Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

02/23/2018 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 340 REPEAL BIDCO ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 341 REPEAL:ATHLETIC COMM;BOXING/WRESTLING LAW TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 342 LAND SALES PRACTICES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 343 PREMIUM FINANCE COMPANIES : EXAM REQS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 346 DENTIST: TEMPORARY PERMIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 346(L&C) Out of Committee
+= HB 303 WORKERS' COMP; REHAB/REEMPLOYMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 303(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                       February 23, 2018                                                                                        
                           3:21 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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. 340                                                                                                              
"An  Act  repealing  the  Alaska  BIDCO  Assistance  program  and                                                               
repealing requirements  for an annual  examination of a  BIDCO by                                                               
the   Department    of   Commerce,   Community,    and   Economic                                                               
Development."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 341                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the  athletic commission and the commissioner                                                               
of  athletics; and  relating to  boxing, sparring,  and wrestling                                                               
contests, matches, and exhibitions."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 342                                                                                                              
"An Act amending and repealing  registration filing provisions of                                                               
the   Uniform  Land   Sales  Practices   Act;  relating   to  the                                                               
jurisdiction  of  the  office  of  administrative  hearings;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 343                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to examination of premium finance companies."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 346                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the licensure of dentists."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 346(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 303                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to workers' compensation benefits for the                                                                      
rehabilitation and reemployment of injured employees."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 303(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 340                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL BIDCO ASSISTANCE PROGRAM                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/09/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 341                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL:ATHLETIC COMM;BOXING/WRESTLING LAW                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/09/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 342                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LAND SALES PRACTICES                                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/09/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 343                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PREMIUM FINANCE COMPANIES : EXAM REQS                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/09/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 346                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DENTIST: TEMPORARY PERMIT                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/14/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/18       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/19/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/19/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/19/18       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 303                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WORKERS' COMP; REHAB/REEMPLOYMENT                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/24/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/24/18       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/16/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/16/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/16/18       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MIKE NAVARRE, Commissioner Designee                                                                                             
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 340 on behalf of the House                                                                 
Rules Committee by request of the governor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PATRICE WALSH                                                                                                                   
Chief Examiner                                                                                                                  
Division of Banking and Securities                                                                                              
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions in the hearing on HB                                                                  
340.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MIKE NAVARRE, Commissioner Designee                                                                                             
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 341 on behalf of the House                                                                 
Rules Committee by request of the governor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, Deputy Director                                                                                                  
Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing                                                                     
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  in the  hearing on  HB                                                             
341.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILLY CHRISTENSEN                                                                                                               
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in the hearing on HB 341.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE NAVARRE, Commissioner Designee                                                                                             
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Introduced  HB 342 on  behalf of  the House                                                             
Rules Committee by request of the governor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MIKE NAVARRE, Commissioner designee                                                                                             
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Introduced  HB 343 on  behalf of  the House                                                             
Rules Committee by request of the governor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PATRICE WALSH                                                                                                                   
Chief Examiner                                                                                                                  
Division of Banking and Securities                                                                                              
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED)                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  in the  hearing on  HB                                                             
343.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CAITLYN ELLIS, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided  a review  of  the  proposed  CS                                                             
Version D to HB 346.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GREG CASHEN, Acting Commissioner                                                                                                
Department  of  Labor  & Workforce  Development  (DLWD),  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska                                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:   Introduced  HB 303 on  behalf of  the House                                                             
Rules Committee by request of the governor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARIE MARX, Director                                                                                                            
Alaska Workers' Compensation Division                                                                                           
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  in the  hearing on  HB                                                             
303.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BETH TUSTEN, Reemployment Benefits Manager                                                                                      
Workers Compensation Division                                                                                                   
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  in the  hearing on  HB                                                             
303.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:21:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SAM KITO  called  the House  Labor  and Commerce  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   3:21  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Sullivan-Leonard,  Wool,  Stutes,  Knopp, Josephson,  Birch,  and                                                               
Kito were present at the call.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
             HB 340-REPEAL BIDCO ASSISTANCE PROGRAM                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.   340,  "An  Act  repealing   the  Alaska  BIDCO                                                               
Assistance  program  and  repealing requirements  for  an  annual                                                               
examination of a BIDCO by  the Department of Commerce, Community,                                                               
and Economic Development."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:23:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  NAVARRE,  Commissioner  Designee, Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development  (DCCED), introduced HB  340 on                                                               
behalf of the  House Rules Committee by request  of the governor.                                                               
He  explained  that the  proposed  bill  would repeal  the  BIDCO                                                               
assistant program.   He added that  only one BIDCO had  ever been                                                               
licensed in  Alaska, to Alaska Growth  Capital.  He said  most of                                                               
the  loans are  guaranteed by  the United  States Small  Business                                                               
[Administration].                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:24:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  asked for information  on BIDCO,                                                               
including what the acronym stands for.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE NAVARRE deferred to the department.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO explained  that he  had some  experience with  Alaska                                                               
Growth Capital  in the past  and the goal of  Business Industrial                                                               
Development Corporation (BIDCO) in the  late 1980s or early 1990s                                                               
was to assist businesses to get started.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:25:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICE   WALSH,  Chief   Examiner,  Division   of  Banking   and                                                               
Securities,   Department  of   Commerce,  Community   &  Economic                                                               
Development  (DCCED), answered  questions  in the  hearing on  HB                                                               
340.    She described  the  mission  of  BIDCO as  an  assistance                                                               
program for capital for rural  and distressed areas and minority-                                                               
owned  businesses.   She gave  the example  of loans  to aviation                                                               
companies in Nome and Barrow.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:27:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD  said  she was  looking  at  the                                                               
fiscal note (FN)  and paraphrased from the  analysis [included in                                                               
committee packet]  which reads  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     "The revisions  to the  Alaska Business  and Industrial                                                                    
     Development Corporation (BIDCO)  Act will eliminate the                                                                    
     annual   examination   requirement   yet   retain   the                                                                    
     division's  authority to  conduct  an examination  when                                                                    
     needed."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD asked whether the change                                                                        
would fulfill the division's need for oversight.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WALSH answered  in  the  affirmative.   She  added that  the                                                               
division is  required to do  an examination every  twelve months.                                                               
She said the examination usually  takes about two weeks, requires                                                               
around four examiners,  and the process can average  close to $30                                                               
thousand.   She  explained that  having the  requirement to  have                                                               
exams as needed would lead to big savings for the department.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  disclosed that  his  son  is the  CEO  and                                                               
President of Alaska Growth Capital.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:29:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 340 and left it open.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO held over HB 340.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        HB 341-REPEAL:ATHLETIC COMM;BOXING/WRESTLING LAW                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:29:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  341, "An Act relating to  the athletic commission                                                               
and  the  commissioner  of athletics;  and  relating  to  boxing,                                                               
sparring, and wrestling contests, matches, and exhibitions."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:30:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  NAVARRE,  Commissioner  Designee, Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development  (DCCED), introduced HB  341 on                                                               
behalf of the  House Rules Committee by request  of the governor.                                                               
He gave the history of the  commission and spoke to the licensing                                                               
fees and  the statute governing  the commission.  He  stated that                                                               
the department was looking to repeal the commission.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD mentioned a  boxing group in Mat-                                                               
Su and asked whether the group was overseen by any state entity.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:32:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  CHAMBERS,   Deputy  Director,  Division   of  Corporations,                                                               
Business  &  Professional   Licensing,  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development (DCCED), answered  questions in                                                               
the  hearing on  HB  341.   She answered  that  the Muhammad  Ali                                                               
Boxing  Reform  Act  establishes   parameters  for  state  boxing                                                               
organizations.  The federal law states  that if there is no state                                                               
oversight, the organizations will be under federal oversight.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL gave the example  of a big championship fight                                                               
in Alaska  and suggested it  would have  to be backed  by another                                                               
state's license.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS answered  that was  her understanding.   She  added                                                               
that industry members may be better suited to answer.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:34:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 341.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:34:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILLY CHRISTENSEN testified in the hearing  on HB 341.  He shared                                                               
his  background  in  the  boxing  industry.    He  expressed  his                                                               
concerns with the removal of  the current athletic commission and                                                               
explained why  he thinks the federal  boxing reform act is  not a                                                               
good fit  for Alaska.   He  read the  final sentence  in Governor                                                               
Walker's  transmittal  letter  [including in  committee  packet],                                                               
which reads as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Further, under the Muhammad Ali  Boxing Reform Act, the                                                                    
     Attorney  General, as  chief  law enforcement  officer,                                                                    
     count  maintain  a  civil action  in  federal  district                                                                    
     court to  enjoin a  professional boxing  match, enforce                                                                    
     compliance with federal law, or obtain fines.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN said the existing  commission already has details                                                               
specified within  it and he  stated his concern that  the federal                                                               
act  did not  make sense  in  Alaska.   He offered  his time  and                                                               
knowledge  of  the  industry  to answer  any  questions  or  find                                                               
solutions  moving forward.   He  added his  background is  in the                                                               
compliance industry and he is familiar with the language.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:37:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   asked  which  permits  or   licenses  are                                                               
currently needed to stage a boxing competition.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN answered there is  not currently a governing body                                                               
in  Alaska.    He  stated  the  industry  is  successfully  self-                                                               
governing with the appropriate insurance.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked whether  Mr. Christensen wanted to see                                                               
the commission continue.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN  said he wanted to  see things stay the  way they                                                               
are.  He  said he had concerns about  Governor Walker's statement                                                               
that the state would adhere to the federal act.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:40:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES pointed  out  that  the commission  hasn't                                                               
been  active  since  1997,  so   she  surmised  deactivating  the                                                               
commission would  only mean  things continue  to operate  as they                                                               
have since 1997.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:41:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE NAVARRE answered in the affirmative.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES said  she presumed  that Mr.  Christensen,                                                               
under those  conditions, would not  have consternation  about the                                                               
commission,  knowing  that things  would  continue  as they  have                                                               
since 1997.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN answered that was correct.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:41:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  what removing  the boxing  commission                                                               
would change.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS  answered that  the  department  has been  carrying                                                               
around  "the trappings  of the  old commission"  and stated  that                                                               
includes $15  thousand in deficit.   She added the debt  could be                                                               
erased and the inactive statutes could be removed.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:44:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD asked about licensing.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS  answered  there   is  not  currently  any  related                                                               
professional  license   for  boxers  and  wrestlers.     Business                                                               
licenses  are  always  required  but  there  is  no  professional                                                               
license.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:45:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  asked  Mr.  Christensen   whether  boxers  who  were                                                               
sanctioned  under another  state's  commission  could operate  in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN answered in the  affirmative.  He added that many                                                               
famous boxers  such as George  Foreman and Sugar Ray  Leonard had                                                               
boxed in the state.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  asked whether events  sanctioned under  another state                                                               
would be precluded from adhering to the Muhammad Ali Reform Act.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN  said the Muhammad  Ali Reform Act refers  to the                                                               
Association of  Boxing Commissions (ABC) standard.   He specified                                                               
that the ABC meets and exceeds the Muhammad Ali Reform Act.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  asked whether  Mr.  Christensen's  concern was  that                                                               
everything in  the state  would fall  under the  [federal] reform                                                               
act if there were no state commission.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN  said that  was correct.   He explained  that the                                                               
act was  created in 1959  and the  game is very  different today.                                                               
He  added  the  industry  in  Alaska  is  more  an  entertainment                                                               
industry than  a professional venue  industry.  He  suggested the                                                               
average fighter  in Alaska has no  more than two or  three fights                                                               
in their  career.  He  added that the reform  act has more  to do                                                               
with professional  promoters and other  things that are  not seen                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO asked  if Mr.  Christensen would  be willing  to work                                                               
with his staff.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN answered  that he would be more than  happy to do                                                               
so.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:49:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   reiterated  the  last  sentence   of  the                                                               
governor's transmittal license and  surmised the concern was with                                                               
the enforcement by the attorney general.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE NAVARRE  said there is no plan  to have the                                                               
attorney general take  any action unless there is a  problem.  He                                                               
restated that the boxing organization is already self-governing.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:51:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO held over HB 341.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                  HB 342-LAND SALES PRACTICES                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:51:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  342, "An Act amending  and repealing registration                                                               
filing  provisions  of  the Uniform  Land  Sales  Practices  Act;                                                               
relating  to the  jurisdiction of  the  office of  administrative                                                               
hearings; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:51:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  NAVARRE,  Commissioner  Designee, Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development  (DCCED), introduced HB  342 on                                                               
behalf of the  House Rules Committee by request  of the governor.                                                               
He explained that the proposed  bill would repeal an obsolete law                                                               
which  had been  adopted  by  nine states  before  it was  deemed                                                               
obsolete.  He  said it had been identified as  something that was                                                               
no being used  and there are more than adequate  laws in place to                                                               
address similar protections.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:52:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 342.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO commented  that he  appreciates that  Alaska has  the                                                               
smallest number of statutes governing state activities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO held over HB 342.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          HB 343-PREMIUM FINANCE COMPANIES : EXAM REQS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:53:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 343, "An  Act relating to examination  of premium                                                               
finance companies."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:53:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  NAVARRE,  Commissioner  designee, Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development  (DCCED), introduced HB  343 on                                                               
behalf of the  House Rules Committee by request  of the governor.                                                               
He explained that the proposed  bill would exempt premium finance                                                               
companies from  a required 18-month examination  cycle because no                                                               
problems  had been  found with  the  companies.   He added  there                                                               
would be ongoing examinations, just not every 18 months.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:55:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  asked if  the examinations would  only take  place if                                                               
there were a complaint.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICE   WALSH,  Chief   Examiner,  Division   of  Banking   and                                                               
Securities,   Department  of   Commerce,  Community   &  Economic                                                               
Development  (DCCED), answered  questions  in the  hearing on  HB                                                               
343.  She answered in the  affirmative.  She added that the exams                                                               
currently are only carried out every  18 months and there had not                                                               
been any significant findings.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO said that he has  a concern that if someone is looking                                                               
over his  shoulder every 18  months, he's going to  behave better                                                               
than  if he  knows there  will  only be  controls if  there is  a                                                               
complaint.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALSH  said that licensees do  have an annual renewal  with a                                                               
mini-exam.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO asked  if the department would be  doing "desk audits"                                                               
to check for anomalies.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALSH answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:57:53                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 343.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO held over HB 343.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 346-DENTIST: TEMPORARY PERMIT                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:58:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  346,  "An  Act relating  to  the  licensure  of                                                               
dentists."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CAITLYN  ELLIS,  Staff,  Representative Sam  Kito,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, provided  a review of  the proposed CS Version  D to                                                               
HB 346.   She explained that  the changes came about  following a                                                               
dental  examiners'  board  meeting   which  determined  that  the                                                               
original  version of  the  proposed bill  would  still involve  a                                                               
burdensome process.   She added  that the new  version designates                                                               
the requirements for temporary license holders.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved that the  committee adopt the CS for HB                                                               
346 Version D  as a working document.  There  being no objection,                                                               
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:00:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  said  public  testimony  was  still  open  from  the                                                               
previous hearing.   Upon ascertaining  that no one  was available                                                               
to testify, he closed public testimony on HB 346.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:01:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved to report  HB 346 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:01:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:01 p.m. to 4:04 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
            HB 303-WORKERS' COMP; REHAB/REEMPLOYMENT                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:04:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 303,  "An Act  relating to  workers' compensation                                                               
benefits  for  the  rehabilitation and  reemployment  of  injured                                                               
employees."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:05:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREG CASHEN, Acting Commissioner, introduced  HB 303 on behalf of                                                               
the House Rules Committee by request  of the governor.  He gave a                                                               
brief introduction  of the proposed bill.   He said HB  303 would                                                               
improve  the process  of determining  eligibility and  developing                                                               
reemployment  plans  for  workers  who  cannot  return  to  their                                                               
previous  jobs due  to work-related  injury.   He  stated HB  303                                                               
would update an outdated system  for getting workers back to work                                                               
quickly.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:06:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked  who  makes  the  determination  of                                                               
whether $19,300 is enough money for rehabilitation services.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIE  MARX,  Director,  Alaska Workers'  Compensation  Division,                                                               
Department  of Labor  &  Workforce  Development (DLWD),  answered                                                               
questions in the hearing on HB  303.  She answered the amount was                                                               
set  in statute  at  $13,300  and that  amount  was adjusted  for                                                               
inflation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked whether  the  cost  of the  service                                                               
could exceed that amount.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said  that $19,300 would be the maximum  amount that the                                                               
parties can pay.  She added  that the parties can always agree to                                                               
pay more via  a settlement agreement.  She gave  the example of a                                                               
case in  which the parties agreed  to pay the full  amount of the                                                               
service in the interest of getting the employee back to work.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:08:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked whether  a person  gets temporary                                                               
disability prior to medical stabilization.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX answered  in the affirmative.  She  explained that under                                                               
workers  compensation   law,  a  person  with   personal  partial                                                               
impairment received  temporary total  disability every  two weeks                                                               
until they can return to work.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked for confirmation that  an injured                                                               
employee  would have  to use  permanent partial  impairment money                                                               
for their living expenses.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  said that an injured  worker will always get  wage loss                                                               
benefits  while  they  are  recovering.    If  they  are  owed  a                                                               
permanent partial impairment amount, that  must be paid out every                                                               
two weeks  and that would not  change in the proposed  bill.  She                                                               
added the proposed  bill would allow injured  employees to choose                                                               
when  to enter  the reemployment  program starting  90 days  from                                                               
when the benefits ceased.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:10:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES asked  for confirmation  that it  would be                                                               
the  attending  physician who  would  make  the determination  of                                                               
whether an individual is medically stable.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said  the reemployment benefit administrator  is the one                                                               
who   makes  a   determination  on   eligibility  based   on  the                                                               
recommendation  of  the   rehabilitation  specialist  in  charge.                                                               
There is  no requirement for  the doctor, although  generally the                                                               
treating doctor's opinion is given deference.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:11:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  said  that  even  though  there  is  a                                                               
requirement that  a reemployment plan  begin at the 91st  day, it                                                               
seems to him that people are not moving forward in a timely way.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  said  that  part   of  the  bill  does  provide  clear                                                               
timeframes within  which a plan  has to  move forward.   She said                                                               
that  currently,  if a  specialist  comes  up  with a  plan,  the                                                               
parties must either  agree with or deny the plan  within 30 days.                                                               
If  there is  a  denial, the  plan administrator  has  to make  a                                                               
determination.   She said  currently there  is no  requirement to                                                               
take action  and the proposed bill  would fix that problem.   She                                                               
added  in fiscal  year 2017  [FY  17], 564  injured workers  were                                                               
referred  for   the  evaluation  process,  and   148  were  found                                                               
eligible.    She explained  that  many  were  not ready  for  the                                                               
evaluation.     She   added  that   14   workers  had   completed                                                               
reemployment  plans.   She said  the primary  driver was  workers                                                               
settling  for  benefits  and   not  reentering  the  reemployment                                                               
system.   She underlined  the primary  goal is  returning injured                                                               
workers to work.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:15:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked how  the stakeholders would manage                                                               
the system and why so few workers are found eligible.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX answered  the first  question by  stating the  proposed                                                               
bill would  change the system  to a voluntary system  that begins                                                               
once  the worker  is  medically stable.   She  added  there is  a                                                               
declining pool of certified specialists in the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON restated his question.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  answered the  question  was  why  so many  people  are                                                               
referred for an evaluation.   She stated if an individual returns                                                               
to work on the  91st day, they still have to  go through the time                                                               
and expense of a reemployment evaluation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:18:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP   asked  how   long  the   total  temporary                                                               
disability (TTD) payments continue.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX said  TTD  is  outside the  reemployment  system.   She                                                               
listed the  benefits as  medical, lost  wages, death  benefits in                                                               
the case of loss of life, and retraining.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  suggested the continuation of  payments may                                                               
be a motivator not to reenter  employment.  He asked when the 90-                                                               
day time period begins.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said it is 90 days of consecutive time off work.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked if the  time frame is why the employee                                                               
does not meet the eligibility requirement.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX answered  that some  have already  returned to  work or                                                               
simply do not  want to go through the training  program and there                                                               
is no way for them to exit the system.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  said that what  they are required to  do is                                                               
go through the evaluation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX described  the process and stated it takes  quite a long                                                               
time.   She  reiterated  the process  may be  going  on once  the                                                               
individual is already back at work.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:23:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  asked if the  evaluation has  to take place  after 90                                                               
days from filing of the injury.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  said the 90  days refers to days  off work.   She added                                                               
once  the division  is informed  that the  employee has  been off                                                               
work 90 days, the process begins.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO asked if the process was mandated to begin at day 91.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said that process has  to begin even if "everyone knows"                                                               
the  person is  back at  work, recovering  from back  surgery, or                                                               
simply does not want to go through the program.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO said  that with  this change  the department  has the                                                               
discretion to determine whether a  reevaluation has to take place                                                               
and  therefore  focus   on  the  individuals  that   do  want  to                                                               
participate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  answered  the  proposed  bill would  change  it  to  a                                                               
voluntary system.   The department  would still have  a mandatory                                                               
meeting with the employee to explain the system.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:26:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON provided  a  hypothetical situation  in                                                               
which a  plumber breaks an  arm and then  returns to work  on the                                                               
90th day.   He asked  whether that  person is still  eligible for                                                               
the money even though they are fine for work.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  clarified  that  an   individual  is  ineligible  [for                                                               
payments]  under  statute  when  they  return  to  work,  however                                                               
currently they still  have to go through  the evaluation process.                                                               
The proposed  bill would  change that  and focus  on the  goal of                                                               
aiding workers who cannot return to work.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:28:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  asked about  the change  in date                                                               
on page 2, line 30 of the proposed bill from May 1 to October 1.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX answered  that currently data collection is  part of the                                                               
system.   She added the  insurance companies are relied  upon for                                                               
that  data.   She said  audits have  to be  carried out  on those                                                               
reports  and  May  was  too  early for  the  one  person  in  the                                                               
department to complete those audits.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:30:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked why the  department is involved in the                                                               
process when the insurance companies are paying out.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  said  ideally,  they  would not  be  needed,  but  the                                                               
department was there to ensure any issues are resolved.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO, after  ascertaining that there was no  one who wished                                                               
to testify, closed public testimony on HB 303.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  said there are  amendments to  be offered to  HB 303.                                                               
Before continuing with the amendments, he stated the following:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This bill was  drafted by the Department  of Law, which                                                                    
     is  not  the  same  as  having  our  Legislative  Legal                                                                    
     Department  draft it;  so, there  will be  something in                                                                    
     motion when we  get to the point of being  able to move                                                                    
     the bill that  will just say that we  request our legal                                                                    
     department  to  make  our legislative  drafting  manual                                                                    
     conforming amendments  to the  bill.   Those amendments                                                                    
     will  not have  the  impact  of substantively  changing                                                                    
     anything we're  doing; they are just  the technical way                                                                    
      we write bills different than the Department of Law.                                                                      
        So, that will be part of our motion when we move                                                                        
     forward.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON moved to  adopt Amendment 1, labeled 30-                                                               
GH2709\A.1, Wallace, 2/20/18, which read as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 2:                                                                                                           
          Delete "$19,300"                                                                                                  
          Insert "$30,000"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  explained Amendment  1.  He  said there                                                               
was   testimony  from   rehabilitation  specialists   saying  the                                                               
increase  in  the amount  to  $19,300  was  still  too low.    He                                                               
remarked that  tuition has  outpaced the rate  of inflation.   He                                                               
said it  does not  account for tools  and equipment,  tuition, or                                                               
transportation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:36:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  if  the benefit  is  for tuition  and                                                               
training or for equipment.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX shared  her understanding  that the  amount is  for the                                                               
cost of the plan.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:38:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH TUSTEN, Reemployment  Benefits Manager, Workers Compensation                                                               
Division,  Department of  Labor &  Workforce Development  (DLWD),                                                               
answered questions in  the hearing on HB 303.   She answered that                                                               
the amount is for costs incurred  as a result of participating in                                                               
the plan  and could be  for such things as  transportation costs,                                                               
books  and  supplies, or  tuition  for  a two-week  certification                                                               
course.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:39:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  asked whether the  amount in  the proposed bill  is a                                                               
lower limit or a maximum amount.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. TUSTEN said the amount in  the bill is the maximum amount for                                                               
a plan submitted for plan review.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:40:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL   asked  whether  someone  might   select  a                                                               
costlier program if the limit is higher.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  answered in the affirmative.   She added the  amount of                                                               
$19,300 would generally cover the cost of an associate degree.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked about the  50 percent increase  in the                                                               
amount of the benefit.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  answered that  there is a  balance between  benefits to                                                               
injured workers and the cost to the  system.  She added it is too                                                               
speculative to say how many would take advantage of system.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked whether  employee [expenses] often went                                                               
to the maximum at $13,300.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX said  she  didn't have  the data  before  her, but  the                                                               
amount was  not effective at  $13,300.  She surmised  most people                                                               
will  probably opt  for  the higher  amount,  raising the  system                                                               
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked  if there was data of how  many of the                                                               
1,200 cases  had reached an  agreement to  pay out more  than the                                                               
maximum.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX clarified  there were 20,000 reports of  injuries and of                                                               
those,  1,200 a  year  were  those cases  with  a  dispute.   She                                                               
suggested the question  was how many injured  workers settled for                                                               
reemployment benefits.   She answered in FY 17,  148 workers were                                                               
found eligible  for reemployment  benefits.   In the  same fiscal                                                               
year, 164 received settlement funds.   She explained that 44 were                                                               
never  referred  for  an   evaluation  but  settled  reemployment                                                               
benefits; 4  settled reemployment  benefits before  an evaluation                                                               
was completed; 36  were found not eligible but  still settled for                                                               
reemployment benefits; 23 were found  eligible and settled before                                                               
developing a  plan; 43 agreed to  a plan and then  settled before                                                               
the plan  was approved; and  14 had  a plan approved  and settled                                                               
and exited  the system.   She added  the division had  no control                                                               
over settlements.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  said  it  sounds  like  most  people  were                                                               
settling for a cash settlement.   He suggested the number offered                                                               
in  the  amendment  would inspire  more  to  settle  reemployment                                                               
benefits.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  said no, because  under HB  303 injured workers  can no                                                               
longer  settle for  a lump  sum.   She added  the amount  was not                                                               
intended to cover more than retraining costs.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:49:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES said  she was  hearing there  would be  no                                                               
more permanent partial disability benefits.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX clarified  the proposed bill was not  intended to affect                                                               
an injured workers' ability to settle non-reemployment benefits.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked whether the money  received would only                                                               
be  used for  retraining  purposes  and how  the  money would  be                                                               
disbursed to the individual.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  said that when the  money is paid through  a plan there                                                               
is accountability.   She  specified that  with a  settlement, the                                                               
department is no longer involved.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked about  the cash settlement for training                                                               
and whether that could be taken and not applied to training.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said that currently that was not an option.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. TUSTEN added that plan  expenses are paid as incurred through                                                               
reimbursement  and are  not  simply handed  over  to the  injured                                                               
worker.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO asked for a roll call vote on Amendment 1                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representative Josephson  voted in                                                               
favor of  Amendment 1.   Representatives  Sullivan-Leonard, Wool,                                                               
Stutes,  Birch,  Knopp,  Stutes,   and  Kito  voted  against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 6-1.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:54:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON moved to adopt Amendment 2, labeled 30-                                                                
GH2709\A.2, Wallace, 2/21/18, which read as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 12, lines 21 - 26:                                                                                                    
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        * Sec. 15. AS 23.30.041(q) is amended to read:                                                                        
          "(q)  Notwithstanding AS 23.30.012, after medical                                                                     
     stability  has  been  determined and  a  physician  has                                                                    
     predicted  that  the  employee  may  have  a  permanent                                                                    
     impairment  that   may  cause  the  employee   to  have                                                                    
     permanent physical  capacities that  are less  than the                                                                    
     physical demands of  the employee's job at  the time of                                                                    
     injury,  and,  upon  approval  of  the  board  and  the                                                                
     assigned  rehabilitation  specialist, an  employee  may                                                                
     waive  any  benefits  or  rights  under  this  section,                                                                    
     including  an   eligibility  evaluation   and  benefits                                                                    
     related to  a reemployment plan. To  waive any benefits                                                                    
     or rights under  this section, an employee  must file a                                                                    
     statement under  oath with the  division to  notify the                                                                    
     parties  of the  waiver  and to  specify  the scope  of                                                                    
     benefits or  rights that the  employee seeks  to waive.                                                                    
     The statement must be on  a form prescribed or approved                                                                    
     by the  director. The division  shall serve  the notice                                                                    
     of waiver  on all parties  to the claim within  10 days                                                                    
     after filing. The waiver is  effective upon approval of                                                                
     the  board and  the assigned  rehabilitation specialist                                                                
     [SERVICE TO  THE PARTY]. A waiver  effective under this                                                                    
     subsection  discharges the  liability  of the  employer                                                                    
     for the  benefits or rights contained  in this section.                                                                    
     The waiver may not be modified under AS 23.30.130."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                      
          Delete "repealed and reenacted"                                                                                       
          Insert "amended"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  explained that Amendment 2  would allow                                                               
for settlement  of all  benefits and would  require the  board to                                                               
find  settlement  is  in  the   worker's  best  interest  in  all                                                               
circumstances.    He underlined  that in  current law there  is a                                                               
presumption that settling  is not in the  worker's best interest.                                                               
He said  that some injured  workers use the  lump sum to  start a                                                               
new business or pay medical bills.   He said he was concerned the                                                               
proposed bill would leave the worker less well off.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO maintained his objection.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representative Josephson  voted in                                                               
favor  of  Amendment 2.    Representatives  Wool, Stutes,  Birch,                                                               
Knopp, Sullivan-Leonard,  and Kito voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 6-1.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:58:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON moved to adopt Amendment 3, labeled 30-                                                                
GH2709\A.3, Wallace, 2/20/18, which read as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 12, following line 31:                                                                                                
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 17. AS 23.30.041(r)(7) is amended to read:                                                                  
               (7)  "remunerative employability" means                                                                          
     having   the  skills   that  allow   a  worker   to  be                                                                    
     compensated with wages or  other earnings equivalent to                                                                    
     at least 75  [60] percent of the  worker's gross hourly                                                                
     wages  at the  time  of injury;  if  the employment  is                                                                    
     outside the state, the stated  75 [60] percent shall be                                                                
     adjusted  to account  for  the  difference between  the                                                                    
     applicable  state average  weekly wage  and the  Alaska                                                                    
     average weekly wage."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 4:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 17"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
      Page 16, line 5:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 19"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 20"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 6:                                                                                                           
          Delete "17, and 19"                                                                                                   
          Insert "18, and 20"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 12:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 17"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
          Delete "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 19"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 14:                                                                                                          
          Delete "17, and 18"                                                                                                   
          Insert "18, and 19"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 23:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 17"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
          Delete "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 19"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 24:                                                                                                          
          Delete "17, and 18"                                                                                                   
          Insert "18, and 19"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 26:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 17"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 16, line 27:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 17"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 18"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:58:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  explained Amendment  3.  He  stated the                                                               
proposed  bill would  determine a  benefit of  60 percent  of the                                                               
injured  employee's wage.    He said  the  goal for  remunerative                                                               
employment would be 75 percent in Amendment 3.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  said he would  support Amendment 3  but for                                                               
the  fact that  the employee  might be  comfortable with  the job                                                               
type.  He  said he was not  sure how the amendment  would work if                                                               
the employee sought to be trained in a different job.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  responded he  feels the  targets should                                                               
be more ambitious than 60 percent of the prevailing wage.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked if Amendment  3 would create  a target                                                               
for when the individual returns to work.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:03:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  said that  60 percent is  the target for  a plan.   She                                                               
gave the  example of someone  working on the North  Slope earning                                                               
$68 per  hour.  She  remarked finding an  entry level job  at $68                                                               
per hour is difficult to accomplish.   She underlined that due to                                                               
the problem,  workers are allowed  to enter plans that  are lower                                                               
than 60 percent.   She added that changing the  target 75 percent                                                               
would mean fewer plans would be approved.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  whether there  is a  preponderance of                                                               
North Slope employees in the program.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX said  that  heavy  jobs such  as  North  Slope work  or                                                               
nursing  do build  up a  lot of  overtime and  the amounts  to be                                                               
considered can be quite high.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. TUSTEN  reiterated that 75  percent would put  retraining for                                                               
other jobs out of reach for most workers.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  asked how  the  60  percent  amount was  arrived  at                                                               
initially.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX deferred to Ms. Tusten.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. TUSTEN stated she did not know.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representative Josephson  voted in                                                               
favor  of Amendment  3.   Representatives  Stutes, Knopp,  Birch,                                                               
Sullivan-Leonard, Wool,  and Kito voted  against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 3 failed a vote of 6-1.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:08:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  advised that  Amendment 4 would  not be                                                               
offered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:09:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON moved to  adopt Amendment 5, labeled 30-                                                               
GH2709\A.4, Wallace, 2/21/18, which read as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 28, following "subsection.":                                                                              
          Insert "However, if the board determines that                                                                     
     benefits  under  this  section  should  not  have  been                                                                
     denied, the  board may  award the  stipend compensation                                                                
     that  would  have  been paid  but  for  the  employer's                                                                
     controversion and  the award may include  more than one                                                                
     year of stipend compensation  for the period before the                                                                
     date of plan approval."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOSEPHSON   spoke   to   appeals   of   workers'                                                               
compensation  claims.    He  gave  the example  of  the  case  of                                                               
Branchflower v.  Anchorage School District and  said the decision                                                               
had been  that the  employee had been  wrongfully denied  a claim                                                               
and had remained  without benefits due to  the erroneous decision                                                               
made  by an  insurance company.   He  explained that  Amendment 5                                                               
would prevent such a circumstance.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:11:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX said  she  had just  received Amendment  5  and so  was                                                               
neither for nor against it.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  asked  whether  the  scenario  he  had                                                               
described is possible.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX  said that if  an injured  worker is found  not eligible                                                               
and successfully appeals, they would  not have been paid benefits                                                               
in the  interim period as  they were not  approved.  She  said HB                                                               
303 limits benefits  before a plan is approved to  one year.  She                                                               
specified HB  303 would not  provide for a retroactive  lump sum.                                                               
She added  current law  provides for two  years of  biweekly wage                                                               
benefits.  She  added that the benefits would  continue until the                                                               
issue  is  resolved.   She  said  the  injured worker  could  get                                                               
benefits retroactively.   She suggested providing a  lump sum was                                                               
a policy  call.  She reiterated  that the department had  not had                                                               
time to examine the impacts of the amendment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:14:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked whether  the employee can  appeal the                                                               
board and  beyond that  to the  insurance company  and on  to the                                                               
superior court.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX answered  that every  decision can  be appealed  to the                                                               
[Alaska  Workers'  Compensation]  Appeals Commission  and  beyond                                                               
that to the Alaska Supreme Court.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  whether, if  it were  determined the                                                               
board  had erred  in  its  decision, the  court  could award  the                                                               
compensation amount in Amendment 5.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX answered  that the division had not had  time to examine                                                               
the impacts of Amendment 5.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:16:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked whether  the  injured  worker who  is                                                               
denied  and then  awarded compensation  would get  less than  the                                                               
amount that the Amendment would compensate.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  said the  intent  of  Amendment  5  appeared to  be  a                                                               
retroactive lump sum for the  time without benefits.  She pointed                                                               
out "the clock is not ticking yet" during an appeals process.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked what the  benefit would be  during the                                                               
appeals process.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARX  answered there  is  no  benefit  unless an  appeal  is                                                               
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether  an injured  worker  who  is                                                               
denied  benefits   would  get  nothing   unless  the   appeal  is                                                               
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:19:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said  that under the current law a  worker who is denied                                                               
benefits does not  receive compensation.  She added  the issue is                                                               
what happens  in the  time of the  appeal.  She  said there  is a                                                               
one-year limit  before a plan  is approved, and a  two-year limit                                                               
from when the plan is approved.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked what  would  happen  if the  appeal                                                               
takes three  years.  She  surmised she would receive  nothing for                                                               
the three years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARX said the time limit is always two years for a plan.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  suggested an  appeal takes three  years to                                                               
determine, and the limit is two years.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO said that it seems  this is an issue that was                                                               
not  addressed  when  the  House   Rules  Committee  brought  the                                                               
proposed bill forward.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO maintained his objection.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:23:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Josephson  and                                                               
Stutes voted  in favor  of Amendment  5.   Representatives Knopp,                                                               
Sullivan-Leonard, Wool,  and Kito voted  against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 5 failed by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:24:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON stated  his concerns with the  bill.  He                                                               
gave  examples  of  workers who  were  not  awarded  reemployment                                                               
benefits.   He  said  he  did not  think  the  proposed bill  was                                                               
ungenerous but could be a better bill.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:28:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  commented she felt the  bill was                                                               
good and would help the workers' compensation process.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:29:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved to report  HB 303 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  added,   "We  will  make  sure   that  we  authorize                                                               
Legislative Legal  [and Research] Services to  make any technical                                                               
and  conforming   changes  as   necessary  to  comply   with  the                                                               
legislative drafting manual."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:30:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
5:30 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB303 A.1.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 A.2.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 A.3.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB303 A.4.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 303
HB346 Ver D.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 346
HB 340 Sectional Analysis 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 340
HB 340 Ver A 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 340
HB 340 Transmittal Letter 2.13.18.PDF HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 340
HB340 Fiscal Note DCCED-DBS 2.2.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 340
HB 341 Sectional Analysis 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 341
HB 341 ver A 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 341
HB 341 Transmittal Letter 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 341
HB 341 Hearing Request 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 341
HB 342 Transmittal Letter 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 342
HB 342 Hearing Request 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 342
HB 342 ver A 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 342
HB 342 Sectional Analysis 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 342
HB 343 Transmittal Letter 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 343
HB 343 ver A 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 343
HB343 Fiscal Note DCCED-DBS 1.24.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 343
HB 343 Sectional 2.13.18.pdf HL&C 2/23/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 343