Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/16/2004 03:40 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 16, 2004                                                                                         
                           3:40 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tom Anderson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Carl Gatto, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                                                                  
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^Occupational Safety and Health Review Board                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Thor R. Christianson - Sitka, Alaska                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^Personnel Board                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Laura Plenart - Ketchikan                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land                                                              
Surveyors                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Clifford E. Baker - Kenai                                                                                                  
     Boyd J. Brownfield - Anchorage                                                                                             
     Richard A. Hughes - Fairbanks                                                                                              
     Kenneth D. Maynard - Anchorage                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^Alaska Labor Relations Agency                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Gary P. Bader - Anchorage                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) HELD                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Dennis S. Niedermeyer - Eagle River                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     James S. Spalding - Anchorage                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) HELD                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 539                                                                                                              
"An  Act  exempting  a  person   who  allows  a  student  of  the                                                               
University of Alaska  to gain practical work  experience with the                                                               
person  while   participating  in  a  practicum   from  vicarious                                                               
liability   as   an   employer,   and   exempting   the   student                                                               
participating in  a practicum from  the Alaska Wage and  Hour Act                                                               
and workers' compensation coverage."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 539(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 545                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  the extension  under the  State Procurement                                                               
Code of  terms for leases for  real estate and certain  terms for                                                               
certain  state contracts  for goods  and services;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 545(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 540                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to workers'  compensation insurance  rates; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 148                                                                                                              
"An  Act   instructing  the  State  Board   of  Registration  for                                                               
Architects,  Engineers,  and  Land  Surveyors  to  adopt  minimum                                                               
technical standards relating to the practice of surveying."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 539                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: UNIV. STUDENT PRACTICUM LIABILITY/WAGES                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/18/04 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/18/04 (H) L&C, JUD                                                                                                           
04/16/04 (H) L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 545                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE REAL PROPERTY LEASE EXTENSIONS                                                                               
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/25/04 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/25/04 (H) L&C, JUD                                                                                                           
04/07/04 (H) L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                                          
04/07/04 (H) <Bill Hearing Postponed to 4/14>                                                                                   
04/14/04 (H) L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                                          
04/14/04 (H) Heard & Held                                                                                                       
04/14/04 (H) MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                                        
04/16/04 (H) L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LARAINE DERR, Boards & Commissions Director                                                                                     
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the process of appointment to                                                                    
boards and commissions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JAMES S. SPALDING, Appointee                                                                                                    
to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as an appointee to the Alaska                                                                    
Labor Relation Agency.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS NIEDERMEYER, Appointee                                                                                                   
to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency                                                                                            
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as an appointee to the Alaska                                                                    
Labor Relation Agency.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LAURA PLENART, Appointee                                                                                                        
to the Personnel Board                                                                                                          
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as an appointee to the Personnel                                                                 
Board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN GIUCHICI                                                                                                                   
International   Brotherhood   of   Electrical   Workers   (IBEW);                                                               
Fairbanks Central Labor Council                                                                                                 
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                               
of Mr. Spalding to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JAY QUAKENBUSH, President                                                                                                       
Fairbanks Building Trades                                                                                                       
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Indicated concern with  the confirmation of                                                               
Mr. Spalding to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TIM SHARP                                                                                                                       
Laborers Local 942                                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                               
of Mr. Spalding to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RAY SMITH                                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   As a  former  member of  the Alaska  Labor                                                               
relations Agency, offered to answer questions.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ROBERTA DEMOSKI                                                                                                                 
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the confirmation                                                               
of Mr. Spalding to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DON VALESKO, President                                                                                                          
Anchorage Central Labor Council;                                                                                                
Business Manager, Alaska District Council of Laborers;                                                                          
Business Manager, Public Employees Local 71                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Expressed concern  with the  nomination of                                                               
Mr. Spalding to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HEATH HILYARD, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative Lesil McGuire                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented CSHB  539, Version D, on behalf of                                                               
Representative  McGuire, Chair  of the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
for the  Alaska State American  Federation of Labor  and Congress                                                               
of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Expressed   concerns   with   workers'                                                               
compensation under CSHB 539, Version D.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JAKE POOLE, Director                                                                                                            
Tanana Valley Campus                                                                                                            
University of Alaska - Fairbanks                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 539.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JAN GEHLER                                                                                                                      
University of Alaska - Anchorage                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 539.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JAMO PARRISH                                                                                                                    
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of CSHB 539,  Version D,                                                               
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PETE KELLY                                                                                                                      
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of CSHB 539,  Version D,                                                               
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
VERN JONES, Chief Procurement Officer                                                                                           
Division of General Services                                                                                                    
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented CSHB  545, Version D, on behalf of                                                               
the governor.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-43, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TOM ANDERSON  called the House Labor  and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   3:40  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Anderson,  Dahlstrom, Lynn,  Rokeberg,  Crawford, and  Guttenberg                                                               
were  present  at  the  call to  order.    Representatives  Gatto                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be   the  confirmation   hearings  for   the  following   boards:                                                               
Occupational  Safety and  Health Review  Board; Personnel  Board;                                                               
State Board  of Registration for Architects,  Engineers, and Land                                                               
Surveyors;  and Alaska  Labor Relations  Agency.   Chair Anderson                                                               
said  that   he  would  first   take  public  testimony   on  the                                                               
appointees.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0173                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LARAINE  DERR,  Boards  & Commissions  Director,  Office  of  the                                                               
Governor, explained  that ordinarily a vacancy  list is published                                                               
on the Internet.  Therefore,  someone interested in serving would                                                               
start there and submit an  application.  The application is filed                                                               
in the appropriate  board or commission.  When  a vacancy arises,                                                               
the  applications  are  reviewed  in order  to  ensure  that  the                                                               
applicants are  qualified, then a  recommendation is made  to the                                                               
governor.  The governor then makes the appointment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN inquired  as to  the number  of applications                                                               
for the positions being considered today.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERR  answered that  there  were  seven applicants  for  the                                                               
Alaska  Labor  Relations Agency  and  only  one  or two  for  the                                                               
Personnel Board.   Mr. Derr  confirmed that the  seven applicants                                                               
for  the Alaska  Labor  Relations Agency  were  reviewed and  the                                                               
governor made a decision among the seven.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0360                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG recalled that  the Alaska Labor Relations                                                               
Agency has seats  designated for specific [groups  in the field].                                                               
He  pointed out  that e-mails  in the  committee packet  indicate                                                               
that the seat  to which Mr. James S. Spalding  is being appointed                                                               
is a "labor seat".   Representative Rokeberg asked if the statute                                                               
requires that  the individuals on  this agency  be from a  mix of                                                               
backgrounds.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR  confirmed that the  statute specifies that  [the Alaska                                                               
Labor Relations  Agency] should  consist of  representatives from                                                               
labor, two  representatives of management, and  two public seats.                                                               
Furthermore,  the statute  specifies  that  the individuals  must                                                               
have a background  in the specific area for which  they are being                                                               
appointed.   In further response to  Representative Rokeberg, Mr.                                                               
Derr informed  the committee that  there was one opening  in each                                                               
of the  three areas of  the agency:   labor, management,  and the                                                               
public seat.  He further informed  the committee that Mr. Gary P.                                                               
Bader  is  recommended  for  the   public  seat;  Mr.  Dennis  S.                                                               
Niedermeyer  is  recommended for  the  management  seat; and  Mr.                                                               
Spalding is recommended for the labor seat.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG, turning  to Mr.  Spalding's background,                                                               
asked if a background in  human resources qualifies an individual                                                               
to represent labor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR answered that human  resources personnel deal with labor                                                               
issues  quite a  bit.    Furthermore, Mr.  Spalding  was a  labor                                                               
representative in the past.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0529                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  inquired  as  to the  duties  of  those                                                               
appointed to the Personnel Board.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERR explained  that the  Personnel  Board reviews  problems                                                               
that are  forwarded to  it and  essentially deal  with management                                                               
and  labor  issues.    In   further  response  to  Representative                                                               
Crawford,  Mr.   Derr  related  that  for   the  Personnel  Board                                                               
individuals  with "a  good head  on their  shoulders and  someone                                                               
that ...  has some  experience dealing  with people"  are sought.                                                               
The Personnel Board has no designated seats.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0628                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON requested that the  committee forward the names of                                                               
the following  appointees to the  following boards:  Mr.  Thor R.                                                               
Christianson to the Occupational  Safety and Health Review Board;                                                               
and Mr.  Clifford E. Baker,  Mr. Boyd J. Brownfield,  Mr. Richard                                                               
A.  Hughes, and  Mr. Kenneth  D. Maynard  to the  State Board  of                                                               
Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  related that he is  well acquainted with                                                               
Mr. Maynard, who he believes will be an excellent appointee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON concurred,  and  noted that  he  and Mr.  Maynard                                                               
served  on the  zoning  board  of examiners  and  appeals in  the                                                               
Municipality  of Anchorage.   Upon  hearing  no objection,  Chair                                                               
Anderson  announced  that  the names  of  Mr.  Christianson,  Mr.                                                               
Baker,  Mr.  Brownfield, Mr.  Hughes,  and  Mr. Maynard  will  be                                                               
forwarded to the full body for consideration.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0696                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  S.  SPALDING,  Appointee to  the  Alaska  Labor  Relations                                                               
Agency, informed the committee that  he has lived in Alaska since                                                               
1968 when  he was  stationed here.   He  related that  during his                                                               
time in  Alaska he  has spent most  of his time  in the  field of                                                               
human  resources and  labor  relations, in  both  the public  and                                                               
private sectors.   He  explained that  although he  has primarily                                                               
worked in  management, he  has some  years of  experience working                                                               
for  a labor  organization, Alaska  Public Employees  Association                                                               
(APEA).   Mr. Spalding said that  he believes he has  a very good                                                               
understanding of labor dynamics and  labor laws.  Furthermore, he                                                               
opined  that most  people who  have worked  with him  would agree                                                               
that he presents  a fair and objective picture  and treats people                                                               
in a  fair and consistent manner.   He recalled being  before the                                                               
Alaska  Labor  Relations  Agency  when he  worked  as  the  human                                                               
resources  manager  for  the  City of  Unalaska.    Mr.  Spalding                                                               
related that he  is honored to be selected for  this position and                                                               
felt it appropriate that he give something back to the state.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  informed the  committee that  Mr. Gary  P. Bader,                                                               
Appointee to the  Alaska Labor Relations Agency, is  out of state                                                               
and has  yet to submit his  resume.  Therefore, his  name will be                                                               
held until all the information necessary is obtained.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0805                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  inquired as  to Mr.  Spalding's current                                                               
position with Matanuska Electric Association (MEA).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SPALDING answered that he  is the director of human resources                                                               
and corporate affairs.   He confirmed that  in the aforementioned                                                               
position   he  represents   management  and   does  so   when  in                                                               
arbitration.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM   asked  if  it's  necessary   for  Mr.                                                               
Spalding to take management's viewpoint in those arbitrations.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SPALDING answered,  "Well,  generally speaking,  yes."   For                                                               
example,  when interpreting  contract language,  it's his  job to                                                               
defend  the way  in which  [management] interprets  the contract.                                                               
In  further response  to Representative  Dahlstrom, Mr.  Spalding                                                               
confirmed that he reports directly to management.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  asked if in Mr.  Spalding's position he                                                               
ever represents labor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SPALDING  explained that there are  times when he acts  as an                                                               
advocate for individual employee issues.   For instance, he might                                                               
help  an individual  in the  case of  a benefit  problem.   "Even                                                               
times  when an  employees might  have  issues that  I think  that                                                               
they're understanding of the contract  may be correct and it's up                                                               
to  me to  convince my  peers and  my superiors  that their  [the                                                               
employee's]  view is  correct.   But in  a formal  sense, I  am a                                                               
representative of  management," he related.   In further response                                                               
to  Representative  Dahlstrom,  Mr. Spalding  confirmed  that  he                                                               
represents  management   in  unfair  labor  practices   or  labor                                                               
disputes.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  inquired as to whose  side Mr. Spalding                                                               
is on during collective bargaining negotiations.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SPALDING  replied that he  would sit on the  management side.                                                               
In  further response  to Representative  Dahlstrom, Mr.  Spalding                                                               
confirmed  that  during his  tenure  with  MEA  and the  City  of                                                               
Unalaska he hasn't represented labor.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0963                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DAHLSTROM  informed   the  committee   that  the                                                               
correspondence she  has received in opposition  to Mr. Spalding's                                                               
confirmation have nothing to do  with his character or quality of                                                               
work.  The concern  has been in regard to the  view that there is                                                               
a lack  of balance with regard  to the labor side  [of the Alaska                                                               
Labor Relations Agency].                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  echoed Representative  Dahlstrom's comments.                                                               
He  noted  his concern  that  Mr.  Spalding would  represent  the                                                               
management side rather than the labor side on this agency.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  if  Mr. Spalding  was asked  to                                                               
apply for this position.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. SPALDING replied yes.   In further response to Representative                                                               
Guttenberg, Mr. Spalding related that  at the time he applied, it                                                               
wasn't  clear to  him  that  there were  designated  seats.   Mr.                                                               
Spalding said that he didn't  believe the application related for                                                               
which seat it  would be, rather it was simply  an application for                                                               
the agency.   Given  his background in  labor, Mr.  Spalding felt                                                               
that he [has the qualifications].                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  inquired  as  to  why  Mr.  Spalding,                                                               
coming from a  background in management, would believe  he is fit                                                               
for a seat representing the other side.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SPALDING said that he isn't  sure that the seat is designated                                                               
for the labor  side.  Furthermore, the question of  fairness in a                                                               
quasi-judicial role  isn't limited to one's  position, but rather                                                               
being fair, paying attention to  the law, and being consistent in                                                               
decisions and  rulings isn't  unique to  either side,  he opined.                                                               
Mr. Spalding  said that he has  amassed quite a bit  of knowledge                                                               
in this area over the last 30 years.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  inquired as to Mr.  Spalding's view as                                                               
to why the statute has  different designations for positions.  He                                                               
also inquired  as to why Mr.  Spalding feels that a  person could                                                               
be on many  sides of an issue and be  able to represent different                                                               
aspects of the issue.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SPALDING related that he has  spent time on both sides of the                                                               
table,  and  therefore  has  an   appreciation  for  that.    The                                                               
aforementioned, he opined, provides some level of qualification.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1210                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS  NIEDERMEYER,  Appointee  to the  Alaska  Labor  Relations                                                               
Agency,  offered  to  answer  any  questions  or  concerns.    In                                                               
response to  Representative Rokeberg,  Mr. Niedermeyer  said that                                                               
it's  his  understanding that  he  is  to  fill  a seat  that  is                                                               
statutorily required  to have  a background  in management.   Mr.                                                               
Niedermeyer informed the committee that  for the last 21 years he                                                               
has  worked for  the Lake  and Peninsula  School District  as the                                                               
district business manager and as  such has been actively involved                                                               
in the management of the organization.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1270                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LAURA PLENART,  Personnel Board, informed the  committee that she                                                               
has lived in Alaska since 1990  and has worked in management with                                                               
McDonalds for  the last 20 years.   She noted that  she has dealt                                                               
with  all different  levels of  employees.   Her belief  that she                                                               
could contribute is why she applied when asked to serve.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if  McDonalds provides any ethics                                                               
training and diversity training.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENART replied yes, and related  that she hasn't had to deal                                                               
with  many problems.    She further  related  that currently  she                                                               
works with a franchisee in a one-store situation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO observed that Ms.  Plenart went from crew to                                                               
manager in seven years.  He asked  if one could expect that if he                                                               
or she is a "go getter".                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PLENART said  that she didn't believe it  to be extraordinary                                                               
but rather that anyone who wanted to succeed could do so.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON  now turned  to  the  public testimony  on  these                                                               
appointees.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1387                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  GIUCHICI, International  Brotherhood of  Electrical Workers                                                               
(IBEW)  and  the Fairbanks  Central  Labor  Council, related  his                                                               
strong  opposition to  the confirmation  of Mr.  Spalding to  the                                                               
labor seat  on the Alaska  Labor Relations Agency.   Mr. Giuchici                                                               
informed the committee  that for quite a few  years Mr. Brickely,                                                               
Golden  Valley   Electric  Association  (GVEA),  served   on  the                                                               
employer seat  for the Alaska  Labor Relations Agency.   For that                                                               
seat to be  filled by a human resources  person isn't acceptable,                                                               
he  opined.    In  response  to  Representative  Guttenberg,  Mr.                                                               
Giuchici stated that he hasn't negotiated with MEA.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1461                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAY  QUAKENBUSH, President,  Fairbanks Building  Trades, said  he                                                               
believes the seat [to which  Mr. Spalding is being appointed] was                                                               
placed  in statute  as a  labor seat  to provide  balance on  the                                                               
agency.  Mr. Quakenbush remarked  that he wished someone in labor                                                               
in Fairbanks had been called to apply.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TIM SHARP, Laborers  Local 942, related his  strong opposition to                                                               
the appointment  of Mr.  Spalding to  the Alaska  Labor Relations                                                               
Agency,  which he  characterized  as the  governor attempting  to                                                               
manipulate the Alaska Labor Relations  Agency by stacking it with                                                               
essentially three  management seats.   The intent of  a tri-parte                                                               
board is one of balance.  Mr. Sharp said:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Apparently under this  administration balance threatens                                                                    
     some of  our leaders in  Juneau.  The effort  goes well                                                                    
     beyond partisanship and even the  hint of fairness.  If                                                                    
     the agenda  was simple partisanship, I  could deal with                                                                    
     that.   Looking for labor  people with an  "R" attached                                                                    
     to their name,  simply come to a Ted  Stevens' event or                                                                    
     Don Young fundraiser and you'll  find hundreds of them.                                                                    
     Even  look  to  some  of  the  unions  here  that  have                                                                    
     endorsed  Governor  Murkowski,  again,  many  qualified                                                                    
     people  that would've  been happy  to serve.   I  don't                                                                    
     know  Mr. Spalding  and I  don't need  to know  him, he                                                                    
     could well  be a very good  man.  And that,  of course,                                                                    
     is  not the  point here  today as  everyone knows.   He                                                                    
     sits  on the  other side  of the  table; he's  not from                                                                    
     labor.   Let  workers  continue to  have  at least  one                                                                    
     voice in  the process  that was  designed to  give them                                                                    
     fair  elections and  contracts.   This  move also  goes                                                                    
     well  beyond  the  (indisc.);  it's  insulting  to  the                                                                    
     people that represent workers as  well as dangerous for                                                                    
     the workers  who happen to  be appealing to  this board                                                                    
     for  fairness in  their decision-making.   ...  It also                                                                    
     further  lends  to  the  mistrust   of  the  system  in                                                                    
     general.  I  guess at some point you have  to ask who's                                                                    
     running the circus there sometimes.   Candidates ask me                                                                    
     why some  of labor  tends to support  Democrats instead                                                                    
     of Republicans.  These are  ... the very types of moves                                                                    
     that the folks  in the majority promised  us they would                                                                    
     never support,  when talking to organized  labor during                                                                    
     the election process.  These  are also the very type of                                                                    
     thing the  minority talks about that  will happen under                                                                    
     a Republican  administration.  Is  it the  handiwork of                                                                    
     the administration or the Republican  party or are your                                                                    
     strategists so  shortsighted or just arrogant?   If you                                                                    
     allow this to happen, what  do you think will be thrown                                                                    
     up  in your  faces for  you to  remember the  next time                                                                    
     when you come  to us for support?  Please  put him [Mr.                                                                    
     Spalding]  back  into  the  management  slot  where  he                                                                    
     belongs, we could support that.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said that no one  part of any group should be                                                               
painted with such a broad brush.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERR  informed   the  committee  that  Mr.   Spalding  is  a                                                               
registered Democrat.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1670                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RAY SMITH  informed the committee that  he is a former  member of                                                               
the  Alaska Labor  Relations Agency  on which  he served  for six                                                               
years.  He offered to answer any questions.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERTA DEMOSKI, IBEW, informed the  committee that she knows Mr.                                                               
Spalding personally  as she works with  him on a daily  basis and                                                               
has sat across  the table from him  in negotiations, arbitration,                                                               
unfair   labor   practices,   federal   litigation,   and   state                                                               
litigation.  Unequivocally, Mr. Spalding  is a very competent and                                                               
knowledgeable  advocate  for  management, and  therein  lays  the                                                               
problem.   For Mr.  Spalding to  be appointed  to the  labor seat                                                               
violates the  spirit and the  intent of the statute,  she opined.                                                               
Ms. Demoski  informed the  committee that she  has served  on the                                                               
Alaska Labor Relations  Agency and found it  invaluable that each                                                               
member has to  listen to the perspective brought to  the table by                                                               
the other  members.   This isn't about  being fair  and unbiased,                                                               
rather  it's  about  being  forced   to  listen  to  the  various                                                               
perspectives  of  the  other members.    Therefore,  Ms.  Demoski                                                               
strongly opposed  the appointment of  Mr. Spalding to  the Alaska                                                               
Labor Relations Agency.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1778                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DON   VALESKO,  President,   Anchorage  Central   Labor  Council;                                                               
Business Manager,  Alaska District Council of  Laborers; Business                                                               
Manager, Public Employees  Local 71; addressed the  seat to which                                                               
Mr. Spalding  is being appointed.   He said that the  issue isn't                                                               
about the individual, but rather  providing a level playing field                                                               
for  issues that  come before  the agency.   Mr.  Valesko related                                                               
that after  26 years of  working on the  labor side, it  would be                                                               
difficult for  him to really  see management's perspective.   Mr.                                                               
Valesko expressed concern with the  Alaska Labor Relations Agency                                                               
because it seems that three  management representatives are being                                                               
strategically  placed on  it.   Therefore, Mr.  Valesko requested                                                               
that the committee seriously consider Mr. Spalding's name.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERR turned  to the  statute  concerning the  makeup of  the                                                               
Alaska Labor  Relations Agency.   The statute specifies  that two                                                               
seats of  this agency must  have a background in  management, two                                                               
seats must  have a  background in  labor, and  two seats  must be                                                               
from the  general public.   The applications  and recommendations                                                               
were considered and  the three people up  for confirmation filled                                                               
the  [qualifications]  and were  sorted  in  regard to  the  open                                                               
seats.   From that the people  were chosen who would  do the best                                                               
job.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1939                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON commented that Mr.  Spalding qualifies in terms of                                                               
competence  and is  a  nice  person.   With  regard to  testimony                                                               
regarding  the solicitation  for  boards  and commissions,  Chair                                                               
Anderson said that he wasn't aware  that such occurs.  He assumed                                                               
that  there are  web sites  and information  [available regarding                                                               
applying to  be a member of  a board or commission].   Therefore,                                                               
he felt  it was a bit  disingenuous to suggest that  the governor                                                               
would contact folks.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERR  interjected  that  there  are  times  when  folks  are                                                               
contacted,  such a  when  there aren't  applicants.   In  further                                                               
response to Chair Anderson, Mr. Derr  said that no one from labor                                                               
solicited membership.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON  surmised  that   Mr.  Derr  believes  "it's  the                                                               
governor's prerogative ...  as long as it's  within the statutory                                                               
reference, anyway."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR agreed.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  opined that from  the testimony  today, including                                                               
that of Mr.  Spalding, it seems that Mr. Spalding  brings more of                                                               
a management perspective.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR  said that  many things have  to be  balanced, including                                                               
the political affiliation.  He  reiterated that Mr. Spalding is a                                                               
Democrat.  As with any appointment, a judgment call is made.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON acknowledged  that  it's the  prerogative of  the                                                               
governor to make nominations, but  the legislature should analyze                                                               
and balance  [those nominations].   In this  case, it  seems that                                                               
the Alaska  Labor Relations Agency  is a  bit too far  toward the                                                               
management side.   If  other members  agree, then  Mr. Spalding's                                                               
name will be held.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG stated  a  point of  order, and  related                                                               
that it isn't the committee's duty to hold this nominee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON remarked  that  he  didn't recall  Representative                                                               
Rokeberg  objecting  when the  committee  held  the name  of  the                                                               
marine pilot.   He  said there is  precedence with  the committee                                                               
for holding an appointee for further evaluation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2085                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  related  his understanding  that  Mr.                                                               
Derr  didn't   view  the  statutory   language  referring   to  a                                                               
representative of labor to necessarily refer to organized labor.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR agreed,  and reiterated that the  statute specifies that                                                               
the appointee have a labor background.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  pointed out  that each  [appointee] to                                                               
the Alaska  Labor Relations  Agency being  considered today  is a                                                               
member of labor management.   In the same context, Representative                                                               
Guttenberg  surmised  that  Mr.  Derr  would  consider  them  all                                                               
eligible for the management position.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR explained that it would  depend upon who applied and his                                                               
or her background.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG said all but  one [of the appointees to                                                               
the    Alaska   Labor    Relations   Agency]    are   management.                                                               
Theoretically,  all   members  of  organized  labor   holding  an                                                               
administrative position  would be  considered [as eligible  for a                                                               
management  position].    However,  he suggested  such  would  be                                                               
viewed as folly in most situations.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2148                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERR, in  response to  Representative Gatto,  specified that                                                               
the appointees to  the Alaska Labor Relations  Agency include one                                                               
for each designation:  public, management, and labor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  opined  that  folks  are  picking  on  Mr.                                                               
Spalding,  although  it  could  be   the  case  for  any  of  the                                                               
appointees.  Therefore, he questioned  why there has been so much                                                               
testimony on  one individual  when it  could've been  directed at                                                               
any of the others.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERR  said that  most of the  time [his  recommendations] are                                                               
based on  the applications  and references.   The  references for                                                               
Mr.  Spalding were  excellent.   He  restated  that sometimes  it                                                               
comes down to a judgment call.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON reminded  everyone that there is  a public process                                                               
during   which  the   public  is   able  to   comment  on   these                                                               
appointments, which is what occurred here.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  stated  that the  legislature  and  the                                                               
committee  has a  duty to  interpret its  own statutes,  which is                                                               
what is being done here.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  clarified  that he  isn't  criticizing  Mr.                                                               
Spalding, but rather the nomination.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM said  that the  communications she  has                                                               
received on  Mr. Spalding's  appointment have  been in  regard to                                                               
whether his appointment falls within the bounds of the statute.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2269                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD opined  that  if Mr.  Spalding had  been                                                               
nominated for the management seat,  then there wouldn't have been                                                               
a problem.   He likened it  to the perception of  himself in that                                                               
he has  been on  the management  side at  some points  during his                                                               
career,  although he  has  mainly been  on the  labor  side.   He                                                               
surmised that anyone  who knew him would object  to him receiving                                                               
a management  [designated] seat.   "I'm labor,  this ...  man ...                                                               
he's management and  I think it's clear that this  ... is a labor                                                               
chair and the man's management ...  it's just that it's not right                                                               
to put him in a labor chair," he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2310                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON asked if there  is any objection to forwarding the                                                               
names of the  following appointees to the following  boards:  Mr.                                                               
Niedermeyer,   Alaska  Labor   Relations  Agency;   Mr.  Plenart,                                                               
Personnel Board.   There being no objection, those  names will be                                                               
forwarded to the full body for consideration.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON asked if there  is any objection to forwarding the                                                               
name of Mr. Spalding, Alaska  Labor Relations Agency, to the full                                                               
body for consideration.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN objected.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON announced  that he  would  hold the  name of  Mr.                                                               
Spalding.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  indicated that  it would  be appropriate                                                               
to  hold the  name of  an appointee  for the  purpose of  further                                                               
investigation.    However,  it's  not proper  to  object  to  the                                                               
nomination and not forward the name.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON specified  that Mr. Spalding's name  is being held                                                               
for further investigation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  clarified that it's not  the committee's                                                               
purpose  to  say  whether  it  approves  or  disapproves  of  the                                                               
nomination,  that's  the purpose  of  the  joint session  of  the                                                               
legislature.    He  acknowledged  that  one  can  verbalize  that                                                               
there's a problem  with the nomination in terms  of the statutory                                                               
construction, although  that doesn't preclude the  committee from                                                               
forwarding the name.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO stated  a point of order, and  asked if it's                                                               
the committee's duty to determine  whether an appointee qualifies                                                               
or to determine whether or not "we like him."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON  specified that  the  committee  is charged  with                                                               
determining  whether  an  appointee qualifies.    Chair  Anderson                                                               
noted that the  Senate Labor and Commerce  Standing Committee has                                                               
held Mr. Spalding's name as well.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:26 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 539-UNIV. STUDENT PRACTICUM LIABILITY/WAGES                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-43, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 539, "An  Act exempting a person  who allows a                                                               
student  of  the University  of  Alaska  to gain  practical  work                                                               
experience  with the  person while  participating in  a practicum                                                               
from  vicarious  liability  as an  employer,  and  exempting  the                                                               
student participating  in a  practicum from  the Alaska  Wage and                                                               
Hour Act and workers' compensation coverage."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2316                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  moved  to   adopt  CSHB  539,  Version  23-                                                               
LS1837\D, Craver, 4/16/04, as the  working document.  There being                                                               
no objection, Version D was before the committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HEATH  HILYARD, Staff  to  Representative  Lesil McGuire,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, informed  the  committee that  there are  two                                                               
substantial  differences between  Version A  and Version  D.   In                                                               
Section 1  of Version D,  lines 11-13  were inserted in  order to                                                               
clarify that  university interns aren't paid  for their services.                                                               
With  regard to  workers'  compensation claims,  the language  on                                                               
page 4,  line 5-31,  of Version A  was deleted  per conversations                                                               
with the  university.  Mr.  Hilyard related that in  general this                                                               
legislation  limits  vicarious  liability for  the  employers  of                                                               
university  practicum   students.    The  university   feels  the                                                               
aforementioned   is  necessary.     Furthermore,   Representative                                                               
McGuire  decided to  sponsor this  legislation on  behalf of  the                                                               
House Judiciary  Standing Committee because  university practicum                                                               
programs  are valuable  in  gaining  on-the-job work  experience.                                                               
The university  practicum programs  are particularly  [useful] in                                                               
the   construction-   and   health-related  industries.      This                                                               
legislation  clarifies that  the  employer of  these students  is                                                               
responsible for  its liability, the  university for its,  and the                                                               
intern  is responsible  for  any  liability as  a  result of  the                                                               
practicum.   There is no desire  to extend the liability  for the                                                               
intern's actions  to the employer  or the university,  which this                                                               
legislation clarifies.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2179                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist for the  Alaska State American Federation                                                               
of  Labor and  Congress  of  Industrial Organizations  (AFL-CIO),                                                               
related  that he  has been  working with  the university  on this                                                               
legislation.  He explained that  both are trying to determine the                                                               
best way  to exempt  the student from  being allowed  the minimum                                                               
wage.   A concern regarding  workers' compensation remains.   The                                                               
concern is in regard to what  happens if a student intern is hurt                                                               
on the job because when exempted  from the minimum wage, there is                                                               
no employer-employee relationship.   Therefore, he didn't believe                                                               
the student intern would be covered under workers' compensation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  inquired as  to what  would happen  if a                                                               
student intern was injured due to negligence.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHERIDGE related his understanding  that if a student intern                                                               
is  injured due  to negligence  on  behalf of  the employer,  the                                                               
student intern  would be allowed  to sue the employer.   However,                                                               
if the injury  is due to the student intern's  own negligence the                                                               
student intern couldn't bring forth a lawsuit.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  inquired as  to where  the burden  of proof                                                               
lays in the situation mentioned by Mr. Etheridge.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ETHERIDGE  said that  he  didn't  know  and deferred  to  an                                                               
attorney.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2067                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAKE POOLE, Director, Tanana Valley  Campus, University of Alaska                                                               
-  Fairbanks, related  that a  number of  programs at  the Tanana                                                               
Valley  Campus  require  students  to  participate  in  practicum                                                               
programs  as part  of  the  degree program.    The Tanana  Valley                                                               
Campus averages about  50-75 students each semester  that look to                                                               
complete such  training.  The  practicum programs range  from the                                                               
allied health  arena to  early childhood  [development], culinary                                                               
arts, and to the trades.   The key point is that this legislation                                                               
will allow the students to be  placed in a practicum setting that                                                               
is the  best for the  students while ensuring that  the practicum                                                               
providers and  students are in  the best position with  regard to                                                               
workers' compensation and any liability.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG noted  that  some legislative  offices                                                               
have university interns,  who receive a stipend to  cover some of                                                               
their costs  and expenses  while in  Juneau.   He asked  if other                                                               
programs pay stipends.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  POOLE  specified  that  those   individuals  involved  in  a                                                               
practicum aren't paid  and students in a paid position  are in an                                                               
internship.   In further  response to  Representative Guttenberg,                                                               
Mr.  Poole related  that at  the Tanana  Valley Campus  there are                                                               
practicum  programs  for  dental  assisting,  medical  assisting,                                                               
phlebotomy,  culinary arts,  early childhood  [development], some                                                               
trades, and the paralegal program.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1934                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAN  GEHLER, University  of Alaska  - Anchorage,  said she  would                                                               
like  to echo  Mr. Poole's  comments.   She highlighted  that the                                                               
employer partners are  critical to student success.   She related                                                               
that  there are  practicum  programs established  for the  allied                                                               
health  programs, radiographic  technology, a  series of  medical                                                               
and  clinical  laboratory   instruction,  dental  assisting,  and                                                               
medical  assisting.   There  are  also  [practicum programs]  for                                                               
transportation   power  or   automotive  and   diesel  technology                                                               
programs as  well as the  culinary arts, occupational  safety and                                                               
health technology, and a suite  of aviation programs.  Ms. Gehler                                                               
mentioned   that  [the   university]  does   distinguish  between                                                               
internships  of  which  some  are  paid  and  some  are  not  and                                                               
practicums,   which   are   usually  driven   by   some   program                                                               
accreditation standards  that require  no pay  be received.   She                                                               
explained  that   those  students   in  a   field-based  learning                                                               
experience have a structured program  of study that's overseen by                                                               
a faculty  member and collaborated with  someone on site.   Up to                                                               
this point,  developing the memorandum of  agreements (MOAs) have                                                               
been fairly straightforward.  However,  in this era it's a fairly                                                               
laborious  process  negotiating  with risk  management  personnel                                                               
from  employers, who  are  understandably  concerned about  their                                                               
exposures.   Ms. Gehler  opined that this  legislation will  go a                                                               
long way  to help  the faculty  and support  staff return  to the                                                               
business  of  instruction  rather than  negotiating  language  in                                                               
MOAs.  She  characterized the legislation as a step  in the right                                                               
direction.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG said  that  he didn't  see the  workers'                                                               
compensation language in  Version D.  He asked  if the university                                                               
is  in  agreement with  the  exclusion  of workers'  compensation                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1779                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAMO PARRISH,  University of Alaska, informed  the committee that                                                               
the  legislation  was  originally   drafted  to  cover  vicarious                                                               
liability,  minimum wage,  and workers'  compensation.   However,                                                               
there  was an  objection  to workers'  compensation by  organized                                                               
labor, AFL-CIO.  He expressed  hope that practicum sites would be                                                               
attracted without the workers' compensation provision.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  asked  if traditionally  the  practicum                                                               
programs provide workers' compensation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARRISH related  that among  the  complaints from  practicum                                                               
sites   is  that   they  would   be   responsible  for   workers'                                                               
compensation.   However, under Alaska  law it's not clear  how it                                                               
would work.   Therefore, Mr. Parrish  would let it "ride"  on the                                                               
basis of whatever the court would  decide.  He related that there                                                               
are cases outside  of Alaska that have held that  the benefit the                                                               
student receives  from the  practicum site  and the  education is                                                               
sufficient  consideration  for  an employment  relationship  such                                                               
that workers'  compensation would apply.   The aforementioned was                                                               
of concern for the practicum sites  as well as [minimum wage] and                                                               
vicarious liability.  Therefore, the  hope is that addressing two                                                               
of the three issues would allow [the legislation] to go forward.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  expressed concern  because it  sounds as                                                               
if  the university  wants  to gamble  and  allow those  employers                                                               
participating  in  the  practicum   program  to  make  their  own                                                               
judgment  and allow  the courts  to  make a  decision.   However,                                                               
Representative  Rokeberg  viewed  this  as  a  matter  of  public                                                               
policy.  Representative Rokeberg  opined that the students should                                                               
either have workers'  compensation or not have it.   He predicted                                                               
that  he  would probably  side  with  the university  because  he                                                               
believes [requiring workers' compensation]  may be a deterrent to                                                               
the  successful  continuation  of  these  practicum  programs  if                                                               
additional burdens  are placed  on the  employers.   However, the                                                               
participants should have coverage if injured, he said.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  indicated   concern  with  placing  a                                                               
student  in a  vulnerable  situation in  which  the remedy  after                                                               
being injured is to go to court.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1635                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  reminded the committee that  the growing                                                               
workers' compensation  claims are accelerating health  care costs                                                               
and health care  insurance costs.  He suggested  that perhaps one                                                               
way to address this is to require  that a student in one of these                                                               
programs  have basic  health care  coverage, which  would be  the                                                               
primary coverage for any injury.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO posed  a  scenario in  which  a student  is                                                               
injured and the  student applies for his or  her insurance, which                                                               
says that  the claim sounds  like a workers'  compensation claim.                                                               
In such a  situation the student would be abandoned  unless he or                                                               
she   obtained   representation,   which  is   often   difficult.                                                               
Representative Gatto inquired as to how that would be resolved.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  suggested that the legislature  make the                                                               
policy.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARRISH said  that he would agree with  everything related to                                                               
protecting the  student if it  didn't result in  losing practicum                                                               
sites.  He opined that the  university is trying to get good jobs                                                               
for Alaskans.  To the extent  that the university is impeded from                                                               
good practicum sites,  the students aren't going  to be educated.                                                               
Mr. Parrish  highlighted that the difference  between the student                                                               
and the employee is that the  student isn't doing the job for the                                                               
employer, and  thus it's not  fair to saddle the  practicum sites                                                               
with  workers'  compensation.    Although it  would  be  best  to                                                               
resolve the  issue via  statute, for the  university it  would be                                                               
best to eliminate workers' compensation.   He noted that although                                                               
the university has some health  insurance that it offers students                                                               
in   most  practicums,   it's   not   very  generous   insurance.                                                               
Furthermore,  students make  the  decision to  attend school  and                                                               
choose  programs that  require practicums  and thus  students can                                                               
make  the decision  regarding whether  they want  to learn.   Mr.                                                               
Parrish concluded by  saying that he believes  the student should                                                               
be provided  the opportunity, and  the responsibility  should lay                                                               
with each individual for his or her own fault.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  related his  understanding from  Mr. Parrish                                                               
that the  intern doesn't  provide any  benefit to  the site.   If                                                               
that's the  case, he questioned  why anyone would host  an intern                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARRISH indicated that there  is a misunderstanding between a                                                               
practicum  student  and an  intern.    Practicum students  aren't                                                               
doing work like interns do  and practicum students aren't paid as                                                               
interns usually  are.  Basically,  practicum students  follow the                                                               
worker and occasionally are involved  in the tasks of the worker,                                                               
but  only if  the  worker is  with the  practicum  student.   The                                                               
benefit  these [host]  sites receive  is by  contributing to  the                                                               
education  of people  such that  they can  work in  the industry.                                                               
Students  aren't  sent out  to  advance  the labor  interests  of                                                               
employers,   rather  they   are   sent  out   to   learn.     The                                                               
aforementioned is carefully monitored.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1337                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD related  that his  wife did  a practicum                                                               
when she was  obtaining her degree as a  mental health counselor.                                                               
Sometimes  counselors are  injured by  their patients.   Had  his                                                               
wife  been  injured  during  the practicum,  it  seems  that  her                                                               
recourse would've been through  workers' compensation with either                                                               
the university or the clinic.   Representative Crawford expressed                                                               
the  need for  there to  be a  policy regarding  who is  actually                                                               
liable.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARRISH opined, "I almost think  we'd be better off without a                                                               
bill  than  imposing workers'  comp  liability  on the  practicum                                                               
site."     He  predicted  that  imposing   workers'  compensation                                                               
liability on  the practicum sites  would damage the program.   He                                                               
noted  the   possibility  that   "they"  could   obtain  workers'                                                               
compensation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON, noting  that he is also the chair  of the Labor &                                                               
Workforce Development Committee for  National Conference of State                                                               
Legislatures,  said  that he  understands  the  concerns on  both                                                               
sides.   He added  that he isn't  particularly concerned.   Chair                                                               
Anderson  related his  understanding that  the next  committee of                                                               
referral for  HB 539 is  the House Judiciary  Standing Committee.                                                               
He further  related that he  wanted to forward  this legislation,                                                               
although he didn't want to kill the legislation with a vote.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG said  that  he  shared Chair  Anderson's                                                               
concerns.    He noted  that  the  original  HB 539  included  the                                                               
workers' compensation  exclusion language, which he  preferred so                                                               
that the  university could continue  to operate.   Representative                                                               
Rokeberg  related that  although  he is  willing  to forward  the                                                               
legislation, he suggested  that for this legislation  to have any                                                               
success  it would  need to  encompass [the  workers' compensation                                                               
exclusion language] in the next  committee of referral.  Although                                                               
he indicated  that this committee  should do  the aforementioned,                                                               
time  is  getting  short.    He  offered  to  make  a  conceptual                                                               
amendment.    Representative  Rokeberg said  that  his  intention                                                               
would be to statutorily allow  the university to have a practicum                                                               
and  allow  the  employers  to  not  have  workers'  compensation                                                               
coverage on those practicum students.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1118                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PETE KELLY,  University of Alaska,  said that he  believes adding                                                               
Section  3  in  HB  539  to Version  D  would  be  Representative                                                               
Rokeberg's conceptual amendment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  said he wasn't  sure of the  effect of                                                               
such  a  conceptual  amendment.    Therefore,  he  indicated  his                                                               
preference   for  [forwarding]   the   legislation  without   the                                                               
conceptual amendment.  He pointed  out that students in practicum                                                               
situations  are  often in  high  risk  situations and  should  be                                                               
afforded some  coverage whether from  the [host] employer  or the                                                               
practicum [program] itself.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  questioned why an employer  would host a                                                               
practicum student, if  the employer would face  an increased rate                                                               
[in workers' compensation].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  inquired as to  Mr. Kelly's preference  in regard                                                               
to forwarding the  legislation to the next  committee of referral                                                               
or adopting the conceptual amendment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KELLY   related  that  the   university  would   prefer  the                                                               
[conceptual]   amendment   as   described  earlier.      However,                                                               
discussions had  led to [Section  3 of the  original legislation]                                                               
being eliminated  in Version D.   He said he would  rather return                                                               
to discussions  with organized labor before  reinserting [Section                                                               
3  of the  original legislation].    Mr. Kelly  also agreed  with                                                               
Representative Rokeberg's earlier  mention regarding time growing                                                               
short.   Mr. Kelly committed to  the committee that he  would get                                                               
back with  it regarding the language  and if it's a  problem, the                                                               
university will have to go without the legislation this year.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0950                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  moved to  report CSHB 539,  Version 23-                                                               
LS1837\D,  Craver,  4/16/04,  out of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection,  CSHB 539(L&C)  was reported  from the  House Labor                                                               
and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 545-STATE REAL PROPERTY LEASE EXTENSIONS                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 545, "An  Act relating to the  extension under                                                               
the State  Procurement Code of  terms for leases for  real estate                                                               
and  certain terms  for  certain state  contracts  for goods  and                                                               
services; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0890                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VERN  JONES,  Chief  Procurement  Officer,  Division  of  General                                                               
Services,  Department of  Administration, reminded  the committee                                                               
that at  the last hearing Representative  Rokeberg mentioned some                                                               
concerns, which  have been addressed  [in the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)].   The first  concern was  the vague  nature of                                                               
establishing  a market  rate for  which  to base  a reduction  in                                                               
rent.  The  aforementioned concern is addressed on  page 1, lines                                                               
10-12, which read:  "The market rental value  must be established                                                               
by a  real estate broker's opinion  of the rental value  or by an                                                               
appraisal  of the  rental value."    With regard  to the  section                                                               
addressing  the extension  of contracts  for  goods or  services,                                                               
that  section has  been  removed  [in the  proposed  CS] and  its                                                               
title.     Therefore,  the  proposed   CS  deals   strictly  with                                                               
extensions of real estate or office space leases.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0815                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG moved  to  adopt CSHB  545, Version  23-                                                               
LSGH2150\D, Bannister,  4/15/04, as the working  document.  There                                                               
being no objection, Version D was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG   noted  that  [Version  D]   no  longer                                                               
includes  the  "brother-in-law  section".   He  also  noted  that                                                               
Version D  references the court system  on page 1, line  7, which                                                               
the  drafter  indicated  may  be a  separation  of  powers  issue                                                               
[because] the legislature has granted  to the judicial branch the                                                               
ability to  have its own  procurement code.   He related  that he                                                               
has  checked with  the  judicial branch,  which  has related  its                                                               
support of  this legislation and  lack of concern with  regard to                                                               
the possible separation of powers issue.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  said he has only  one remaining concern,                                                               
which is the [cost savings] of  5 percent below the market rental                                                               
value of  the real property.   The aforementioned is  the trigger                                                               
of  the  statute.   Representative  Rokeberg  recalled  that  the                                                               
original  statute  allows  an  extension  [when  there  are  cost                                                               
savings  of]  10   percent  and  [the  lessor]   agrees  to  make                                                               
modifications to comply with the  Americans with Disabilities Act                                                               
of 1990  (ADA) or  [when there  are cost  savings of]  15 percent                                                               
below the  current rate in the  lease without ADA.   He explained                                                               
that   the   change   [encompassed   in   Version   D]   reflects                                                               
fundamentally higher  market values  and the prevailing  rates at                                                               
the time,  and therefore has  universal applicability.   By going                                                               
to the 5 percent  at a higher barrier, it seems  that it would be                                                               
appropriate to  have a 10  percent [barrier] in order  to prevent                                                               
potential mischief.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON passed the gavel to Vice Chair Gatto.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JONES  agreed,  but  noted   that  leases  that  aren't  ADA                                                               
compliant would be  an exception.  Therefore,  it would generally                                                               
be [a cost  savings of] 15 percent, which he  viewed as too high.                                                               
He opined  the importance of the  rate being tied to  a reduction                                                               
of the market value rather than  the existing rates paid.  It was                                                               
thought  that 5  percent is  reasonable.   "But  that in  itself,                                                               
isn't as critical as tying it to the market rate," he stated.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  agreed.  He  posed a situation,  what he                                                               
indicated to  be a typical  situation, in  which there is  a $.02                                                               
per square  foot rental  rate.   In such  a situation,  5 percent                                                               
would  only be  $.10 per  square foot.   Representative  Rokeberg                                                               
asked if  Mr. Jones felt  that 10  percent along with  the market                                                               
rate barrier would be workable.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JONES responded  that 10  percent would  be better  than the                                                               
current statute.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG pointed  out that  this would  allow the                                                               
department to move forward with  a sole source type contract, and                                                               
he  expressed   the  need   to  avoid   the  appearance   of  any                                                               
noncompetitive type of acquisition or continuation of lease.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JONES  said  that  10 percent  seems  fully  reasonable  and                                                               
achievable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0465                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  moved  that  the  committee  adopt  the                                                               
following amendment:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 9;                                                                                                            
          Delete "five"                                                                                                         
          Insert "ten"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD  objected   for  discussion   purposes.                                                               
Representative Crawford said  that if the market  continues as it                                                               
is, it would seem to make  sense.  However, if the market becomes                                                               
"over  built" and  demand falls  to the  level of  the 1980s,  he                                                               
questioned what would  happen with a 10-year lease.   He asked if                                                               
in  such a  situation,  any negotiation  could  happen [when  the                                                               
market changes].                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  pointed   out  that   the  legislation                                                               
specifies "up to ten years", and  therefore one could have a one-                                                               
year lease and this would still work.  He explained:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     What we're  doing here  is going  away from  looking at                                                                    
     the  ...  baseline  number, currently  is  the  current                                                                    
     lease  value.   What  we're doing  is  changing to  the                                                                    
     market value.  So, that would  allow you to go into the                                                                    
     market  ....   For  example, ...  if  you were  renting                                                                    
     space for $1.00  a foot and the market was  now $2.00 a                                                                    
     foot,  under  the  current statute  you  couldn't  stay                                                                    
     there  because the  guy couldn't  afford to  lower your                                                                    
     rent.   That means you have  to go out and  rebid it so                                                                    
     ... you  know you're going  to end up paying  the $2.00                                                                    
     and you couldn't extend where  you were, even for $1.10                                                                    
     because of the  current statute.  This  would allow you                                                                    
     to  renew it  at anywhere  below that  market rate,  at                                                                    
     least 10 percent  below it and stay where  you're at so                                                                    
     that  you could  gain  the  savings.   So  it's a  much                                                                    
     better standard.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG, in  further response  to Representative                                                               
Crawford, related  that in a  down market the  differential would                                                               
be  "squeezed" because  the prevailing  rate would  be declining.                                                               
However,  the percentage  wouldn't go  down with  it.   He opined                                                               
that   typically  in   commercial  real   estate  quotations   of                                                               
valuations  will occur  rather  than specifics.   "It's  actually                                                               
going to require  the department to get a  specific, single quote                                                               
now,"  he  stated.   "I  think  you  need  to  have enough  of  a                                                               
distinction  to grant  you the  sole source  capability ...,"  he                                                               
opined.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0229                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  removed his objection.   [The conceptual                                                               
amendment was treated as adopted.]                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  GATTO asked if  the "real estate broker's  opinion of                                                               
the  rental value"  and "an  appraisal of  the rental  value" are                                                               
considered of equal value.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG,  speaking  as  a  real  estate  broker,                                                               
replied  yes,  and added  that  real  estate  brokers are  a  lot                                                               
cheaper.   In  a  major  commercial building,  to  obtain a  full                                                               
appraisal  could  be  extremely  expensive  and  not  necessarily                                                               
appropriate.   "Having a broker's  opinion of value ...  would be                                                               
more  consistent   with  testing   and  providing   a  defensible                                                               
prevailing  market rate  for  the purposes  of  the statute,"  he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN,   as  an  associate  broker,   agreed  with                                                               
Representative Rokeberg.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GATTO surmised that  although the language [on page 1,                                                               
lines 10-12]  allows either,  it seems there  will be  a conflict                                                               
later regarding who will insist on the more expensive appraisal.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  remarked that with a  30,000 square foot                                                               
facility  with a  five- to  ten-year  deal, it  might warrant  an                                                               
appraisal  due to  the scope  and dollar  amount of  the project.                                                               
The intention of the CS, he  opined, is to provide the department                                                               
flexibility to  call for a  broker's opinion versus  an appraisal                                                               
depending upon the scope of the project.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR GATTO  surmised that  whether the  market goes  up or                                                               
down, the  existing value  will be  relied upon  when there  is a                                                               
lease extension.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied  yes and likened it  to the price                                                               
of oil going up and down.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-44, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GATTO further surmised  that whether [the market] goes                                                               
up  or down,  the ability  to extend  the lease  is based  on the                                                               
existing  value.   He asked  if this  legislation guarantees  the                                                               
right to extend the lease.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG explained  that  the legislation  allows                                                               
the Department  of Administration to enter  into negotiations and                                                               
an agreement  for a lease  extension with existing premises  if a                                                               
bargain  can  be made  below  the  prevailing  market rate.    In                                                               
further  response to  Vice Chair  Gatto, Representative  Rokeberg                                                               
confirmed that  he would  like [the  bargain] to  be at  least 10                                                               
percent  [below the  prevailing market  rate] otherwise  it would                                                               
need to go out  to market.  He noted that there  is a danger with                                                               
sole  sourcing,   and  therefore   the  incentive  needs   to  be                                                               
sufficient enough to avoid it.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  GATTO recalled  from  a  prior hearing  that  moving                                                               
expenses, rewiring, equipment replacement,  and down time are all                                                               
significant issues [to consider] for a lease extension.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0142                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG   related   that  under   the   current                                                               
procurement  provisions, unless  the  standard is  met, [a  lease                                                               
extension] would have to go out to bid.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JONES  informed the  committee that he  just received  a call                                                               
from the  director of Libraries  informing him that  the facility                                                               
[lease]  in Anchorage  is due  to expire.   The  current cost  of                                                               
$1.25 is  being offered under  an extension while  the prevailing                                                               
market rate is around $2.00  not to mention the costs encountered                                                               
in a move.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0199                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  moved  to  report  CSHB  545,  Version                                                               
GH2150\D, Bannister,  4/15/04, as amended, out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection,  CSHB 545(L&C)  was reported  from the                                                               
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
5:20 p.m.                                                                                                                       

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