Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

04/10/2015 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 131 LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS/HAIR DRESSING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 131 Out of Committee
+ HB 6 EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE FOR VETS & SPOUSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 6(MLV) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         April 10, 2015                                                                                         
                            3:19 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                       
Representative Jim Colver                                                                                                       
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 131                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the licensure of nail technicians and                                                                       
hairdressers; relating to the practice of manicuring; and                                                                       
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 131 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 6                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to a voluntary preference for veterans and for                                                                 
spouses and domestic partners of veterans by private employers."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 6 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 131                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS/HAIR DRESSING                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GATTIS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/02/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/02/15       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
04/10/15       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 6                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE FOR VETS & SPOUSES                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TUCK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/15                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (H)       MLV, L&C                                                                                               
03/19/15       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/19/15       (H)       Moved CSHB 6(MLV) Out of Committee                                                                     
03/19/15       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/20/15       (H)       MLV RPT CS(MLV) NT 6DP                                                                                 
03/20/15       (H)       DP: GRUENBERG, LEDOUX, COLVER, HUGHES,                                                                 
                         TUCK, HERRON                                                                                           
04/10/15       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN GATTIS                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as prime sponsor of HB 131.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TYSON GALLAGHER, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the prime sponsor of                                                              
HB 131.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DEANNA PRUHS, Member                                                                                                            
Board of Barbers & Hairdressers                                                                                                 
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 131.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, Acting Director                                                                                                  
Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing                                                                  
Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided comments and responded to                                                                       
questions on HB 131.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GLENDA LEDFORD, Chair                                                                                                           
Board of Barbers and Hairdressers                                                                                               
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 131.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JEANINE ABAAY, Public Member                                                                                                    
Board of Barbers and Hairdressers                                                                                               
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 131.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as prime sponsor of HB 6.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MARK SAN SOUCI, Regional Liaison                                                                                                
State Liaison Office                                                                                                            
U.S. Department of Defense                                                                                                      
Tacoma, Washington                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 6.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
RUSSELL BALL                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 6.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RUSSELL POUNDS, Owner                                                                                                           
Pacific Rim Media                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 6.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KURT OLSON  called the  House Labor  and Commerce  Standing                                                            
Committee meeting  to order at 3:19 p.m.   Representatives Tilton,                                                              
Colver, Josephson,  Hughes, LeDoux,  Kito, and Olson  were present                                                              
at the call to order.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          HB 131-LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS/HAIR DRESSING                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:20:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the first  order of business  would be                                                              
HOUSE BILL  NO. 131,  "An Act  relating to  the licensure  of nail                                                              
technicians  and   hairdressers;  relating  to  the   practice  of                                                              
manicuring; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:20:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  GATTIS, Alaska State Legislature,  stated she                                                              
previously  introduced  this bill  [in  the 28th  Legislature]  on                                                              
behalf  of a  member of  the Board  of  Barbers and  Hairdressers.                                                              
She  advised that  the board  was adamant  in its  desire to  help                                                              
improve the health,  safety, and hygiene for nail  technicians and                                                              
salons.    The  board  wants  to   professionalize  Alaska's  nail                                                              
technician  workforce.    This bill  would  enhance  the  training                                                              
requirements  from  12  theory  hours  without  any  exam  to  250                                                              
practical  and theory  hours with  a state board  examination.   A                                                              
manicure   or  pedicure   can  be  necessary   for  the   elderly,                                                              
physically disabled,  diabetic, and  those not able  to personally                                                              
attend  to their  hygienic needs.    Alaskans should  not need  to                                                              
worry about contracting  infections in a nail  salon from improper                                                              
sanitation or improper use of tools.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:23:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS offered  her belief  that nail  technicians                                                              
should  be   able  to   identify  diseases   and  administer   the                                                              
appropriate  procedures,   keeping  hygiene  and  safety   to  the                                                              
highest   standards.    She   stated  that   consumers  and   nail                                                              
technicians will  appreciate the additional  training requirements                                                              
that can  lead to greater  safety and statewide  implementation of                                                              
hygiene practices in nail technology.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:23:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX expressed  concern that  the bill does  not                                                              
have  a grandfather  clause  for  nail technicians  who  currently                                                              
provide services.   She recognized HB 131 has  a quasi-grandfather                                                              
clause  with  requirements  as a  condition  of  license  renewal.                                                              
However, she expressed  concern about this might  affect the "mom-                                                              
pop"  businesses  or single  mothers  who  are trying  to  support                                                              
their children  as manicurists.   She cautioned that 250  hours of                                                              
training,  or essentially  six  weeks to  two  months of  fulltime                                                              
effort, could  mean these  manicurists might not  be able  to work                                                              
simultaneously.   She expressed  hope that  consideration  will be                                                              
given to grandfathering  in those who have been  in the profession                                                              
for a while.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS acknowledged  that  she has  passed on  the                                                              
foregoing  concern  to  the  board chair  [Board  of  Barbers  and                                                              
Hairdressers], who  was adamant that  this is a health  and safety                                                              
issue  for Alaskans.   She  understood the  business concerns  and                                                              
mentioned   that  perhaps   the  issue   to  accommodate   current                                                              
practitioners  can be  resolved  in another  committee  or on  the                                                              
House floor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:25:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked whether the board, [Board  of Barbers                                                              
and Hairdressers], was asking for these changes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS  answered  that  the  board  requested  the                                                              
change, but she deferred to her staff to more fully respond.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:26:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TYSON GALLAGHER,  Staff, Representative Lynn Gattis,  Alaska State                                                              
Legislature, on  behalf of the prime sponsor,  Representative Lynn                                                              
Gattis,  stated  that a  letter  from  the  Board of  Barbers  and                                                              
Hairdressers was forthcoming.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:26:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO  said that  he  did not  see  any letters  of                                                              
support  or opposition  from  nail  technicians,  just from  board                                                              
members or  consumers.  He expressed  concern that there  were not                                                              
comments from anyone who will be impacted under this statute.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER  related his  understanding  one letter in  members'                                                              
packets was  from a licensed  manicurist.   He added that  some of                                                              
the  licensed   [barbers  and   hairdresser]  currently   practice                                                              
manicuring.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:27:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTIS  added   that   she  has   gone  to   nail                                                              
technicians  for the past  10 years  in the  Lower 48 and  Alaska.                                                              
She offered  that many  nail technicians are  Asian and  most were                                                              
trained in the Lower  48.  She offered her belief  that it was not                                                              
uncommon for practicing  nail technicians to have  acquired 250 to                                                              
400 hours  of training, which is  very different from  the minimal                                                              
8-12 hours of  training required in Alaska.  She  further believed                                                              
that the current technicians are fine with the bill.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:28:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO referred  to the  fiscal note  and asked  for                                                              
further clarification  on whether  the department will  absorb the                                                              
costs to adopt  regulations due to the proposed  regulations being                                                              
combined with  other projects.   He suggested that  the department                                                              
might need to respond  since it seemed as though  the division has                                                              
made conflicting  comments  on being  able to  absorb the cost  of                                                              
adopting regulations.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:29:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  referred  to  pages  3  and  4,  [proposed                                                              
Section  6] and  noted a  different  standard seems  to exist  for                                                              
large and small communities.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER  referred to  Section 6,  [AS 08.13.160]  (d), which                                                              
lists the  exemption for areas  where licensing provisions  do not                                                              
apply.   However, this  geographic stipulation  was not  addressed                                                              
in this bill.   He suggested that a limited number  of manicurists                                                              
practice in some areas, but deferred to the board to respond.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:30:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether  any changes were  being made                                                              
to AS 08.13.160(d).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER  answered yes.   He referred  to page 4,  lines 4-7,                                                              
which would  remove two [paragraphs]  that relate to  the practice                                                              
of  manicuring  by a  student  as part  of  a 12-hour  course  and                                                              
exempts the  shampoo staff from licensure.   The reason  to remove                                                              
[paragraph  (2)]   was  due  to  removing  the   12-hour  practice                                                              
certification.   In addition,  the sponsor  worked with  the board                                                              
and  determined the  shampoo person  was not  a professional  that                                                              
needed licensure.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX understood  the  exemption  was already  in                                                              
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER answered yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  remarked   that  if  this  bill  addresses                                                              
health and safety,  she quesioned whether those  small communities                                                              
should also be subject to the additional training.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS deferred to the board.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:33:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked for further clarification  on whether                                                              
the board verbally indicated its support for the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER answered  yes; it his understanding  that the entire                                                              
[Board of Barbers and Hairdressers] supports the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:33:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked whether  the training schools  in the                                                              
state support HB 131.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER  answered that the  sponsor has not had  any contact                                                              
with  the training  facilities; however,  two schools  are in  the                                                              
Anchorage area.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:34:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  whether  this  training will  impact                                                              
consumer costs for  services.  She indicated that  nail technician                                                              
services  in the  Lower  48 are  much less.    She understood  the                                                              
importance  of  health  and  safety in  the  industry,  but  asked                                                              
whether  it  will  raise  costs for  manicures  and  pedicures  in                                                              
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS said  she  considered these  services as  a                                                              
supply and  demand issue.  Certainly,  as sponsor, she  can't tell                                                              
a  business  what they  should  charge,  but  she was  unsure  the                                                              
additional hours of training will affect the cost of manicures.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:35:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  whether the  sponsor has heard  from                                                              
nail technicians who anticipate charging more for services.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS answered no.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:35:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO  appreciated that there are schools  in Alaska                                                              
so technicians  will not  need to  travel out-of-state  to acquire                                                              
the  proposed additional  training  for  licensure.   However,  he                                                              
suggested that  if two  schools are located  in Anchorage  and the                                                              
bill requires  licensees to submit  to 250 hours of  education, it                                                              
may  require nail  technicians to  spend a  significant amount  of                                                              
time away  from home.   He  expressed concern  about the  training                                                              
costs  for  licensed nail  technicians,  therefore,  it  certainly                                                              
seemed  they may decide  they must  charge more  to recover  their                                                              
training costs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS said  she hoped  the Board  of Barbers  and                                                              
Hairdressers  could have  that discussion.   She  deferred to  the                                                              
board, but  related her  understanding that  the board  needs this                                                              
bill to move the industry forward.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER  asked  whether  these  functions  will  be                                                              
handled by the existing Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS answered yes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:37:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER  said  he  did not  see  language  for  any                                                              
designation of seats for a manicurist.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS answered  that this  bill does not  address                                                              
board  composition,  but focuses  on  training and  education  for                                                              
health and safety aspects of nail technicians.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HUGHES  asked   for   further  clarification   on                                                              
grandfathering since  some technicians may not meet  the 250 hours                                                              
or may  not have received training,  so the supply  of technicians                                                              
could go down and costs could go up.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER understood  the concern, noting that  the changes in                                                              
training would  ultimately be a policy  call.  He said  that since                                                              
the  state issues  licenses,  it effectively  offers  its seal  of                                                              
approval  that  the  person  has   acquired  skills  and  training                                                              
sufficient  to offer  services to  Alaskans.   The state wants  to                                                              
stand  behind  safety  regulations   to  protect  consumers.    He                                                              
offered his belief  that the market will bear  costs and certainly                                                              
the  potential exists  for costs  to  be passed  on to  consumers;                                                              
however, he  felt that will balance  out in a  competitive market.                                                              
He noted approximately 1,000 people hold manicurist licenses.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  questioned  whether students  enrolled  in                                                              
the  250-hour  course  could  practice,  similar  to  hairdressers                                                              
enrolled  in   training  programs,   and  offer  nail   technician                                                              
services at a lower cost.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALLAGHER  answered yes.  He  referred to proposed  Section 9,                                                              
which  adds  a   student  permit  section.     The  Department  of                                                              
Commerce, Community  & Economic  Development currently  offers two                                                              
levels  of  manicurist  licenses.     One  class,  the  manicurist                                                              
requires 12 hours  of training and the second  class, the advanced                                                              
manicurist,  requires 250 hours  of training  and passing  an exam                                                              
for  licensure.   This bill  would raise  the minimum  requirement                                                              
for nail  technicians to 250 hours  and passing a  mandatory exam,                                                              
which essentially  will merge the  two current licenses  into one.                                                              
These changes  provide more hands-on  training and  experience for                                                              
students, including instituting student permits.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:40:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  asked  whether  any  portion  of  the  training  was                                                              
offered on-line via web training.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS said  she was  not sure.   She deferred  to                                                              
the Board of  Barbers and Hairdressers, although  she believed the                                                              
board's goal  was to accommodate  rural area technicians  on-line,                                                              
in particular, in terms of hygiene, health, and safety aspects.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:41:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO  asked whether the schools in  Alaska have the                                                              
capacity to provide a 250-hour training program.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS deferred to the board to respond.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:41:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEANNA  PRUHS, Member,  State  Board  of Barbers  &  Hairdressers,                                                              
Department   of  Commerce,   Community   &  Economic   Development                                                              
(DCCED), spoke  in support  of HB  131.  She  stated that  she has                                                              
been licensed  hairdresser in  Alaska for 30  of the 34  years she                                                              
has worked in the  profession.  She has served for  three years on                                                              
the Board  of Barbers  and Hairdressers  and has  been working  on                                                              
this  bill  during her  tenure.    She  noted  that the  Board  of                                                              
Barbers  and Hairdressers  has been  working on  these health  and                                                              
safety issues  for eight years.   She offered  to respond  to some                                                              
questions,  noting that  the training  for  the 250-hour  advanced                                                              
endorsement  was  already offered  by  the  division.   This  bill                                                              
would make  the advanced  endorsement the  standard and  eliminate                                                              
the  12-hour manicurist  license  that allows  people  to work  in                                                              
salons  without possessing  any  knowledge  pertaining to  health,                                                              
safety, and hygiene necessary for nail technicians.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:43:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRUHS reported  that the bill would require  passing a written                                                              
national  examination from  the  NIC [National  Nail  Technology],                                                              
without  requiring  licensees  participate  in a  practical  exam.                                                              
The national  exam is  offered online and  is provided  in several                                                              
languages,  including English,  Spanish,  Vietnamese, and  Korean.                                                              
Candidates can take  practice written exams and  obtain additional                                                              
information online.   In addition,  schools also  offer manicuring                                                              
as  part  of  hairdressing  education   and  training.    The  two                                                              
manicuring  schools  in  Anchorage   already  teach  the  250-hour                                                              
course,  but  without  the  Board   of  Barbers  and  Hairdressers                                                              
requiring the  mandatory hours, some  students only elect  to take                                                              
the  12-hour  course.   She  cautioned  that this  creates  health                                                              
issues  since manicurists  use  cuticle scissors,  razors,  cheese                                                              
graters, and  electric drills  to remove skin  and file  nail beds                                                              
for the application  of acrylic and gel in order  to install false                                                              
nail  applications  on  hands  and feet.    Manicurists  also  use                                                              
chemicals  to remove  calluses and  acetone to  soak off  products                                                              
for removal.   If not  done properly, it  can take months  for the                                                              
nail  bed to  recover  and  clients can  lose  their  nails.   She                                                              
reported that California  raised its nail technician  standards in                                                              
2004 when  some celebrity  lost her  thumbnail.   She pointed  out                                                              
that  sanitation  was  crucial  and  it  only  takes  a  miniscule                                                              
opening  in the  skin  to allow  bacteria into  the  system.   She                                                              
reported that the  Department of Environmental  Conservation (DEC)                                                              
has  had several  complaints  in the  past  year from  communities                                                              
from Soldotna to Fairbanks.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:46:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PRUHS said  one advantage of adopting new  regulations is that                                                              
Alaska  licensees would  have an  opportunity  for reciprocity  in                                                              
other jurisdictions,  since the 12-hour manicuring  license is not                                                              
recognized  in   any  jurisdiction.    Thus   Alaska's  manicurist                                                              
licensees  cannot  practice  in  other  jurisdictions  until  they                                                              
first qualify  via state  board testing or  attend school  to meet                                                              
the minimum requirements.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PRUHS stated  that the  12-hour  manicurist licensee  obtains                                                              
his/her  professional  license  by taking  safety  and  sanitation                                                              
course  without   any  practical  training.    She   offered  that                                                              
"professional"  is defined  as  obtaining standards  of  education                                                              
and  training  that   prepare  members  of  the   profession  with                                                              
particular knowledge  and skills necessary to perform  the role of                                                              
that profession.   In  her view, the  12-hour safety  & sanitation                                                              
course does not fit that definition, she said.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:47:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PRUHS  pointed out that when  she accepted the  board position                                                              
with the  Board of Barbers  and Hairdressers, she  understood that                                                              
her role  was to  provide state agencies  information on  specific                                                              
issues,  provide   regulations  for   the  industry,   and  ensure                                                              
consumer protection.   This board  has been trying to  get minimum                                                              
requirements increased  for the past eight years.   She emphasized                                                              
that this  bill is  very important  to the board.   She  has heard                                                              
horror  stories,  seen  photographs,  and  observed  clients  with                                                              
infections  or   those  subjected   to  gross  negligence.     She                                                              
emphasized the  importance of making  the manicurist  license mean                                                              
something  by bringing manicurists  up to  national standards  and                                                              
keeping  the  public safe.    She  characterized  this as  a  very                                                              
important issue.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:48:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   expressed  two  concerns.     First,  her                                                              
community  has  a  large  Hmong and  Laotian  population  and  she                                                              
wanted  to  know   whether  the  test  will  be   given  in  those                                                              
languages.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PRUHS  was  unsure,  but she  suggested  the  exam  could  be                                                              
transcribed   or  given   orally.    She   suggested  that   those                                                              
applicants who have  already passed the 12-hour  exam could likely                                                              
pass  this one.   In  further response  to Representative  LeDoux,                                                              
she  said that  the  same proctors  who  administer  the Board  of                                                              
Barbers and Hairdressers exams would administer an oral exam.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:49:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX expressed  her  second  concern, which  was                                                              
the lack  of any provision  for those already  in the  business to                                                              
meet the  new requirements.   She  acknowledged  she has seen  the                                                              
previously  mentioned  photographs   that  illustrated  infections                                                              
clients  suffered and  agreed  that manicurists  need  regulation,                                                              
but  it seemed  as though  on  the job  training  and work  should                                                              
count for  something.  She said  that many manicurists  are single                                                              
mothers trying  to support their  children and they  cannot afford                                                              
to take two months off to take a 250-hour course.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PRUHS  agreed.  She  assured members  that the board  does not                                                              
want  to  put   anyone  out  of  business,  but   wants  to  adopt                                                              
regulations increasing  training and education requirements.   She                                                              
related her understanding  that those technicians  who are already                                                              
licensed  can renew  their licenses,  thereby allowing  additional                                                              
time  to achieve  the  endorsement  by  taking the  written  exam.                                                              
This  bill  does not  require  them  to  go  back to  school,  but                                                              
manicurists  must  demonstrate  adequate   knowledge  of  hygiene,                                                              
health and safety aspects of nail technology.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:51:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  referred to page 6, lines  6-11, noting the                                                              
transition language  seems to allow licensees to  be grandfathered                                                              
in until their  license renewal, but then licensees  must meet all                                                              
licensing requirements, including the hours and test.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PRUHS related  her understanding  that the  Board of  Barbers                                                              
and  Hairdressers would  give licensees  time to  prepare to  take                                                              
and the state board exam and submit proof with their renewal.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   questioned  whether  the   drafter  might                                                              
explain the transitional language.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PRUHS suggested  that  licensees take  the  board testing  to                                                              
receive the endorsement.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:53:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  CHAMBERS,   Acting  Director,   Division  of   Corporations,                                                              
Business,  and  Professional Licensing,  Department  of  Commerce,                                                              
Community,   &   Economic   Development   (DCCED),   agreed   with                                                              
Representative LeDoux  that any licensees  who currently  have not                                                              
taken the 250-hour  training course must meet the  new requirement                                                              
prior  to   their  August  2017   license  renewal,   which  means                                                              
licensees would have two years to comply.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:54:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON asked whether she felt that was adequate time.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS   replied   that  it  depends   on  the   individual                                                              
circumstance  and if  the licensee  could find  250 hours of  time                                                              
during  two  years to  take  the  course,  it would  be;  however,                                                              
perhaps it wouldn't be adequate time for some.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON asked  how many  of the total  licensees                                                              
currently have 250 hours of training.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  replied that she does  not have figures and  she did                                                              
not think she could easily compile them.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:55:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  asked  whether any  itinerant  trainers                                                              
could fly in and provide training.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  answered that it could  be an option so long  as the                                                              
instructor  met the school  or Board  of Barber and  Hairdresser's                                                              
instructor requirements.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:55:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  asked  for further  clarification  on  the                                                              
total number  of licensed  manicurists.  She  asked for  the total                                                              
numbers of manicurists  licensed under the 12-hour  course and how                                                              
many licensees  have advanced  manicurist  licenses, or those  who                                                              
have been licensed after taking the 250 hours of training.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:56:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS   answered  that  the   total  number   of  licensed                                                              
manicurists at  the end of FY  [fiscal year] 2014 was  1,261, with                                                              
12 licensees  holding the  advanced manicurist  endorsement.   She                                                              
stated the foregoing  12 manicurists proved to  the department and                                                              
board that they  had met the requirements.  She  was uncertain how                                                              
many  of  the 1,261  licensees  did  not  apply for  the  advanced                                                              
manicurist  endorsement   but  had  acquired  the   250  hours  of                                                              
training since that data is not being tracked by the division.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:57:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES referred to  the exemption for  communities                                                              
under 1,000  in population.   She asked for further  clarification                                                              
if  exemptions from  health and  safety requirements  exist or  if                                                              
the exemptions for  smaller communities were related  to something                                                              
else.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS   recalled  that   the  mechanical   administrator's                                                              
license was subject  to a rural exemption depending  on the number                                                              
of  miles from  a  community  or if  the  population  was under  a                                                              
certain amount.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:58:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES   asked  whether  any  health   and  safety                                                              
complaints  have  been filed  against  manicurists  in Alaska  and                                                              
whether any  of the photographs  circulated [in the  Capitol] were                                                              
derived from cases in Alaska.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  answered yes;  that the  division has received  some                                                              
complaints, although  she didn't have  the exact number.   She was                                                              
uncertain of  the origin of the  photographs, but deferred  to the                                                              
board to respond.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:59:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  recalled   that  the  director  previously                                                              
indicated that manicurists  who have the 12-hour  training program                                                              
could be  examined orally.  She  had asked whether  applicants for                                                              
manicurist licenses  can take the exam  in Hmong or Laotian.   She                                                              
referred  to page 1  of the  bill, noting  the language  indicates                                                              
that manicurists are not required to take an exam.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  agreed that applicants  for manicurist  licenses are                                                              
not required  to take  an exam,  but applicants  for the  advanced                                                              
manicurist licenses,  requiring 250  hours of training,  must pass                                                              
the exam.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:00:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether  someone can  give the  oral                                                              
exam in  other languages,  such as  Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian,  or                                                              
to other ethnic  groups who live in her community  who are seeking                                                              
manicurist licenses.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS  stated that  the  division  makes every  effort  to                                                              
accommodate  candidates  who cannot  perform  examinations in  the                                                              
more  traditional structures.    She  said that  it  would be  the                                                              
division's  priority to  obtain translation  services and  provide                                                              
an oral exam so manicurists can remain in business.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:01:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether the director's  statement was                                                              
a commitment that  the exams will be given in  the language spoken                                                              
by people in her district who are seeking licensure.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS  offered   to  make  every  effort  to   do  so,  in                                                              
partnership with the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:01:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO  questioned the  zero  fiscal  note since  it                                                              
seemed some costs  would be incurred in adopting  regulations.  He                                                              
asked for further clarification on the zero fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS answered  that the division worked with  the Board of                                                              
Barbers  and   Hairdresser's  staff   to  determine   whether  the                                                              
proposed manicurist  regulations could be rolled  into an existing                                                              
regulation  project.    Since  the  $2,500  average  estimate  for                                                              
adopting  regulations covers  postage  and  mailing, the  division                                                              
decided  that   incorporating  this   project  would  not   add  a                                                              
significant  increase.     She  acknowledged  that   the  division                                                              
proposes  fiscal notes  in  instances  in which  a  board has  not                                                              
budgeted  or  anticipated  adopting  any  regulations.    In  this                                                              
instance, the  division determined  that the proposed  regulations                                                              
could be worked in and save costs to licensees.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KITO  argued  that   most  boards  have   ongoing                                                              
projects that  are incorporated  into the board  fees and  even in                                                              
those instances,  the fiscal impact  [was reflected in  the fiscal                                                              
note].   He  expressed  concern  that  the regulatory  costs  were                                                              
being  absorbed by  the  division; however,  adopting  regulations                                                              
does not  come without some cost.   Yet, the division  has decided                                                              
not to  absorb the  costs in  other circumstances.   He  cautioned                                                              
that the  division needs  to represent  the true  cost of  a bill,                                                              
since it  is important  for the legislature  to know  the monetary                                                              
effect of specific statutory changes.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:04:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GLENDA LEDFORD,  Chair, Alaska Board of Barbers  and Hairdressers,                                                              
Department   of  Commerce,   Community   &  Economic   Development                                                              
(DCCED), stated  that she has  served on  the board for  six years                                                              
and currently serves  as the board chair.  She  indicated that she                                                              
is currently  licensed as a  manicurist, barber,  esthetician, and                                                              
permanent  cosmetics,   as  well  as  holding  a   license  as  an                                                              
instructor  for hairdressing.   She offered  her full support  for                                                              
this bill  along with the  other board members.   She  stated that                                                              
this issue has been  before the board prior to her  serving on the                                                              
board.   She  also serves  on the  National-Interstate Council  of                                                              
State  Boards  [of Cosmetology].    She  stated that  the  council                                                              
works on regulations  that each state abides by and  has found the                                                              
Alaska's manicurist  requirements are  "a laughing stock"  in this                                                              
group.  She  said that Connecticut  was the only state  that falls                                                              
below Alaska  and they  simply do  not require  any license.   She                                                              
offered  her belief  that 250  hours of  training places  Alaska's                                                              
requirements  for  manicurists in  the  mid-range  as compared  to                                                              
other  states.    Alaska's  licensees  cannot  practice  in  other                                                              
jurisdictions   so  when   Alaska's   transient  population,   and                                                              
especially the military,  who obtain licensure in  Alaska and move                                                              
to  another state  cannot  practice.   Basically,  Alaska  charges                                                              
manicurists a  fee for a  license.  She  urged members  to examine                                                              
this bill in terms  of the safety and sanitation  aspects that the                                                              
public deserves.   She said she owns a school  [Glenda's Salon and                                                              
Training Center]  in Wasilla.   She recapped the  requirements for                                                              
the   12-hour  manicurist   license,   which  basically   requires                                                              
applicants to  read four chapters  and pass a written  test, apply                                                              
for  license,  and  pay  the  appropriate  fees.    She  expressed                                                              
concern since  the foregoing  program does  not teach  manicurists                                                              
anything about the  tools they will use, how to  cleanse or handle                                                              
them, or  how to protect themselves  and their clients.   Further,                                                              
with an increasing  aging population, including  diabetic clients,                                                              
if  a manicurist  uses the  wrong  tool and  clips the  diabetic's                                                              
skin,  it  could   result  in  loss  of  toe  or   foot  or  other                                                              
complications.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  whether  nail  salons are  inspected                                                              
for  compliance  with  health  and safety  procedures  or  if  the                                                              
responsibility falls on the nail technicians.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEDFORD   answered  that  the  Department   of  Environmental                                                              
Conservation   (DEC)  does  perform   health  inspections.     The                                                              
inspector  for the  Board of  Barbers and  Hairdressers checks  to                                                              
see whether manicurists have current licenses.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:09:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  related  her understanding  that  a  small                                                              
number  of the  1,200 nail  technicians  hold advanced  manicurist                                                              
licenses.   She expressed concern  that under  HB 131 many  of the                                                              
1,200 will  need to  comply with  the 250-hour  course.   She then                                                              
asked whether all  training schools in Alaska currently  offer the                                                              
250-hour   course  or  whether   some  only   offer  the   12-hour                                                              
manicurist course.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEDFORD  answered  that  she believes  many  of  the  12-hour                                                              
licensees have  been to California  and other places in  the Lower                                                              
48 and  have at  least 250 hours  of training.   In addition,  she                                                              
was scheduled  to take  state board  exams on  April 28,  2015 for                                                              
licensing advanced  manicurists, plus  she spoke with  an advanced                                                              
manicurist in Anchorage  who owns a nail technician  school so the                                                              
course is available.   Some manicurist have at least  250 hours of                                                              
training, but  have currently  opted to  apply for the  manicurist                                                              
license [but not the advanced manicurist license].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:11:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked whether this bill  offers reciprocity                                                              
for  those  who  have  met  the  minimum  250  hours  of  training                                                              
required under the bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEDFORD answered  yes; any applicants who can  prove they have                                                              
had  250   hours  of   training  can   apply  for  licensure   for                                                              
reciprocity under Alaska's statutes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:11:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEANINE ABAAY, Public  Member, Board of Barbers  and Hairdressers,                                                              
Department of Commerce,  Community & Economic  Development (DCCED)                                                              
stated  she has  served  as the  public member  for  the Board  of                                                              
Barbers  and Hairdressers  for  two years.    When she  discovered                                                              
manicurists only  had 12 hours  of sanitation training  to qualify                                                              
for licensure in  Alaska, she was deeply concerned.   In fact, she                                                              
has found  herself making  certain the  nail technicians  she uses                                                              
have taken  the 250-hour  training course  in the  Lower 48.   She                                                              
has not given  salons her business if their technicians  only have                                                              
taken a 12-hour  sanitation course and hold a  manicurist license.                                                              
She  related a  personal scenario  in  which she  had a  pedicure,                                                              
encountered  some  bleeding, and  contracted  an  infection.   She                                                              
finds increased  training to obtain  a manicurist licensure  to be                                                              
a deep and  grave public safety issue  in Alaska.  In  response to                                                              
questions on the  fiscal note, she related her  understanding that                                                              
the  nail schools  currently  have the  curriculum  and the  state                                                              
owns the  exams so  she supported  the DCCED's  zero fiscal  note.                                                              
In closing,  she said  the board  was in full  support of  HB 131.                                                              
She found the  lack of regulations and oversight  an embarrassment                                                              
for the state.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:14:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON,  after first  determining no  one wished to  testify,                                                              
closed public testimony on HB 131.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:14:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  pointed out  that  the bill  as  currently                                                              
written does  not have  a grandfather  clause for manicurists  who                                                              
have  practiced their  profession  for  a long  time.   She  asked                                                              
whether  the board  would  have any  objection  to  adding such  a                                                              
clause.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.LEDFORD  suggested  that  grandfathering   in  for  reciprocity                                                              
would  require some  stipulations,  including  proof of  education                                                              
and  work experience,  and whether  the training  was acquired  in                                                              
another  state  or  if  the  manicurists  achieved  the  hours  by                                                              
working  under  an advanced  manicurist  authorized  to  instruct.                                                              
She   offered  her   belief  that   agreement   was  possible   to                                                              
grandfather in existing manicurists.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:16:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEDFORD offered  that the aforementioned testing  she referred                                                              
to was  related to  the 12-hour  sanitation course.   She  assumed                                                              
that   these   individuals   must   have  taken   the   exam   for                                                              
certification in their  native language or they were  able to take                                                              
an oral exam to qualify.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:16:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX stated  the  statute  as written  indicates                                                              
manicurists are not required to take an exam.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.LEDFORD  commented that  students who take  the 12-hour  course                                                              
are given a test at the end of the class.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:17:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX was  unsure whether  any exam was  required                                                              
by the  state.  She  referred to  page 1, lines  11-13 of  HB 131,                                                              
which read,  " ...  [THE BOARD  MAY NOT  REQUIRE AN APPLICANT  FOR                                                              
LICENSURE AS A MANICURIST TO TAKE OR PASS AN EXAMINATION ...."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HUGHES   expressed    her   concern   about   the                                                              
grandfather  clause  even though  currently  licensed  manicurists                                                              
will have a two-year  period to obtain the additional  hours.  She                                                              
acknowledged that  some manicurists  received their training  out-                                                              
of-state   training   would  could   meet   or  exceed   the   new                                                              
requirements,  but  other  manicurists  were not  trained  in  the                                                              
Lower  48.   She asked  whether  the board  would  be amenable  to                                                              
substituting  some work experience  to qualify  for the  [proposed                                                              
250] training  hours.   Thus those  manicurists who were  licensed                                                              
as manicurists  based on the 12-hour  course, who have  worked for                                                              
five years could  use some of the experience to  meet the 250-hour                                                              
training course required under the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.LEDFORD  answered that  she could  only speak  for herself  and                                                              
not on  behalf of the  board.  She  offered her belief  that those                                                              
manicurists  who  can pass  the  state  examination for  the  nail                                                              
technician  license  that will  be  put in  place  under the  bill                                                              
should be able to resume working under their licenses.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
[Public testimony was previously closed on HB 131.]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:19:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  said he  met  with  Ms. Pruhs  and  Ms.                                                              
Abaay and  he agreed that  something must  be done to  improve the                                                              
situation; however,  there must be some kind of  design that meets                                                              
somewhere  in the middle.   Certainly,  it wouldn't  work to  have                                                              
the 1,200  currently licensed  nail technicians  out of work.   He                                                              
suggested the state  might provide inspections of  nail salons and                                                              
observe   nail  technicians,   which   could  be   one  means   of                                                              
grandfathering existing manicurists.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  offered a willingness to work  with sponsor                                                              
on grandfathering of manicurists.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TILTON  said   she   also  would   like  to   see                                                              
grandfathering in  for those manicurists  who have worked  as nail                                                              
technicians for a long time.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:21:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES moved  to report  HB 131  out of  committee                                                              
with  individual  recommendations   and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                              
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:21:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON objected.   He noted  the bill  does not                                                              
have a next  committee of referral.   He asked whether  this meant                                                              
there  was a  tacit agreement  that it  would be  modified on  the                                                              
[House] floor.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:22:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  suggested that  one alternative would  be to  work on                                                              
HB 131 during  the interim or  to develop an amendment  to address                                                              
grandfathering  in of  manicurists.   He offered  his belief  that                                                              
the bill  has merits, but  was time sensitive  given the  need for                                                              
health and safety improvements for manicurists.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX indicated  she  has talked  to the  sponsor                                                              
and believes  the remaining  issues can be  worked out.   She said                                                              
she felt comfortable moving the bill from committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO offered  that it  was important  to have  the                                                              
minimum   250-hour   requirement   for   manicurists   to   obtain                                                              
licensure;  however,  he maintained  his  concern  with regard  to                                                              
those practitioners  who do not  currently meet that  requirement,                                                              
as well as for  costs they may incur to get certified.   Still, he                                                              
agreed it was important to protect the public's health.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:24:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON withdrew his objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  objection, HB 131  was reported  from the                                                              
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:25:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:25 p.m. to 4:27 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          HB 6-EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE FOR VETS & SPOUSES                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
4:27:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the final  order of business  would be                                                              
HOUSE BILL NO. 6,  "An Act relating to a voluntary  preference for                                                              
veterans  and for  spouses and  domestic partners  of veterans  by                                                              
private employers."  [Before the committee was CSHB 6(MLV)].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:27:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS  TUCK, Alaska State Legislature,  stated that                                                              
HB 6 would  remove barriers to  employment for veterans  and their                                                              
spouses.   According to a 2012  survey of veterans from  all eras,                                                              
more than two-thirds  of respondents said they  found it difficult                                                              
to transition from  military service to civilian  life, attributed                                                              
largely  to  employment  challenges.   As  of  June  2014,  nearly                                                              
600,000 veterans  were unemployed.   Recent  employment data  from                                                              
the  Veterans' Benefits  Administration  showed  that in  February                                                              
2015  the jobless  rate for  post  9/11 veterans  at 6.7  percent,                                                              
with  young male  veterans  experiencing a  jobless  rate of  more                                                              
than 18 percent.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK said  that  the military  discharges  roughly                                                              
160,000  active duty  service  members and  approximately  110,000                                                              
reserve  and National  Guard service  members each  year.   During                                                              
2013,  Alaska saw  over  2,000  military personnel  separate  from                                                              
service and  return home,  and those figures  will likely  rise in                                                              
coming  years.  Many  states have  made great  strides to  improve                                                              
veteran  employment by  removing  professional licensing  barriers                                                              
and  crediting  military  education   and  experience.    However,                                                              
employment  ultimately depends  on  employers providing  workforce                                                              
opportunities.    Although  forty   states  and  the  District  of                                                              
Columbia  award preference  to veterans who  are being  considered                                                              
for hire  to a public position,  private employers  are prohibited                                                              
from  establishing  comparable  business hiring  policies.    This                                                              
bill  would  allow  an  optional  veteran  hiring  preference  for                                                              
private  employers  by taking  advantage  of an  option  available                                                              
under the Civil  Rights Act of 1964.  To date,  twelve states have                                                              
adopted  similar legislation,  which  is supported  by the  United                                                              
States Department  of Defense.  It's  time Alaska takes  action by                                                              
joining these  other states in passing  HB 6 to help  our veterans                                                              
and our small businesses, he said.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:29:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  related  a   study  completed  by  Iraq  and                                                              
Afghanistan  Veterans  of  America  indicated  that  one  in  five                                                              
veterans are  unemployed.   This study  also stated that  veterans                                                              
named finding  a job  as the greatest  challenge in  transitioning                                                              
into  civilian life.    Alaska has  made  significant inroads  and                                                              
great   strides  to   improve  veteran   employment  by   removing                                                              
professional licensing  barriers and crediting  military education                                                              
and  experience;   however,  employment   ultimately  depends   on                                                              
employers  providing  workforce   opportunities.    Veterans  have                                                              
cited  practical hurdles  such as  competing  with candidates  who                                                              
have  been  in  the  workforce  longer,  lack  of  education,  and                                                              
challenges  in showing  how their  military experience  translates                                                              
into skills  of interest to a  civilian employer, and  the current                                                              
economic situation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:29:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK said  that the  United  States Department  of                                                              
Defense  (DOD) has  found many  private sector  employers want  to                                                              
hire veterans  due to  their unique  skill sets,  work ethic,  and                                                              
reliability,  but are hesitant  to do  so for  fear of being  sued                                                              
under  Title  7  of the  Civil  Rights  Act  of 1964.    This  Act                                                              
prohibits  veteran   preferences  for  employment   as  unlawfully                                                              
discriminatory;  however,  Section  11  of  the  Act  also  allows                                                              
rights  or preferences  can  be granted  to  veterans  as long  as                                                              
authorized under federal, state, and local law.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:30:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK reported  that currently  all 50 states,  the                                                              
District of  Columbia, and Guam  award preference to  veterans who                                                              
being considered  for hire to  public positions;  however, private                                                              
employers  are prohibited  from establishing  comparable  business                                                              
hiring  policies.   He  said that  HB 6  would  allow an  optional                                                              
veteran  hiring   preference  for  private  employers   by  taking                                                              
advantage of  an option  available under the  Civil Rights  Act of                                                              
1964.   To  date,  17  states have  adopted  similar  legislation,                                                              
which  has  been supported  by  the  United States  Department  of                                                              
Defense (DOD)  with legislation pending  in 14 additional  states.                                                              
In conclusion,  he said,  "It's time  Alaska takes  its action  by                                                              
joining other  states in  passing HB  6 to  help our veterans  and                                                              
our small businesses."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:31:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  directed attention to the  third bullet,                                                              
which seemed to say, "It's unlawful unless it becomes lawful."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TUCK  answered  that   under  the  Human   Rights                                                              
Commission,  the law allows  states to  provide that provision  if                                                              
states  decide  to do  so  and all  50  have  done so  for  public                                                              
employees.  This  bill would ask for the preference  to be granted                                                              
to the private sector.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:32:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO asked  whether  other states  allow this  for                                                              
private employers.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK reiterated that 17 states have done so.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:32:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  asked for  further clarification that  if a                                                              
private  employer  offered  a  preference  that  it  would  be  in                                                              
violation  of  federal   law.    She  recalled   from  a  previous                                                              
committee that  it was important  to protect business  owners from                                                              
lawsuits.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  answered yes;  that currently if  an employer                                                              
must  choose  between  two  applicants,  the  employer  could  not                                                              
recognize  the veteran's  service.   He  said  that as  previously                                                              
mentioned, Section  11 does allow  states to adopt  preferences so                                                              
that states are not in violation of the Human Rights Commission.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:33:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  declared that  he was a veteran  and wished  to state                                                              
so since it may represent a potential conflict of interest.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK thanked him for his service.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON opened public testimony on HB 6.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  SAN SOUCI,  Regional  Liaison,  State Liaison  Office,  U.S.                                                              
Department of Defense,  stated that he was a retired  US Air Force                                                              
officer  and  he  currently serves  the  Department  of  Defense's                                                              
Regional  Liaison for  the Northwestern  states including  Alaska.                                                              
He  stated that  Representative Tuck  summarized  HB 6  well.   He                                                              
emphasized  that  HB 6  has  a [zero]  fiscal  note  and the  bill                                                              
addresses   private   employers  voluntarily   giving   employment                                                              
preference to  veterans.  Although  this was  a new issue  for the                                                              
Department of  Defense, it  was not a new  issue for  the National                                                              
Conference of State  Legislatures (NCSL).   Representative Saddler                                                              
has  been  active  on  the  NCSL's  Task  Force  on  Military  and                                                              
Veterans' Affairs.   He reported that  in 2015 a number  of states                                                              
adopted   legislation  similar   to  HB   6,  including   Montana,                                                              
Kentucky,  Nebraska, and  Utah.   He reported  that the Bureau  of                                                              
Labor's  unemployment statistics  for  March 2015  for 18-24  year                                                              
old veterans was 19.1 percent as compared to 11 percent for non-                                                                
veterans  and   25-34  year-old   veterans  have  a   7.8  percent                                                              
unemployment  as compared  to  5.8 for  non-veterans.   In  fiscal                                                              
year (FY)  2014, the  Defense Manpower  Data Center reported  that                                                              
2,450  military  in  Alaska  separated  from  active  reserve  and                                                              
National Guard components, which was up 13 percent from FY 13.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAN SOUCI  said  that  the state  will  continue  to see  new                                                              
veterans,  with proven  work ethic,  with unique  skill sets,  and                                                              
reliability that  is very much valued  by the private sector.   He                                                              
added that the training has been paid for by through US taxes.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:36:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RUSSELL  BALL  said  he owns  a  small  IT  [Internet  Technology]                                                              
business.   He spoke  in support of  the bill.   He stated  he has                                                              
been  in business  for 30  years and  have had  many veterans  who                                                              
have worked  for him.   He emphasized that  veterans have  a skill                                                              
set,  military training,  and  productivity.   He  has found  that                                                              
veterans  have good  discipline and  work  ethic, possess  problem                                                              
solving  and troubleshooting  skills.   He characterized  veterans                                                              
as  being a  valuable resource.    He stated  that many  employees                                                              
lack basic skills.   He envisioned that this bill  would allow him                                                              
to  advertise that  he provides  a  preference for  veterans.   He                                                              
hoped that  veterans who are making  a huge transition  would gain                                                              
confidence  in  knowing  that  their   skill  set  was  considered                                                              
desirable.   Further,  it could give  veterans  a boost of  morale                                                              
building confidence,  his business would be protected,  and Alaska                                                              
could send  the right message to  veterans that their  service was                                                              
valued,  their  skill  set  is  valued,  and  they  can  make  the                                                              
transition to civilian life.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RUSSELL  POUNDS, Owner,  Pacific Rim  Media, stated  that he  owns                                                              
his  own  marketing  and media  communications  business  and  his                                                              
father  and  brother are  veterans.    First, his  company  values                                                              
collaboration  and  veterans  bring  teamwork, which  is  a  great                                                              
asset  to  his business.    Second,  he  agreed with  the  earlier                                                              
testifier   who   desired   to  give   preferences   to   veterans                                                              
transitioning  out the  military.   Finally, it  will be great  to                                                              
not offend  anyone who  isn't a veteran  and allow the  preference                                                              
for veterans.   He said  he fully supported  HB 6 and he  hoped it                                                              
can become a part of the future in Alaska.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:41:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON,  after first  determining no  one wished to  testify,                                                              
closed public testimony on HB 6.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES offered her support for HB 6.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:42:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES   moved  to  report  CSHB   6(MLV)  out  of                                                              
committee  with individual  recommendations  and the  accompanying                                                              
fiscal  notes.    There  being  no   objection,  CSHB  6(MLV)  was                                                              
reported from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:42:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
4:42 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB6 version P.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Fiscal Note-DOLWD-CO-3-13-15.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Fiscal Note-OOG-HRC-3-13-15.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Summary of Changes ver H to ver P.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-Email Dixie Banner 3-19-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-Letter Dept of Defense 1-22-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-NCSL 2015 Update-Giving Veterans Hiring Preference 3-15-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-NCSL Report-Giving Veterans Hiring Preference 12-30-2013.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-Report on Veterans Employment Challenges 5-30-2012.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-Veteran Hiring Protection Facts 3-20-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-Article Hiring Military Veterans is Good Business 2-30-2011.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-DoD Best Practices Report 1-22-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-DoD Vet Hire Protect 1-22-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB6 Supporting Documents-Email Bob Pawlowski 3-20-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 6
HB131 ver W.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Fiscal Note-DCCED-CBPL-04-03-15.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Letter Deanna Pruhs 3-25-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Email Jeannine Jabaay 3-25-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Email Sue Brady 3-26-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Legislative Priorities Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers 4-5-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Letter Kathy Ungerecht 3-24-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Letter Teri Kostka 4-5-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Manicurist License Requirement Comparison by State 4-5-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Picture 1 Robyn Barineau 4-3-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Picture 2 Robyn Barineau 4-3-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Picture 3 Robyn Barineau 4-3-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
HB131 Supporting Documents-Picture 4 Robyn Barineau 4-3-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
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HB131 Supporting Documents-Picture 5 Robyn Barineau 4-3-2015.pdf HL&C 4/10/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 131
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