Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/10/2017 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 132 TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 14 TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Pending Referral>
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 2 PRIV EMPLOYER VOLUNTARY VET PREFERENCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 2(MLV) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 108 FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 108 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 141 AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD;FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 141 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 10, 2017                                                                                         
                           3:15 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sam Kito, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Adam Wool, Vice Chair                                                                                            
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Bryce Edgmon (alternate)                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 2                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to a voluntary preference for veterans by                                                                      
private employers."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 2(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 108                                                                                                              
"An Act adopting and relating to the Revised Uniform Fiduciary                                                                  
Access to Digital Assets Act."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 108 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 141                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to allocations of funding for the Alaska                                                                       
Workforce Investment Board; and providing for an effective                                                                      
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 141 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 132                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to transportation network companies and                                                                        
transportation network company drivers."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 14                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to transportation network companies and                                                                        
transportation network company drivers."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 2                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: PRIV EMPLOYER VOLUNTARY VET PREFERENCE                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TUCK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       MLV, L&C                                                                                               
01/24/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
01/24/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/24/17       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
01/31/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 2(MLV) Out of Committee                                                                     
01/31/17       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
02/03/17       (H)       MLV RPT CS(MLV) NT 6DP                                                                                 
02/03/17       (H)       DP:    RAUSCHER,    REINBOLD,    LEDOUX,                                                               
                         SADDLER, PARISH, TUCK                                                                                  
02/22/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/22/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/24/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/24/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/10/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 108                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/08/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/08/17       (H)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
03/08/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/08/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/08/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/10/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 141                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD;FUNDS                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FANSLER                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/22/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/17       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/06/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/06/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/10/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 132                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WOOL                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/15/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/15/17       (H)       TRA, L&C                                                                                               
02/23/17       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/23/17       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/28/17       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/28/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/17       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/02/17       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/02/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/02/17       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/06/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/06/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/07/17       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/07/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 132(TRA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/07/17       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/08/17       (H)       TRA RPT CS(TRA) 1DP 4NR 2AM                                                                            
03/08/17       (H)       DP: WOOL                                                                                               
03/08/17       (H)       NR: SULLIVAN-LEONARD, NEUMAN, DRUMMOND,                                                                
                         STUTES                                                                                                 
03/08/17       (H)       AM: CLAMAN, KOPP                                                                                       
03/10/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN, Director                                                                                                          
Office of Veteran Affairs                                                                                                       
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing of HB 2, testified in                                                                 
support of the legislation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT DOEHL, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                               
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA)                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing of HB 2, offered support                                                             
for the legislation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JON DUFENDACH, Treasurer                                                                                                        
Partners for Progress in Delta                                                                                                  
Delta Junction, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  141,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
Alaska American  Federation of Laborers -  Congress of Industrial                                                               
Organizations (Alaska AFL-CIO)                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  141,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRETA SCHUERCH, Liaison                                                                                                         
Governmental and External Affairs                                                                                               
NANA Regional Corporation                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  141,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PALOMA HARBOUR, Director                                                                                                        
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  on  HB 141,  answered                                                             
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZACH FANSLER                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  of  HB 141,  answered                                                             
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LAURA STIDOLPH, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  of  HB 132,  answered                                                             
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ANNABEL CHANG, Director                                                                                                         
Public Policy                                                                                                                   
Lyft                                                                                                                            
San Francisco, California                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing of HB 132, explained the                                                             
functions of Lyft.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MITCHEL MATTHEWS, Senior Northwest Operations Manager                                                                           
Uber Technologies                                                                                                               
San Francisco, California                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing of HB 132, explained the                                                             
functions of Uber Technologies.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
JARED EBER, Attorney                                                                                                            
Uber Technologies                                                                                                               
San Francisco, California                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  the hearing of  HB 132,  answered a                                                             
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:15:27M                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SAM KITO  called  the House  Labor  and Commerce  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:15  p.m. Representatives Stutes,                                                               
Josephson, Wool,  Birch, Sullivan-Leonard, and Kito  were present                                                               
at  the call  to  order.   Representative  Knopp  arrived as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          HB 2-PRIV EMPLOYER VOLUNTARY VET PREFERENCE                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:16:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 2, "An Act  relating to a voluntary preference for                                                               
veterans by private  employers."  [Before the  committee was CSHB                                                               
2(MLV).]                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:17:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN, Director, Office of  Veteran Affairs, Department of                                                               
Military & Veterans Affairs, offered support  for HB 2 due to the                                                               
effects  it  will  have on  communities  when  private  employers                                                               
provide [voluntary  preference for members of  the National Guard                                                               
and veterans],  and it also  provides legal cover  that employers                                                               
may  need in  providing this  preference.   This law,  if passed,                                                               
would  fall in  line with  37  other states  also providing  this                                                               
coverage, he offered                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:18:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  DOEHL,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Military  &                                                               
Veterans  Affairs (DMVA),  said he  would like  to reiterate  Mr.                                                               
Bowen's comments, and that the  Department of Military & Veterans                                                               
Affairs (DMVA)  strongly supports this legislation  in removing a                                                               
legal impediment  to private employers that  public employers are                                                               
currently allowed to provide.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO closed public testimony on HB 2.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:19:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  moved to report CSHB  2, labeled 30-LS0071\D                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection,  CSHB                                                               
2(MLV)  passed  from  the  House   Labor  and  Commerce  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:19:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
           HB 108-FIDUCIARY ACCESS TO DIGITAL ASSETS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:23:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 108, "An Act  adopting and relating to the Revised                                                               
Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO opened  public testimony,  and after  ascertaining no                                                               
one wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 108.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:24:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  commented that she  supports the                                                               
legislation in  that it is  important people understand  the full                                                               
ramifications  of putting  together a  will and  making sure  the                                                               
family has all of the necessary information.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  said he  concurred, as  it is  the one  piece missing                                                               
from his personal will.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  commented that the legislation  itself does                                                               
not cause him  concern in getting out of the  "dark ages," except                                                               
he has concerns about "how this thing will evolve."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH related that he  is unsure "exactly how this                                                               
all works," but he is supportive  of the bill.  He mentioned that                                                               
he  recently   received  a  Facebook  request   from  a  deceased                                                               
individual.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved to report  HB 108, labeled 30-LS0210\J,                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection, HB  108                                                               
passed from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:26:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:26 p.m. to 3:28 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
           HB 141-AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD;FUNDS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:28:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 141, "An  Act relating to allocations  of funding                                                               
for the Alaska  Workforce Investment Board; and  providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:29:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JON  DUFENDACH,  Treasurer,  Partners   for  Progress  in  Delta,                                                               
referred  to a  2/6/17 letter  directed to  Governor Bill  Walker                                                               
from  Commissioner  Heidi  Drygas, with  regard  to  non-resident                                                               
employment, and he read as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     We know it's  not enough to encourage  Alaska hire only                                                                    
     on  state projects,  but we  have  looked for  creative                                                                    
     solutions    to    address    the   high    rates    of                                                                    
     residential/non-residential  hire in  other industries.                                                                    
     Administrative Order  278, is  part of that  effort and                                                                    
     it incorporates  apprenticeship targets in oil  and gas                                                                    
     projects.   Research shows  that apprenticeships  are a                                                                    
     powerful  tool  to  encourage  Alaska  hire  rates,  in                                                                    
     addition  to their  workforce development  benefits for                                                                    
     employers.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. DUFENDACH  noted that  employment rates in  the area  of non-                                                               
residency  are  over 40  percent  in  the  oil industry,  and  25                                                               
percent in the  Operating Engineers Union.  He  said, "We operate                                                               
a  construction trade  academy here  in  Delta" in  an effort  to                                                               
train Alaskans and  offer access to jobs in  the construction and                                                               
oil  industries.   He offered  appreciation that  the Delta  Mine                                                               
Training Center  is now part  of the University of  Alaska system                                                               
and is  working with Partners  for Progress  in Delta.   He urged                                                               
the  committee   to  consider  extension  of   the  UA  Technical                                                               
Vocational  Education  Program   (TVEP)  and  continue  providing                                                               
training for Alaska's young resident workers.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:32:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE,  Lobbyist, Alaska American Federation  of Laborers                                                               
-  Congress of  Industrial Organizations  (Alaska AFL-CIO),  said                                                               
the  Alaska  American  Federation   of  Laborers  -  Congress  of                                                               
Industrial Organizations  (Alaska AFL-CIO)  supports HB  141, and                                                               
advised the  organization funds its  own training.   He commented                                                               
that when  this program  first began, he  worked with  the Alaska                                                               
Works  Partnership Program,  AFL-CIO, and  several people  to put                                                               
this  program "into  business"  and  they would  like  to see  it                                                               
continue.  The only  benefit "we get out of it" is  we go out and                                                               
cherry  pick some  of  the top  students  for its  apprenticeship                                                               
programs and over  the years these students  have furthered their                                                               
career.   The main issue  is local hire,  and if Alaska  does not                                                               
have the people trained to take  the oil and gas and construction                                                               
jobs, then there is no argument  when people start coming in from                                                               
outside to  take the  jobs.   The goal, he  offered, is  to train                                                               
Alaskans for these jobs, and the  Alaska AFL-CIO is in support of                                                               
these programs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:33:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  offered concern  that the dollars  come out                                                               
of  the unemployment  insurance slice  of an  existing employee's                                                               
pay, such  that a piece of  every hour of their  paycheck goes to                                                               
unemployment insurance.   He commented that it  appears these are                                                               
being syphoned off or reallocated  to this program, and asked how                                                               
that  benefits the  individual  whose paycheck  it  comes out  of                                                               
ostensibly for unemployment insurance.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHERIDGE  suggested that  when looking at  the issue  as per                                                               
person, "it  doesn't."  Although,  he explained, it is  still not                                                               
causing  harm either  because the  program  is solvent  and if  a                                                               
person is  out of  work they  can draw  unemployment funds.   His                                                               
view, he  advised, is that  it saves  the overall fund  money, to                                                               
leave it  out there  for other  people to  use without  having to                                                               
increase it, if  the unemployed people get enough  training to go                                                               
to work.   Also,  he explained,  in the event  the person  has an                                                               
opportunity to go  to work and not draw  unemployment, that saves                                                               
money, and  "they" don't have to  increase the rates later  on in                                                               
order to make the program solvent.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:35:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH pointed  out that it appears  $12 million is                                                               
coming out  of the  paychecks of  working Alaskans  identified as                                                               
unemployment  insurance.    Therefore,  he said,  there's  a  $12                                                               
million slice of unemployment insurance  basically going to train                                                               
someone else,  and he  said "we're trying  to figure  out whether                                                               
that could  be increased, decreased, put  into vocational schools                                                               
in the school  district, and so forth."  It  appears, he said, to                                                               
not be a  truthful representation to the  working individual when                                                               
they think they  are paying unemployment insurance  and, in fact,                                                               
$12 million  is being redirected.   He pointed out that  there is                                                               
no question  it is for a  worthy purpose, but money  is taken out                                                               
of a  working person's pocket  to train someone else  to possibly                                                               
come in and take their job, for instance.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:36:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHERIDGE  responded that most  of these guys have  paid into                                                               
that fund "that  are going through this" and are  reusing some of                                                               
their own funds in many cases.   He commented that it is probably                                                               
not absolutely fair that it only  goes to these few programs, but                                                               
those are the programs "we picked  out when we first started it."                                                               
Initially,  he said,  there were  only four  to five  programs in                                                               
there and with each allocation it  grew and "the pie got smaller"                                                               
for each  group.  Speaking  as someone who has  paid unemployment                                                               
insurance all of his life, he  said that he does not begrudge any                                                               
of that money  training someone else to further  their career and                                                               
enhance local hire in Alaska.   He stressed that if the state has                                                               
to spend  a bit of  money to train  these people so  Alaskans are                                                               
able to get those jobs, "I think we need to do it."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:38:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRETA SCHUERCH, Liaison, Governmental  and External Affairs, NANA                                                               
Regional Corporation,  advised that  the UA  Technical Vocational                                                               
Education  Program  (TVEP) has  served  as  an essential  funding                                                               
source to the  Alaska Technical Center based in  Kotzebue, and it                                                               
serves as  a catalyst for  individuals to develop  various career                                                               
tracks.    The  Alaska  Technical   Center  (TVEP)  is  an  adult                                                               
vocational and technical school  for all Alaskans, she described,                                                               
which  has been  an essential  player in  the advancement  of the                                                               
collective workforce development efforts  within the region.  She                                                               
commented  that  it benefits  employers,  such  as the  Northwest                                                               
Arctic Borough  School District,  NANA Regional  Corporation, and                                                               
the Red  Dog Mine through  core programs, and it  includes tracks                                                               
and business  technology, health occupations,  construction trade                                                               
technology,  culinary  arts,  process technology,  and  offers  a                                                               
variety of  short courses  meeting the  needs of  local employers                                                               
and business  partners.   In 2016,  she offered,  696 individuals                                                               
graduated, and  81 percent of  whom are currently employed.   The                                                               
TVEP  has had  a tremendous  positive impact  statewide, and  she                                                               
pointed to  the Youth  Learning Center in  Bethel which  serves a                                                               
key role  in the  dental health  aide therapy  program benefiting                                                               
all  areas of  the  state through  its  rigorous dental  training                                                               
program,  and whose  graduates provide  mid-level dental  care in                                                               
small  rural communities  throughout Alaska.   The  NANA Regional                                                               
Corporation shareholders also benefit  from other programs funded                                                               
through TVEP  at the  University of  Alaska, the  Galena Interior                                                               
Learning  Academy, Alaska  Vocational Technical  Center, and  the                                                               
INANA Regional Corporation appreciates                                                                                          
the   legislature's  continued   support  for   secondary,  post-                                                               
secondary, and adult education that  prepares Alaskans for future                                                               
jobs in Alaska, she said.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:41:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO, after  ascertaining no one wished  to testify, closed                                                               
public testimony on HB 141.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:42:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PALOMA   HARBOUR,   Director,   Central   Office,   Division   of                                                               
Administrative Services, said she was available for questions.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD asked  Ms.  Harbour whether  the                                                               
funding dispersed from 2000 to present was $142.5 million.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR responded  that the cumulative total  through FY 2017                                                               
was $142.5 million.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:42:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  ask the  amount of  dollars, per                                                               
employee, which has paid into the system from 2000 to 2016.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARBOUR advised  that she  did not  have that  analysis with                                                               
her,  but the  Research and  Analysis Section  of the  department                                                               
calculates  the total  number of  employees in  Alaska, how  many                                                               
employees are  resident/non-resident, and she  could go  back and                                                               
prepare that analysis.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:43:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD noted that  she was looking for a                                                               
ball park figure.   She asked whether other pieces  are taken out                                                               
of unemployment insurance for government funding.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  answered that under  the department's  two different                                                               
programs, the State Training and  Employment Program (STEP) which                                                               
performs  competitive  workforce   development  grants;  and  the                                                               
Technical and  Vocational Education program is  designated to the                                                               
recipients in statute.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD explained that  she would like to                                                               
know  whether   additional  money  is  taken   from  unemployment                                                               
insurance that would go toward these types of grants.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  reiterated, the STEP  and TVEP programs are  the two                                                               
programs that come out of  employee contributions to unemployment                                                               
insurance.   She referred to  the previous response  she provided                                                               
to  Chair  Kito's   office  and  explained  that   it  shows  the                                                               
employee's contribution  to unemployment insurance, the  STEP and                                                               
TVEP contribution, how much money  is deposited into the UI Trust                                                               
Fund, and  how much  money is  deposited into  the STEP  and TVEP                                                               
accounts.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked whether the other  49 states have                                                               
technical  training assistance  for these  two programs,  such as                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARBOUR  responded there  are  other  funding mechanisms  in                                                               
other  states  for  training,  but they  do  not  originate  from                                                               
employee contributions  to unemployment  insurance.   Alaska, New                                                               
Jersey,  and  Pennsylvania, are  the  only  three states  in  the                                                               
nation  that  collect  employee  contributions  for  unemployment                                                               
insurance, and New Jersey and  Pennsylvania do not have a similar                                                               
program for training out of that funding.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:45:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked for clarification that  there are                                                               
only  three  states  in  the  union  requiring  the  employee  to                                                               
contribute to unemployment insurance.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR answered that Representative Josephson was correct.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said, notwithstanding Alaska  being one                                                               
of  the  three  states,  Alaska has  low  unemployment  insurance                                                               
benefits relative to sister-state Washington State.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  answered correct, and  she opined that Alaska  has a                                                               
30  percent wage  replacement rate  in  its maximum  unemployment                                                               
insurance payment  to Alaskans,  but she did  not have  the exact                                                               
figure with her today.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked whether  she knew the  30 percent                                                               
number to be lower than the mean.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARBOUR responded  yes, and  she said  she did  not want  to                                                               
misspeak because she is not  an expert on unemployment insurance,                                                               
but opined that  Alaska is on the very bottom  in states' maximum                                                               
weekly benefit payments.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  how   Alaska  compares  as  far  as                                                               
contributions rates to the other states.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  asked whether Representative Knopp  was asking about                                                               
the employer and employee contribution rates.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  referred to  the  percentages  "we pay  on                                                               
payroll," and asked  how Alaska compares to  other states because                                                               
obviously less benefits are received  under a claim.  He inquired                                                               
as  to  how  Alaska  stands  as far  as  the  contribution  rates                                                               
compared to the  other states, revenue versus  expenditure, so to                                                               
speak.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR answered  that she could speak to TVEP  but she could                                                               
not speak to the unemployment  insurance program, and she did not                                                               
know the answer to that question.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP reiterated his  request for the unemployment                                                               
rates,  employee/employer  total   contribution  rates,  and  how                                                               
Alaska compares  to the other  states.  Obviously,  he commented,                                                               
Alaska  is substantially  low in  the benefits  section, and  how                                                               
does Alaska rate contribution-wise.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR said she would look  into the contribution rates.  In                                                               
response  to  Representative  Josephson,   she  said  received  a                                                               
message  that Alaska  is 39th  in the  United States  per maximum                                                               
weekly benefits.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL surmised  that Alaska  is one  of the  three                                                               
states wherein the employee pays  into the unemployment insurance                                                               
contribution,  and  asked  whether   the  other  states  are  all                                                               
employer only.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  said that Representative  Wool was correct,  for all                                                               
of the other states it is solely employer contributions.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:49:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  referred  to  STEP  and  TVEP,  and  asked                                                               
whether STEP  is the  same dollar magnitude,  for example,  if it                                                               
was   $142   million    for   employee   unemployment   insurance                                                               
contributions going to TVEP, and  whether it was roughly the same                                                               
for STEP.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARBOUR answered  that she  did not  run those  numbers, but                                                               
opined that  it is less.   The  STEP contribution is  0.1 percent                                                               
and TVEP is 0.16 percent, possibly two-thirds, she said.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZACH   FANSLER,  Alaska  State   Legislature,  in                                                               
response  to Representative  Knopp,  said that  a quick  internet                                                               
search   indicated   Pennsylvania  employees   contributes   0.07                                                               
percent,  and  New  Jersey employees  contribute  0.3825  percent                                                               
according to the 2016 Fast Wage and Tax Facts.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:51:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP    asked   Alaska's    contribution   rate                                                               
employee/employer combined within the fact check.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FANSLER  replied   that   the  Alaska   employee                                                               
contribution  is 0.5  percent, and  the employer  contribution is                                                               
1.01 percent.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOSEPHSON   commented   that  he   agrees   with                                                               
Representative Birch  and said  the line item  on a  paycheck has                                                               
the unemployment  insurance, and  it should  say "UIT  that STEP"                                                               
That would  be truth in  description, he  described, but it  is a                                                               
policy  call about  whether, why,  or  how much  to fund  through                                                               
this.   This legislation is  about something quite  different, he                                                               
related  that it  is about  extending  a program  that does  many                                                               
things besides  TVEP.  He noted  that he does not  have children,                                                               
but  as part  of  the  social compact,  he  invests  some of  his                                                               
property taxes in public schools,  police officers, and so forth,                                                               
"and I  am okay  with that."   This  is the  way the  world often                                                               
works, and he described it as a sharing of responsibility.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:54:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES offered that she  is in full support of the                                                               
bill  and opined  that the  members have  paid into  unemployment                                                               
insurance as an  employee or employer.  She said  she is happy to                                                               
know that at least some of  that money is going to retrain people                                                               
that she could possibly use in  her business.  Alaska is "pulling                                                               
up  the rear"  in  trained individuals,  and vocational  training                                                               
particularly, such  as plumbers,  or refrigeration  operators for                                                               
the seafood processing plants, she commented.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:55:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP related that he  is also a fan of vocational                                                               
training,  especially because  Alaska is  large and  diverse, and                                                               
the local  communities decide which  type of  vocational training                                                               
best  suits  its needs  geographically.    He  said he  does  not                                                               
disagree  with Representative  Birch  and  the funding  mechanism                                                               
could be debated  at another time, but in some  manner it will be                                                               
funded and right now he doesn't see a better option.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:56:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved to report  HB 141, labeled 30-LS0551\A,                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection, HB  141                                                               
passed from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:56:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:56 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
            HB 132-TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:01:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 132, "An  Act relating to  transportation network                                                               
companies and transportation network company drivers."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:01:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL,  as prime  sponsor,  presented  HB 132  and                                                               
described  the  bill  as  timely  after passing  HB  108  out  of                                                               
committee  today wherein  the members  agreed it  is time  to get                                                               
onboard with  the modernization  of society.   He  explained that                                                               
"ridesharing"  is a  platform  used to  obtain  a ride  somewhere                                                               
through an  application (app) on  the smart phone  and passengers                                                               
hire private individuals  to drive them from point A  to point B.                                                               
Other  aspects   of  society  have  modernized   due  to  digital                                                               
technology, which  includes: Airbnb  is accessed through  a smart                                                               
phone and  people pay the homeowner  to stay in their  home for a                                                               
certain  amount of  time for  a certain  amount of  money; Car2go                                                               
parks cars  in different  areas and with  the appropriate  card a                                                               
person is  able to get  into that car,  drive it around,  park it                                                               
later, and not  go to a typical car rental  counter; traveling is                                                               
conducted online; and ridesharing.   Companies can include: Uber,                                                               
Lyft, Side Car  Rentals, Car Rental at Geraldton  (GET), and many                                                               
more  with different  specialties.   He  pointed  out that  these                                                               
drivers  are independent  contractors and  do not  receive worker                                                               
benefits, similar to taxi cab  drivers.  Ridesharing is available                                                               
in 49 states, 20,000 people in  Alaska have the Uber app on their                                                               
phone, and 60,000  people coming into Alaska  last year attempted                                                               
to open their app.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:05:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOOL   advised   that   the   upside   is   that                                                               
transportation network  companies (TNCs)  will help  the economy,                                                               
as  follows: it  will provide  more income  to people  looking to                                                               
supplement their  income; it is one  of the few job  the military                                                               
can  be involved  in  during their  off-time;  it stimulates  the                                                               
economy  especially in  downtown  areas; it  is  good for  public                                                               
safety because less  people are driving under  the influence; and                                                               
people are  more prone to go  out and spend money.   He described                                                               
as  follows: it  is better  service than  conventional taxis  and                                                               
studies  have shown  that  where ridesharing  has  come in,  more                                                               
people  are  taking  rides  and more  areas  are  served  because                                                               
drivers tend to  drive where they live;  ridesharing is generally                                                               
50  percent   less  than   conventional  taxis;   ridesharing  is                                                               
convenient and easy  because the app is used rather  than a phone                                                               
call.   He  explained that  combined with  ridesharing are  other                                                               
products, such as  a parent app wherein the  parents enable their                                                               
children to get a ride and the children can be tracked.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  advised that  carpooling is  convenient with                                                               
the ridesharing  app because a person  can opt to share  the ride                                                               
with another  individual so both  rates go  down, and it  is good                                                               
for the  elderly or disabled individuals  who may not be  able to                                                               
handle money because it is set  up on a person's individual phone                                                               
and cash  is not  involved.  The  purpose of this  is not  in any                                                               
manner  to  end taxi  cabs,  he  stressed, having  transportation                                                               
network companies  (TNCs) in  an area  will increase  paid riders                                                               
and  it actually  augments taxis  cabs.   Currently, he  offered,                                                               
many  taxis cabs  are adapting  and using  similar apps  with the                                                               
same  technology  as ridesharing,  and  possibly  taxi cabs  will                                                               
specialize and  perform certain  types of rides.   He  added that                                                               
taxi cabs can still be hailed  which cannot happen with TNCs, and                                                               
taxi cabs will  always be needed.  He described  that TNCs are in                                                               
every  other state  in  the  country, and  this  is  part of  the                                                               
evolution of technology and modernization of society.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:09:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH commented  that this  legislation is  well-                                                               
timed and  from a  security standpoint, the  traveler is  able to                                                               
see  the driver,  when  they will  be picked  up,  and so  forth.                                                               
Pushback  in some  circles  has  been the  quality  of the  ride,                                                               
security, and timeliness, he said.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:10:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  referred to  the comment that  TNCs existed                                                               
in Anchorage, and asked why it  was no longer available.  He also                                                               
asked why the requirement to allow  this industry in at the state                                                               
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  said he  does not live  in Anchorage  and he                                                               
read in  the newspaper that  it came in  as a trial  project with                                                               
the Municipality  of Anchorage, which  has a regulated  taxis cab                                                               
system, and it  tried it out as  a pilot project.  As  far as the                                                               
statewide legislation,  he noted, there is  statewide legislation                                                               
in 38  states and Wyoming just  passed the legislation a  week or                                                               
so ago.   He opined that  Washington State just passed  a version                                                               
on their  Senate side  and, hopefully,  it is  about to  pass the                                                               
legislature.   He related that it  is just too hard  to legislate                                                               
municipality  by municipality  for the  ridesharing companies  to                                                               
have   different   rules   and  regulations   in   every   single                                                               
municipality; therefore,  a uniform  system throughout  the state                                                               
was preferred.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:12:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  STIDOLPH, Staff,  Representative Adam  Wool, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  advised that  when Uber  had the  pilot program  in                                                               
Anchorage  and  issue  was  that it  was  operating  without  the                                                               
exemption  from the  Alaska Workers'  Compensation Act,  and this                                                               
legislation takes care of that issue.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked whether  the issue  at that  time was                                                               
whether they were independent contractors or employees.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. STIDOLPH answered yes, and  she said this bill clarifies that                                                               
they are independent contractors  exempt from the Alaska Workers'                                                               
Compensation Act, much like taxi cab drivers.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:13:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  whether taxi  cabs are  regulated at                                                               
the state or local level.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. STIDOLPH replied that taxi  cabs are municipally regulated in                                                               
Anchorage,  in particular  and "they  do  have harder  regulation                                                               
there."   She said that  there is  some regulation in  Juneau and                                                               
Fairbanks, but  not as in  Anchorage where there  are medallions.                                                               
The  state  policy  rather than  municipal  policy  is  necessary                                                               
because the new technology requires a  clear set of rules that is                                                               
not  patch worked  around  the  state.   She  explained that  TNC                                                               
drivers will cross municipal borders  from community to community                                                               
and multiple municipal regulations could cause problems.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked how to  level the playing  field, how                                                               
does the  committee allow municipalities  to not regulate  on one                                                               
travel group and regulate the other  group.  He said he likes the                                                               
bill  and would  like  to see  TNCs  here, but  only  on a  level                                                               
playing field.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STIDOLPH advised  that Anchorage  is de-regulating  its taxi                                                               
cab system  in five years and  this bill aims to  state regulate.                                                               
In a  year or two, if  municipalities are "having that  much of a                                                               
problem with  TNCs then we can  go back into statute  and perhaps                                                               
change it," she said.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:15:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  surmised that  part of  the hope  is to                                                               
have a system  that mirrors a taxi cab system,  in the respect of                                                               
not   being  an   employee  but   rather   self-employed.     The                                                               
Municipality of  Anchorage, for example, requires  that taxi cabs                                                               
have  a  $100,000 per  person  bodily  injury coverage,  $300,000                                                               
aggregate, and  $50,000 per occurrence.   He referred to  HB 132,                                                               
page  6, lines  7-8, wherein  "there  is an  opportunity where  a                                                               
person  could be  not on  a  prearranged ride  but sort  of in  a                                                               
position,  I  guess  psychologically  or physically,  to  take  a                                                               
prearranged ride."   He asked whether the  insurance rates, given                                                               
that this  is a form  of commercial carry, shouldn't  be somewhat                                                               
higher than is indicated on page 6, lines 9-11.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:16:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  opined  that Representative  Josephson  was                                                               
referring to the different periods of  the status of a driver for                                                               
a  TNC, such  as period  1, period  2, period  3.   Period 1,  he                                                               
explained, means the  driver has the app on their  phone open and                                                               
they can be in their car,  parked in the parking lot, driving, or                                                               
at  their  house.    Period  2, he  explained,  is  when  someone                                                               
requests a ride  and the driver accepts the ride.   At that point                                                               
the  coverage goes  up to  $1  million liability  and $1  million                                                               
insured/under  insured motorists,  which  is considerably  higher                                                               
than the  requirement for  a taxi  cab in Alaska.   Period  3, he                                                               
explained, is  when the passenger gets  into the car and  the car                                                               
is still covered at  the $1 million level.  Any  driver for a TNC                                                               
company must have their own  valid and verified insurance, and if                                                               
the driver  loses their insurance  for some reason,  they've lost                                                               
their  driving privileges  with the  TNC.   That  being said,  he                                                               
commented, the  TNC will  provide, if  needed, the  state minimum                                                               
requirement for all drivers in the State of Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:19:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked why  TNCs would purchase insurance                                                               
for people who are not their employee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  responded that  the contracted  drivers must                                                               
purchase their  own insurance, the  TNCs have a policy  above and                                                               
beyond especially  in periods 2-3.   Drivers must meet  the state                                                               
insurance  minimum  but  some  may purchase  in  excess  of  that                                                               
requirement,   and   insurance    companies   offer   a   product                                                               
specifically  for  TNC  drivers.    He  said  that  Ms.  Stidolph                                                               
received  a letter  from her  insurance company  inquiring as  to                                                               
whether  she was  a TNC  driver, and  if so,  it would  charge an                                                               
extra  of $5  -  $8 per  month.    He opined  that  TNCs buy  the                                                               
insurance for  extra protection in  the event extra  insurance is                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  commented  that  it  is  curious  that                                                               
someone  the  TNCs want  to  be  detached from,  the  independent                                                               
contractor, would  afford this benefit.   He asked  whether there                                                               
are  regulations   in  other  states  allowing   the  drivers  to                                                               
organize, and  whether the TNCs  have essentially  tolerated that                                                               
sort of regulation and worked consistent with the regulation.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL, in  response to  Representative Josephson's                                                               
first  question,  advised  that   taxi  cab  companies  also  buy                                                               
insurance for  their independent  contractor drivers.   He opined                                                               
that the City of Seattle  passed an ordinance allowing drivers to                                                               
organize and  he does  not believe  they have  yet organized.   A                                                               
sub-group of  drivers in New  York City, Uber Black  for example,                                                               
are employees of  a separate company that uses  the Uber platform                                                               
so they may be organized in  a different manner.  Technically, he                                                               
said,  they are  employees of  a different  company and  are more                                                               
professional drivers.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:22:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  surmised that  Uber Black  is not  your grandparent's                                                               
Uber.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  agreed,  and  he said  that  only  a  small                                                               
percentage of the  drivers in Seattle actually  want to organize.                                                               
An issue  about organizing these  drivers is that many  are part-                                                               
time, and  as far as  all of the  issues that go  into organizing                                                               
employees, such  as sick  time, vacation  time, which  is usually                                                               
ascribed to full-time  employment.  He opined that  there are not                                                               
any  organized THC  drivers, but  people from  the companies  can                                                               
validate his statement.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:23:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  opened invited  testimony  and  advised that  public                                                               
testimony would not be taken today.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:23:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNABEL CHANG,  Director of Public Policy,  Lyft, offered support                                                               
for the legislation  and explained that the  Lyft ridesharing app                                                               
technology  connects  people with  efficient  and  safe rides  by                                                               
downloading, registering the  app on a person's  smart phone, and                                                               
requesting a ride with  the tap of a button.   She said that Lyft                                                               
utilizes  technology  to provide  consumers  with  new levels  of                                                               
transparency and accountability.  Every  Lyft ride is tracked via                                                               
GPS,  she explained,  and once  the app  is open,  passengers are                                                               
provided with the  driver's picture, user ratings  of the driver,                                                               
the  license  plate,  make  and  model  of  the  vehicle,  and  a                                                               
passengers can  track the  car; the drivers  receive a  photo and                                                               
the  name of  their  passenger.   She remarked  that  there is  a                                                               
function in  the app where an  ETA can be sent  to the passenger,                                                               
and the passenger  can send an ETA to their  family or colleagues                                                               
in  a  business meeting.    Payments  through Lyft  are  entirely                                                               
digital,    thereby   enhancing    security,   every    passenger                                                               
automatically receives a digital  receipt with the information of                                                               
their  driver, and  no  cash changes  hands.   Subsequently,  she                                                               
said,  every passenger  and driver  has the  opportunity to  rate                                                               
each  other,   and  after  every  ride   there  is  instantaneous                                                               
feedback.  Lyft is more than  simply a ridesharing app because it                                                               
offers unique and flexible economic  opportunities, such that, in                                                               
2016 drivers  on the Lyft  platform earned $1.5 billion  and over                                                               
$150  million  in  tips,  and  Lyft  passengers  increased  their                                                               
consumer spending  by $750  million in one  year.   Currently, 39                                                               
states  across the  nation  have  passed comprehensive  statewide                                                               
legislation to regulate Lyft in  a safe and robust manner, almost                                                               
identical  to HB  132.   Lyft hopes  that Alaska  will join  that                                                               
effort  and requests  the  committee's support  for  HB 132,  she                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MITCHEL  MATTHEWS,  Senior  Northwest  Operations  Manager,  Uber                                                               
Technologies,  offered  support  for   the  legislation  and  the                                                               
opportunity to  return its flagship  product back to Alaska.   He                                                               
explained that over  20,000 Alaskans currently have  the Uber app                                                               
downloaded on their smart phone,  and in 2016, 60,000 individuals                                                               
opened that  app seeking  a ride  using the  Uber platform  be it                                                               
tourists, residents, or visitors to  the state.  This legislation                                                               
provides  appropriate  safeguards  for  consumers  and  a  clear,                                                               
precise,  and  predictable  operational framework  for  transport                                                               
network  company (TNC)  drivers and  riders across  the State  of                                                               
Alaska.   The legislation  contains an  insurance model  that has                                                               
been adopted in essentially the same  form in over 40 states, and                                                               
that  language  has  the  support of  the  largest  property  and                                                               
casualty insurance trade  groups in the United  States.  Further,                                                               
he said,  this bill provides  a clear framework to  ensure public                                                               
safety  because  it  creates  a  certainty  to  conduct  business                                                               
without the  need to  navigate a  patchwork of  local regulations                                                               
that may  differ from city to  city.  It further  enhances access                                                               
to  transportation in  and around  rural communities  as well  as                                                               
creating new small  businesses and an income  stream for families                                                               
and individuals, he said.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:29:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MATTHEWS  explained that  residents in  the Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
Valley who commute  and travel from Anchorage  would benefit from                                                               
the bill's  clear and concise  framework.  Uber riders  request a                                                               
ride with the  touch of a button  and after a trip  match is made                                                               
between  the  rider and  driver,  the  name, photograph,  license                                                               
plate  and  contact details,  which  are  anonymized, are  shared                                                               
between  each individual.   During  the  ride a  rider may  share                                                               
their  location  and trip  with  their  family members,  thereby,                                                               
providing   an  enhanced   safety  feature,   and  there   is  an                                                               
accountability component wherein each  rider and driver rate each                                                               
other  through  the  app  with   direct  feedback.    Independent                                                               
contractors value the flexibly of  Uber's model, and he said that                                                               
over 80 percent of the drivers  drive less than 10 hours per week                                                               
because it allows  drivers to work when they want  for as long as                                                               
they want,  drivers can  work with  competitors, and  drivers can                                                               
drive in  the area  of their  choice.   He explained  that Uber's                                                               
driver  verification  process  includes  an  extensive  screening                                                               
process  for each  applicant via  a third-party  approved by  the                                                               
National  Association   of  Background  Check  Screeners.     The                                                               
screening  process  includes:  social security  numbers;  driving                                                               
records; personal information - full  name, date of birth, social                                                               
security   number,   valid   driver's   license,   bank   account                                                               
information,  vehicle  registration;  and  Uber  does  not  allow                                                               
anyone on the National Sex  Offender Public Website maintained by                                                               
the United States Department of Justice.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:31:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD  asked   whether  a  ridesharing                                                               
driver would be required to sign  up through the City and Borough                                                               
of Juneau  (CBJ) for  a business  license, background  check, and                                                               
drug  testing, and  further asked  whether the  drivers would  be                                                               
applicable for a sales tax application.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MATTHEWS  responded  that the  legislation  itself  provides                                                               
background check language and requirements  so when an individual                                                               
signs up  to drive  with Uber, Lyft,  or others,  the third-party                                                               
the  TNC works  with  would be  responsible  for conducting  that                                                               
background check  and adjudicating  the information.   He advised                                                               
that  drivers  are independent  business  owners  and a  business                                                               
license  for Juneau,  for example,  would be  the state  business                                                               
license where  they register their  intent to operate  in Juneau,                                                               
or a CBJ business license would be theirs to obtain.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  surmised that the  drivers would                                                               
have  to follow  the  rules  as to  sales  tax, collections,  and                                                               
payment to the CJB.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MATTHEWS  opined that the  bill sponsor is  crafting language                                                               
with respect to sales tax.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:33:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  requested  Mr.  Matthews  to  describe  the  vehicle                                                               
inspection requirements  for a driver,  and how  the requirements                                                               
might  be  accomplished  in  an  area  without  a  mechanic,  for                                                               
example.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MATTHEWS answered that Uber  requires a vehicle inspection to                                                               
ensure  that the  vehicles  are mechanically  able  to provide  a                                                               
service,  and  "we  would  review  it  again,"  say  a  19  point                                                               
inspection.   In  areas of  Alaska, as  takes place  in areas  of                                                               
Montana,  Uber  may  require  individuals   signing  up  to  take                                                               
photographs or  videos of  their vehicles,  Uber would  then have                                                               
the photographs  and videos reviewed  by an individual  who would                                                               
ensure that the  vehicle does meet the requirements  to drive and                                                               
pass an  inspection.   The statewide  framework is  important, he                                                               
described,  because  it  allows  a  person  who  signs  up  in  a                                                               
community without a mechanic the opportunity to drive.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON surmised  that the TNCs have  a means in                                                               
other jurisdictions to pay a sales tax.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MATHEWS related that in  some jurisdictions there would be no                                                               
taxes levied  against the TNC,  and a  state sales tax  exists in                                                               
other areas  of the state.   He deferred to the  bill sponsor for                                                               
clarity.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked the  percentage of people screened                                                               
for background checks that are rejected.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MATHEWS  advised that he  does not  have data on  that issue.                                                               
The  requirements  listed in  the  bill,  he explained,  are  the                                                               
requirement people would be  adjudicated against, the determining                                                               
factor as to whether a person could drive on the Uber platform.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON referred  to personal insurance policies                                                               
and  the  insurance  policies  provided by  the  TNC,  and  asked                                                               
whether both policies would cover  an accident.  He further asked                                                               
which insurance policy would take priority.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MATHEWS deferred to Jared Eber.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:36:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JARED   EBER,  Attorney,   Uber   Technologies,  explained   that                                                               
individual drivers  purchase specific insurance  through carriers                                                               
offering  a  ridesharing  product,  and  in  addition,  TNCs  are                                                               
required  to  have its  own  insurance  as  well.   The  driver's                                                               
specific ridesharing  insurance policy  would respond  first, and                                                               
Uber's  insurance policy  would respond  on top  of that  for any                                                               
additional  amounts the  driver's specific  ridesharing insurance                                                               
would  not cover,  he  explained.   The  TNCs  coverage would  be                                                               
primary  in the  event  the driver's  insurance  did not  provide                                                               
coverage, he said, and would start at dollar one.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:38:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  noted  that the  drivers  are  independent                                                               
contractors  and  would  go  to the  Division  of  Licensing  for                                                               
business    licenses,   and    asked   how    many   applications                                                               
Representative Wool expected to be submitted.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  said he  was unaware  of the  projection for                                                               
the  number of  TNC drivers,  but there  were 80  drivers in  the                                                               
pilot program in Anchorage.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
4:39:09                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  offered  that the  Division  of  Licensing                                                               
would  be   substantially  busy  with  the   licensing  of  these                                                               
independent contractors.   He  then reiterated  concern regarding                                                               
little to  no local control,  and asked whether,  when complaints                                                               
are filed, the person would most  likely call the local police or                                                               
someone at  the state level.   He asked how the  complaints would                                                               
be  addressed, especially  when the  local municipalities  do not                                                               
have authority  to regulate  and yet get  stuck handling  some of                                                               
the complaint calls.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  answered that  there  had  not yet  been  a                                                               
discussion regarding an abundance of  complaints.  He referred to                                                               
the local control  issue and said that Anchorage  has a medallion                                                               
system which  will expire, and  commented that he was  unsure the                                                               
Anchorage control system was working  well and that he assumed it                                                               
possibly would prefer to be out of the taxi cab business.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  explained that  he  was  just putting  his                                                               
thoughts out there for future  conversations.  He referred to the                                                               
Kenai Peninsula Borough's sales tax  and commented that the Kenai                                                               
Peninsula  Borough  "does not  do  business  licensing," but  the                                                               
drivers would still  be required to register and  collect a sales                                                               
tax as  independent contractors.   He said that he  assumed under                                                               
this bill there is no exemption.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL related that  the language is currently being                                                               
crafted incorporating  local municipal sales  tax in a  form that                                                               
the driver will pay to the municipality.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:41:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  referred  to  the  complaint  process  and                                                               
opined that  if there is a  complaint with a driver  or any issue                                                               
to load  it up  immediately wherein  it is  shared to  whoever is                                                               
handling that ride distribution.  He  opined that it is a two-way                                                               
street and if a rider is  overly drunk the driver has protections                                                               
in that they can measure up the potential ride.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  explained that  the rating is  mandatory and                                                               
before a person's  next ride, they have to rate  [the last ride].                                                               
He said  that the  ratings and comments  are taken  seriously for                                                               
the  driver  and  the  passenger, and  if  someone  receives  bad                                                               
ratings  "they  take  them  off   the  system"  for  drivers  and                                                               
passengers.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  surmised that  from a  business standpoint,                                                               
there is always accountability through the business model.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL agreed, and he said that as far as                                                                          
complaints, he was unaware how often they go to the local or                                                                    
state government level, as mostly they are handled internally.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:44:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO commented that society will see an adaptation for any                                                                
of these types of new technologies coming forward.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[HB 132 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:45:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
4:45 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB141 Supporting Documents-DOLWD response and flow chart 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
CSHB132 (TRA) Fiscal Note-DCCED-DOI 3.8.17.PDF HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
CSHB132 (TRA) ver J Explanation of Changes.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
CSHB132 (TRA) Fiscal Note-DOLWD-WC 3.8.17.PDF HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
CSHB132 (TRA) ver J Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Sponsor Statement 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Insurance White Paper for Rideshare Drivers 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Letters of Opposition 3.9.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Letters of Support 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Lyft Economic Impact Report 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Ridesharing Key Benefits 3.8.17.png HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents Index 3.9.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Lyft Information 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Portland Bureau of Transportation Report 3.8.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Legal Opinion 3.7.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB108 Supporting Documents-Letters of Support 3.9.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB141 Supporting Documents-Letters of Support 3.9.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB108 Supporting Documents Index 3.10.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 108
HB108 Supporting Documents-Letters of Support 3.10.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 108
HB132 Supporting Documents - Safety with Uber 3.10.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132
HB132 Supporting Documents - Uber 101 3.10.17.pdf HL&C 3/10/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 132