Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 17
05/02/2007 03:00 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE May 2, 2007 3:10 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Kurt Olson, Chair Representative Mark Neuman, Vice Chair Representative Carl Gatto Representative Gabrielle LeDoux Representative Robert L. "Bob" Buch Representative Berta Gardner MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Jay Ramras COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 172 "An Act exempting certain commercial refuse services from regulation under the Public Utilities Regulatory Act and providing for termination of that exemption." - MOVED HB 172 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 84(JUD) "An Act relating to the testing and packaging of cigarettes to be sold, offered for sale, or possessed in this state; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSSB 84(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION BILL: HB 172 SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC UTILITY EXEMPTION: REFUSE SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE 03/05/07 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 03/05/07 (H) L&C, JUD 05/02/07 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: SB 84 SHORT TITLE: TESTING & PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) OLSON 02/14/07 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 02/14/07 (S) L&C, JUD, FIN 02/27/07 (S) L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 02/27/07 (S) Heard & Held 02/27/07 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 03/06/07 (S) L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 03/06/07 (S) Moved CSSB 84(L&C) Out of Committee 03/06/07 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 03/07/07 (S) L&C RPT CS 3DP 1NR 1AM NEW TITLE 03/07/07 (S) DP: ELLIS, DAVIS, STEVENS 03/07/07 (S) NR: HOFFMAN 03/07/07 (S) AM: BUNDE 03/21/07 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 03/21/07 (S) Heard & Held 03/21/07 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/26/07 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 03/26/07 (S) Moved CSSB 84(JUD) Out of Committee 03/26/07 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/28/07 (S) JUD RPT CS 1DP 4NR NEW TITLE 03/28/07 (S) DP: MCGUIRE 03/28/07 (S) NR: FRENCH, THERRIAULT, WIELECHOWSKI, HUGGINS 04/23/07 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 04/23/07 (S) Moved CSSB 84(JUD) Out of Committee 04/23/07 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 04/23/07 (S) FIN RPT CS(JUD) 7DP 04/23/07 (S) DP: HOFFMAN, STEDMAN, ELTON, THOMAS, DYSON, HUGGINS, OLSON 04/25/07 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/25/07 (S) VERSION: CSSB 84(JUD) 04/26/07 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 04/26/07 (H) L&C, JUD, FIN 05/02/07 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 WITNESS REGISTER ELEANOR WOLFE, Staff to Representative Kurt Olson Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 172 on behalf of the sponsor, the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee, which is chaired by Representative Olson. RICHARD GAZAWAY, Hearing Examiner Common Carrier Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development (DCCED) Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Responded to questions during discussion of HB 172. WILLIAM R. SNELL, Member Management Committee Alaska Waste Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 172. SENATOR DONNY OLSON Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 84. DENISE LICCIOLI, Staff to Senator Donny Olson Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 84 on behalf of the sponsor, Senator Olson. JOHANNA BALES, Excise Audit Manager Anchorage Office Tax Division Department of Revenue (DOR) Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Responded to questions during discussion of SB 84. RAYMOND B. BIZAL, Regional Manager Western Region National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Long Beach, California POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84. STEVEN "RUSTY" BELANGER, Assistant State Fire Marshal Division of Fire Prevention Department of Public Safety (DPS) Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84. WARREN B. CUMMINGS, President Alaska Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) Fairbanks, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84. MARIE DARLIN, Coordinator AARP Capital City Task Force Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84. ACTION NARRATIVE CHAIR KURT OLSON called the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:10:43 PM. Representatives Buch, Neuman, Gardner, and Olson were present at the call to order. Representatives LeDoux and Gatto arrived as the meeting was in progress. HB 172 - PUBLIC UTILITY EXEMPTION: REFUSE CHAIR OLSON announced that the first order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 172, "An Act exempting certain commercial refuse services from regulation under the Public Utilities Regulatory Act and providing for termination of that exemption." 3:11:17 PM ELEANOR WOLFE, Staff to Representative Kurt Olson, Alaska State Legislature, presented HB 172 on behalf of the sponsor, the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee, which is chaired by Representative Olson. She began by reading from the sponsor statement [original punctuation provided]: HB 172 will exempt commercial refuse service, the collection and disposal of refuse materials using dumpsters and wheel containers with a capacity of one cubic yard or more, from rate regulation by the Regulator Commission of Alaska (RCA). Removing rate regulation from commercial refuse service will allow flexibility in setting rates which will promote innovation as to rates and services and will reduce costs for commercial customers. Flexibility in setting rates should also assist commercial refuse utilities and commercial customers in developing integrated waste stream recycling, diversion and disposal systems. Removing rate regulation should reduce the cost and administrative burden associated with the generation, review and maintenance of tariffs. This in turn should encourage more entrants into the commercial refuse market, benefiting commercial customers overall. Removal of commercial refuse rate regulation will promote the public good by allowing the RCA to utilize the resources now devoted to commercial rate regulation to more pressing consumer issues. Rate deregulation will not prevent the RCA from continuing to police the commercial refuse market. The RCA will retain the right to modify, suspend or revoke a commercial refuse utility Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for good cause shown. The Commission will also retain jurisdiction to address and resolve customer disputes and claims that a particular company is acting improperly. Alaska has a vibrant, knowledgeable commercial community capable of evaluating the services and rates offered by commercial refuse utilities. Rate deregulation will allow market forces to set rates and drive service innovation. MS. WOLFE then stated that the HL&C has introduced HB 172 at the request of "commercial refuse haulers." REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked whether there are any communities in Alaska where deregulation of refuse collection will result in no competition. MS. WOLFE said that the deregulation provided for in HB 172 won't apply to areas where there is no competition because without competition, rates would not have been set and thus there would be no need for deregulation. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER noted that a letter in members' packets from Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) states that deregulation of commercial rates will encourage and promote recycling. She said she doesn't see the connection between the two. 3:15:21 PM RICHARD GAZAWAY, Hearing Examiner, Common Carrier, Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA), Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development (DCCED), replied that commercial refuse utilities have the power, under AS 42.05.431(g), to "do a tiered rate structure" that would address recycling efforts. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN noted that a letter in members' packets from the Alaska Center for the Environment (ACE) states that an integrated waste and recycling program will require major refuse utilities to have flexibility, creativity, and the ability to structure incentives to make a community-wide recycling effort successful. However, if only one regulated company has control over recycling, then where is the advantage of expanding that company's operation to deal with all the different types of recyclable products, he questioned. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said she still doesn't understand how regulation either impedes or promotes recycling. 3:18:41 PM REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked for an explanation of the fiscal note provided by the RCA. MS. WOLFE surmised that the bill would reduce revenue for the RCA because all of its revenue comes through rate regulation fees, and since those fees would no longer be charged to refuse utilities providers, customers wouldn't have to pay those fees either. WILLIAM R. SNELL, Member, Management Committee, Alaska Waste, relayed that Alaska Waste supports HB 172 because it believes the bill will make the company's markets more efficient while ensuring that the regulatory environment provides for public visibility and protection against any type of discriminatory action on pricing and also while eliminating a significant regulatory burden. Alaska Waste also believes that HB 172 will allow the industry greater flexibility in meeting customers' demands, bundling services, and being innovative in a more timely fashion. CHAIR OLSON, after ascertaining that no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 172. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked whether deregulation would only apply when there is more than one refuse service in a community. MS. WOLFE said that is her understanding. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN moved to report HB 172 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER objected to ask where in the bill it says deregulation only applies when there is more than one utility offering service in a community. MS. WOLFE acknowledged that the bill doesn't state that specifically; rather, she surmised, that condition is a function of RCA regulations. MR. GAZAWAY countered that according to his understanding, the RCA doesn't have regulations that would limit the application of a statute to a situation where there is competition. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER questioned whether passage of the bill would result in deregulation even in communities where there is only one refuse utility providing service, thus effectively stifling competition. MR. GAZAWAY said that is his understanding. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked whether members would be amenable to an amendment that would allow deregulation to occur only when there is more than one refuse utility providing service in a community. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN shared his understanding that deregulation would promote competition in the marketplace. 3:24:09 PM MR. GAZAWAY relayed that existing AS 42.05.711 has a subsection that exempts refuse utilities that annually gross $300,000 or less; thus smaller competitors are currently exempt under that existing provision. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER indicated that that response satisfies her concern. CHAIR OLSON surmised that when a community is large enough to generate more than $300,000 of income for refuse service, there will be more than one company providing that service. MR. GAZAWAY, in response to a question, explained that typically, refuse utilities have a two-tier rate structure wherein the size of the receptacle distinguishes whether the service being provided is a commercial service or a residential service. Therefore, if a customer remodeling his/her home arranged for the use of a dumpster for a month, for example, he/she would probably qualify as a commercial customer for that time period. In response to another question, he said that one aspect of deregulation as proposed by the bill is that utilities would be exempt from the requirement that they not discriminate in rates or services. One of the classic regulatory protections afforded by rate regulation is that all similarly situated customers are treated equally, but that protection would no longer exist if HB 172 were adopted. REPRESENTATIVE GATTO expressed concern with that point, that under the bill, utilities would be allowed to discriminate. MR. GAZAWAY replied that discrimination per se is already allowed and current statute merely prohibits unreasonable discrimination; in other words, a refuse utility is allowed to distinguish between customer classes as long as all within a customer class are treated alike. Passage of HB 172 would exempt refuse utilities from all provisions of AS 42.05 except AS 42.05.221 - 42.05.281. Under the bill, refuse utilities would no longer be subject to AS 42.05.391 - which addresses discrimination in rates - and AS 42.05.301 - which addresses discrimination in service. In response to another question, he said that [under the bill], one circumstance a refuse utility would probably find desirable would be that when securing contracts with larger commercial customers, it would not have to make a particular rate available to all of its commercial customers; instead, the refuse utility would be able to negotiate a deal with a commercial customer without first going through the RCA as is currently required. He then detailed the current process a refuse utility must go through when it wants to offer a commercial customer a special contract. 3:30:49 PM CHAIR OLSON asked whether passage of HB 172 will result in rates going down. MR. GAZAWAY declined to speculate on that point. REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked whether passage of HB 172 will result in a significant loss of revenue for the RCA. MR. GAZAWAY replied that the RCA, based on the previous year's collections, would lose essentially $205,000 towards its overall operating budget because commercial refuse providers would no longer be paying an annual regulatory cost charge (RCC). CHAIR OLSON surmised that some of the RCA's expenses would also be off-set. MR. GAZAWAY acknowledged that there could be a reduced workload for the RCA with regard to reviewing tariffs. REPRESENTATIVE BUCH questioned whether the reduction in revenue would be completely offset by a reduction in the expenses the RCA currently incurs in regulating the refuse utility industry. MR. GAZAWAY said he couldn't answer that question at this time but would be willing to research the issue further. He added that RCA staff members allocate their time based on industry needs, and that figure is kept in a spreadsheet that determines the ultimate charge that industry is assessed through RCCs. For example, if the RCA is regulating two industries and one industry takes up 75 percent of the RCA's time, then that industry contributes 75 percent of the RCA's total RCCs. He reiterated that he is not able to verify that the estimated loss of revenue will be offset by a reduction in costs. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked whether the RCA, as a state agency, is required to be revenue neutral. MR. GAZAWAY said it is. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN surmised, then, that the estimated reduction in revenue would be offset by a like reduction in expenses. MR. GAZAWAY concurred, but pointed out that the RCC amount is based on historical factors, and from year to year a different amount of time is spent on refuse issues. He reiterated that the RCA is supposed to be revenue neutral. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN again moved to report HB 172 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said she doesn't understand what effect the bill will have on consumers, and so will be conducting further research. CHAIR OLSON, after determining that there were no objections to the motion, announced that HB 172 was reported from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee. The committee took an at-ease from 3:36 p.m. to 3:38 p.m. SB 84 - TESTING & PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES CHAIR OLSON announced that the final order of business would be CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 84(JUD), "An Act relating to the testing and packaging of cigarettes to be sold, offered for sale, or possessed in this state; and providing for an effective date." 3:38:54 PM SENATOR DONNY OLSON, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, relayed that as a doctor in rural Alaska, he has seen the devastation that fires can cause, and offered an example wherein one of the victims, a young boy, had burns on his feet and suffered from smoke inhalation. He mentioned that his staff would be presenting SB 84. 3:40:18 PM DENISE LICCIOLI, Staff to Senator Donny Olson, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, explained that SB 84 mandates that only self-extinguishing cigarettes can be sold in Alaska, and establishes the testing and certification requirements to ensure that only self-extinguishing cigarettes are sold in Alaska. Although no cigarette can ever be called safe, so-called self- extinguishing or "fire safe" cigarettes are "reduced ignition propensity cigarettes." Referring to a picture in members' packets of a self-extinguishing cigarette, she pointed out the embedded bands, called "speed-bumps," in the cigarette paper that will cause the cigarette to extinguish if it is not actively being smoked. These cigarettes are designed to be less likely than conventional cigarettes to ignite soft furnishings such as a couch or mattress. MS. LICCIOLI relayed that SB 84 also provides for the marking of cigarette packaging, in an approved and easily identifiable manner, to indicate that they are fire-safe. Cigarettes are the leading cause of home fire fatalities, both in Alaska and in the United States, and the most common material that is ignited first in a home fire is the material found in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, and floor coverings. A typical scenario for a home fire is when a cigarette is lit and forgotten or dropped by the smoker, and the cigarette can smolder for hours before it flares up into a full blaze. She noted that a recent fire in Juneau, about which a newspaper article is included in members' packets, fit that scenario. One-fourth of all victims of smoking-material fire fatalities are not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire, and over one-third of those victims are children. MS. LICCIOLI said that the risk of dying in a residential structure fire caused by smoking rises with age: 38 percent of fatal smoking-material fire victims are age 65 or older. The most common technology used by cigarette manufactures for reduced cigarette ignition propensity (RCIP) cigarettes is to make the paper thicker in places to slow down the burn. If such a cigarette is left unattended, when the burn reaches one of the thicker places, or speed bumps, the cigarette self extinguishes. Self-extinguishing cigarettes meet established fire safety performance standards. Legislation similar to SB 84 has been enacted in nine states: New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, California, Illinois, Utah, Kentucky, and Oregon. A fire safe cigarette mandate has also been approved for all of Canada. MS. LICCIOLI relayed that SB 84 is supported by the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA), the Alaska State Firefighters Association (ASFA), and the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Division of Fire Prevention. Senate Bill 84 is an important piece of legislation that will save lives as well as reduce injuries and damage to property in Alaska, she concluded. 3:44:33 PM REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN questioned whether self-extinguishing cigarettes are currently being produced by the tobacco industry and are therefore readily available. MS. LICCIOLI said yes. In response to a question, she said that there is a transition provision in the bill that allows wholesalers and retailers to continue selling their old cigarette stock for a period of time after which they would need to restock with self-extinguishing cigarettes because those would be the only kind of cigarettes that could be sold in Alaska. In response to another question, she offered her understanding that the price of cigarettes would remain the same because the cost of producing self-extinguishing cigarettes is negligible. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked whether the thicker bands of paper would be more hazardous to smoke. SENATOR OLSON relayed his understanding that they would not be. In response to comments and a question, he acknowledged that past attempts to make cigarettes self extinguish by altering the make up of the tobacco used proved unsuccessful because those cigarettes were unpalatable, and one such attempt even resulted in an increase in a particular lung disease. REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked how the provisions of the bill will be enforced, and what the date for "mandatory sale" is. MS. LICCIOLI replied that enforcement would fall under the purview of the Department of Revenue (DOR), which regulates the sale of cigarettes in Alaska. SENATOR OLSON mentioned that the DOR's fiscal note reflects the enforcement provisions of the bill. In response to comments and a question, he offered his understanding that there isn't any opposition to the bill, and that even the tobacco industry is in favor of it. REPRESENTATIVE LeDOUX questioned why the tobacco industry doesn't just produce self-extinguishing cigarettes without the law having to require it, particularly given that some states can sell nothing else. MS. LICCIOLI surmised that like other behaviors addressed by various laws, most people simply won't do something until it's required. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN referred to proposed AS 18.74.160, which addresses penalties for violations, and asked whether people will still be able to purchase non self-extinguishing cigarettes on the Internet. MS. LICCIOLI suggested that a representative of the DOR could better address that question. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN questioned whether a resident of Alaska would be considered a criminal if he/she purchased cigarettes for personal use from a state which does not require that only self-extinguishing cigarettes be sold. 3:53:09 PM JOHANNA BALES, Excise Audit Manager, Anchorage Office, Tax Division, Department of Revenue (DOR), replied that according to her interpretation of SB 84, an Alaskan citizen purchasing non self-extinguishing cigarettes for personal use from outside the state would not be subject to the [civil] penalties provided in the bill, though under existing law pertaining to the taxation of cigarettes, criminal tax penalties would apply to any unlicensed individual who brings any kind of [tobacco product] into the state [for the purpose of reselling it]. SENATOR OLSON characterized SB 84 as a very important bill that will save lives and property. REPRESENTATIVE BUCH said he appreciates that the bill provides for a transitional period and doesn't penalize people for purchasing cigarettes for personal use from outside Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER, in response to Representative LeDoux's question, suggested that perhaps many smokers don't like having their cigarettes go out. REPRESENTATIVE LeDOUX remarked that the title of bill does not seem consistent with the body of the bill; specifically, the title indicates that the bill is in part about cigarettes "possessed in this state", and yet the DOR has indicated that merely possessing non self-extinguishing cigarettes for personal use would not subject a person to the penalties provided in the bill. MS. LICCIOLI shared her understanding that the phrase, "possessed in this state" is meant to account for non self- extinguishing cigarettes that wholesalers and retailers possess during the transition period. REPRESENTATIVE LeDOUX said she is still concerned about this apparent discrepancy and is not completely certain that that language needs to be in the title. SENATOR OLSON shared his understanding that to be in violation of the bill, one must possess the cigarettes with the intent to sell. REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN surmised that a prohibition against mere possession couldn't be enforced. 3:59:41 PM RAYMOND B. BIZAL, Regional Manager, Western Region, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), relayed that he would be speaking in support of SB 84. Referring to the fact that nine states have adopted similar legislation, he calculated that this means that over one-fourth of the U.S. population is now protected by this type of law. Four other states have similar legislation waiting to be signed by their governors - Iowa, Maryland, Montana, and New Jersey. However, because most of the aforementioned laws have only now become effective, statistics for the most part are not yet available. In New York, though, with its law having been in place since 2004, statistics pertaining to the first six months that that law has been in place indicate that there has been no reduction in cigarette tax revenue, but that there has been a one-third reduction in cigarette-related fire fatalities and an even higher reduction in the number of cigarette-related fires. MR. BIZAL remarked that Alaska is not alone in considering legislation pertaining to self-extinguishing cigarettes: this year, 22 state legislators introduced bills similar to SB 84. Consideration of this issue is widespread because it will make a difference, he opined, adding that nearly 1,000 people needlessly die each year in the U.S. because of fires started by cigarettes; such fires injure many more people and cause millions of dollars in property damage. Cigarettes that comply with the fire safety standard mandated by SB 84 actually reduce the likelihood of fire. Passing SB 84 will save lives in Alaska, reduce injuries, and reduce property damage, he concluded. 4:02:20 PM STEVEN "RUSTY" BELANGER, Assistant State Fire Marshal, Division of Fire Prevention, Department of Public Safety (DPS), relayed that the division gives its full support to SB 84. This bill embodies the focus of the division's mission statement which is to prevent the loss of life and property from fire and explosion, and recognizes the significant losses of life and property due to cigarettes. Between 1996 and 2005, Alaska lost upwards of $8 million in property to fires wherein cigarettes were the ignition source, and, as of today, this number continues to increase. In the same time period, cigarette- related fires caused 31 percent of the deaths due to fire - this is the leading cause of fire fatalities in Alaska. MR. BELANGER relayed that it is the division's belief that SB 84 will significantly reduce the number of fire fatalities in Alaska related to cigarettes because manufactures will have to meet the new requirements for cigarettes that meet fire safety standards. This reduction will occur at minimal cost to the state. This bill is a tool that the state can provide to the citizens of Alaska without [negatively] impacting them. He concluded by saying: "It is our duty as a state to help those that live within our borders; we urge your support on this bill, and I thank you for your time." 4:03:54 PM WARREN B. CUMMINGS, President, Alaska Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA), after noting that he is also the fire chief for the City of Fairbanks, relayed that the AFCA is very supportive of SB 84. The main goal of the [AFCA] is to reduce the number of fire- related deaths in Alaska. Cigarettes are the leading cause of home fire fatalities in the U.S., killing 700-900 people - smokers and non-smokers alike - per year. In Alaska, there have been approximately four such deaths per year; in fact, during the last 10 years, there have been 37 [cigarette-related] fire fatalities . In 2003, [cigarette-related] structure fires killed 760 people and injured 1,520 others in the U.S., and there were 5 such fatalities in Alaska. One-quarter of [cigarette-related] fire fatalities were not the smokers whose cigarettes started the fires: 34 percent of those fatalities were the children of those smokers, 24 percent were the neighbors and friends of those smokers, 14 percent were the spouses/partners of those smokers, and 13 percent were the parents of those smokers. MR. CUMMINGS relayed that research conducted in the mid-80s by the NFPA predicted that fire safe cigarettes would eliminate three out of four cigarette-related fire deaths. If cigarette manufactures had begun producing only fire safe cigarettes at that time, an estimated 15,000 lives would have been saved in the U.S., and, during the last 10 years, 27 of the aforementioned 37 fatalities would still be alive. In conclusion he said that the AFCA encourages the committee to move SB 84 forward and support it on the House floor. 4:06:09 PM MARIE DARLIN, Coordinator, AARP Capital City Task Force, relayed that the AARP supports SB 84 and is looking at trying to prevent the deaths that are caused by cigarette-related fires. She remarked on the dangers that firefighters are subject to because of cigarette-related fires, and noted that one of the other people who came to testify but couldn't because of a time constraint had served as a firefighter for many years and would have been able to give a detailed description of what firefighters find at such fires. After referring to the aforementioned recent fire in Juneau, she opined that if there is something that can be done to address this problem, it should be done. 4:07:53 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to report CSSB 84(JUD) out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSSB 84(JUD) 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 4:08 p.m.