  testing, Mr.  Shows informed  the                                                               
committee that  he is certified  in both  codes [the UMC  and the                                                               
IMC].   He said that these  codes aren't markedly different.   He                                                               
likened  the  difference  between  the codes  to  the  difference                                                               
between the 1997 UMC and the 2000 UMC.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHOWS  turned to HB  437, and said  that it really  speaks to                                                               
why we're here today, which is  restraint of trade.  "When we try                                                               
to  get  an unfair  advantage  through  the legislative  or  code                                                               
writing  policy rather  than take  the health  and safety  of the                                                               
population as our  prime focus, that's when I think  we don't all                                                               
work  together pulling  the  same  wagon," he  said.   Mr.  Shows                                                               
informed the  committee that  the UMC is  one of  four mechanical                                                               
codes in the country.  About  ten years ago, this country decided                                                               
to pool  its resources  such that a  product approved  in Florida                                                               
would  be  acceptable in  Alaska.    Everyone came  together  and                                                               
concessions   were  made   in  order   to  determine   the  least                                                               
restrictive  and  least  costly  requirement to  have  the  built                                                               
environment  safe  for   the  people  of  this   country.    "The                                                               
International codes are laudable.   Unfortunately, IAPMO and NFPA                                                               
decided we're taking our ball and  going home; we don't like it,"                                                               
he  explained.   Mr.  Shows  read a  phrase  from  the UMC  which                                                               
specifies that  safety is the  goal.    He said that  IAPMO's and                                                               
NFPA's failure  to live up to  "that promise" is the  reason [for                                                               
the  current situation].    The voting  practices  of [IAPMO  and                                                               
NFPA] are  different than that  of the International Codes.   Mr.                                                               
Shows  explained  that  within  the ANSI  codes,  those  who  are                                                               
manufacturers of  a product or  those who represent  an organized                                                               
labor [group]  who would benefit  from more  time spent on  a job                                                               
for a product are  given a vote in the process.   However, in the                                                               
International Code  adoption process those who  are objective and                                                               
have no  financial interest  in the  outcome of  the vote  but do                                                               
have a governmental  right and duty to regulate are  the ones who                                                               
vote.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHOWS addressed how this all  impacts Alaskans.  He said that                                                               
at  some point  there will  be a  national code  and thus  it's a                                                               
matter of  "how much  we stumble  our toes along  the way."   Mr.                                                               
Shows  informed  the  committee that  through  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, IAPMO  advocated the 1979 Uniform  Plumbing Code for                                                               
ten years after IAPMO's own  code specified that plastic pipe was                                                               
recognized  as  a standard,  safe,  and  durable product.    That                                                               
action cost the people of Alaska  tens of millions of dollars and                                                               
caused some municipalities to bring civil  suit in the state.  He                                                               
characterized  the situation  as  one  which clearly  financially                                                               
benefited certain people rather than  being in the [best interest                                                               
of the state].   In conclusion, Mr. Shows pointed  out that times                                                               
are changing  and there  is the opportunity  to adopt  codes that                                                               
guarantee  public safety  with no  special treatment  for certain                                                               
groups.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 584                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  inquired as  to the  number of  states that                                                               
have adopted the [International  Codes] imposed by Alaska's State                                                               
Fire Marshall.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHOWS said  that he didn't have an exact  number.  He pointed                                                               
out that the 2000 edition of  the [International Codes] is in its                                                               
first cycle  of availability for  adoption.  Although he  said he                                                               
didn't  have  an answer,  he  indicated  that there  is  momentum                                                               
toward a national consensus.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MURKOWSKI   turned  to  Mr.   Shows'  perspective   as  an                                                               
inspector.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-27, SIDE B                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MURKOWSKI continued  by pointing  out that  the impression                                                               
has been given  that it'll be difficult to go  between the codes,                                                               
and furthermore there is the issue of the training.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHOWS  related  his  belief  that  folks  are  scared.    He                                                               
reiterated  that  the  two  codes  aren't  different.    He  also                                                               
reiterated that  this is really  about approval of  materials and                                                               
time spent on the job.   Many new construction projects get their                                                               
building  built  quicker  and  faster,   and  to  that  there  is                                                               
resistance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0583                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  returned to Mr. Shows'  reference to the                                                               
tens of millions of dollars  spent in the Fairbanks' suit against                                                               
the UPC regarding  the use of plastic piping.   He inquired as to                                                               
why that situation happened.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHOWS  explained that  the 1979  UPC had  a provision  in the                                                               
materials  section limiting  plastic drain  pipes to  a two-story                                                               
residential building.  Every other  structure was required to use                                                               
cast iron  or copper or some  other type of drainage  pipe, which                                                               
he estimated probably added 2-3 percent  to the cost of the total                                                               
project.  However, cities adopted  new editions of the UPC, which                                                               
allowed  plastic   pipe.    The   situation  resulted   in  state                                                               
inspectors coming  by and  saying that they  had received  a call                                                               
from the  union who wanted  [the use  of plastic pipes]  to stop.                                                               
[The City  of] Fairbanks  refused to  stop [using  plastic pipes]                                                               
and thus went to court  because the authority having jurisdiction                                                               
[the  city] has  the  right to  look at  materials  that are  the                                                               
equivalent  in regard  to  safety,  performance, and  durability.                                                               
Therefore, if there  are two approved materials,  the question is                                                               
whether one  code is less  stringent than  the other.   The court                                                               
ruled that plastic is a safe and durable material.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  related  his  understanding  that  such                                                               
could be  overcome by  local adoptions,  which are  amendments to                                                               
the code adopted by the local authority.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHOWS   specified  that   state  statute   supercedes  local                                                               
ordinance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG asked  if [in  the Fairbanks  situation]                                                               
the problem  was that the  specifications were stipulated  in the                                                               
UPC and thus the [local authority] couldn't make a distinction.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHOWS  pointed out that the  UPC stated that plastic  pipe is                                                               
not  approved   except  in  specific   locations,  but   it  also                                                               
specified,  "Alternate methods  and materials  acceptable to  the                                                               
authority  having jurisdiction  based  on  component testing  and                                                               
documentation  can be  approved."   Although that  allowed for  a                                                               
local  amendment,  the  state,  the  Department  of  Labor,  took                                                               
exception to it.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 552                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GENE  RUTLAND,  Executive  Director,  Mechanical  Contractors  of                                                               
Alaska (MCA), provided the following testimony:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     In any  given year MCA member  businesses employee over                                                                    
     1,000 workers on job sites  throughout Alaska.  Many of                                                                    
     these  employees belong  to  unions ....    We are  the                                                                    
     businesses and  workers who install  plumbing, heating,                                                                    
     ventilating,  air  conditioning  systems  in  buildings                                                                    
     throughout   Alaska.      We   are   the   construction                                                                    
     professionals  that help  build Alaska.   They're  over                                                                    
     500     mechanical    contractors     and    mechanical                                                                    
     administrators in  Alaska, licensed by the  Division of                                                                    
     Occupational Licensing.   We need your  help in sorting                                                                    
     out  how we  work in  Alaska.   Various laws  in Alaska                                                                    
     call for  the use  of building  and life  safety codes.                                                                    
     The Department of  Labor is required by law  to use the                                                                    
     Uniform  Plumbing Code  and other  uniform codes.   The                                                                    
     Alaska State  Housing Authority is required  to use the                                                                    
     Uniform Mechanical  Code.  Existing codes  call for the                                                                    
     Division of Occupational Licensing  to test and license                                                                    
     mechanical  administrators  and mechanical  contractors                                                                    
     according  to  the  Uniform  Mechanical  Code.    These                                                                    
     construction  professionals  are  required  to  certify                                                                    
     that each project they supervise  was installed per the                                                                    
     Uniform Mechanical Code.  The  Department of Commerce &                                                                    
     Economic   Development  issues   forms  that   must  be                                                                    
     executed by a  responsible mechanical administrator for                                                                    
     each commercial project.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  law  says  the Uniform  Mechanical  Code.    We                                                                    
     believe that the Department of  Public Safety, in order                                                                    
     to  have conducted  this  reg project  of  theirs in  a                                                                    
     responsible manner,  should've came to  the legislature                                                                    
     and sought  authority to adopt  a new  mechanical code.                                                                    
     The current administration  adopted regulations calling                                                                    
     for  the use  of an  unproven International  Mechanical                                                                    
     Code.   MCA  and other  organizations believe  that the                                                                    
     Uniform Mechanical  Code has well served  our state for                                                                    
     decades.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Mechanical  contractors all  over Alaska  want to  know                                                                    
     how the  Division of Occupational Licensing  can ignore                                                                    
     the laws  requiring testing and education  according to                                                                    
     the  Uniform  Mechanical Code.    To  us the  issue  is                                                                    
     simple.   How can  an administrative agency  ignore the                                                                    
     law and  adopt a new  code through regulations.   Since                                                                    
     these International  Codes are new codes,  published by                                                                    
     a new  building code  group, we ask  will they  even be                                                                    
     around in  five or  ten years from  now.   MCA's member                                                                    
     businesses  are  trying  to build  Alaska  and  make  a                                                                    
     living.  I have members  who are confused and uncertain                                                                    
     about which mechanical  code really is legal.   Most of                                                                    
     us believe  laws should be given  greater emphasis than                                                                    
     regulations.   We  certainly want  to  comply with  the                                                                    
     law,  but we're  tired of  being  run over  by a  small                                                                    
     group of  bureaucrats who  have fallen  in love  with a                                                                    
     code they've  created without our  input.  In  fact, we                                                                    
     were told during the regulation  process, at one of our                                                                    
     meetings,  we were  told by  a representative  from the                                                                    
     Department of Public  Safety that there was  no use for                                                                    
     us  to make  comments saying  that we  didn't like  the                                                                    
     International Mechanical Code  because its adoption was                                                                    
     a  done deal.    We  don't think  that  that's the  way                                                                    
     regulation  projects should  be  handled.   We need  to                                                                    
     take  a hard  look at  what's going  on here,  and help                                                                    
     restore order.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Based upon what I've learned,  here is what I think you                                                                    
     should do.  Adopt the  committee substitute for HB 399,                                                                    
     voiding  the  regulations  improperly  adopted  by  the                                                                    
     Division of Occupational Licensing  allowing use of the                                                                    
     International  Code  with   the  law  [that]  obviously                                                                    
     states the Uniform  Mechanical Code must be  used.  ...                                                                    
     The people who  really use the mechanical  code are the                                                                    
     mechanical     contractors    and     the    mechanical                                                                    
     administrators ....  Every mechanical  set of plans for                                                                    
     a   structure  that   comes  out   from  a   mechanical                                                                    
     professional's  office has,  in the  general conditions                                                                    
     of  the specifications,  a phrase  that goes  something                                                                    
     like  this:    "These   drawings  are  diagrammatic  in                                                                    
     nature.  They are not  intended to show all the details                                                                    
     and   offsets  required   to  install.     It   is  the                                                                    
     responsibility   of  the   contractor   to  install   a                                                                    
     workmanship,  workable system  in  accordance with  all                                                                    
     applicable codes and standards."   We are the ones that                                                                    
     are  ultimately responsible  for  conforming to  codes.                                                                    
     We believe  that we should  have a voice in  which code                                                                    
     is going to be used.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 491                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  surmised  then   that  Mr.  Rutland  isn't                                                               
necessarily opposed  to the International Codes  but rather [MCA]                                                               
is opposed  to not being  included in the  process.  He  asked if                                                               
that  is a  correct assessment.   He  also asked  if Mr.  Rutland                                                               
would agree  [with Mr.  Shows] that  there isn't  much difference                                                               
between the Uniform Codes and the International Codes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RUTLAND agreed  that there  probably  isn't much  difference                                                               
between  the  two  codes,  and  therefore  he  wondered  why  the                                                               
International Mechanical  Code is  being adopted.   In  regard to                                                               
opposition  to the  code,  Mr. Rutland  agreed  that it's  fairly                                                               
accurate to  say that  [MCA] isn't  opposed to  the International                                                               
Codes  but  rather  is  opposed  to the  process.    Mr.  Rutland                                                               
reiterated earlier  testimony regarding the fact  that mechanical                                                               
administrators licensed under these codes  have to have five plus                                                               
years of experience using these  codes, pass an examination based                                                               
on the  codes, and  perform eight  hours of  continuing education                                                               
each  code  cycle.    Therefore,  these  professionals  have  the                                                               
Uniform Mechanical Code committed to memory.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  commented that  although he isn't  sure why                                                               
there [would be the need] to  go the International Codes if there                                                               
isn't  much  difference between  it  and  the Uniform  Codes,  37                                                               
states  have  adopted the  International  Code.   Many  of  those                                                               
states have  given local governments  the option of going  to the                                                               
International Code.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUTLAND  informed the committee  that the  International Code                                                               
is  published  by  a  consortium  of  three  building  officials,                                                               
national organizations,  who have  formed the  International Code                                                               
Commission.  He indicated that  most of the building officials in                                                               
the  state  are  members  of   the  International  Conference  of                                                               
Building Officials  (ICBO), which  published the 1997  edition of                                                               
the  [Uniform  Building Code].    Therefore,  he said  he  didn't                                                               
understand how this  same group could, in three  years, put forth                                                               
a code  that they claim is  vastly superior.  With  regard to the                                                               
family of codes,  Mr. Rutland pointed out  that the International                                                               
Code consists of  11 [codes].  It is recommended  that the family                                                               
of codes be adopted because  they are all interrelated.  However,                                                               
Alaska has only adopted three of the family.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUTLAND,  in further response  to Representative  Meyer, said                                                               
that the  normal code cycle  is every three  years.  Most  of the                                                               
code changes  are merely a 1-2  percent change in the  content of                                                               
the code.  A 5 percent change  in content would be a huge change.                                                               
Therefore,  most changes  require  very little  work  to bring  a                                                               
person  up to  speed.    Mr. Rutland  viewed  the  change to  the                                                               
International Code  as a huge change  that is more than  even a 5                                                               
percent change.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 434                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  inquired  as   to  the  disruption  Mr.                                                               
Rutland  expected  in  changing  to  the  International  Code  as                                                               
opposed to the update.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUTLAND said that first the  code would need to be thoroughly                                                               
read and  studied.  He  estimated that it would  probably require                                                               
80 hours to  become familiar with the International  Code [at the                                                               
same level as the Uniform Codes].   He predicted that there would                                                               
be much reference to the code [book] when on the job.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD   related  that   he  would   guess  the                                                               
journeymen would  be less efficient  on the  job if they  have to                                                               
continually reference the code book.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUTLAND  agreed, and  echoed earlier  testimony that  many of                                                               
these mechanical  administrators, who,  by statute,  are required                                                               
to personally  supervise every job, are  superintendent types who                                                               
supervise  the work.   Therefore,  they,  too, would  have to  be                                                               
retrained.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  highlighted   the   notion  that   the                                                               
International  Code  will  bring greater  flexibility  and  lower                                                               
construction   costs.     Representative  Rokeberg   referred  to                                                               
flexible tubing  and asked if  it was recently [approved]  by the                                                               
UPC.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUTLAND replied  yes.  He, then, stressed that  he is present                                                               
to speak in regard to the UMC.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 400                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG asked  if the  basic principles  of [the                                                               
mechanical contractor/administrator's] craft apply  even if a new                                                               
code is adopted.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUTLAND  answered, "If the system  is going to work,  I would                                                               
say ... yes that would be  true because the laws of physics don't                                                               
change."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  mentioned that if the  specifications as                                                               
to how high  from the floor a water heater  would be placed isn't                                                               
on the specifications, then the  architect or mechanical engineer                                                               
would be contacted.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RUTLAND said  there  isn't  enough time  to  do  that.   The                                                               
[mechanical contractor/administrator] need to  know.  In response                                                               
to  Chair  Murkowski,  he  said  that  there  are  currently  508                                                               
registered  mechanical administrators  and  there  are about  240                                                               
mechanical contractors licensed in the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 356                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DWIGHT   PERKINS,  Northwest   Regional  Manager,   International                                                               
Association  of Plumbing  & Mechanical  Officials, noted  that he                                                               
would leave  the committee  with some handouts.   With  regard to                                                               
earlier testimony  that NFPA and  IAPMO took their ball  and went                                                               
home, Mr.  Perkins said that isn't  what happened.  He  turned to                                                               
the claim  that 37  states have  adopted the  International Code.                                                               
He  explained that  there  may  be 37  states  that have  adopted                                                               
portions of  the family  of International  Codes, but  only three                                                               
states have adopted the entire family of International Codes.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS provided the following testimony:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The processes and procedures under  which the two codes                                                                    
     are developed are distinctly different  and will have a                                                                    
     serious impact  upon everybody in the  State of Alaska.                                                                    
     ...  the   Uniform  Plumbing   Code  and   the  Uniform                                                                    
     Mechanical  Code  are  being  developed  utilizing  the                                                                    
     American  National   Standards  Institute,   ANSI  ...,                                                                    
     requirements ....   ANSI mandates  that the  process be                                                                    
     totally  open giving  everyone interested  ... a  voice                                                                    
     and a vote.   Just like in the  American democracy, the                                                                    
     development and update of the  process, the UPC and UMC                                                                    
     are literally open to participation  by everyone in the                                                                    
     state of  Alaska.  In  maintaining the IMC ...  and all                                                                    
     their  other  codes,  the  International  Code  Council                                                                    
     (ICC) uses  a method they call  governmental consensus.                                                                    
     This is  simply a  consensus of  governmental employees                                                                    
     and building officials.  Other  than in public hearings                                                                    
     and some  committee activity  by invitation  only, only                                                                    
     government  employees and  building officials  may vote                                                                    
     on the  adoption process.   The  rest of  the industry,                                                                    
     all    the    citizens,     including    the    elected                                                                    
     representatives, are shut out of  the process.  The ICC                                                                    
     codes,   including  their   mechanical  code,   do  not                                                                    
     replicate   any   of   the  three   building   official                                                                    
     organizations  prior codes.   Instead,  they created  a                                                                    
     concept of  performance codes ....   These [performance                                                                    
     codes] offer  ... broad  guidelines and  criteria which                                                                    
     they leave to the design  community to determine how to                                                                    
     meet.   Standards  from other  books and  documents are                                                                    
     referenced  for the  designer to  determine whether  or                                                                    
     not they should be used.   It is important to note that                                                                    
     most  contractors  and  trades  people  who  serve  the                                                                    
     public  do not  have  designers on  staff.   This  will                                                                    
     create  repeated  and   unfortunate  conflicts  between                                                                    
     enforcement  inspectors and  installers, [and]  service                                                                    
     repair   technicians   in   the   interpretations   and                                                                    
     application and compliance.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Compatibility  of  codes is  also  often  raised as  an                                                                    
     issue.   Obviously it is  important that all  codes and                                                                    
     standards  are  compatible, but  it  is  not an  issue.                                                                    
     Ever  since codes  were written,  they have  had to  be                                                                    
     harmonized to  work together.   The  Uniform Mechanical                                                                    
     Code  and the  Uniform Plumbing  Code are  turn-key ...                                                                    
     codes that  will not be  in conflict with  any building                                                                    
     code  the  state  adopts.   Both  national  model  code                                                                    
     groups are  working on their  own sets of codes.   This                                                                    
     is a  set of  codes to cover  all structures  and their                                                                    
     maintenance,  already  harmonized  and  ready  for  the                                                                    
     adoption as  a package.   Currently, the  National Fire                                                                    
     Protection  Association  is developing  their  building                                                                    
     code, which will complete the  IAPMO and NFPA family of                                                                    
     true consensus  code set.   The  ICC ...  is finalizing                                                                    
     their  family, which  currently includes  NFPA National                                                                    
     Electrical   Code   upon   which   they   utilize   the                                                                    
     harmonization  process.    The IAPMO  Uniform  Plumbing                                                                    
     Code and  Mechanical Code family relationship  with all                                                                    
     the NFPA codes is  important for your consideration due                                                                    
     to the  fact that the  NFPA and IAPMO codes  all remain                                                                    
     occupancy based.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS closed with the following:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Why  should we  move away  from ...  industry developed                                                                    
     time-tested  codes  and   standards  that  are  already                                                                    
     adopted  widely throughout  the  United  States and  in                                                                    
     other  countries?   And why  should we  ignore all  the                                                                    
     expertise  and experience  the industry  brings to  the                                                                    
     code   development?     The  plumbing   and  mechanical                                                                    
     industries should  develop the plumbing  and mechanical                                                                    
     codes.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 287                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.   PERKINS  turned   to  Representative   Rokeberg's  comments                                                               
regarding  the latitude  of the  departments.   He recalled  when                                                               
Representative  Rokeberg  was  chair   of  the  House  Labor  and                                                               
Commerce   Standing   Committee   when  it   discussed   allowing                                                               
departments to  adopt the  latest version of  codes.   However, a                                                               
specific  code  was  named.   In  DPS's  statutory  authority  it                                                               
specifies that  the department will adopt  regulations to protect                                                               
people from fire, explosion, and  panic.  Mr. Perkins related his                                                               
belief that there was a rush  to adopt the International Codes in                                                               
the  state.   However, as  mentioned earlier,  there are  11 code                                                               
books not to mention the other  standards that are necessary.  He                                                               
pointed  out that  [DPS]  had to  make over  100  changes in  the                                                               
regulations  in  order to  reference  the  UPC and  the  National                                                               
Electrical Code.   He noted  that the contractors  requested that                                                               
DPS replace references  to the IMC in  the International Building                                                               
Code with  the 2000 edition of  the UMC.  The  department refused                                                               
on the  basis that  the mechanical  code wouldn't  harmonize with                                                               
such a  change.  Mr.  Perkins disagreed  and said that  these are                                                               
stand-alone codes.   Additionally,  Mr. Perkins pointed  out that                                                               
the regulations specify that the  regulators must review the cost                                                               
to the  private individual.  In  this instance, there is  no cost                                                               
analysis  of the  impact on  the apprenticeship  training schools                                                               
and the mechanical contractors.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 238                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   agreed  that   the  codes   have  been                                                               
stipulated in  statute.   However, there was  no other  choice at                                                               
the time because the competing  codes were regional.  Although at                                                               
one time  the ICBO and  IAPMO coordinated the codes,  they split.                                                               
Therefore,  Alaska's  statutes   are  a  mess  and   need  to  be                                                               
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS  suggested the need  [for the legislature]  to review                                                               
both model codes and determine which one should be adopted.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  pointed   out  that   there  isn't   a                                                               
[building] code  to review  from IAPMO  for the  2000 cycle.   He                                                               
viewed that as part of the problem.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PERKINS reiterated  earlier testimony  that code  cycles are                                                               
every three  years and thus  the next  code cycle is  nine months                                                               
away.   He  pointed out  that  a code  is being  adopted that  is                                                               
technically nine months from being reviewed again.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   characterized  that   as  traditional.                                                               
However, he expressed  concern that there are  projects under way                                                               
in the state that are being designed under a specific code.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 197                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GARY  POWELL,  Director/State  Fire  Marshal,  Division  of  Fire                                                               
Prevention,   Department   of   Public  Safety,   testified   via                                                               
teleconference.   He announced  that he was  the one  who started                                                               
this.   Mr. Powell  explained that the  project began  in October                                                               
1999  when [the  division]  briefed the  Office  of Management  &                                                               
Budget (OMB) regarding  the need to adopt new codes.   Due to the                                                               
need for a  more extensive review of the codes,  an increment was                                                               
included  in  the  budget.   That  increment  was  approved,  the                                                               
funding  was received,  and the  project  began.   He noted  that                                                               
there were  discussions with various  interested parties  such as                                                               
the local jurisdictions  and trades people.   From the beginning,                                                               
the project  was done on  as widespread a  basis as possible.   A                                                               
code adoption  coordinator and code  consultant were hired.   The                                                               
code  consultant  has worked  on  both  the code  consulting  and                                                               
enforcement side  for various design professionals.   With regard                                                               
to earlier remarks  that there was a rush with  this process, Mr.                                                               
Powell didn't think  [beginning in 1999] constituted a  rush.  In                                                               
fact,  the Division  of Occupational  Licensing was  contacted in                                                               
September  2000  and  informed  that  [DPS]  intended  to  pursue                                                               
adoption of  the International Code  set for the  building, fire,                                                               
and mechanical  codes.   In October 2000  the DLWD  was contacted                                                               
and  made aware  of the  aforementioned efforts  and people  from                                                               
DLWD  sat in  on  the  meetings as  the  foundation document  was                                                               
created.   The Department of  Law worked with DPS  throughout the                                                               
entire process.   In  December 2000 DPS  met with  Linda Winters,                                                               
who  was  thought  to  be   the  representative  for  [MCA],  was                                                               
contacted and  sent a complete  packet of information.   However,                                                               
in May 2000  DPS discovered that Mr. Rutland  was representing at                                                               
least a portion of MCA.   Therefore, conversations were initiated                                                               
with  Mr. Rutland.   Furthermore,  there was  a mail  out of  the                                                               
packet  to over  700 mechanical  contractors and  administrators.                                                               
He  noted  that due  to  a  typographical  error  in one  of  the                                                               
announcements,  [DPS] had  to do  a second  open comment  period.                                                               
There was  comment by one of  the members of the  Joint Committee                                                               
on Administrative  Regulation Review staff that  [the Division of                                                               
Fire Prevention,  DPS] did a  great job, although  that sentiment                                                               
seems to have changed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  POWELL  mentioned  that  there  have  been  some  misleading                                                               
comments regarding  the adoption process.   He noted that  he has                                                               
been   involved  in   NFPA's   ANSI-approved   process  and   the                                                               
International Code process.  Of  the two, the [International Code                                                               
Council (ICC)] process  produces a much better  result because it                                                               
isn't controlled by  special interest groups, which  was the case                                                               
with NFPA's  process last May  in Anaheim, California  where some                                                               
special interest  standards were  pushed through.   A  fire chief                                                               
that wanted to  speak on the issue was "shouted  down" and debate                                                               
was cut  off.   It wasn't  the ANSI process.   He  mentioned that                                                               
those special interest standards will impact Alaska.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  POWELL   recalled  testimony   that  there  were   over  100                                                               
amendments  to  the regulations.    Although  that is  true,  the                                                               
[amendments]   were  to   defer   the  areas   over  which   DLWD                                                               
traditionally  has   authority,  which   are  the   plumbing  and                                                               
electrical  codes.    The  model code  that  [DPS]  adopted  made                                                               
numerous  references to  the plumbing  and electrical  code other                                                               
than the Uniform Code, and  therefore those were changed to defer                                                               
[to DLWD].  These aren't  technical changes but rather changes to                                                               
clarify  that  DPS  wasn't  attempting to  adopt  a  plumbing  or                                                               
electrical code on behalf of  DLWD.  Mr. Powell acknowledged that                                                               
2003 is the  next code cycle, and pointed out  that usually [DPS]                                                               
is a  year or two  behind the publishing of  the code.   He noted                                                               
the absurdity in thinking that the  code could be adopted in nine                                                               
months.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 067                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI  highlighted the question regarding  why there is                                                               
a need  to change to the  International Code if the  Uniform Code                                                               
has  been working  Okay and  the differences  between it  and the                                                               
International Code are minimal.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. POWELL answered  that the primary reason is that  there is no                                                               
other building code available.   Although the easy solution would                                                               
be  to stay  with  the 1997  codes, it  wouldn't  be the  correct                                                               
choice.  "I  think I have an obligation, under  statute, to adopt                                                               
the  best and  most current  codes available,"  Mr. Powell  said.                                                               
Therefore,  there  was  the  need   to  adopt  the  International                                                               
Building Code, the  only building code available.   The next step                                                               
for his  office would  then be  to adopt  the companion  fire and                                                               
mechanical codes.  Only the  three codes within the International                                                               
Codes  would be  adopted because  those are  the only  areas over                                                               
which DPS has  authority.  With regard to  the minimal difference                                                               
between the  two codes, Mr.  Powell agreed with  that assessment.                                                               
"I would say  if there's not much difference, then  let's get one                                                               
that  works with  the  building code,  and  that's certainly  the                                                               
International Mechanical [Code]," he remarked.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 028                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG recalled that  the committee adopted CSHB
399, which would  annul DPS's regulations.   The testimony stated                                                               
that such  action would  return to  the prior set  of codes.   He                                                               
asked if that would be Mr. Powell's interpretation.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  POWELL specified  that he  didn't  have the  CS before  him.                                                               
However, he said he believes that  it only annuls the Division of                                                               
Occupational Licensing's regulations.  If  that is the case, then                                                               
that would  place [DPS]  back at the  point just  after September                                                               
15th.   Therefore, he surmised that  the International Mechanical                                                               
Code   would   still   be  adopted,   although   the   mechanical                                                               
administrators would  be tested  according to their  knowledge on                                                               
the Uniform Mechanical Code.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-28, SIDE A                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  POWELL,  in  further response  to  Representative  Rokeberg,                                                               
acknowledged that [DPS] is currently in court.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG surmised that  due to the promulgation of                                                               
the  regulations by  DPS,  the design  community  is using  those                                                               
International Codes for design.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. POWELL answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  inquired as  to  the  scope and  dollar                                                               
volume of  projects that would  be impacted were  the legislature                                                               
to repeal the IMC and other International Codes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. POWELL specified that currently  [in the State Fire Marshal's                                                               
Office]  there   are  over  130  projects   submitted  under  the                                                               
International Code that  haven't been approved.   The total value                                                               
of those  projects is  about $61  million.   He noted  that those                                                               
figures  don't include  the deferred  jurisdiction  for which  he                                                               
estimated  there are  nine jurisdictions  that perform  their own                                                               
enforcement.   Although  he  didn't have  their  records, he  did                                                               
mention that  there are  a number  of large  projects in  most of                                                               
those  jurisdictions.    In further  response  to  Representative                                                               
Rokeberg, Mr.  Powell recalled that  some of  those jurisdictions                                                               
have adopted  parts of  the International Code.   With  regard to                                                               
the IMC,  he knew one  jurisdiction had adopted it,  although the                                                               
majority of the  jurisdictions are in the  process [of adoption].                                                               
Four  of  the jurisdictions  are  at  the point  of  recommending                                                               
adoption, which  is the  point at which  Anchorage stands.   With                                                               
regard to what  Anchorage is doing during  [this transition], Mr.                                                               
Powell deferred to Anchorage.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 063                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT BUCH, Member, UA Local  367, testified via teleconference.                                                               
He informed  the committee that he  has 19 years experience  as a                                                               
certified journeyman in  the plumbing and service  industry.  Mr.                                                               
Buch announced  his support of  HB 399.   Mr. Buch noted  that he                                                               
has  followed this  issue  from  its onset.    He  said that  the                                                               
premise behind  the introduction  of the International  Codes was                                                               
that  it was  an international  code  and would  be the  accepted                                                               
standard   throughout   the   United  States.      However,   the                                                               
International body of codes  uses manufacturers specifications as                                                               
guidelines  for installation  and  materials  requirements.   The                                                               
institutions associated  with testing and approval  such as ANSI,                                                               
and IAPMO, to name only a few,  are referred to in the "MSC" with                                                               
terms  such as  "conform to,"  "in accordance  with," and  "shall                                                               
comply with."   There are 144 different  references to standards,                                                               
which  include over  40 publications  ranging from  $40-$45 each.                                                               
The  other 50  associations have  publications of  their own,  he                                                               
noted.    Mr.  Bush  highlighted that  this  process  came  about                                                               
through local endorsement.  He  turned to the questions regarding                                                               
whether there's any  significant difference in the  codes and why                                                               
there  should  be a  change.    However,  he specified  that  the                                                               
questions should actually address who  stands to gain and lose by                                                               
these changes.   "I think the real issues here  are not the codes                                                               
themselves but what they deal with  and how they deal with them,"                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BUCH  informed  the committee  that  experienced,  certified                                                               
journeymen [offered]  to be  part of  these committees,  but were                                                               
ignored.   Mr. Buch  related his  belief that  there has  been an                                                               
agenda  to  force implementation  of  the  International body  of                                                               
codes.  In summary, Mr. Buch said:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     They are not  an International body of  codes, they are                                                                    
     accepted  only in  some states  in  the United  States.                                                                    
     They are  not recognized  by ANSI ....   It  seems that                                                                    
     the  complication brought  on by  these processes  that                                                                    
     we're facing has muddied the  waters and really changed                                                                    
     the issues  of what we're  all trying  to do here.   We                                                                    
     have had  workable codes that  everybody has  been able                                                                    
     to operate  off of.   We  have testing  institutes, ...                                                                    
     facilities in  this state  that we've  abided by.   The                                                                    
     questions remain:   who stands  to gain; who  stands to                                                                    
     lose?                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 129                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
STEVE   MILLER,    Member,   UA   Local   367,    testified   via                                                               
teleconference.  Mr. Miller informed  the committee that he is an                                                               
instructor  for [UA  Local 367].   He  mentioned that  he teaches                                                               
approximately 200 people a year  in code updates.  After studying                                                               
both codes for the last eight  months, Mr. Miller remarked on the                                                               
difficulty  he  will have  in  teaching  the International  Codes                                                               
because he will  have to reference numerous books.   On the other                                                               
hand, the UMC and the UPC  are fairly straightforward and easy to                                                               
follow.   In order to  implement the IMC, the  International Fuel                                                               
Gas  Code  (IFGC) must  be  utilized  in  order  to have  a  full                                                               
document for the IMC.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI  related her understanding  from Mr.  Miller that                                                               
if the  IMC is  adopted, at  least one other  code in  the family                                                               
would have to be adopted by necessity.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MILLER  replied yes.    He  explained  that the  IMC  merely                                                               
addresses fuel gas and the other  code has to be adopted in order                                                               
to have the natural gas standards.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MURKOWSKI asked  if training  for the  IMC is  taking that                                                               
much longer  than training for the  UMC, or can it  be attributed                                                               
to the learning curve.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER indicated  that training takes quite a  bit longer for                                                               
the  IMC.   He  informed  the  committee  that  he spoke  with  a                                                               
gentleman  from the  International Codes  who told  him to  teach                                                               
from the UMC when teaching the IMC.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 170                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KIT  DAHLSTROM,  Mechanical  Administrator, Enstar  Natural  Gas,                                                               
testified via teleconference.  He  informed the committee that he                                                               
has  24  service technicians  for  which  he is  responsible  for                                                               
training and  [review of] their work  in the field.   "We live by                                                               
the code," he  said.  Since September 15th it  has been difficult                                                               
because the  change necessitates  carrying the  International and                                                               
Uniform code books  in order to perform the work.   Mr. Dahlstrom                                                               
said, "We're  in favor  of the  Uniform set of  code books."   He                                                               
said that once the process was  started, the adoption of the [the                                                               
International Codes]  seemed to  be a done  deal.   Mr. Dahlstrom                                                               
reiterated that  the IMC necessitates  the adoption of  the IFGC,                                                               
although [the  IFGC] places [the  IMC] in conflict with  the UPC.                                                               
Therefore, there  are many areas  of the  state in which  no code                                                               
has jurisdiction.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 221                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ERNIE MISEWICZ,  Deputy Fire Marshal, Fairbanks  Fire Department,                                                               
testified via teleconference representing  the City of Fairbanks.                                                               
Mr. Misewicz  informed the  committee that  he has  been involved                                                               
with  the code  review process  locally and  has worked  with the                                                               
state fire  marshal's office.   The goal  was to bring  state and                                                               
local codes  together.   He noted that  [in Fairbanks]  there are                                                               
contractors and designers  who work inside and  outside the city.                                                               
At the  time this building  code process started  [Fairbanks] was                                                               
under the  1994 building code  and had contemplated going  to the                                                               
1997 building code, but decided  it would be more advantageous to                                                               
go with  the 2000 building code.   However, at the  time the only                                                               
building  code  available   was  the  IBC.     In  reviewing  the                                                               
integration of the  codes, the International family  of codes was                                                               
reviewed.   He explained that  although his primary field  is the                                                               
fire  code,  he  works  with the  building  code  and  mechanical                                                               
[code].    Therefore,  the  desire   was  to  have  a  code  that                                                               
complimented [the  other codes].   With regard to the  mention of                                                               
changes, Mr.  Misewicz said  that he  can look  back over  his 28                                                               
years  in  the  field  and  see  significant  code  and  training                                                               
changes.  Changes have occurred  to keep pace with technology and                                                               
the needs of the community, which  is what is happening now.  Mr.                                                               
Misewicz said,  "There are  probably other  codes out  there that                                                               
are  equal to  what we're  trying to  do, but  by going  over and                                                               
limiting one  specific code without referencing  other nationally                                                               
recognized standards,  I think  we're doing  a disservice  to the                                                               
community, the  people that we  serve, designers,  and architects                                                               
...."   Although he said  that "we"  are willing to  review other                                                               
codes,  he didn't  see the  need to  be limited  to one  specific                                                               
title or code.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 260                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES asked if Mr. Misewicz would support HB 436.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MISEWICZ pointed  out the problem with that is  that when the                                                               
review process for  building codes began, there  were no building                                                               
codes that met  the ANSI standards.  Although he  knew that there                                                               
are codes being developed to meet  the ANSI standards, he said he                                                               
didn't  know of  any such  codes right  now.   Therefore, HB  436                                                               
would  implement a  standard that  couldn't be  met and  thus Mr.                                                               
Misewicz said that he is opposed to HB 436 at the moment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 281                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO  requested  that Mr.  Misewicz  provide  a                                                               
practical example of the difference in the codes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MISEWICZ  said that  he  couldn't  provide such  an  example                                                               
without having the codes to  reference.  He pointed out, however,                                                               
that the fire code will  provide requirements for fire protection                                                               
and thus specifies  things that need to meet  the requirements in                                                               
the mechanical  code.   Because all the  companion codes  [of the                                                               
International family  of codes] haven't been  adopted, codes that                                                               
are  in   local  city  ordinance   that  reference   the  Uniform                                                               
Mechanical Code have to be referenced.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO   related  his  understanding   that  both                                                               
Fairbanks  and  Anchorage  building   departments  like  the  IMC                                                               
because it's good  for the public and is  affordable.  Therefore,                                                               
he surmised  there must  be a difference  between the  two codes,                                                               
which Representative  Halcro said he  is trying to  understand in                                                               
practical terms.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MISEWICZ  said the  code includes the  latitude to  allow new                                                               
and improved things, which is  where the local jurisdiction comes                                                               
into play if the local  jurisdiction can provide information that                                                               
something  will  meet the  intent  of  the  code.   Mr.  Misewicz                                                               
explained that  he is  reviewing the  flexibility to  allow other                                                               
nationally  recognized  standards  so   that  there  can  be  the                                                               
latitude to  meet the  intent of changing  technology as  well as                                                               
dealing with the public.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 331                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL   SAGER,   Executive    Director,   Mechanical   Contractors                                                               
Association  of Fairbanks,  testified  via  teleconference.   Mr.                                                               
Sager said that the committee  can't imagine the frustration this                                                               
has  created from  the association's  members,  who are  business                                                               
owners.   Many  of the  members have  spent many  years operating                                                               
their businesses under  the UMC, and bidding jobs  based on their                                                               
familiarity  with  the  UMC.    He  specified  that  the  UMC  is                                                               
comprehensive and  easy to follow and  apply.  The UMC  is proven                                                               
and the product of an  open, fair, and balanced adoption process,                                                               
which  includes government  officials  and industry.   Mr.  Sager                                                               
specified that  if the change  to the  IMC is necessary,  then it                                                               
should be  done through law  not regulation.   Furthermore, there                                                               
should be an orderly transition  period during which there should                                                               
be education and  training, which will take time and  money.  Mr.                                                               
Sager noted that mechanical contractors  are willing to learn new                                                               
methods that  benefit the customer  and the public.   However, it                                                               
isn't obvious  how the IMC  makes construction better,  safer, or                                                               
cheaper.  "Changing  codes via regulations ignores  the law we've                                                               
come to know for decades," he  remarked.  Until this situation is                                                               
sorted out, Mr.  Sager recommended following the  law and passing                                                               
HB 399.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 366                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRET HELMS,  Member, UA Local 375,  testified via teleconference.                                                               
He informed the  committee that he is an instructor  for UA Local                                                               
375.   He referred  to a  letter addressed  to Mr.  Ross Fosberg,                                                               
dated May  29[, 2001], which  Chair Murkowski said  the committee                                                               
members had.   Mr. Helms turned to his own  comments and informed                                                               
the committee  that Local  375 has  trained hundreds  of plumbers                                                               
and pipefitters under  the Uniform Code.   Therefore, training to                                                               
the IMC  could be costly and  time-consuming.  The UMC  is a more                                                               
descriptive  and understandable  code in  comparison to  the IMC.                                                               
He questioned why there should be the change to the IMC.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 390                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS DALMAN,  Mechanical Administrator, informed  the committee                                                               
that  he  has  40  years  of education  under  a  code  that  has                                                               
progressed such that it has  become a national code, which allows                                                               
Mr. Dalman to work  in 45 states and know what he  is doing.  "It                                                               
appears  to me  that the  [acceptance]  of a  different code  for                                                               
these purposes  kind of lowers  the bar  a little bit  and allows                                                               
money  to shift  around somewhat,"  Mr.  Dalman said.   In  other                                                               
words,  a less  stringent  installation and  the introduction  of                                                               
alternate products allow  lower skill levels, less  pay for those                                                               
installing [the  products] and  thus a cheaper  job that  he said                                                               
would require more maintenance.   Mr. Dalman said, "We're seeking                                                               
a  standard."   He  discussed  the  difficulties with  continuing                                                               
education under  the adoption of the  IMC.  "We've already  got a                                                               
system  that  can  be  adjusted   by  regulation  -  that's  been                                                               
demonstrated -  so what  issues are there,"  he questioned.   Mr.                                                               
Dalman stated  that there are  differences between the  code such                                                               
as the  [fact] that  some things  work in  warm weather  and some                                                               
don't, which  the UMC defines  [in one book].   He turned  to the                                                               
bidding  platform  and  questioned  how it  will  work  when  one                                                               
project  chooses certain  products while  another person  chooses                                                               
"copy  cat"  products.   Such  a  situation doesn't  protect  the                                                               
consumer nor does it provide a fair business platform.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 435                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOHN   BITNEY,  Legislative   Liaison,  Alaska   Housing  Finance                                                               
Corporation (AHFC),  Department of Revenue, began  by noting that                                                               
the  committee should  have  written statements  from  AHFC.   In                                                               
terms of  HB 436, Mr. Bitney  expressed his hope that  the intent                                                               
of  this  bill  is  to   cover  construction  codes.    The  only                                                               
code/standard  that AHFC  adopts are  in relation  to the  energy                                                               
efficiency  standards that  state  law  requires AHFC  establish.                                                               
The  standards   that  AHFC  establishes  are,   in  some  cases,                                                               
different  than national  standards  for energy  efficiency.   He                                                               
commented  that  AHFC feels  that  its  standards are  much  more                                                               
appropriate  for the  climate and  diversity in  the state.   The                                                               
bill  seems to  be  drafted specifically  to construction  codes,                                                               
which AHFC doesn't adopt.   He explained that AHFC's statutes are                                                               
tied to  other agencies  for all  the construction,  plumbing, et                                                               
cetera.   Although HB 436  doesn't speak to energy  efficiency in                                                               
the definition  section, AHFC is specifically  included under the                                                               
definition of  a state agency.   Therefore,  the bill as  a whole                                                               
would  appear  to take  AHFC's  energy  efficiency standards  and                                                               
evaluate  them against  ANSI, which  AHFC doesn't  believe to  be                                                               
[appropriate].   With regard to  HB 437,  AHFC again seems  to be                                                               
along  for the  ride.   Mr. Bitney  expressed the  hope that  the                                                               
construction codes,  which are  required for  AHFC to  purchase a                                                               
home's mortgage,  mirror the  state's code.   Mr.  Bitney likened                                                               
AHFC's  situation  to  that  of   the  Division  of  Occupational                                                               
Licensing in  that the  hope would  be to  conform to  the policy                                                               
established as the state standard.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 464                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  referenced  Mr. Fauske's  letter  dated                                                               
February 25,  2002.  He  asked if the Building  Energy Efficiency                                                               
Standard (BEES)  is a  standard that was  developed in  Alaska by                                                               
AHFC.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BITNEY  replied yes.  He  explained that AHFC used  the state                                                               
standard "ASHRAY" (ph), which he believes is under ANSI.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  surmised  that AHFC  has  reviewed  the                                                               
International Energy  Conservation Code  (IECC), but  prefers the                                                               
BEES.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BITNEY answered  yes,  and pointed  out  that state  statute                                                               
allows AHFC to have different  standards for different regions of                                                               
the state, as  well as give consideration to the  cost related to                                                               
fuel installation and materials.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG mentioned  that he  and Mr.  Bitney have                                                               
been working on a bill for  home inspection for three years.  The                                                               
bill includes  ICBO-certified home inspectors who  he understands                                                               
to be affiliated with the International [Codes] group.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BITNEY confirmed Representative Rokeberg's understanding.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 481                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MURKOWSKI announced that those  not available on March 15th                                                               
[when these  bills will  be heard again]  are welcome  to forward                                                               
written testimony to the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[HB 399, HB 436, and HB 437 were held over.]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
5:30 p.m.                                                                                                                       

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