Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/28/2003 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                                                                         
                         April 28, 2003                                                                                         
                           3:20 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Tom Anderson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Bob Lynn, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                                                                  
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 260                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to immunity for free health care services                                                                      
provided by certain health care providers; and providing for an                                                                 
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 260(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 269                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the Safety Code Task Force; and providing                                                                  
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 272                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to motor vehicle dealers."                                                                                     
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
BILL: HB 260                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:IMMUNITY FOR PROVIDING FREE HEALTH CARE                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)SEATON                                                                                             
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
04/11/03     0935       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
04/11/03     0935       (H)        L&C, JUD                                                                                     
04/23/03     1081       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): GARA                                                                           
04/24/03     1111       (H)        COSPONSOR(S): ANDERSON                                                                       
04/28/03                (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
BILL: HB 269                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:SAFETY CODE TASK FORCE                                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)DAHLSTROM                                                                                          
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
04/15/03     0985       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
04/15/03     0985       (H)        L&C, FIN                                                                                     
04/28/03                (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke as the sponsor of HB 260.                                                                            
LINDA FINK, Assistant Director                                                                                                  
Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 260.                                                                            
HEDRIC HANSON, Obstetrician /Gynecologist                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 260.                                                                                       
MICHAEL HAUGEN, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Physicians & Surgeons, Inc. (APS)                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in strong support of HB 260.                                                                     
STEPHEN CONN, Special Projects Coordinator                                                                                      
Alaska Public Interest Research Group                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of a form of                                                                          
legislation, but not the current draft of HB 260.                                                                               
ZACH WARWICK, Staff                                                                                                             
to Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As staff to the sponsor of the companion                                                                   
legislation to HB 260, he answered questions.                                                                                   
SAM KITO, III                                                                                                                   
Alaska Professional Design Council                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 269.                                                                            
JOHN BITNEY                                                                                                                     
Alaska State Homebuilders Association                                                                                           
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that although the Alaska                                                                         
Homebuilders Association is comfortable with the status quo, it                                                                 
does support HB 269.                                                                                                            
DAVID OWENS, Owner                                                                                                              
Owens Inspection Services                                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 269.                                                                            
JAMES BAISDEN, Kenai Fire Marshall                                                                                              
Kenai Fire Department                                                                                                           
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 269.                                                                         
CHARLES DEARDEN, Building Official                                                                                              
City of Ketchikan                                                                                                               
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 269.                                                                         
GARY POWELL, Director State Fire Marshall                                                                                       
Division of Fire Prevention                                                                                                     
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed concern with the make-up of the                                                                  
safety code task force created under HB 269.                                                                                    
STEVE SHUTTLEWORTH, Building Official                                                                                           
City of Fairbanks                                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed concern with the lack of a code                                                                  
building official on the task force proposed in HB 269.                                                                         
BILL SAGER                                                                                                                      
Mechanical Contractors of Fairbanks                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 269.                                                                            
ERIC MOHRMANN, Fire Chief                                                                                                       
Chena/Goldstream Fire and Rescue                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of HB 269, testified that                                                               
there should be  representation from the fire  department and the                                                               
building official [profession].                                                                                                 
DENNIS MICHEL, American Mechanical Contracting Firm                                                                             
President, Mechanical Contractors                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of HB 269, testified that                                                               
the mechanical contractors have agreed  to this [task force] as a                                                               
manner of resolving this issue.                                                                                                 
KEN AKERLY, Alaska Fire Standards Council                                                                                       
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion  of HB 269, testified that                                                               
there should be  representation from the fire  department and the                                                               
building official [professions].                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 03-42, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR TOM ANDERSON  called the House Labor  and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   3:20  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Anderson, Lynn,  Dahlstrom, Gatto, Crawford, and  Guttenberg were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
HB 260-IMMUNITY FOR PROVIDING FREE HEALTH CARE                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  260, "An  Act relating  to immunity  for free                                                               
health care  services provided by certain  health care providers;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
Number 0053                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL  SEATON, Alaska  State Legislature,  spoke as                                                               
the sponsor of HB  260.  He explained that the  purpose of HB 260                                                               
is  to encourage  licensed health  care professionals  to provide                                                               
free services  through clinics, health  fairs, et cetera.   These                                                               
services  would encourage  better  health care  services and  the                                                               
prevention and treatment  of illness.  Currently,  Alaska faces a                                                               
[shortage]  of physicians  and these  physicians are  also aging,                                                               
which is also the case of  other health care professionals.  This                                                               
legislation   allows  a   physician  to   participate  [volunteer                                                               
services] in a  free clinic without having  to purchase expensive                                                               
malpractice insurance.   The  aforementioned would  be especially                                                               
important  for  those  retired physicians  who  can't  afford  to                                                               
maintain malpractice insurance in  order to provide free services                                                               
in the  community.  The services  can only be provided  under the                                                               
following requirements:   the health care provider  has a current                                                               
state license; the services provided  are within the scope of the                                                               
provider's  licenses;  the  services  are  provided  at  clinics,                                                               
municipal-  or state-  or U.S.-owned  facilities, or  a nonprofit                                                               
facility;  and  the  services  were   provided  free  of  charge.                                                               
Representative Seaton related his belief  that HB 260 is good for                                                               
the  people  of  Alaska  because  this  legislation  would  allow                                                               
Alaskans who  would not otherwise  be able to access  health care                                                               
to do so.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  said  this   sounds  great.    However,                                                               
physicians and health care providers  make mistakes.  He asked to                                                               
whom will  patients harmed  by these  physicians and  health care                                                               
providers with  blanket immunity  turn.  He  related that  he was                                                               
told  this  legislation is  similar  to  the situation  in  which                                                               
[military  personnel] who  are harmed  in treatment  provided [by                                                               
military health  care professionals] can't sue  those health care                                                               
professionals.  Although the government  would still be liable in                                                               
the  aforementioned  situation,   this  legislation  would  leave                                                               
someone  harmed   by  these  volunteer  doctors   providing  free                                                               
services without any recourse.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said  this  legislation  doesn't  exclude                                                               
gross negligence,  for which the  doctor providing  free services                                                               
would be liable.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  inquired as  to the  remedy if  the harm                                                               
isn't at the level of gross negligence.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON related  that "what  we're talking  about"                                                               
are  acts of  omission in  which a  free clinic  wouldn't perform                                                               
such  things as  a  CAT  scan or  X-Ray.   Representative  Seaton                                                               
remarked, "I  think that  what we're looking  at is  a difference                                                               
between  no health  care and  good health  care, but  without the                                                               
liability for the doctor."                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD commented,  "Somewhere, somebody ought to                                                               
be liable."                                                                                                                     
Number 0587                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN turned  to  the definition  of "health  care                                                               
provider" and pointed  out that the definition  doesn't include a                                                               
nurse practitioner,  although it  does include an  advanced nurse                                                               
practitioner and a practical nurse.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON deferred to witnesses.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  related his  understanding that  a practical                                                               
nurse performs  the more mundane activities  while the registered                                                               
nurse is  under the direct supervision  of a doctor, and  a nurse                                                               
practitioner can do  certain things above the level  of a regular                                                               
nurse and advanced nurse.  He asked if a category was left out.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said he  wasn't  opposed  to including  a                                                               
category if it  was left out.  He reiterated  that the purpose of                                                               
HB  260  is  to  encourage   health  care  workers  to  volunteer                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN   inquired  as   to  the  definition   of  a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON deferred to witnesses on-line.                                                                            
Number 0709                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if the  clinic would be liable if                                                               
a  retired  physician  working  for free  omits  a  procedure  or                                                               
performs an untimely test that causes harm.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON informed  the committee  that the  medical                                                               
definition  of  gross  negligence  refers  to  "not  adhering  to                                                               
standard   procedures  in   a  situation   as  identified   by  a                                                               
professional."  "If  we get into the situation  where somebody is                                                               
providing treatment that is either  outside of their specialty or                                                               
what their license covers, or  outside of standard practice, then                                                               
we are getting into the other factor," he said.                                                                                 
Number 0822                                                                                                                     
LINDA  FINK,  Assistant  Director,   Alaska  State  Hospital  and                                                               
Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA),  announced ASHNHA's support of                                                               
HB  260.   At  this time,  workforce development  is  one of  the                                                               
critical concerns  in the health  care field.   Therefore, ASHNHA                                                               
strongly supports anything  that can be done to  retain people in                                                               
the professions  and increase the  workforce.  Ms.  Fink informed                                                               
the  committee  that  she  learned   from  information  from  the                                                               
American  Hospital Association  (AMA) that  malpractice insurance                                                               
for hospitals has increased 158  percent over the last two years.                                                               
Therefore,  she  supported  not   [requiring]  liability  on  the                                                               
retired [health  care professional] who probably  doesn't have an                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  informed the  committee that under  HB 260                                                               
facilities aren't granted immunity.   Therefore, this legislation                                                               
provides for personal  immunity for people with  licenses and not                                                               
Number 0905                                                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON  noted that he agreed  with the merits of  HB 260.                                                               
However, he  expressed concern  with regard  to Section  3, which                                                               
provides immunity  for a multitude  of health care  providers who                                                               
aren't physicians.   Although 43  states have  limited liability,                                                               
he pointed  out that  [those states  have limited  liability] for                                                               
retired physicians not for health  care providers.  Therefore, he                                                               
surmised that  this legislation deals  with all  practitioners in                                                               
the [health care] field.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  informed the committee that  Alaska is one                                                               
of  only seven  states that  doesn't have  limited liability  for                                                               
health care providers.   He explained that  the Legislative Legal                                                               
and   Research  Services   Division  recommended   expanding  the                                                               
definition  of  "health care  provider"  so  that the  extent  of                                                               
health care  providers would be  apparent.  He  acknowledged that                                                               
the expansion of the definition  does cause some problems because                                                               
the  legislation   only  covers   those  health   care  providers                                                               
currently licensed in the state.                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON surmised  then that  physicians  who retire  keep                                                               
their license,  and in order to  [come under HB 260],  the health                                                               
care provider  would have to have  an active license in  order to                                                               
be exempt from liability.                                                                                                       
MS. FINK  replied yes,  and specified  that the  individual would                                                               
have to qualify.                                                                                                                
Number 1082                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  asked if a  facility is liable  when a                                                               
health  care provider  does something  that doesn't  rise to  the                                                               
level of gross negligence, reckless, or intentional misconduct.                                                                 
MS. FINK answered that she didn't  know.  However, she did inform                                                               
the committee  that facilities do  provide a lot of  charity care                                                               
and other free services, but she  didn't know how that related to                                                               
the facility's liability.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN inquired as to what retired means.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  responded  that this  legislation  merely                                                               
means  that  the  [health  care   provider]  retired  or  not  is                                                               
providing services for free.                                                                                                    
Number 1195                                                                                                                     
HEDRIC HANSON, Obstetrician/Gynecologist,  informed the committee                                                               
that  he  has practiced  in  this  state  since  1972.   He  also                                                               
informed  the committee  that he  is 61  years old.   Dr.  Hanson                                                               
opined that  the health of  our community  is a major  problem in                                                               
this country.   The health  of the community cannot  be optimized                                                               
unless everyone  is taken  care of, which  isn't the  case today.                                                               
Although he  said he  didn't know the  solution, he  related that                                                               
there is  a vast untapped  resource [retired physicians]  in this                                                               
state.   He  stated that  the number  of retired  physicians will                                                               
increase in  the next decade.   He related his belief  that [many                                                               
retired  physicians] would  volunteer in  the community  if there                                                               
wasn't the need for malpractice  insurance.  The question is will                                                               
[the legislature] tap into this wealth of knowledge.                                                                            
DR. HANSON remarked that when  laws to protect the physician have                                                               
been passed in  other states it has been a  win-win situation for                                                               
the  physicians and  the patients.   He  suggested that  it works                                                               
because  perhaps it  returns to  the once-practiced  standards in                                                               
medicine.  With regard to  the concerns expressed about injuries,                                                               
Dr. Hanson  related that there have  been very few suits  of free                                                               
clinics in which  physicians volunteer.  He  highlighted that the                                                               
[care   being  discussed]   isn't  hi-tech   surgery,  diagnostic                                                               
procedures, or  invasive testing rather it's  basic, primary care                                                               
and  [often to  older patients].   Dr.  Hanson emphasized  that a                                                               
retired   physician    can't   afford    malpractice   insurance.                                                               
Furthermore, the  free clinic can't afford  malpractice insurance                                                               
either.    He reiterated  that  the  [legislature] will  have  to                                                               
decide whether it wants to tap  into this resource.  He explained                                                               
that he  wants to  be able  to help the  community and  he didn't                                                               
particularly want to perform missionary  work in another country.                                                               
He  also  explained  that  the   reason  the  other  health  care                                                               
providers are  included in this  is because the  physicians can't                                                               
do it alone.  He concluded  by emphasizing that this proposal has                                                               
worked in other communities and states.                                                                                         
Number 1474                                                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON  directed attention to  page 2 of  the legislation                                                               
where the definition of "health  care services" doesn't delineate                                                               
or distinguish  the type of  treatment.  The definition  seems to                                                               
be fairly  open.   Furthermore, he recalled  that Dr.  Hanson had                                                               
targeted retired  physicians.  However,  the first  criteria that                                                               
one  would  have  to  meet  in  order  to  receive  immunity  for                                                               
providing free health care services  is to be licensed in Alaska.                                                               
He asked if  retired physicians would still be  licensed or would                                                               
renewal be required.                                                                                                            
DR.  HANSON related  his  understanding that  one  would have  to                                                               
renew  his/her license,  pay for  the license  fee, and  meet the                                                               
requirements for  re-licensing, which  is the  continuing medical                                                               
Number 1592                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked if this [immunity]  would include work                                                               
[free services] in an abortion clinic.                                                                                          
DR. HANSON  answered that  he didn't know.   However,  he related                                                               
that  the  free clinics  that  he  knows  about were  started  by                                                               
churches  and  state  grants.     Providing  free  clinics  is  a                                                               
[nationwide] movement that hasn't had  a specific agenda like the                                                               
abortion  issue.     He   related  his   doubt  that   one  would                                                               
economically be able to run a free abortion clinic.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  clarified that his question  was targeted at                                                               
volunteering services at a preexisting clinic.                                                                                  
DR. HANSON  reiterated that he  didn't know.   He noted  that the                                                               
models he  has seen haven't addressed  that.  [The models  he has                                                               
reviewed] address  health maintenance,  screening, and  care that                                                               
wouldn't  be   [classified]  as  an  intervention   as  would  an                                                               
abortion.     Dr.   Hanson  again   highlighted  Alaska's   older                                                               
population  who  can't  access physicians  because  there  aren't                                                               
enough  physicians  to   take  care  of  them   or  the  Medicare                                                               
reimbursements are so  low that no physicians  will take Medicare                                                               
patients, or the patient has no insurance at all.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked if, under  this legislation,  a health                                                               
care provider could perform an abortion  on their own at a clinic                                                               
and escape any liability.                                                                                                       
DR. HANSON answered that he didn't know.                                                                                        
Number 1755                                                                                                                     
MICHAEL   HAUGEN,  Executive   Director,   Alaska  Physicians   &                                                               
Surgeons, Inc. (APS), informed the  committee that APS represents                                                               
approximately  170   physicians.    He  specified   that  he  was                                                               
testifying in  strong support of HB  260.  Mr. Haugen  echoed Dr.                                                               
Hanson's  comments  regarding  the   access  crisis  that  is  of                                                               
particular concern for the elderly  population in the state.  For                                                               
example, a  little over  a year ago  Anchorage had  28 practicing                                                               
interns  that took  care  of the  elderly  population.   However,                                                               
eight of those  interns have been lost and two  more are expected                                                               
to  leave.   Mr.  Haugen mentioned  that  Alaska has  experienced                                                               
difficulty  attracting   and  keeping   high-quality  physicians.                                                               
Therefore, he  viewed this legislation  as [part of  the solution                                                               
that  would help]  retired physicians  who  want to  stay in  the                                                               
state  and   help  the   community.     He  indicated   that  the                                                               
aforementioned is the impetus for APS supporting HB 260.                                                                        
Number 1854                                                                                                                     
STEPHEN  CONN,   Special  Projects  Coordinator,   Alaska  Public                                                               
Interest Research  Group (AkPIRG), expressed concern  with regard                                                               
to the  breadth of the  legislation, specifically given  the time                                                               
frame  of the  legislative  process.   Mr.  Conn  said he  didn't                                                               
believe that  anyone would want to  deny Dr. Hanson the  right to                                                               
continue serving  people in this  state.  However, he  noted that                                                               
he didn't view  HB 260 as legislation that  would encourage those                                                               
already  quitting  practices  because  they  aren't  paid  in  an                                                               
effective and  efficient manner to  become volunteers.   Mr. Conn                                                               
specified  concern with  the  breadth of  the  term "health  care                                                               
provider."   He  related his  assumption that  the state  license                                                               
[requirement]  would   apply  to  all  those   listed  under  the                                                               
definition  of  health care  provider.    However, the  level  of                                                               
licensing and regulation  of each category is an  issue, he said.                                                               
Mr.  Conn also  specified concern  with the  breadth of  the term                                                               
nonprofit  facility.    He  questioned  whether  the  [nonprofit]                                                               
facility is being held to a  level of screening and whether there                                                               
are  adequate  resources for  the  physicians.   Apparently,  the                                                               
facility could  be sued, but  he questioned whether  the facility                                                               
would  be  obliged to  carry  [insurance]  coverage or  resources                                                               
should there  be a  problem.   If the  health care  providers are                                                               
immune  and the  facility lacks  the resources  to deal  with the                                                               
immediate needs resulting from a  civil liability, everyone would                                                               
bear those costs because those costs  would be thrust back on the                                                               
market.   Therefore,  Mr.  Conn recommended meeting  Mr. Hanson's                                                               
request without  using it as  blanket immunity for any  number of                                                               
categories  [of health  care providers]  with  various levels  of                                                               
regulations and working  at various unknown facilities.   The net                                                               
result of  the aforementioned  would be  unintended consequences.                                                               
Mr. Conn concluded by specifying that  he is in support of a form                                                               
of legislation,  but not HB 260  as it is currently  drafted.  In                                                               
regard to the earlier issue  of civil liability surrounding gross                                                               
or  intentional  negligence, Mr.  Conn  characterized  that as  a                                                               
lesser issue because it's fairly well defined.                                                                                  
Number 2035                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  referred to page  2, line 6, of  HB 260.                                                               
He asked  if the  "limiting liability" language  in the  other 43                                                               
states  that  have  enacted legislation  limiting  liability  for                                                               
retired  physicians  refers  to  blanket  immunity  up  to  gross                                                               
negligence.   He also asked  if the  43 other states  include the                                                               
list of health care providers that [HB 260 specifies].                                                                          
MR. CONN responded  that he didn't know, and  remarked that those                                                               
are  important questions.   As  was  stated by  the sponsor,  the                                                               
legislative intent is limiting liability for retired physicians.                                                                
MR. HAUGEN informed the committee  that in these 43 other states,                                                               
the liability extended to physicians  comes in two forms:  either                                                               
it provides a blanket exemption  and indemnifies a physician like                                                               
a  state  employee,  or,  like   Oregon,  changes  the  liability                                                               
standard  to gross  negligence.   He  noted his  belief that  the                                                               
language of  HB 260  is modeled  on North  Dakota's [provisions].                                                               
He highlighted  that the list  of health care providers  that are                                                               
immunized varies  greatly throughout the  43 states.   He related                                                               
his  belief that  the intent  of HB  260 was  to be  as broad  as                                                               
possible in order  to encourage as much  citizen participation as                                                               
Number 2159                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  pointed  out that  the  committee  packet                                                               
contains  a  listing  of  all  the states  and  what  that  state                                                               
provides  [in the  area of  volunteer health  care providers  and                                                               
civil  immunity  laws].    The   listing  is  from  the  National                                                               
Conference of  State Legislatures  (NCSL).  The  committee packet                                                               
also  includes Public  Law  105-19-June 18,  1997,  which is  the                                                               
federal Volunteer Protection Act of  1997.  He explained that the                                                               
purpose of  the Volunteer  Protection Act of  1997 is  to promote                                                               
interested   social  service   programs  and   beneficiaries  and                                                               
taxpayers to  sustain the availability of  programs and nonprofit                                                               
organizations, et cetera [that provide]  health [services].  This                                                               
Act preempts the  laws in any state to the  extent that such laws                                                               
are inconsistent with  the Act, except the Act  shall not preempt                                                               
any state providing additional  protection from liability related                                                               
to  volunteers  or  to  any   categories  of  volunteers  in  the                                                               
performances  or  services  of   the  nonprofit  organization  or                                                               
governmental agency.  Therefore, this  is a model law and without                                                               
any state law, the federal law is in place.                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON related  his view that Alaska would  have the most                                                               
expansive legislation  with regard  to [the definition  of health                                                               
care provider].                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said that  Legislative Legal  and Research                                                               
Services  wanted to  narrow the  legislation  by specifying  [the                                                               
definition of health  care provider].  He  informed the committee                                                               
that most  of [the  43 states  doing this]  refer to  health care                                                               
providers  or professionals,  which includes  "all of  the people                                                               
that are licensed that have anything to do with health care."                                                                   
Number 2305                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD   recalled   Mr.   Haugen's   testimony                                                               
regarding the  indemnification of the volunteers  [that occurs in                                                               
some  of the  43  states  doing this],  and  inquired  as to  who                                                               
indemnifies  them  when  someone  is  damaged  and  there  is  no                                                               
malpractice insurance in place.                                                                                                 
MR.  HAUGEN  related  his  belief  that  the  state  passing  the                                                               
legislation   would  indeminify   [the   volunteer  health   care                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD surmised  that Mr.  Haugen would  prefer                                                               
that no  one be  liable if  someone was  damaged [by  a volunteer                                                               
health care provider].                                                                                                          
MR.  HAUGEN  replied no  and  pointed  out that  the  legislation                                                               
includes a  liability standard of  gross negligence.   Mr. Haugen                                                               
reiterated   that  [the   legislature]  must   determine  whether                                                               
encouraging providers to provide  health care when they otherwise                                                               
would  not, to  meet a  very large  need, is  worth reducing  the                                                               
liability exposure  to the provider.   He noted that  many states                                                               
and the federal government have decided it's worth it.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD asked  if Mr. Haugen felt  that the state                                                               
indemnifying the provider isn't workable.                                                                                       
MR. HAUGEN responded that the legislature] can debate that.                                                                     
TAPE 03-42, SIDE B                                                                                                            
CHAIR ANDERSON, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
Number 2350                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO moved that  the committee adopt Amendment 1,                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
     Page 2, line 27, following "dentist,":                                                                                     
          Insert "dental hygienist,"                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO informed the committee  that when he goes to                                                               
the  dentist,  he  almost  always   sees  the  dental  hygienist.                                                               
Therefore, he expressed the need  to include dental hygienists in                                                               
the list of health care providers.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG informed the  committee that there is a                                                               
legitimate  and  licensed  definition of  dental  hygienist,  and                                                               
therefore it is covered in statute.                                                                                             
CHAIR  ANDERSON,  upon  determining  there  were  no  objections,                                                               
announced that Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                         
Number 2283                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   DAHLSTROM  moved   that   the  committee   adopt                                                               
Amendment 2, which read:                                                                                                        
     Page 2, line 21:                                                                                                           
          Delete "and"                                                                                                          
     Page 2, line 22, following "the services":                                                                                 
          Insert "; and                                                                                                         
               (5)  provider                                                                                                    
               (A)  obtains informed consent from the                                                                           
     person receiving the health care services as described                                                                     
          under AS 09.55.556, except in the case of an                                                                          
     emergency; and                                                                                                             
               (B)  provides the person receiving the                                                                           
      health care services written notice of the immunity                                                                       
     provided under this section"                                                                                               
CHAIR ANDERSON objected for the purposes of discussion.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM clarified  that AS  09.55.556 says  the                                                               
     Sec. 09.55.556.  Informed consent.      (a)   A  health                                                                  
     care  provider  is liable  for  failure  to obtain  the                                                                    
     informed  consent   of  a   patient  if   the  claimant                                                                    
     establishes  by a  preponderance of  the evidence  that                                                                    
     the provider  has failed to  inform the patient  of the                                                                    
     common  risks   and  reasonable  alternatives   to  the                                                                    
     proposed treatment or procedure,  and that but for that                                                                    
     failure the  claimant would not  have consented  to the                                                                    
     proposed treatment or procedure.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM explained  that the  above is  a common                                                               
sense   understanding  that   the  provider   is  providing   the                                                               
information to  the patient  receiving the  care and  everyone is                                                               
signing off on it.                                                                                                              
CHAIR ANDERSON removed his objection.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if  the informed consent notifies                                                               
the patient that there is no liability.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   said  that   he  has  no   objection  to                                                               
[Amendment 2].                                                                                                                  
There being no further objection, Amendment 2 is adopted.                                                                       
Number 2200                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN moved  that the  committee adopt  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3, which read:                                                                                                        
     Nothing in this bill  shall remove civil liability from                                                                    
     any health care provider  that performs or participates                                                                    
     in the performance of an elective abortion.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  objected and remarked, "It's  just the                                                               
whole  larger   issue  of  liability  for   everybody,  not  just                                                               
separating one out."                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked if  Representative Guttenberg would be                                                               
more comfortable with the language "any elected procedure."                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  explained  that   the  issue  is  the                                                               
liability question.                                                                                                             
CHAIR  ANDERSON  related  his understanding  that  Representative                                                               
Lynn's  amendment  is getting  at  a  physician who  retires  and                                                               
maintains  his/her  medical  license,   goes  to  a  clinic  that                                                               
performs  abortions,  and  offers  to  work for  free.    In  the                                                               
aforementioned  situation, the  physician wouldn't  have to  have                                                               
liability insurance.   He said he  understood Representative Lynn                                                               
to mean  that he  didn't want it  to be easy  for a  physician to                                                               
retire  and  not have  liability  insurance  for malpractice  and                                                               
perform [abortions].                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN agreed with Chair Anderson's understanding.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD said  he believes  [Conceptual Amendment                                                               
3] is  discrimination and isn't  fair and equal treatment.   With                                                               
regard   to  using   the   language   "any  elected   procedure,"                                                               
Representative Crawford  pointed out  that could refer  to having                                                               
one's teeth cleaned.  Therefore, he  said he didn't see how there                                                               
could  be a  law that  discriminates against  one form  of health                                                               
care, when that health care is legal under the constitution.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  related his belief that  having one's teeth                                                               
cleaned is a medical procedure, which  is why it's performed by a                                                               
licensed  individual.   He  suggested  that  perhaps any  elected                                                               
procedure  shouldn't be  covered  when the  intent  is to  simply                                                               
release the  physician when  doing free work.   Perhaps  the free                                                               
work  could  be  limited  to  free  and  essential  or  free  and                                                               
necessary  [services].    Therefore,  procedures  such  as  teeth                                                               
whitening,  plastic surgery,  and  removing  tattoos wouldn't  be                                                               
Number 1975                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG said that  the definition of "elective"                                                               
would be  troubling for a lot  of people.  Comparing  an elective                                                               
teeth cleaning to an elective abortion  is troubling.  He posed a                                                               
situation in  which someone has an  accident and there is  a life                                                               
and death  situation [between the  mother and her  unborn child],                                                               
and questioned  whether the decision  of whether one or  both die                                                               
would be considered elective.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  clarified  that  [Conceptual  Amendment  3]                                                               
doesn't go to  the abortion issue itself rather  it addresses the                                                               
liability issue.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  reiterated that the  purpose of HB  260 is                                                               
to provide legal voluntary health care.   If attempts are made to                                                               
allow  certain  procedures  and   disallow  others,  he  said  he                                                               
believes it will  probably [thwart this attempt  to provide free]                                                               
needed medical care.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  ANDERSON asked  if Representative  Seaton was  saying that                                                               
the language on  page 3, line 1, "to treat  or prevent illness or                                                               
injury", doesn't include abortion.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON replied, "Right."                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN disagreed.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  clarified that  any  female  can go  to  a                                                               
physician and  say that it  stresses her  or would injure  her to                                                               
have a  baby in which case  a mental illness would  be associated                                                               
with the delivery of the  baby.  Representative Gatto opined that                                                               
ignoring  it  would mean  that  it's  covered, and  therefore  he                                                               
supported Conceptual Amendment 3.                                                                                               
Number 1811                                                                                                                     
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Dahlstrom, Gatto,                                                               
Lynn,  and Anderson  voted in  favor of  Conceptual Amendment  3.                                                               
Representatives  Guttenberg   and  Crawford  voted   against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Conceptual Amendment 3 was adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD  highlighted   his  belief   that  it's                                                               
important  to recognize  that [this  legislation] issues  blanket                                                               
immunity  up to  the  point  of gross  negligence.   Some  states                                                               
indemnify the volunteer health care  providers.  He said he would                                                               
hate to see  people [unable to seek damages] when  they have been                                                               
injured by  these health care  providers.   He noted that  he was                                                               
leery  about providing  blanket  immunity.   Therefore, he  noted                                                               
that  he would  be in  favor of  putting the  state in  charge of                                                               
indemnifying these volunteer health care providers.                                                                             
CHAIR ANDERSON recalled  Mr. Conn's point that  the licensure for                                                               
the various health care providers  varies.  Furthermore, there is                                                               
some  ambiguity  with regard  to  the  liability of  a  nonprofit                                                               
facility.   Chair  Anderson pointed  out that  the committee  has                                                               
reviewed  this legislation  per  the purview  of this  committee.                                                               
Therefore,  he   said  he  believes  the   legislation  could  be                                                               
forwarded to the next committee  of referral, the House Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee,  where the more  definitive aspects  could be                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   LYNN  pointed   out   that  indemnifying   these                                                               
volunteer health  care providers  could cost the  state millions.                                                               
Further, he questioned whether the  state would have to carry the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  posed a  situation in which  an indigent                                                               
is  harmed, and  indicated that  the state,  as the  last resort,                                                               
would be responsible for this person.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  stated that he totally  supports the concept                                                               
of HB 260 as it has been amended.                                                                                               
Number 1611                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  noted  that  he, too,  liked  HB  260                                                               
conceptually.  However, he was  also interested in Representative                                                               
Crawford's  suggestion to  explore some  blanket indemnification.                                                               
Some of the  definitions of health care providers  are broad, and                                                               
therefore  defining health  care providers  is smart.   Still  he                                                               
noted  his concerned  with the  liability of  the legislation  as                                                               
well as the license requirements.                                                                                               
CHAIR ANDERSON offered to contact  Rick Urion, Director, Division                                                               
of  Occupational Licensing,  Department  of  Commerce &  Economic                                                               
Development,  and  request  an interpretive  and  opinion  letter                                                               
regarding  licensure  to  be submitted  to  the  House  Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  said he  hates to send  legislation with                                                               
problems to  the next committee  of referral.  He  emphasized his                                                               
concern with providing blanket immunity.                                                                                        
Number 1493                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report  HB 260, as amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG objected.   Representative  Guttenberg                                                               
requested a list of physicians and their licensing requirements.                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Dahlstrom, Gatto,                                                               
Rokeberg, Lynn, and Anderson voted  in favor of reporting HB 260,                                                               
as  amended, out  of committee.   Representatives  Guttenberg and                                                               
Crawford  voted  against  it.     Therefore,  CSHB  260(L&C)  was                                                               
reported out of  the House Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee                                                               
by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                                               
HB 269-SAFETY CODE TASK FORCE                                                                                                 
CHAIR ANDERSON announced that the next order of business would                                                                  
be HOUSE BILL NO. 269, "An Act establishing the Safety Code Task                                                                
Force; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
Number 1389                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM,  speaking  as   the  sponsor  HB  269,                                                               
explained that that this legislation  establishes the Safety Code                                                               
Task  Force.   Representative  Dahlstrom  provided the  following                                                               
     There  are  five  primary  safety  codes  dealing  with                                                                    
     construction   in   Alaska,   which   are   under   the                                                                    
     jurisdiction of  two different departments.   The fire,                                                                    
     building,   and   mechanical   codes  are   under   the                                                                    
     jurisdiction of  the fire marshal at  the Department of                                                                    
     Public Safety.   The plumbing and  electrical codes are                                                                    
     governed by  the Department of Labor.   Each department                                                                    
     is responsible for adopting a  family of codes to bring                                                                    
     uniformity   and   consistency  to   the   construction                                                                    
     industry.     However,   the   current  delegation   of                                                                    
     authority to  the respective  departments has  caused a                                                                    
     set of conflicts and discrepancies.                                                                                        
     The  mission  of  the  Safety Code  Task  Force  is  to                                                                    
     suggest   options  for   consolidation   of  our   code                                                                    
     administration  function.    The  task  force  will  be                                                                    
     charged   with   presenting  recommendations   to   the                                                                    
     legislature  by the  first day  of  the second  regular                                                                    
     session of  the Twenty-Third Alaska  State Legislature.                                                                    
     As part of the task  force, we're proposing an advisory                                                                    
     panel  that   will  be   appointed  by   the  governor,                                                                    
     representing  the Division  of Occupational  Licensing,                                                                    
     the  Division of  Fire  Prevention,  the Department  of                                                                    
     Labor  & Workforce  Development.   The purpose  of this                                                                    
     group is  to advise  the task force  on the  effects of                                                                    
     any  changes  in  code  adoption  to  their  respective                                                                    
     agencies.   However, it is  not my intent to  limit the                                                                    
     size and scope  of the advisory to  just these persons.                                                                    
     To ensure the  broadest representation of stakeholders,                                                                    
     I would like to  see all interested parties participate                                                                    
     in a panel,  and so therefore I would like  to see this                                                                    
     task  force more  forward without  amendments; ...  all                                                                    
     interested   parties  do   have   the  opportunity   to                                                                    
     The  Safety  Code  Task  Force  will  consist  of  nine                                                                    
     members, representing parties  affected by the adoption                                                                    
     of  safety codes  in this  state.   The make-up  of the                                                                    
     task force is  as follows:  an appointee  of the Senate                                                                    
     President, which  would be  a Co-Chairman  appointee of                                                                    
     the Speaker  of the  House, which would  also be  a Co-                                                                    
     Chairman  appointee of  the  governor.   The  following                                                                    
     members  are  to be  appointed  jointly  by the  Senate                                                                    
     President  and  the  Speaker of  the  House,  and  they                                                                    
     include:    a   representative  from  the  construction                                                                    
     design   community;    a   representative    from   the                                                                    
     construction  engineering  community; a  representative                                                                    
     for   general   contractors;   a   representative   for                                                                    
     mechanical    contractors;    a   representative    for                                                                    
     electrical contractors;  a representative  for plumbing                                                                    
     contractors.   I urge  positive consideration  of House                                                                    
     Bill 269, Mr. Chair, and  there are others here who are                                                                    
     available to testify and answer questions.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  pointed out  that these types  of issues                                                               
have been  before this committee  on numerous occasions.   In the                                                               
past,  this  committee  has  taken   the  policy  of  these  code                                                               
adoptions  being  done on  a  periodic  basis in  the  department                                                               
rather  than the  legislature.    He noted  that  there has  been                                                               
correspondence  regarding the  lack of  representation from  "the                                                               
fire  plan  check,  fire  department,  and  fire  prevention-type                                                               
area."    He  asked  if  any  consideration  has  been  given  to                                                               
including representation from  the municipal building department,                                                               
which is responsible for code enforcement.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM agreed that  the fire industry should be                                                               
represented,  and  therefore her  intent  was  that the  official                                                               
representing the public  safety interest would be  from the [fire                                                               
[The gavel had been passed to Representative Lynn.]                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked if  it would be  safe to  assume that                                                               
the governor's  appointment for that division  would hopefully be                                                               
the fire marshal.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  replied  that  she  wouldn't  want  to                                                               
assume   what  the   governor  would   do.     She  related   her                                                               
understanding  that  the  fire  marshal's  responsibility  is  to                                                               
enforce the code once it has been decided.                                                                                      
Number 1146                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said he wondered  if there would be interest                                                               
in  combining  the  mechanical   construction  and  the  plumbing                                                               
construction member under one member.   He informed the committee                                                               
that California adopted the existing  Uniform Building Code while                                                               
Oregon    adopted    the     International    [Building]    Code.                                                               
Representative  Gatto  pointed  out   that  California  has  more                                                               
seismic concerns than Oregon, and  therefore he was interested in                                                               
California's  use of  the Uniform  Building Code.   For  example,                                                               
under  the International  Building Code  if there  was a  seismic                                                               
shift that caused the sprinkler  line to break, there wouldn't be                                                               
any sprinklers.   However, under the Uniform  Building Code there                                                               
would have  to be a  source of  water to operate  the sprinklers.                                                               
The  aforementioned illustrates  a major  difference between  the                                                               
codes,  and therefore  he noted  that  he is  leaning toward  the                                                               
Uniform Building Code.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  noted that  she is  aware that  the two                                                               
codes have  major differences.   She  deferred to  others present                                                               
who are more versed in the codes.                                                                                               
Number 0980                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  informed the committee that  the state                                                               
has  a  Seismic  Hazards  Safety  Commission  to  recommend  code                                                               
changes that are necessary to  accommodate those things unique to                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO   asked  if  the  Seismic   Hazards  Safety                                                               
Commission is part of this proposed task force.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   GUTTENBERG  noted   that  the   governor  hasn't                                                               
appointed the individuals to fill the positions.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG pointed  out  that  currently there  are                                                               
state codes that are adopted.   However, there is conflict within                                                               
the statutes.   Therefore, he  said he understood the  purpose of                                                               
the proposed task  force is to conform the  statutes and overcome                                                               
some  of the  problems and  turf wars  that have  occurred.   For                                                               
instance, there  have always been  problems with the  adoption of                                                               
the  plumbing code  because  those living  north  of Palmer  have                                                               
problems with their  hot water tanks.   Therefore, the provisions                                                               
of local  amendments are real.   One of the problems  is that the                                                               
Division  of  Occupational Licensing  is  such  that there  isn't                                                               
knowledge of which  code is in certain areas due  to the conflict                                                               
of  law.   Representative Rokeberg  related his  belief that  the                                                               
representative  from   the  construction   engineering  community                                                               
should be someone who specializes in seismic issues.                                                                            
Number 0828                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM turned  attention to  the fiscal  note.                                                               
She  highlighted that  the recommendations  from this  task force                                                               
are due  on the first  day of the  second session of  the Twenty-                                                               
Third  Alaska  State Legislature.    Therefore,  this task  force                                                               
isn't  long term  and the  costs are  relatively small,  $20,700.                                                               
The costs arise  from the three meetings in 2004  for which three                                                               
days were  budgeted for each meeting  as well as travel  costs of                                                               
the task force members and  one legislative staff.  She specified                                                               
that  the  fiscal  note  doesn't include  travel  funds  for  the                                                               
advisory panel  of state  employees because  any costs  for their                                                               
travel  will   be  absorbed  within  existing   executive  branch                                                               
budgets.   The cost  of the  meetings is  as follows:   Anchorage                                                               
meeting   -   $7,000;   two   Fairbanks   meetings   -   $12,000.                                                               
Furthermore,  $700  is  estimated  for  costs  to  teleconference                                                               
meetings  and print  the  task force  report.   There  is also  a                                                               
supply budget of $1,000.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD expressed  disappointment that  the list                                                               
of members of  the task force doesn't include any  members of the                                                               
actual workforce, such as labor.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM   surmised  then   that  Representative                                                               
Crawford  would want  to include  language specifying  that there                                                               
would be a representative from the labor community.                                                                             
Number 0666                                                                                                                     
ZACH  WARWICK, Staff  to Senator  Gene  Therriault, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, explained that Senator  Therriault is the sponsor of                                                               
the   companion   legislation,   SB   180.     In   response   to                                                               
Representative Crawford, Mr. Warwick  related that this issue has                                                               
been considered  a union/nonunion issue.   He said  that although                                                               
the  members  from  the  mechanical  construction  industry,  the                                                               
electrical construction  industry, and the  plumbing construction                                                               
industry aren't  necessarily going  to be  labor representatives,                                                               
he opined that the task force  is well-balanced.  He informed the                                                               
committee that three  people [from the groups  to be represented]                                                               
have almost  taken a stance  on the  code they prefer,  and three                                                               
people are nonpartisan [type people].                                                                                           
[The gavel was returned to Chair Anderson.]                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  asked if these people  have already been                                                               
MR. WARWICK replied  no, but people in  specified industries have                                                               
come out  for or  against each  individual code.   He  noted that                                                               
lists of  those interested  in participating  in this  task force                                                               
are being  compiled.  However, it  could get out of  hand and the                                                               
task force could reach a membership of say 40 people.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  said that he took  exception with regard                                                               
to  whether this  is a  union/nonunion issue.   He  recalled that                                                               
last year  mechanical and plumbing  contractors as well  as union                                                               
contractors supported  the Uniform Building Code.   Therefore, he                                                               
didn't believe it's  a fair characterization.   He reiterated the                                                               
need  for the  task  force  to have  some  representation of  the                                                               
people  who actually  perform  the  work.   The  current list  of                                                               
membership could completely leave out those who do the work.                                                                    
MR. WARWICK opined  that this membership of the task  force is an                                                               
equal, sort of bipartisan community  that deals with the codes on                                                               
a daily basis.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR  ANDERSON surmised  that  Mr. Warwick  is  saying that  the                                                               
representatives  from the  mechanical construction  industry, the                                                               
electrical construction  industry, and the  plumbing construction                                                               
industry could include labor.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN asked  if the language could  be changed such                                                               
that  it specified  the  need  for a  balance  between labor  and                                                               
management of these industries.                                                                                                 
MR. WARWICK said he didn't know how to word that.                                                                               
Number 0376                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO commented that  the [sponsors] have probably                                                               
heard from several people who  want to submit their names because                                                               
this  is  a powerful  position.    Therefore,  he asked  if  [the                                                               
sponsors] have been able to take  notice of people who might have                                                               
a  financial interest  by supporting  one side  or another.   For                                                               
instance  building code  officials  have  the International  Code                                                               
Council (ICC) as  its parent company which makes  and sells books                                                               
dealing  with the  code.    Therefore, there  would  be a  direct                                                               
financial interest.                                                                                                             
MR. WARWICK said that the above  is something that the task force                                                               
would consider.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG questioned why  labor would be left out                                                               
if  the  [sponsor]  considers  this  a  labor  [nonlabor]  issue.                                                               
Without involving  labor, a  group that  is seen  as part  of the                                                               
problem wouldn't be part of the solution.                                                                                       
MR.  WARWICK clarified,  "I don't  see this  as a  union/nonunion                                                               
issue" but rather an administration issue.                                                                                      
CHAIR   ANDERSON   remarked   that    he   didn't   believe   the                                                               
representatives  listed on  page 2,  lines 1-3,  excludes unions.                                                               
However, he agreed with Representative  Crawford that it would've                                                               
been nice  to specify  that labor would  be represented  and thus                                                               
the legislation may need to be tightened a bit.                                                                                 
MR.  WARWICK  related  his   belief  that  union  representatives                                                               
wouldn't be left out of this issue.                                                                                             
Number 0143                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  said he  understood Mr. Warwick  to mean                                                               
that this isn't  a union versus nonunion issue and  asked if that                                                               
is correct.                                                                                                                     
MR.  WARWICK clarified  that he  doesn't believe  that this  is a                                                               
nonunion versus union issue.                                                                                                    
Number 0024                                                                                                                     
SAM  KITO,  III,  Alaska   Professional  Design  Council  (APDC),                                                               
explained  that   the  APDC  includes   members  of   the  design                                                               
community,  such as  architects, engineers,  land surveyors,  and                                                               
landscape architects.  The APDC works  for the benefit of all the                                                               
design professionals  in public  and private  service.   He noted                                                               
appreciation  of  Representative  Dahlstrom  proposing  the  task                                                               
force because it has long been needed.                                                                                          
TAPE 03-43, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
MR. KITO related  APDC's support of HB 260.   However, APDC wants                                                               
to ensure  that there  is balance on  the task  force membership.                                                               
One area  of concern  is the  member representing  the electrical                                                               
construction  industry.   He explained  that both  sets of  codes                                                               
refer  to essentially  the same  electrical  code, and  therefore                                                               
APDC suggested  that the electrical construction  industry member                                                               
be  an advisory  member.    Furthermore,  APDC recommends  that a                                                               
building official  be a  voting member  of the  task force.   The                                                               
building   officials  that   work  for   the  municipalities   of                                                               
Anchorage,  Fairbanks, and  Juneau enforce  the codes  adopted by                                                               
their  respective  Assembly.    [These  building  officials]  are                                                               
members of ICC as much as  they were members of the International                                                               
Conference of  Building Officials  (ICBO) when  that organization                                                               
existed.    Building  officials   provide  a  unique  perspective                                                               
because they  have to deal  with the codes  every day.   The APDC                                                               
doesn't  believe   that  building  officials  have   a  financial                                                               
interest  because  they  are  municipal   employees.    Mr.  Kito                                                               
directed attention to  page 2, lines 5-6, and  suggested that the                                                               
language  "one  family  of  codes"  be  changed  to  refer  to  a                                                               
"consistent set of codes" because  in Oregon there is a situation                                                               
in which components of two  different codes have been adopted and                                                               
are working together.                                                                                                           
Number 0209                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if  the language "consistent set of                                                               
codes" would  allow for  components from  the ICC  and components                                                               
from  the International  Association of  Plumbing and  Mechanical                                                               
Officials (IAPMO) to be adopted.                                                                                                
MR.  KITO  explained,  for  example,  if  the  plumbing  and  the                                                               
mechanical code don't work together  when designing a building to                                                               
one  standard, [changing  the language  to allow  components from                                                               
different codes to be adopted would help] avoid such situations.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked, "But you  could get a hybrid, as                                                               
long as everything worked."                                                                                                     
MR. KITO  replied yes, if there  are two sets of  codes, which is                                                               
the case  in Oregon and currently  in Alaska.  He  explained that                                                               
in Alaska  there are some  components of the  mechanical plumbing                                                               
code  that are  the Uniform  Code while  the fire  code uses  the                                                               
International Code, and those are working together.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if  Mr. Kito's suggestion to change                                                               
the language on  page 2, lines 5-6, should  include a methodology                                                               
for adopting local amendments.                                                                                                  
MR. KITO said he couldn't speak to that.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  requested that  Mr. Kito could  pose the                                                               
above question to the APDC.                                                                                                     
Number 0418                                                                                                                     
JOHN BITNEY, Alaska State  Homebuilders Association, informed the                                                               
committee  that he  has a  bit of  a background  with HB  260, in                                                               
terms of representing the association  this year and representing                                                               
the  Alaska  Housing Finance  Corporation  (AHFC)  for the  seven                                                               
years  prior.   Mr.  Bitney  recalled Representative  Dahlstrom's                                                               
comments  that there  are two  agencies that  deal with  building                                                               
codes, which  is correct.  However,  as a subset to  the building                                                               
code, there is  a residential code that  applies to homebuilding.                                                               
This  residential code  is  de facto  under AHFC,  as  a sort  of                                                               
"third"  agency.   This "third"  agency exists  because no  state                                                               
residential  building code  has  been adopted.   Therefore,  AHFC                                                               
statutes  require a  home to  be inspected  to ICBO  construction                                                               
standards.   Mr. Bitney explained  that because the  fire marshal                                                               
has adopted the International Building  Code as the code in order                                                               
for AHFC to  conform with the rest of state  law and policy, AHFC                                                               
has  received  an opinion  from  the  Department  of Law.    This                                                               
opinion specifies  that ICBO inspectors, as  provided under state                                                               
law,  inspect to  the International  Residential Code.   Although                                                               
this isn't  the best  situation under which  to work,  the Alaska                                                               
Homebuilders Association is comfortable with  the status quo.  If                                                               
the legislature  wants to address  which code should  be adopted,                                                               
the association  is supportive of a  task force.  "We  do support                                                               
the  bill,"  he  said.    Mr.  Bitney  related  that  the  Alaska                                                               
Homebuilders Association  would like to participate  on this task                                                               
force, however  the association  isn't requesting  a seat  on the                                                               
task force.   He related  his understanding that [members  of the                                                               
Alaska  Homebuilders Association]  could vie  for four  potential                                                               
seats and  the association  is willing  to do  that.   Mr. Bitney                                                               
highlighted the  importance of  this task  force working  and the                                                               
need to avoid stacking the task force in any way.                                                                               
Number 0727                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if  Mr. Bitney believes the group                                                               
proposed  in  the  legislation  can  do  the  job  to  everyone's                                                               
MR. BITNEY  answered that  it would  depend upon  the individuals                                                               
appointed; it comes down to making good selections.                                                                             
Number 0798                                                                                                                     
DAVID  OWENS,  Owner,  Owens Inspection  Services,  testified  in                                                               
support of  HB 269.   However,  he noted  his agreement  with Mr.                                                               
Bitney regarding the importance of  having a balanced [task force                                                               
with representation]  from all  areas of  concern.   He expressed                                                               
the need for  a certified building inspector or  someone from the                                                               
building inspection industry to be part of the [task force].                                                                    
Number 0850                                                                                                                     
JAMES  BAISDEN,  Kenai  Fire  Marshall,  Kenai  Fire  Department,                                                               
testified in  opposition to HB  269.   He said he  didn't believe                                                               
the current system is broken.   The only reason to have this task                                                               
force is to [placate] those who  would rather see the adoption of                                                               
the Uniform Building Code.   With regard to the sponsor statement                                                               
that says  there are  five primary codes,  Mr. Baisden  said that                                                               
there are really two codes:  the International Code group and the                                                               
Uniform Code group.  He mentioned  that he has done some research                                                               
on the Internet  and gleaned that about 40 states  have either in                                                               
whole or in  part adopted the International Building  Code.  With                                                               
regard to  the concerns surrounding  seismic issues,  Mr. Baisden                                                               
said that both codes address  seismic issues in a similar fashion                                                               
by referencing  the National  Fire Protection  Association Codes.                                                               
Mr. Baisden recalled testimony regarding  California's use of the                                                               
Uniform Fire Code, and related  his understanding that California                                                               
still uses  the 1997  Uniform Building Code  because there  is no                                                               
[current] Uniform Building Code to  adopt.  He related his belief                                                               
that  the  2000  [International  Building  Code]  works  well  to                                                               
protect the  citizens of Alaska.   With regard to the  make-up of                                                               
the task  force, he echoed  earlier testimony regarding  the fact                                                               
that  it  doesn't  include a  representative  from  the  building                                                               
officials  or  the fire  code  officials,  which he  believes  is                                                               
deliberate  because  there  is  no  desire  to  hear  from  these                                                               
officials.     He  noted  his   disagreement  with   the  earlier                                                               
suggestion to  change language [on page  2, line 6] such  that it                                                               
wouldn't refer to  a "family of codes."  He,  as a code official,                                                               
said  that such  a change  would make  it harder  to enforce  the                                                               
codes.    He  then  turned   to  the  earlier  mention  of  local                                                               
amendments.   Currently, the state  fire marshal is  appointed by                                                               
the governor  and that individual  is a good  representative when                                                               
it  comes  to  adopting  these   codes.    Furthermore,  deferred                                                               
jurisdiction can  be used so that  the city can take  on the code                                                               
enforcement process.   Lastly, there has been  no discussion with                                                               
regard  to the  costs related  to training  the code  enforcement                                                               
[officials] to become recertified in these codes.                                                                               
Number 1035                                                                                                                     
CHARLES DEARDEN, Building Official,  City of Ketchikan, announced                                                               
that after talking  with the mayor, the fire  chief, city council                                                               
members,  architects, engineers,  and  local  builders, "we"  are                                                               
opposed to  HB 269.  Basically,  this is viewed as  the NFPA 5000                                                               
against  the  [International  Building Code].    Furthermore,  he                                                               
believes that  it's loaded  toward the unions  and thus  IAPMO is                                                               
probably pressing  for this legislation.   He expressed  the hope                                                               
that  the task  force wouldn't  be  weighted in  favor of  either                                                               
union or  nonunion entities.   He echoed Mr.  Braisden's comments                                                               
regarding  the expense  to be  retrained and  be recertification.                                                               
Mr.  Dearden  indicated  that  "we"   are  comfortable  with  the                                                               
International  Building Code.    He pointed  out  that there  are                                                               
really  no uniform  building codes  available.   He concluded  by                                                               
reiterating his opposition to HB 269.                                                                                           
MR. DEARDEN related  his belief that the state  fire marshal, who                                                               
is  the  building  official  for  the  state,  should  head  this                                                               
(indisc.) and  perhaps bring the  workforce development  into the                                                               
department of building safety.   He suggested that there could be                                                               
a building task force run by that entity.                                                                                       
Number 1169                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  pointed out that currently  the statutes                                                               
are in conflict because the  International Building Code has been                                                               
adopted, although the mechanical and  plumbing codes are still on                                                               
the books.   He  inquired as  to how Mr.  Dearden, as  a building                                                               
official, enforces the building code when that conflict exists.                                                                 
MR.  DEARDEN informed  the committee  that  [Ketchikan] is  still                                                               
under the  1997 code  and will  be going  to the  2000 code.   He                                                               
noted that  he accepts the  2000 International Building  Codes or                                                               
the  1997  Uniform Building  Codes.    Basically, [Ketchikan]  is                                                               
following the  state fire marshal's  adopted codes so  that there                                                               
isn't any disparity between  architects, engineers, and builders.                                                               
If  the NFPA  5000  is  adopted, then  [Ketchikan]  will have  to                                                               
follow  that.   He  said  it would  be  appropriate  for a  state                                                               
building inspector to be the head of this [task force].                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   surmised  then  that   [Ketchikan]  is                                                               
working  toward  the  adoption of  the  International  family  of                                                               
MR. DEARDEN replied  yes, [Ketchikan] is going to  adopt the 2000                                                               
[International family of codes].   Basically, the fire department                                                               
would take  over from  the state the  requirements of  looking at                                                               
the schools,  hospitals, and libraries.   The state  fire marshal                                                               
would  give the  [city] responsibility,  which would  eliminate a                                                               
portion of  the state's budget,  to do this.   In order  for this                                                               
transfer  of responsibility  to occur,  the city  must adopt  the                                                               
state codes.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG surmised then  that currently if there is                                                               
a state  project, the state  fire marshal would  assert authority                                                               
over the local building official.                                                                                               
MR. DEARDEN replied  yes, adding that he didn't  mind because the                                                               
goal of  life and safety is  the same.  The  [state fire marshal]                                                               
would perform  the plan  review for life  and safety,  while [the                                                               
building official] would perform  the reviews for the electrical,                                                               
mechanical, and plumbing.   Mr. Dearden said,  "Since we're going                                                               
to become  deferred - which now  I ... don't know  if we're going                                                               
to want to go through this process  if we're not going to be able                                                               
to adopt the same codes, the  same codes that I've been certified                                                               
for."    He  informed  the  committee  that  he  is  a  certified                                                               
International  Building   Code  inspector,  plan   examiner,  IRC                                                               
welding  inspector, and  has passed  the  first part  of the  IRC                                                               
building inspector test.  To  change all the aforementioned would                                                               
be a hardship on the community.                                                                                                 
MR.  DEARDEN, in  further  response  to Representative  Rokeberg,                                                               
confirmed that the mechanical code  is the odd code out, although                                                               
there  are  other  codes  that  can  be  adopted.    Mr.  Dearden                                                               
commented  that there  isn't  a huge  difference  other than  the                                                               
International  codes  are  engineer oriented  while  the  Uniform                                                               
codes  utilize certain  criteria that  has been  established over                                                               
the years.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG inquired  as to  whether the  state fire                                                               
marshal  is   working  against   the  International   codes,  and                                                               
therefore the  engineer and design  community may have  to design                                                               
one way  under one  set of  codes for the  state and  another way                                                               
under  another  set of  codes  for  [the Ketchikan  jurisdiction]                                                               
until the change is made.                                                                                                       
MR.  DEARDEN explained  that  currently  the 2000  [International                                                               
Building Codes] have been adopted  and are enforced, although the                                                               
city is under the 1997 [Uniform Building Code].                                                                                 
Number 1431                                                                                                                     
GARY  POWELL,  Director State  Fire  Marshall,  Division of  Fire                                                               
Prevention,  Department of  Public  Safety,  began by  mentioning                                                               
that it's  not unusual for  the fire  service to have  a slightly                                                               
different opinion than the state fire marshal, and therefore he                                                                 
noted that he is speaking on behalf of the Department of Public                                                                 
Safety.  Mr. Powell provided the following testimony:                                                                           
     We  understand  the  complexity  of  the  issue  that's                                                                    
     before  the  committee.   And  we  do  not  necessarily                                                                    
     oppose the concept of a  balanced task force.  However,                                                                    
     we feel  that there  are a  number of  disciplines that                                                                    
     have  no representative  as  it  is currently  written.                                                                    
     Most notable  among those  missing is  a representative                                                                    
     from  the fire  safety community.   Not  only does  the                                                                    
     fire code play a crucial  role in the construction of a                                                                    
     building  it  also  becomes a  primary  governing  code                                                                    
     throughout the  life of  the building.   The  fire code                                                                    
     provides   a  means   for  protecting   occupants,  the                                                                    
     structure, the  contents, and  the first  responders in                                                                    
     case  of   an  emergency.     Currently,   fire  safety                                                                    
     representation  is  limited  to  a  single,  nonvoting,                                                                    
     advisory member.   Further, there is  no representation                                                                    
     for  industry, and  more specifically  the oil  and gas                                                                    
     industry.  The future codes  adopted in this state will                                                                    
     play a crucial  role in the development of  oil and gas                                                                    
     production  and transportation  infrastructure such  as                                                                    
     the  TAPS  [Trans-Alaska   Pipeline  System]  strategic                                                                    
     reconfiguration  (indisc.) point  and Alpine  expansion                                                                    
     projects.    There's  no  representation  for  building                                                                    
     owners;  the individual  that owns  the building  after                                                                    
     construction should  have a voice  in how  the building                                                                    
     is   constructed   and   how  it's   maintained   after                                                                    
     occupancy.   Building officials also deserve  a seat at                                                                    
     the  table.    They're  the ones  responsible  for  the                                                                    
     safety    of   construction    and   ease    of   their                                                                    
     jurisdictions.   Last,  but  certainly  not least,  the                                                                    
     general public  has a vested  interest in  the adoption                                                                    
     of  building and  trade  codes; they  are  and will  be                                                                    
     effected each  and every day by  the recommendations of                                                                    
     the task force.                                                                                                            
     This issue is  not unique to Alaska,  the same struggle                                                                    
     is   waged   in   most   western   states   since   the                                                                    
     discontinuation  of  the  publication  of  the  Uniform                                                                    
     Building Code  in 1997.   And we  all knew  the Uniform                                                                    
     Building   Code    ...,   were   it   not    for   that                                                                    
     discontinuation  of the  publication we'd  probably not                                                                    
     be here  today.  However,  I feel  we must rise  to the                                                                    
     challenge put  before us  and adopt  a set  of building                                                                    
     and safety codes  that are in the best  interest of the                                                                    
     state  as  a whole.    The  Oregon example  was  raised                                                                    
     briefly as  well as  the California  example.   For the                                                                    
     record,   the   Oregon   package  of   codes   is   the                                                                    
     International Building  Code, International  Fire Code,                                                                    
     International Mechanical  Code, Uniform  Plumbing Code,                                                                    
     International Electrical  Code, International  Fuel Gas                                                                    
     Code, and International  Residential Code.  Ironically,                                                                    
     this is the precise mixture  of codes we have in Alaska                                                                    
     at  this time,  with the  exception of  the residential                                                                    
     code  is   not  adopted  on  a   statewide  basis,  but                                                                    
     (indisc.) by  local jurisdictions.  The  balance of the                                                                    
     Oregon  code  review  committee  was  three  engineers,                                                                    
     three    municipal    code    officials,    two    fire                                                                    
     representatives,   one   mechanical   contractor,   one                                                                    
     architect, and  one building contractor.   Also, I feel                                                                    
     I might  want to  respond to the  seismic requirements.                                                                    
     I'm certainly not an engineer,  but I've heard that the                                                                    
     International  Code   seismic  requirements   are  more                                                                    
     stringent because  they're more (indisc.) and  have had                                                                    
     the  most  recent  review.    As  it  pertains  to  the                                                                    
     sprinkler's  license, those  requirements are  governed                                                                    
     by NFPA 13  regardless of which code you adopt  ....  I                                                                    
     really would  find it  hard to  believe that  they have                                                                    
     (indisc.)  susceptibility  in  one  code  and  not  the                                                                    
Number 1643                                                                                                                     
STEVE SHUTTLEWORTH,  Building Official,  City of  Fairbanks, said                                                               
that since the committee has a  copy of the letter from the Mayor                                                               
of the City  of Fairbanks, he wouldn't take the  time to read it.                                                               
Mr. Shuttleworth clarified, "We  really have great contractors in                                                               
the Fairbanks area  ..., we just simply disagree  on one subject.                                                               
But we  don't disagree  on our responsibilities  when we  come to                                                               
work every day and that is  that the building department does the                                                               
plan review  for code  compliance ...  and the  contractors build                                                               
it."   Although Mr.  Shuttleworth didn't  comment on  the seismic                                                               
issues,  he  eluded to  the  fact  that  in  that area  a  little                                                               
information is  dangerous.  Mr.  Shuttleworth left  the committee                                                               
with the following analogy:                                                                                                     
     Imagine  that the  same legislative  branch was  tasked                                                                    
     with trying  to solve aviation  safety in the  Bush and                                                                    
     the  legislature, through  their well-meaning  efforts,                                                                    
     appointed various  people.   ...  But  they left  out a                                                                    
     certified and professional pilot.   That's exactly what                                                                    
     this Senate  Bill has done.   We are supportive  of the                                                                    
     ... concept,  but regardless  of what  code you  end up                                                                    
     adopting  in the  Twenty-Third Legislature  ... I  will                                                                    
     come to  work that  next day.   And  I will  be looking                                                                    
     only one  thing and  that's code review  compliance ...                                                                    
     it will  not be  to become the  lowest bidder,  it will                                                                    
     not  be  to  ...  buy merchandise  pumps  or  pipes  or                                                                    
     anything else.   It  will just  simply be  code review.                                                                    
     ...     To  leave   off  folks  that   do  that   on  a                                                                    
     professional, daily  basis, and consider that  you have                                                                    
     a  balanced ...  task force  ... is  naïve and  I would                                                                    
     just  hope that  the committee  would consider  all the                                                                    
     input today.                                                                                                               
Number 1759                                                                                                                     
BILL  SAGER, Mechanical  Contractors of  Fairbanks, informed  the                                                               
committee that the Mechanical  Contractors of Fairbanks represent                                                               
10  local   contractors.    He  announced   that  the  Mechanical                                                               
Contractors of Fairbanks  are in favor of HB 269,  which seems to                                                               
be  a good  compromise.   With  regard to  appointing a  building                                                               
official   to  the   task  force,   Mr.   Sager  suggested   that                                                               
consideration might  be given to  appointing a  building official                                                               
to the governor's advisory panel.                                                                                               
Number 1807                                                                                                                     
ERIC  MOHRMANN, Fire  Chief,  Chena/Goldstream  Fire and  Rescue,                                                               
began  by informing  the  committee  that he  has  also been  the                                                               
deputy  fire marshal  for  the  City of  Fairbanks  for 20  years                                                               
during  which  he   enforced  the  Uniform  Fire   Code  and  its                                                               
predecessor.   Twelve years  ago the  ICC started  working toward                                                               
standardizing codes across  the nation.  Through a  great deal of                                                               
effort over a  number of years, the three  independent model code                                                               
organizations   merged   into   the   ICC   and   developed   the                                                               
International [family of]  codes.  The separate  codes within the                                                               
International [family  of] codes are integrated  with each other,                                                               
which is  important with regard  to construction and design.   He                                                               
explained  that the  purpose behind  this  merger was  to have  a                                                               
usable  code nationwide  that doesn't  have  conflicts built  in.                                                               
With  regard  to  the  adoption  of new  codes,  the  state  fire                                                               
marshal's office  has done  public hearings.   He  mentioned that                                                               
local amendments are important as well.   If these [codes] are to                                                               
be  reviewed  again,  he  suggested   that  fire  department  and                                                               
building official  representation would  be crucial on  this task                                                               
force.   A great deal of  the code deals with  seismic issues and                                                               
life  and  safety  issues, which  primarily  revolve  around  the                                                               
reaction of  a building  and the persons  within the  building to                                                               
fires.   In response  to Chair  Anderson, Mr.  Mohrmann specified                                                               
that  representation  from  both  the  fire  department  and  the                                                               
building  official   [professions]  should   be  on   the  voting                                                               
Number 1956                                                                                                                     
DENNIS MICHEL,  American Mechanical Contracting  Firm; President,                                                               
Mechanical Contractors,  mentioned that  this probably  isn't the                                                               
best  forum  for  this  debate   on  code  issues.    Contractors                                                               
represent those who  perform the work and who have  a real vested                                                               
interest.   Mr.  Michel said,  "When you're  starting to  look at                                                               
redesigning  these  panels and  starting  to  load it  with  fire                                                               
officials and ... building  officials that dilutes representation                                                               
potentially  from the  labor force  that  makes a  living off  of                                                               
installing these  systems."   The labor  force, because  of their                                                               
five years  of apprenticeship program,  has a vested  interest in                                                               
the  development  of a  stable  set  of  codes.   Therefore,  the                                                               
mechanical  contractors have  agreed to  this [task  force] as  a                                                               
manner of resolving this issue.                                                                                                 
Number 2012                                                                                                                     
KEN AKERLY,  Alaska Fire Standards Council,  Department of Public                                                               
Safety,  informed the  committee that  he represents  that Alaska                                                               
State Firefighters Association on the  council.  The Alaska State                                                               
Firefighters  Association feels  strongly  that  there should  be                                                               
adequate  fire service  representation on  the task  force, as  a                                                               
voting member.   Mr.  Akerly noted  that he  still uses  both the                                                               
International Building Code and the  Uniform Building Code.  Both                                                               
codes uses  NFPA 13 to  govern sprinkler systems.   Therefore, he                                                               
said he  feels that the International  family of codes is  a good                                                               
code;  everything should  be uniform.   However,  he agreed  with                                                               
earlier  statements that  the  ICC  is making  money  off of  the                                                               
codes, which  is true of all  the codes.  Regardless  of the code                                                               
used,  Mr. Akerly  indicated that  the task  force can't  provide                                                               
building safety to the citizens  and emergency responders without                                                               
having adequate fire service representation on the task force.                                                                  
CHAIR ANDERSON  highlighted the testimony  regarding the  need to                                                               
include  representation  from  the fire  industry,  the  building                                                               
administration profession,  and labor, and announced  that HB 269                                                               
would be held over.                                                                                                             
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
5:35 p.m.                                                                                                                       

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