Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

03/15/2021 06:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
06:53:10 PM Start
06:54:45 PM HB100
07:50:08 PM HB132
08:46:43 PM HB45
09:37:17 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Alaska Workers' Compensation Board|| Board of Chiropractic Examiners
09:38:32 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
*+ HB 100 EXTEND WORKFORCE INVEST BOARD ALLOCATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ HB 132 SCHOOL APPRENTICESHIP PROGS; TAX CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 45 WORKERS' COMP. AND CONTAGIOUS DISEASES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
- Alaska Worker's Compensation Board
- Board of Chiropractic Examiners
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 15, 2021                                                                                         
                           6:53 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair (via teleconference)                                                                       
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Calvin Schrage                                                                                                   
Representative Liz Snyder                                                                                                       
Representative David Nelson                                                                                                     
Representative James Kaufman                                                                                                    
Representative Ken McCarty                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 100                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  allocations of  funding  for  the  Alaska                                                               
Workforce  Investment  Board;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 132                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to  technical  education and  apprenticeships;                                                               
relating to  concurrent vocational  education, training,  and on-                                                               
the-job  trade  experience  programs  for  students  enrolled  in                                                               
public secondary schools; relating  to child labor; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 45                                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to presumption  of compensability  for workers'                                                               
compensation   claims  related   to   contagious  diseases;   and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Workers' Compensation Board                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Branson Frye - Anchorage                                                                                                   
     Christina Gilbert - Juneau                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Board of Chiropractic Examiners                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Brian Larson - Soldotna                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 100                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXTEND WORKFORCE INVEST BOARD ALLOCATIONS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WOOL                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/15/21       (H)       LABOR & COMMERCE AT 6:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 132                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL APPRENTICESHIP PROGS; TAX CREDITS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/10/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/10/21       (H)       L&C, EDC, FIN                                                                                          
03/15/21       (H)       LABOR & COMMERCE AT 6:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 45                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: WORKERS' COMP. AND CONTAGIOUS DISEASES                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): JOSEPHSON                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/05/21       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/05/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/05/21       (H)       MINUTES(L&C)                                                                                           
03/15/21       (H)       LABOR & COMMERCE AT 6:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM WOOL                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, introduced HB 100.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ASHLEY CARRICK, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   On behalf  of  Representative Wool,  prime                                                             
sponsor  of HB  100,  provided a  PowerPoint presentation  titled                                                               
"Technical Vocational Education  Program (TVEP) Re-Authorization,                                                               
House Bill 100."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PATSY WESTCOTT, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Employment and Training Services                                                                                    
Department of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  of  HB 100,  answered                                                             
questions related to the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TERI COTHREN, Associate Vice President                                                                                          
Workforce Development                                                                                                           
University of Alaska (UA)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  the hearing of  HB 100,  provided a                                                             
PowerPoint presentation  titled "University of  Alaska, Technical                                                               
Vocational  Education  Program,"  dated  3/15/21,  and  supported                                                               
reauthorization of TVEP.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LOUISE DEAN, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Alaska Workforce Investment Board                                                                                               
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD)                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  of  HB 100,  answered                                                             
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOHN HAKALA, State Director                                                                                                     
Office of Apprenticeship                                                                                                        
US Department of Labor                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During the  hearing of HB  132, recommended                                                             
three wording changes in the bill.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BRAD AUSTIN, Training Coordinator & Instructor                                                                                  
Local Union 262                                                                                                                 
Plumbers and Pipefitters                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing of HB 132, described his                                                             
union's school-to-apprenticeship program.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MARI SELLE, Director                                                                                                            
Workforce Development                                                                                                           
Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA)                                                                                          
South Central Alaska Health Education Center (SCAHEC)                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 132.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KYLE KAISER, Electrical Entry Program                                                                                           
Membership & Development Lead                                                                                                   
Local 1547                                                                                                                      
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)                                                                          
President & Founder                                                                                                             
Veteran Internships Providing Employment Readiness (VIPER)                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 132.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JEFF LIBBY, Director                                                                                                            
Center of Strategic Partnership and Research (CaSPR)                                                                            
Director                                                                                                                        
Applied Environmental Research Center (AERC)                                                                                    
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  of  HB 132,  provided                                                             
testimony about the work the  University of Alaska has been doing                                                               
to support the national initiative for workforce development.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY JOSEPHSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   As  prime  sponsor of  HB  45, provided  a                                                             
refresher about the bill's provisions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ELISE SORUM-BIRK, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    On behalf  of  Representative  Josephson,                                                             
prime sponsor of  HB 45, provided answers to  questions that were                                                               
posed by  committee members  during the  bill's first  hearing on                                                               
3/5/21.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES COLLINS, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Workers' Compensation                                                                                               
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD)                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  45,  answered                                                             
questions related to the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
JAKE METCALFE, Executive Director                                                                                               
Local 52                                                                                                                        
Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA)                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 45.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES STEWART, Chair                                                                                                          
Local 52 Probation and Parole Officers                                                                                          
Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA)                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 45.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PAUL MIRANDA, President                                                                                                         
Alaska Professional Firefighters                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 45.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:53:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  IVY  SPOHNHOLZ  called  the House  Labor  and  Commerce                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    6:53   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Kaufman,   McCarty,  Nelson,   Schrage,  Snyder,                                                               
Fields (via  teleconference), and  Spohnholz were present  at the                                                               
call to order.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        HB 100-EXTEND WORKFORCE INVEST BOARD ALLOCATIONS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:54:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ announced  that the  first order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 100, "An Act relating  to allocations of                                                               
funding for the Alaska Workforce  Investment Board; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:56:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ADAM WOOL,  Alaska  State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor,  introduced HB  100.   He  specified that  HB 100  would                                                               
reauthorize  the Technical  Vocational  Education Program  (TVEP)                                                               
for another three  years until 2024.  He explained  that TVEP was                                                               
established  in  2000 to  utilize  0.16  percent of  unemployment                                                               
charge  receipts  to  provide  grants  to  career  and  technical                                                               
education providers  across the state.   In the past  the program                                                               
has distributed  an average  of about $12  million.   The program                                                               
impacts  thousands  of  students by  offering  industry  specific                                                               
training  opportunities  that  help  Alaskans  get  the  work  in                                                               
industries such  as fishing, mining,  aviation, health  care, and                                                               
others.   Program  recipients include  the University  of Alaska,                                                               
the  Alaska Vocational  Technical  Center,  the Alaska  Technical                                                               
Center, and Ilisagvik College on the  North Slope.  This list has                                                               
been unchanged  since 2014.  He  noted that because the  [Labor &                                                               
Workforce  Development] Finance  Subcommittee recently  went over                                                               
this, some  of the  newer committee members  who didn't  hear the                                                               
bill last year have now heard some of it.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:58:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ASHLEY  CARRICK, Staff,  Representative Adam  Wool, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Wool,  sponsor of  HB
100,  provided   a  PowerPoint  presentation   titled  "Technical                                                               
Vocational Education Program  (TVEP) Re-Authorization, House Bill                                                               
100."   She reiterated Representative Wool's  statement regarding                                                               
the [subcommittee]  having talked  a bit  about the  TVEP program                                                               
from the  Department of Labor  & Workforce Development's  side of                                                               
things  during   the  Labor   &  Workforce   Development  Finance                                                               
Subcommittee  meeting last  week.    She said  today  will be  an                                                               
overview of the program, primarily  regarding its impact and what                                                               
the program actually does for the recipients.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK began  with slide  2, "TVEP  Program History."   She                                                               
stated that TVEP was established  under AS 23.15.830 and TVEP was                                                               
created  in 2000.   This  program  provides noncompetitive  grant                                                               
assistance to  education entities  in Alaska that  are delivering                                                               
specific vocational and technical training  across the state.  In                                                               
2014,  she continued,  the legislature  increased  the amount  of                                                               
funds used for  TVEP from 0.15 percent  of unemployment insurance                                                               
receipts to the current amount of  0.16 percent.  She said HB 100                                                               
would provide reauthorization until fiscal year 2024 (FY 24).                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK   addressed  slide   3,  "Types  of   Training  TVEP                                                               
Recipients  Offer."   She said  some of  the training  offered by                                                               
TVEP recipients  includes aviation, fisheries,  and construction,                                                               
industries  thought   of  as   being  technical   and  vocational                                                               
training.  Also included is  training in renewable energy, health                                                               
care, information technology, and others.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK   turned  to  slide   4,  "How  TVEP   Funding  Gets                                                               
Distributed."  She said the main  takeaway from the chart on this                                                               
slide is  that the 0.16  percent for  TVEP is allocated  from the                                                               
unemployment  insurance  (UI) taxable  wage  base.   Each  year's                                                               
allocation to recipients is set by statute.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARRICK moved  to slide 5, "TVEP Recipients Over  Time."  She                                                               
pointed out  that TVEP recipients  have changed over time.   When                                                               
the program  was first  introduced in  2000 the  three recipients                                                               
were  the University  of Alaska,  Kotzebue  Training Center,  and                                                               
Alaska  Vocational  Technical Center.    Added  in 2001  was  the                                                               
Galena Project  Education Training Center, eventually  called the                                                               
Galena  Interior  Learning  Academy.   Added  in  2004  were  the                                                               
Southwest  Alaska  Vocational  Education   Center  and  the  Yuut                                                               
Elitnaurviat, Inc., People's Learning Center.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARRICK  displayed slide  6 and continued  her review  of the                                                               
TVEP  recipients over  time. She  said four  new recipients  were                                                               
added in 2008: Partners for  Progress Delta, Amundsen Educational                                                               
Center, Northwestern Alaska Career  and Technical Center, and the                                                               
University of Alaska  Southeast (UAS).  The  contribution to UAS,                                                               
she  noted, was  for a  brief  period, partially  because UAS  is                                                               
actually in the Community Campus System.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:02:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK showed  slide  7, "Current  TVEP  Recipients."   She                                                               
specified that  the current TVEP recipients  were reauthorized in                                                               
2014, which was when Ilisagvik College  was added for a 5 percent                                                               
allocation.  The  program was reauthorized in 2017  with the same                                                               
10 recipients.  She noted that  the location of the recipients is                                                               
provided on the  left-hand side of the slide and  shows that they                                                               
cover a  wide range  of Alaska's regions.   She  highlighted that                                                               
the University  of Alaska distributes  its 45  percent allocation                                                               
statewide.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARRICK discussed  slide 8, "TVEP Distributions."   She noted                                                               
that  the   FY  21  governor's   amended  distribution   is  what                                                               
recipients  expected  to  receive  last  year  when  the  initial                                                               
distribution list  was put out.   The red column,  she continued,                                                               
is the  FY 21  COVID revised distribution,  which was  revised in                                                               
June 2020  and was based  on the  draw from unemployment,  so the                                                               
0.16 percent was  impacted.  The blue column  was updated 1/11/21                                                               
and reflects  a trend  upward in  the FY 21  numbers; it  is what                                                               
recipients  will  ultimately  have  received for  FY  21  if  the                                                               
supplemental budget  passes this year.   The far-right  column is                                                               
the proposed  FY 22 distribution,  which was revised  on 3/11/21,                                                               
not 3/11/20  as depicted on the  slide.  This is  what recipients                                                               
should  be able  to expect  this  coming fiscal  year should  the                                                               
program be reauthorized.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:04:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN stated  that  the years  and numbers  are                                                               
different in  his committee  packet than what  are on  the slides                                                               
being presented.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARRICK  replied that there was  an update to that  chart and                                                               
to the presentation, which she will get to him.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY asked  what  the number  of employees  is                                                               
each year that this calculation is based on.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK deferred  to [the  Department of  Labor &  Workforce                                                               
Development] to answer the question.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:05:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATSY  WESTCOTT, Director,  Division of  Employment and  Training                                                               
Services, Department  of Labor  & Workforce  Development, replied                                                               
she doesn't have the number of  employees in front of her at this                                                               
time, but  said she  would get  back to  the committee  with that                                                               
specific information.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ inquired  whether  Representative McCarty  is                                                               
asking about the total number of workers in the state of Alaska.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  agreed that  that is  what he  is asking.                                                               
He  said 2020  saw a  very  significant reduction  in workers  in                                                               
Alaska with  about 40,000 people,  he believed,  on unemployment.                                                               
With that  in mind, he  asked what the  FY 22 numbers  might look                                                               
like and when those numbers will be known.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WESCOTT confirmed that a decline  was seen in the amount that                                                               
was collected for  TVEP from state FY 20 and  what the department                                                               
estimates state FY 21  to be as a result of  the pandemic and the                                                               
layoffs.   She  said the  estimated  difference is  a decline  of                                                               
about 15.2  percent.   The state  FY 20  allocation for  TVEP was                                                               
slightly  over $13.1  million, and  the estimated  allocation for                                                               
state  FY 21  is  about  $11.1 million.    So,  she continued,  a                                                               
decline   of  about   $2  million   in  the   revenues  collected                                                               
specifically for TVEP, which is a  direct result of the impact of                                                               
the  pandemic and  the  subsequent shutdowns  and  layoffs.   For                                                               
state FY  22, the estimate is  an increase to $12.1  million.  As                                                               
for the number  of employees, she said she would  get back to the                                                               
committee with an answer.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:09:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK  concluded  her presentation  by  stating  that  the                                                               
sponsor's  office is  available  to answer  any  questions.   She                                                               
noted that  the Department of  Labor & Workforce  Development has                                                               
worked  closely with  the sponsor  on helping  with understanding                                                               
the numbers  for the  current distribution as  well as  last year                                                               
being a unique situation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  invited  Ms.  Teri Cothren  to  provide  her                                                               
presentation on HB 100.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:10:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERI  COTHREN, Associate  Vice President,  Workforce Development,                                                               
University  of Alaska  (UA), provided  a PowerPoint  presentation                                                               
titled  "University  of  Alaska, Technical  Vocational  Education                                                               
Program," dated  3/15/21, and supported reauthorization  of TVEP.                                                               
She  began   by  thanking  the   co-chairs  for   providing  this                                                               
opportunity to speak  about this important funding  source to the                                                               
university.     She  further  thanked  Representative   Wool  for                                                               
sponsoring and  introducing HB  100.  She  displayed slide  1 and                                                               
said  her presentation  would  provide: an  overview  of how  the                                                               
university as  one of the  TVEP recipients utilizes  this funding                                                               
source,  some examples  of how  TVEP supports  key industries  in                                                               
Alaska, and the types of graduate outcomes that are produced.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN moved  to  slide  2, "UA  is  the  largest and  most                                                               
comprehensive workforce provider in  Alaska," and stated that the                                                               
University of Alaska is Alaska's  system for higher education and                                                               
includes  three  separately  accredited  universities  that  have                                                               
distinct  missions and  are also  responsible  for the  community                                                               
college mission through 13 community  campuses.  All combined, it                                                               
is the most  comprehensive workforce provider in the  state.  The                                                               
university's programs range from  short-term career and technical                                                               
education  certificates all  the  way to  doctorate degrees,  and                                                               
many of these programs are available statewide.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN turned  to slide 3, "UA TVEP  Process," and explained                                                               
that as a  TVEP recipient the university utilizes its  funds as a                                                               
single  allocation  with  the  UA   system.    She  related  that                                                               
administration of  the program is  through a  competitive request                                                               
for  proposals  (RFP)  or  grant  process  by  the  UA  Workforce                                                               
Development  Committee that  includes  representatives from  each                                                               
university and  the Alaska  Workforce Investment  Board executive                                                               
director.   The  funding is  distributed as  a result  of process                                                               
that is inclusive  of all campuses and programs in  the UA system                                                               
that meets the  funding priorities listed on  the slide: [aligned                                                               
with TVEP  statutes, responsive  to industry,  strategic one-time                                                               
infrastructure/equipment   investments,  develops   and  enhances                                                               
partnerships].     This   process   supports  collaboration   and                                                               
leveraging   resources  to   increase  efficiencies   across  the                                                               
university and  the state, while also  maintaining flexibility to                                                               
be responsive to industry and regional workforce needs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:12:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  discussed the  two pie charts  depicted on  slide 4,                                                               
"UA FY20 TVEP  $5.6M Funding Distribution."  She  stated that the                                                               
FY 20  UA TVEP  allocation supports  high priority  industries in                                                               
Alaska  as depicted  in  the left  chart, from  oil  and gas  and                                                               
mining, along  with fisheries,  maritime, and  health, to  name a                                                               
few.   As  depicted in  the right  chart, funding  is distributed                                                               
across all six economic regions of the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN drew  attention to slide 5, "UA  TVEP FY20 Outcomes."                                                               
She  specified that  TVEP served  over 4,300  students in  FY 20.                                                               
She explained  that the following  slides would  provide specific                                                               
examples of  how TVEP supports  UA's ability to be  responsive to                                                               
Alaska's  high-demand  industries.    She noted  that  for  every                                                               
example given  there are  many more that  could be  shared across                                                               
these programs and  campuses.  She further noted  that while TVEP                                                               
is a  critical funding  source, it  is not  the only  funding the                                                               
university  invests  to  address  the workforce  needs  of  these                                                               
industries.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  showed slide 6, "Oil  & Gas," and reported  that the                                                               
Department  of  Labor  and Workforce  Development,  Research  and                                                               
Analysis,  projects  that  while  the pandemic  has  slowed  some                                                               
employment growth in the oil  and gas sector, long-term growth is                                                               
still likely.   She said TVEP investments that help  meet oil and                                                               
gas  workforce  demand and  benefit  this  industry are  expanded                                                               
access  to fabrication  and 3D  printing to  over 50  engineering                                                               
students annually for  hands-on projects, and access  to over 600                                                               
K-12  students during  the summer  for career  exploration.   The                                                               
university  leases  shop and  classroom  space  at the  Fairbanks                                                               
Pipeline  Training   Center  to  provide  University   of  Alaska                                                               
Fairbanks  (UAF) process  tech students  with the  opportunity to                                                               
work  on  state-of-the-art  equipment.     Also,  the  university                                                               
invests in  well-controlled training  that helps the  industry to                                                               
meet safety  requirements to prevent  blowouts and  promotes safe                                                               
drilling practices.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN   continued  with  slide  6.     Regarding  graduate                                                               
employment outcomes, she said that  this past year the university                                                               
partnered  with  Research  and   Analysis  to  develop  workforce                                                               
reports  that  demonstrate  graduate  outcomes  across  nine  key                                                               
industries.   The graduate employment data  in this presentation,                                                               
she continued,  are from  those reports.   She drew  attention to                                                               
the  three program  areas highlighted  on the  slide that  are in                                                               
high  demand   and  important  to   the  oil  and   gas  industry                                                               
[engineering,  process   tech,  welding].     For   example,  she                                                               
reported,  90 percent  of the  process tech  graduates find  work                                                               
within a year of graduating  and have impressively high earnings,                                                               
nearly $74,000 within their first  year and more than $130,000 by                                                               
their  fifth year.    It  was also  found  that  93.5 percent  of                                                               
working graduates  are Alaska residents compared  to 70.9 percent                                                               
for all oil and gas workers.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:15:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  requested Ms. Cothren  to give examples  of a                                                               
process tech degree and a process tech career.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN  replied  that  the actual  name  is  "Process  Tech                                                               
Degree" and it has occupational  endorsements that are short term                                                               
and all  the way to a  two-year associate degree.   Many of those                                                               
graduates work  directly in the  oil and gas industry,  she said,                                                               
for example at some of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline pump stations.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked what a process tech does.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  responded by  saying, "Imagine a  lot of  levers and                                                               
pipes,  and it's  about  moving those  through  and managing  the                                                               
pressure levels and keeping things  flowing."  Responding further                                                               
to Co-Chair Spohnholz,  she confirmed there are a  lot of process                                                               
techs working on the pipeline.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ invited  Representative Kaufman  to elaborate                                                               
on the aforementioned.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  said it's  all the  things that  a person                                                               
must  do to  maintain  control  of the  process.    In a  typical                                                               
process   there  is   everything  from   pressure,  flow   rates,                                                               
temperature, he  explained.  Someone  helping to control  that is                                                               
engaging  in manipulating  the various  control devices,  many of                                                               
which are now  automated, so a process tech is  dealing with that                                                               
and keeping the process running.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:18:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY requested  Ms.  Cothren to  differentiate                                                               
between degree and certification.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN answered  that occupational endorsement certification                                                               
(OEC) is often a year or less, and  a degree is the next level up                                                               
of a certificate or Associates degree.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  inquired  whether Ms.  Cothren  is  also                                                               
referring to a bachelor's degree or higher.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN replied correct.  She  explained that an OEC would be                                                               
the first step  in any of the university's degree  pathways.  The                                                               
next step  would be a  certificate, then Associates  degree, then                                                               
Bachelor's degree, and then on to a graduate program.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  asked  about the  percentages  of  where                                                               
students  are  ending  their  training;  for  example,  what  the                                                               
percentages  are for  students  earning a  bachelor's degree,  an                                                               
associate's degree, and so on.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN responded  she  would get  that  information to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ interjected  that  the university  absolutely                                                               
tracks all that information.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  resumed her  presentation.   She displayed  slide 7,                                                               
"Health,"  and  said  the  Department   of  Labor  and  Workforce                                                               
Development,  Research and  Analysis,  projects  that the  health                                                               
care sector,  an already large  industry, will grow at  twice the                                                               
rate of the economy  overall by 2028.  To help  meet the needs in                                                               
health  care, she  stated, TVEP  investments have  contributed to                                                               
upgrades in  technology that are  shared across  health programs.                                                               
These investments  have also  contributed to  program development                                                               
or  expansion  in both  urban  and  rural communities,  including                                                               
expanded access  to nursing  programs through  distance delivery.                                                               
In addition, TVEP  investment has contributed to  an expansion of                                                               
hands-on experience through community  and practicum placement of                                                               
UA   health  science   students  that   enhances  the   students'                                                               
educational experience, connects them  with industry partners for                                                               
employment  opportunities,  and increases  their  competitiveness                                                               
for  graduate programs  in  high demand  health  careers such  as                                                               
pharmacy and physician assistants.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN continued addressing slide  7.  She said the graduate                                                               
employment  outcomes  highlight  three  program  areas  that  are                                                               
important  to the  health care  industry  [certified nurse  aide,                                                               
dental assistant, nursing].   The Certified Nurse  Aide (CNA) can                                                               
be completed in six weeks,  providing a short path to employment.                                                               
This  also  provides a  pathway  to  continue towards  a  nursing                                                               
degree that  could increase the student's  earning potential from                                                               
$33,000 to  over $50,000, and  nearly $70,000 with five  years of                                                               
experience.   Out of  the 31 clinical  health programs  listed in                                                               
the Health Workforce Report, more  than 82 percent are working in                                                               
Alaska within a year of graduating.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN  presented slide  8,  "Aviation,"  and related  that                                                               
Research and Analysis  projects a decline of less  than 2 percent                                                               
in  jobs in  the  aviation sector,  but  vacancies will  continue                                                               
within the  6,000-plus jobs needed  by 2028.   She said  the TVEP                                                               
investments benefitting  the aviation industry  include equipment                                                               
and technology  upgrades, along with the  development of distance                                                               
delivery  aviation maintenance  instruction.   Online instruction                                                               
provides students  in remote locations around  Alaska with access                                                               
to the foundational  knowledge required to become  certified as a                                                               
Federal Aviation Administration mechanic.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN continued speaking to slide  8.  She pointed out that                                                               
the  graduate employment  outcomes show  strong wage  growth -  a                                                               
jump of nearly  40 percent by year five  for aviation maintenance                                                               
graduates  and  53 percent  wage  growth  for those  in  aviation                                                               
administration.   As  it  takes  time for  pilots  to earn  their                                                               
different  ratings,  the  university anticipates  a  larger  wage                                                               
growth over time; for example,  commercial pilots with experience                                                               
have  an earning  potential of  $89,000 and  beyond as  they gain                                                               
more experience.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  moved to slide  9, "Aviation  Simulation Equipment,"                                                               
and noted  that the three  photos show examples of  TVEP aviation                                                               
investment in  equipment upgrades.   She said the top  left photo                                                               
is a  professional piloting student practicing  instrument flying                                                               
in one  of the two  Redbird simulators  that TVEP helped  fund at                                                               
the  University of  Alaska  Anchorage  (UAA) Aviation  Technology                                                               
Center.   The  top right  photo is  of a  student and  instructor                                                               
approaching  Merrill Field  to land  in  one of  the TVEP  funded                                                               
aircraft in  UAA's professional piloting program.   Regarding the                                                               
bottom  photo,  she  stated  that TVEP  helped  upgrade  the  air                                                               
traffic control  technology that  provides students  cutting edge                                                               
experience  to  prepare  them for  the  rigorous  four-month-long                                                               
certification  test  at  the  Federal  Aviation  Administration's                                                               
facility in Oklahoma City.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN proceeded  to slide 10, "Mining,"  and specified that                                                               
the Department  of Labor and Workforce  Development, Research and                                                               
Analysis, projects the  mining industry to grow by  28 percent by                                                               
2028.    To  help  meet  the  workforce  needs  in  mining,  TVEP                                                               
investments have contributed to the  delivery of hard skills mine                                                               
training  camps  at  the only  all-encompassing  underground  and                                                               
surface mine training camp in  the world through UAF's Mining and                                                               
Petroleum Training Service.  Also,  TVEP investment has supported                                                               
several upgrades to equipment.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN continued addressing slide  10.  She related that the                                                               
graduate  employment  outcomes   highlight  three  program  areas                                                               
important  to  the mining  industry:    mining operators,  [power                                                               
technology], and geological sciences.   The graduate outcomes for                                                               
the 44  programs evaluated  in mining showed  an average  of 92.7                                                               
percent  of working  graduates are  Alaska residents  compared to                                                               
65.3  percent for  all mining  workers.   The data  clearly shows                                                               
that  hiring   UA  graduates  significantly  boosts   the  Alaska                                                               
residency rate  within the  mining industry.   On  average, fifth                                                               
year  wages are  higher than  the average  Alaska wage  of nearly                                                               
$60,000.   Looking at the wage  outcomes from all 44  programs in                                                               
the mining  report, on average  the wages exceed $104,000  by the                                                               
fifth year of employment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:25:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN moved  to slide 11, "Fisheries,  Seafood & Maritime."                                                               
According to Research  and Analysis, she said,  by 2028 fisheries                                                               
is expected  to grow by 8  percent, seafood by 37.2  percent, and                                                               
the maritime industry is projected to  decrease by 1 percent.  To                                                               
help  meet   the  workforce  needs  of   these  industries,  TVEP                                                               
investments  have  contributed  to partnering  with  industry  to                                                               
train seafood processors for  direct employment, maritime program                                                               
development  and expansion  aligning to  industry standards,  and                                                               
upgrading  Ketchikan  campus's  maritime bridge  simulator  to  a                                                               
state-of-the-art whole mission simulator.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN continued  with slide  11.   Regarding the  graduate                                                               
employment outcomes,  she shared  that, overall,  in the  past 10                                                               
years  the fisheries  programs have  produced  975 graduates  for                                                               
jobs  in fisheries,  marine  biology,  oceanography, and  natural                                                               
resource management.   On  average, 94.1  percent of  the working                                                               
graduates are Alaska  residents compared to 66.3  percent for all                                                               
workers in fisheries and marine science.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN explained  that  the photo  on  slide 12,  "Maritime                                                               
Bridge  Simulator and  Student Success,"  is of  the full-mission                                                               
simulator in  the UAS  Ketchikan Maritime  Training Center.   She                                                               
said  the quote  on the  slide is  a Facebook  post by  a current                                                               
student who  had just completed her  U.S. Coast Guard class.   In                                                               
her post  she points  out the capabilities  of the  new simulator                                                               
being able to provide a variety of hands-on experiences.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  spoke to  slide 13,  "Information Technology."   She                                                               
stated that  TVEP investments to  support the workforce  needs of                                                               
the  information technology  (IT) industry  include computer  lab                                                               
upgrades  to  provide  virtual   or  remote  access  to  increase                                                               
students'  hands-on experience,  and  revamp  curriculum to  meet                                                               
industry  needs   and  enhance  employment  in   high  demand  IT                                                               
occupations.  Regarding graduate  employment outcomes, she stated                                                               
that more than  80 percent of computer  and networking technology                                                               
graduates work in Alaska one  year following graduation.  Because                                                               
IT  occupations support  many industries  across  the state,  she                                                               
said it was interesting to find  that 44 percent of the graduates                                                               
are working in the public administration sector.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN  displayed  slide  14,  "IT  Student  Success,"  and                                                               
related the  success story of  UAF Community &  Technical College                                                               
(CTC)  IT  Specialist Program  graduate  Stephanie  Harvey.   Ms.                                                               
Harvey is  now an  IT Specialist instructor  for the  program and                                                               
recently received industry recognition for her work by Cisco.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:30:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN turned  to slide  15, "Construction,"  and specified                                                               
that the Department of Labor  and Workforce Development, Research                                                               
and Analysis, projects the construction  industry to grow by 10.7                                                               
percent  by  2028.   To  help  meet the  construction  industry's                                                               
workforce needs,  TVEP investments  have contributed  to updating                                                               
the  apprenticeship  technology  degrees for  UAA's  Community  &                                                               
Technical College to be more  accessible through online delivery.                                                               
Also, TVEP  has supported upgrades  in equipment and  helped fund                                                               
hands-on  training through  the  UAS  Construction Program  which                                                               
partners  with the  Juneau Housing  Trust and  the Juneau  School                                                               
District to  design and construct  homes for  low-income families                                                               
in the Juneau area.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN continued with slide  15 and stated that the graduate                                                               
employment  outcomes  highlighted   in  the  construction  report                                                               
include   [carpentry,   civil   engineering,   and   construction                                                               
management].   Over  the past  10 years,  she said,  nearly 2,000                                                               
graduates have been trained in  programs leading to employment in                                                               
carpentry,  heavy  truck   and  equipment  driving,  construction                                                               
management,  welding,  civil  engineering, and  surveying.    The                                                               
average wages are $70,000 within five years of graduation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN   proceeded  to  slide  16,   "Construction  Student                                                               
Success," and shared  the story of Jessica  Senter, who graduated                                                               
in 2020  with a B.S.  in Construction  Management from UAA.   She                                                               
related that Ms.  Senter started her job as  an assistant project                                                               
manager the semester prior to graduation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN moved  to slide 17 and concluded  her presentation by                                                               
stating  that  the University  of  Alaska  strongly supports  the                                                               
reauthorization  of TVEP  (HB 100)  to provide  a stable  funding                                                               
source  to address  Alaska's workforce  needs.   Specific to  the                                                               
current  time, she  said,  TVEP is  critical  in helping  support                                                               
Alaska's  economic  recovery.    As  seen  by  the  examples  she                                                               
provided, TVEP  funds short-term  career and  technical education                                                               
programs  which  serve  the  workforce   needs  of  Alaska's  key                                                               
industries  and will  help re-skill  and  up-skill Alaskan's  who                                                               
have been displaced  by the pandemic.  Reauthorizing  TVEP for at                                                               
least three  years will provide  some of the stability  needed to                                                               
train Alaskans  for jobs in Alaska  and get them back  to work as                                                               
quickly as possible.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:32:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  inquired about  the process  for deciding                                                               
which training to provide.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  replied that part of  it is looking at  labor market                                                               
information,  such as  some of  the data  she just  reviewed, and                                                               
looking at the  workforce demand analysis that  the Department of                                                               
Labor  & Workforce  Development provides.   The  other part,  she                                                               
continued,  is  having  local   and  regional  conversations  and                                                               
partnerships with  industry to ensure  the university  is meeting                                                               
industry's workforce needs.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:33:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ noted  that the percentage of  TVEP funds that                                                               
have  gone to  the university  has decreased  from a  peak of  63                                                               
percent in 2001 to about 45 percent  now.  She asked how this has                                                               
impacted the university's  allocation of TVEP funds  and what the                                                               
university has been able to do with those funds.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN responded that with  funding the university can train                                                               
more students  and the university  has made use of  those dollars                                                               
as most efficiently  as it can.  As funding  has declined through                                                               
the years  the university has  continued to  try to find  as many                                                               
efficiencies to preserve  the programs directly to  serve as many                                                               
of the  students as it can.   More funding certainly  helps.  The                                                               
university partners with  many of the other  TVEP recipients, and                                                               
it's important to provide that  current type of education funding                                                               
throughout  the state  to have  access  to training  for as  many                                                               
students as possible.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ pointed out that  the TVEP funds also leverage                                                               
many other  funds that the  university is  able to attract.   She                                                               
explained that  in each of  the program areas  highlighted today,                                                               
the university raises  hundreds of thousands or  many millions of                                                               
dollars  every year  in private  sector investment  directly into                                                               
these  programs because  the private  sector also  recognizes the                                                               
value of these  programs.  One of the  largest allocations within                                                               
the university's use  of TVEP funds is for  health careers, which                                                               
has been  one of the  high demand growth  fields in Alaska  for a                                                               
very long time, but the health  sector has also been a very large                                                               
investor  in health  education.   For  example, Alaska  hospitals                                                               
have invested  in nursing  education and  that has  leveraged the                                                               
TVEP funds.  It all comes  together to ensure that Alaska has the                                                               
nurses, physician's  assistants, and  dental hygienists  that the                                                               
state needs to ensure its residents are healthy.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  noted that currently the  smallest allocation                                                               
is to the IT section, which  is a new addition in TVEP allocation                                                               
within the  university.   She requested Ms.  Cothren to  speak to                                                               
how long  the university has been  doing that and where  it might                                                               
go in the future.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  COTHREN answered  that IT  is  a high-demand  area that  the                                                               
university wants to support and  has been supporting through TVEP                                                               
funding  throughout  the years.    The  smaller allocation  isn't                                                               
necessarily by total  design, she noted.  The  university has its                                                               
internal competitive process and  is dependent on those proposals                                                               
being  submitted internally.   She  said  TVEP is  one source  of                                                               
funding, and  other university funds  are being  directed towards                                                               
these workforce programs.  It just  might be that IT is utilizing                                                               
other  sources  and  partnering   with  industry  differently  to                                                               
address those needs.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  shared that  the computer science  program at                                                               
UAA  is  small  when  compared  to  other  programs.    But,  she                                                               
continued, given the  way things are moving it  could be imagined                                                               
there  might  be  some  job   growth  in  that  area  eventually,                                                               
providing opportunity as Alaska diversifies its economy.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:38:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCHRAGE inquired  whether any  of these  programs                                                               
are  accessible off  campus or  whether they  all require  an in-                                                               
person  presence;   for  example,  whether  the   IT  program  is                                                               
accessible from the Bristol Bay campus.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. COTHREN  replied yes, many  of the university's  programs are                                                               
accessible online, particularly now with  the pandemic.  She said                                                               
that   historically  the   university's   career  and   technical                                                               
education  programs have  been much  more hands-on,  but creative                                                               
ways have been  found to deliver online.  For  example, the Kenai                                                               
Peninsula  College through  UAA  used to  have  two locations  of                                                               
delivery for the process tech program    one in Anchorage and one                                                               
in Kenai.   Some efficiency was  found by moving the  program and                                                               
having  many  classes  available  online,  effectively  providing                                                               
delivery from  Kenai and providing  more students with  access to                                                               
that program.  Creative and  flexible lab schedules were provided                                                               
for students to come obtain their hands-on experience in Kenai.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  referred to the Technical  and Vocational                                                               
Education  Program  Report  for  [state  fiscal  year]  2020  and                                                               
requested an explanation of the last  two columns in the chart on                                                               
page 6.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:41:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LOUISE  DEAN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Workforce  Investment                                                               
Board,  Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development  (DOLWD),                                                               
responded that  the TVEP recipients  provide this  information to                                                               
the department  and to Research  and Analysis so that  the report                                                               
can be prepared.   She allowed that  the way it is  reported is a                                                               
bit confusing.  She explained  there is a measurement 1-12 months                                                               
after exit,  so the percentages  show the number  of participants                                                               
who  exited  that  are  employed   one  year  after  exit.    The                                                               
percentages  change as  the length  of  time changes,  such as  6                                                               
months, 7 months, or 12 months.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ stated  that this is somewhat  of a comparison                                                               
of  apples to  oranges because  some of  these programs  are high                                                               
school  programs and  others are  post-secondary, which  accounts                                                               
for some of the difference in terms of the employment numbers.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:43:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY remarked that  being able to differentiate                                                               
between a high school student,  certification student, and degree                                                               
student  would be  helpful.    He then  noted,  as examples,  the                                                               
figures of $80,000  for Partners for Progress and  $30,000 for UA                                                               
and inquired about these numbers.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DEAN answered that she  would get the information and provide                                                               
it to the committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ clarified  that the  TVEP money  goes to  the                                                               
institutions, not the  students.  She explained  that the numbers                                                               
cited by Representative  McCarty are the per pupil  numbers - the                                                               
amount of funds provided to the  program divided by the number of                                                               
students in that program.  For  programs with a smaller number of                                                               
students, the per-pupil investment from TVEP is much higher.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  observed  the current  formula  for  the                                                               
percent of TVEP money received  by each institution.  He inquired                                                               
about  rearranging the  percentages  so  that those  institutions                                                               
good at performing would get more TVEP money.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ replied, "That is why we are here."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:45:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRICK   responded  further  to   Representative  McCarty's                                                               
question.   She drew  attention to  the Galena  Interior Learning                                                               
Academy and its median wage after  exit and pointed out that this                                                               
program  serves a  lot of  high school  students compared  to the                                                               
university or to Ilisagvik College,  which is geared more towards                                                               
adults in  the community.   These numbers have weight  and merit,                                                               
she continued,  but in addition  they are  somewhat correlational                                                               
in the  sense that  TVEP makes up  different proportions  of each                                                               
program's total ability  to provide education.   For example, for                                                               
the University  of Alaska, TVEP  provides a  different proportion                                                               
of  funding for  different  programs in  different  parts of  the                                                               
state; the same is true for  some of the other institutions.  For                                                               
some of  the smaller  institutions TVEP funding  makes up  a very                                                               
large portion  of the  funds they  receive overall  for technical                                                               
education; for others it makes up a smaller percentage.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY stated  it would  be helpful  to see  the                                                               
differentiation of  where the students  are from because  in just                                                               
looking  at the  figures  it appears  that there  needs  to be  a                                                               
realignment of the percentages.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:47:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCHRAGE suggested  that  one thing  which may  be                                                               
causing some  of the disparity  in wages for those  that graduate                                                               
these programs is that some  of the programs are more specialized                                                               
than  others.   The  university  offers a  wide  range of  degree                                                               
programs, he  said, while some  institutions offer  just programs                                                               
that typically have a high wage upon exiting the programs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  noted that the Partners  for Progress Delta,                                                               
[whose graduates earn $80,000 in  wages], seems to be the anomaly                                                               
that's much higher  than the rest.  While some  are low, many are                                                               
in  the $25,000-$40,000  range, he  said,  so he  will look  into                                                               
whether Delta is producing highly specialized graduates.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ stated  that  it is  a  very interesting  and                                                               
important  program in  that  it helps  ensure  that Alaskans  are                                                               
getting hired  in these high  demand, high  compensation careers.                                                               
Alaska  needs people  to be  doing this  work.   It must  also be                                                               
ensured that  the state is making  good use of its  resources and                                                               
currently  the  amount  of  funds   for  TVEP  is  lower  because                                                               
unemployment has  been higher over  the last 12 months,  which is                                                               
going to create additional pressure  moving forward.  However, it                                                               
also underscores  the importance of  this program as  people look                                                               
to make a shift in their  career path as often happens when their                                                               
current  career is  interrupted.   She  thanked  the sponsor  for                                                               
introducing the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[HB 100 was held over.}                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        HB 132-SCHOOL APPRENTICESHIP PROGS; TAX CREDITS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:50:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ announced  that  the next  order of  business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  132  "An  Act relating  to  technical                                                               
education and apprenticeships;  relating to concurrent vocational                                                               
education,  training, and  on-the-job  trade experience  programs                                                               
for students  enrolled in public  secondary schools;  relating to                                                               
child labor; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  noted that  HB  132  is  a House  Labor  and                                                               
Commerce  Standing Committee  bill on  apprenticeship.   She said                                                               
Co-Chair Fields would be introducing the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:50:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS,  on behalf  of  the  House Labor  and  Commerce                                                               
Standing  Committee,  sponsor,  introduced  HB  132,  the  Alaska                                                               
Apprenticeship Expansion Act.  He  stated that the bill's origins                                                               
are  rooted in  the long-standing  success of  apprenticeships in                                                               
Alaska, the  experiences he had  while working in  the Department                                                               
of Labor  & Workforce  Development on  expanding apprenticeships,                                                               
and  on conversations  with Representative  McCarty prior  to the                                                               
representative's  election.    He said  Representative  McCarty's                                                               
election was  a good opportunity to  look at ideas that  could be                                                               
used  to promote  apprenticeship,  he noted.    Last session  the                                                               
legislature  came together  around apprenticeships  through House                                                               
Bill  308, which  strengthened apprenticeships  in the  plumbing,                                                               
pipefitting, and electrical trades.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  said HB 132 would  expand apprenticeships beyond                                                               
the building trades.  He related  that many Alaskans think of the                                                               
traditional construction trades  when they hear "apprenticeship."                                                               
But, he continued, in the US  and around the world there has been                                                               
tremendous  expansion of  apprenticeship  beyond the  traditional                                                               
building trades,  especially in the  last decade.   Expansion has                                                               
been  seen in  insurance,  financial services,  health care,  and                                                               
advanced manufacturing.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS explained that HB  132 would support expansion of                                                               
apprenticeships within traditional sectors  as well as strengthen                                                               
connections  between  Alaska's  career  and  technical  education                                                               
programs  with  school  districts  and  apprenticeship  programs.                                                               
More  graduating seniors  would  have career  options with  post-                                                               
secondary credentials, he said, and  more employers would have an                                                               
identified pipeline of skilled talent.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS further stated that  Alaska needs to keep working                                                               
to expand  dual credit programs  in which  apprenticeship program                                                               
participants  earn  college  credit   and  so  that  high  school                                                               
students in  non-apprenticeship career and  technical educational                                                               
programs have more  dual credit opportunities.   He stressed that                                                               
these  opportunities   are  particularly  important   for  socio-                                                               
economic  mobility, in  other words  for  graduating seniors  who                                                               
can't afford not  to work.  For too long  people have been forced                                                               
to make  an unfair choice    going to  work or getting  a degree.                                                               
With the marriage  of college and apprenticeship,  and career and                                                               
technical  education and  college credit,  Alaska's students  can                                                               
have both.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  noted that Representative McCarty  spoke to many                                                               
stakeholders  and  wrote HB  108,  which  is currently  contained                                                               
within HB 132.  He said  he would defer to Representative McCarty                                                               
on whether to keep these as  a comprehensive package or to pursue                                                               
HB  108 separately.   He  thanked  Representative McCarty,  along                                                               
with numerous  other individuals, state departments,  and federal                                                               
departments, for their help related to HB 132.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:54:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  turned to  a PowerPoint  presentation on  HB 132                                                               
titled  "Apprenticeship Expansion  Act."   He displayed  slide 2,                                                               
"Apprenticeship and CTE Background,"  and related that Alaska has                                                               
high-performing  apprenticeship programs  in traditional  trades,                                                               
and almost 800 employers participate  in Apprenticeships Day.  He                                                               
said there  has been exciting  innovation with  apprenticeship in                                                               
new industries,  which the  committee heard  about in  an earlier                                                               
informational  hearing  from  the Primary  Care  Association  and                                                               
others.    While  Alaska has  some  outstanding  school  district                                                               
programs,  they are  not  at  the scale  needed  to meet  student                                                               
demand.  He said a question to ask  is:  What can the state do to                                                               
support school  districts that have  an opportunity to  scale up?                                                               
Other  states and  nations  have shown  the  potential to  expand                                                               
skill apprenticeship  and career  and technical  education (CTE).                                                               
Alaska  can  learn   from  the  examples  set   by  nations  like                                                               
Switzerland and Germany and the  state of South Carolina, and the                                                               
apprenticeship tax  credit provided  in HB 132  is an  example of                                                               
trying  to  learn from  successful  models.   He  reiterated  his                                                               
previous  statement  that  expansion of  apprenticeship  and  CTE                                                               
would help  people pull  themselves up  by their  bootstraps when                                                               
they can't  afford not to  work in  college.  If  the legislature                                                               
puts  the right  policy framework  into place,  he added,  Alaska                                                               
would be  able to  capitalize on new  infusions of  federal grant                                                               
support for apprenticeship.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  proceeded  to slide  3,  "Incentivize  Employer                                                               
Participation."   He  specified that  HB 132  would establish  an                                                               
employer tax  credit of  $1,000 per apprentice,  a model  used by                                                               
South  Carolina  to  significantly  scale  up  apprenticeship  in                                                               
advanced manufacturing.   The bill as currently written  is a tax                                                               
credit for for-profit  companies, he pointed out.   A question is                                                               
whether  the  committee would  like  to  make this  a  refundable                                                               
credit so that it would also benefit non-profit employers.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  spoke  to slide  4,  "Depts.  Labor,  Education                                                               
Coordination."    He said  that  historically  the Department  of                                                               
Labor   and   Workforce   Development   (DOLWD)   has   supported                                                               
apprenticeship in  Alaska.   A question  is whether  that support                                                               
could  be broadened  with collaboration  from  the Department  of                                                               
Education and Early Development (DEED).   The bill's language, he                                                               
continued, does  envision strong collaboration between  DOLWD and                                                               
DEED, given the need to  expand school to apprenticeship programs                                                               
and to the  extent possible along more  dual credit opportunities                                                               
for CTE  programs including in "the  STEM fields."  He  noted the                                                               
bill's   language  is   general,   giving   the  department   the                                                               
flexibility to support school districts where it can.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  addressed slide 5,  "College Credit for  CTE and                                                               
Apprenticeship."   He  explained the  bill directs  the Board  of                                                               
Regents to  find ways to expand  dual credit for CTE  courses and                                                               
college  credit for  apprenticeship  participants.   He said  the                                                               
university  has made  positive steps  in this  direction already.                                                               
He reiterated  that HB  132 contains  the entirety  of HB  108 by                                                               
Representative McCarty.   He concluded  by stating that  the bill                                                               
is simple    a tax  credit, collaboration among  departments, and                                                               
dual credits with the university.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:58:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NELSON requested  further  context regarding  the                                                               
statement  by  Co-Chair Fields  that  last  year the  legislature                                                               
helped expand partnership through the building trade.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS replied  that the legislature took  what had been                                                               
regulations around apprenticeships  in the plumbing, pipefitting,                                                               
and  electrical trades  and put  some  of those  into statute  to                                                               
strengthen the state's statutory support  for some of the skilled                                                               
building trade apprenticeships.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON asked if that also included a tax credit.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  responded that  it did not.   He  explained that                                                               
that is more in terms of occupational licensing.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  inquired whether there  is a reason  for a                                                               
tax credit being included in HB 132.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  answered that  HB 132 proposes  a tax  credit of                                                               
$1,000 per  student based on  the successful model seen  in South                                                               
Carolina scaling up apprenticeship.   To his knowledge, he added,                                                               
the  legislature  has not  contemplated  an  incentive like  this                                                               
before, so he wanted to put it on the table.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  HAKALA,  State  Director,   Office  of  Apprenticeship,  US                                                               
Department of Labor,  stated that he delivered  a presentation on                                                               
youth apprenticeship  on 2/24/21,  and his  comments today  are a                                                               
follow-up to that.  He said  he reviewed the 2/9/21 draft version                                                               
of the  bill and would like  to recommend two wording  changes to                                                               
"Section 1(12)" which  states, "provide educational opportunities                                                               
in  the areas  of vocational  education and  training, and  basic                                                               
education to individuals  over 16 years of age who  are no longer                                                               
attending school;  the department  may consult with  business and                                                               
labor  unions  to  develop  a program  to  prepare  students  for                                                               
apprenticeships  or  internships  that will  lead  to  employment                                                               
opportunities".  [In  the bill before the  committee, Version 32-                                                               
LS0476\B, this language  is found in Sec. 3(a)(12).]   Mr. Hakala                                                               
recommended that "career and technical  education" be added after                                                               
the  comma following  "vocational  education and  training".   He                                                               
explained  that for  youth  apprenticeship, a  look  is taken  at                                                               
career  and technical  education credit  for on-the-job  learning                                                               
and the related technical instruction.   Since there is an Alaska                                                               
career and  technical education plan,  he continued, it  would be                                                               
nice to have that reference included.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA,  regarding the above  language, further  advised that                                                               
using the  term "internships" would introduce  confusion into the                                                               
intent of the bill.   He therefore recommended that "internships"                                                               
be  replaced  with   "pre-apprenticeships"  because  internships,                                                               
work-based  learning, on-the-job  training, and  CTE high  school                                                               
program preparatory  training all fall  under pre-apprenticeships                                                               
for purposes of  the House bill.  He also  noted that the current                                                               
federal  apprenticeship   regulations,  as  well  as   the  draft                                                               
National Apprenticeship  Act for 2021, only  reference registered                                                               
apprenticeship,  youth  apprenticeship,  and  pre-apprenticeship.                                                               
[Thus, as  per Mr. Hakala's recommendations,  this language would                                                               
read:  "provide   educational  opportunities  in  the   areas  of                                                               
vocational   education  and   training,   career  and   technical                                                               
education, and  basic education to  individuals over 16  years of                                                               
age  who  are no  longer  attending  school; the  department  may                                                               
consult with  business and labor  unions to develop a  program to                                                               
prepare students for  apprenticeships or pre-apprenticeships that                                                               
will lead to employment opportunities".]                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:03:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA  addressed "Sec.  3" [in the  2/9/21 draft  version of                                                               
the bill] which  states that AS 43.20 is amended  by adding a new                                                               
section  to read:  "To  qualify as  a  registered apprentice  for                                                               
purposes  of  the  credit  under  this  section,  a  person  must                                                               
participate in a registered  apprenticeship program recognized by                                                               
the  Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development."   [In  the                                                               
bill before the committee, Version  32-LS0476\B, this language is                                                               
found in Sec. 9 (b).].  He pointed  out that his office is the US                                                               
Department of  Labor Office of  Apprenticeship, which  has always                                                               
been the  registration agency for  apprenticeship in Alaska.   He                                                               
advised that the  registration agency should be  included in this                                                               
section to avoid confusion about  the roles and responsibility of                                                               
the state  and federal apprenticeship  partnership.   The revised                                                               
wording,  he  continued,  needs  to reflect  how  the  state  and                                                               
federal  apprenticeship  partnership   has  functioned  over  the                                                               
years.   Mr. Hakala  therefore recommended  that the  language be                                                               
revised  to  read  as  follows:   "To  qualify  as  a  registered                                                               
apprentice  for purposes  of  the credit  under  this section,  a                                                               
person must  participate in  a registered  apprenticeship program                                                               
registered   with  the   US  Department   of   Labor  Office   of                                                               
Apprenticeship,  and recognized  by the  Department of  Labor and                                                               
Workforce Development."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:05:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ said Mr.  Hakala's recommendations are helpful                                                               
and requested that he submit  the specific language to ensure the                                                               
committee  gets  it right.    She  related  that one  reason  the                                                               
committee  wanted  to introduce  this  bill  was  to set  up  the                                                               
infrastructure that would allow [the  state] to take advantage of                                                               
forthcoming federal changes in apprenticeship that are expected.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:05:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN inquired  about the functional differences                                                               
in  definition  between apprenticeship,  pre-apprenticeship,  and                                                               
internship.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAKALA replied  that the  registered  apprenticeship is  the                                                               
outcome that a lot of the  preparatory programs are hoping for or                                                               
training towards.  Depending on  their design, he explained, they                                                               
might   have  a   very  tight   connection   to  training   their                                                               
participants to  have advanced standing  or direct entry  into an                                                               
apprenticeship,  where  others  may not.    Work-based  learning,                                                               
internships, on-the-job training, and  preparatory training are a                                                               
component  of   registered  apprenticeship,  he   continued,  but                                                               
registered apprenticeship  is broader and more  structured.  They                                                               
are  components   of  the  apprenticeship,   but  they   are  not                                                               
apprenticeship  themselves,   whereas  registered  apprenticeship                                                               
contains probably all the components of any one of those work-                                                                  
based  learning  models,  but  the  reverse  is  not  true.    He                                                               
specified   that  HB   132  is   specifically  about   registered                                                               
apprenticeship,  so  career  and  technical  education,  all  the                                                               
preparatory training,  pre-apprenticeships, and  such, are  not a                                                               
full apprenticeship program.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  asked whether there  is a place  where he                                                               
can see the definitions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA responded  that he would provide  Co-Chair Fields with                                                               
the definitions to share with the committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:07:58 PM                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  related  that  the internships  she  had  in                                                               
college and high school didn't  have specific concrete benchmarks                                                               
that  she had  to  achieve, whereas  an  apprenticeship has  very                                                               
specific things that  must be learned in order to  move on to the                                                               
next  level.    Internships  are more  general,  she  added,  and                                                               
apprenticeships are more specific                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:07:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRAD AUSTIN, Training Coordinator  & Instructor, Local Union 262,                                                               
Plumbers and Pipefitters, stated that  his union has a school-to-                                                               
apprenticeship program  with the Juneau-Douglas High  School.  He                                                               
explained that his union's program  requires the students to take                                                               
certain classes while in high school.   Then at 17 the student is                                                               
placed  with  a  contractor,  and   while  the  student  probably                                                               
wouldn't work with  heavy tools it gives the student  a chance to                                                               
be around  the trade and  work with some  of the plumbers.   Upon                                                               
receiving a high  school diploma or GED, the  student is eligible                                                               
to directly enter the union's apprenticeship program.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. AUSTIN pointed out that "direct  entry" is a big deal because                                                               
the normal course  for getting into an  apprenticeship program is                                                               
to  file an  application with  the training  committee, which  in                                                               
Local  Union 262's  case  only happens  once a  year.   Then  the                                                               
applicant  must  sit for  an  interview  with his  union's  joint                                                               
apprenticeship  training committee  of six  people, which  can be                                                               
intimidating.    In addition,  the  applicant  is competing  with                                                               
however  many  people  are coming  in  through  that  application                                                               
process.   The school-to-apprenticeship  candidate with  a direct                                                               
entry into  the program bypasses  all of that and  comes directly                                                               
into the program.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. AUSTIN further pointed out  that Local Union 262's school-to-                                                               
apprenticeship  agreement also  offers credit  hours towards  the                                                               
apprenticeship program.  An apprentice  in his union's program or                                                               
the Anchorage  or Fairbanks programs,  he continued, is  going to                                                               
serve 10,000  hours over five  years.  Local Union  262's school-                                                               
to-apprenticeship  agreement offers  up to  500 hours  of credit,                                                               
which put  into monetary  terms is  a raise of  $2 an  hour after                                                               
three months rather than six months.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  AUSTIN said  the  partners  in the  school-to-apprenticeship                                                               
program are  the school and the  sponsoring agency.  In  the case                                                               
of Local Union 262, he related,  the union meets with the student                                                               
and the parent or guardian so  that everybody is informed.  There                                                               
is no cost to the student or school, a win-win situation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. AUSTIN  stated that HB  132 would help with  several problems                                                               
that  his union  has encountered.    The bill  would promote  and                                                               
incentivize vocation  education and CTE classes,  taking them off                                                               
the dusty  shelf in the  counselor's office and putting  them out                                                               
front.  These  are great careers for people who  choose not to go                                                               
to  college, he  said.   For example,  an apprentice  serving the                                                               
five years in  Local Union 262's program will  have made $281,000                                                               
in wages,  and when the  benefit package  is added in  the amount                                                               
comes  to  $524,000.    These  are  good,  high-paying  jobs,  he                                                               
continued, and  the school-to-apprenticeship  program is  a great                                                               
conduit for an  easy entry into one  of them.  He  noted that the                                                               
school-to-apprentice program at Local  367 in Fairbanks currently                                                               
has 14 candidates and works  with six schools because its program                                                               
is signed with the Fairbanks North Star Borough.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:15:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  urged committee members to  visit Local 262's                                                               
training school,  something that she  did and where she  was able                                                               
to do some welding.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:15:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  thanked Mr. Austin for  his testimony and                                                               
for the  tour he provided  at the facility  last week.   He asked                                                               
how  many  apprenticeship  opportunities  exist  at  the  Juneau-                                                               
Douglas High  School, what percentage  of students  are involved,                                                               
and what other programs are offered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. AUSTIN  replied that there  are three programs in  Alaska for                                                               
union  apprenticeships   for  plumbers  and  pipefitters.     For                                                               
independent contractors  he knows  of three  independent plumbing                                                               
apprenticeships in  Juneau alone.   He said there are  probably a                                                               
lot  more  independent  contractor apprenticeship  programs  than                                                               
union.  He deferred to Mr. Hakala for providing exact numbers.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:18:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARI SELLE, Director, Workforce  Development, Alaska Primary Care                                                               
Association (APCA), South Central  Alaska Health Education Center                                                               
(SCAHEC), testified  in support of  HB 132.   She stated  that HB
132 has  the potential to  open doors  for youth to  enter health                                                               
and human  services careers.  She  said APCA is a  nonprofit that                                                               
supports community health  centers, and its mission  is to create                                                               
healthy communities by supporting  community health centers.  One                                                               
way  that  APCA  does  this,  she  continued,  is  by  supporting                                                               
workforce development activities.  She  noted that many of APCA's                                                               
clinics and health facilities are in remote locations.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SELLE related  that APCA has been a  multi-agency sponsor for                                                               
registered  apprenticeships  since  2017.    She  recognized  the                                                               
Alaska Department of Labor and  Workforce Development for growing                                                               
health  care  apprenticeships  in  Alaska  through  the  American                                                               
Apprenticeship Initiative and  the State Apprenticeship Expansion                                                               
Grant.   She explained that  a multi-agency sponsor works  with a                                                               
variety  of  health care  employers,  many  of which  are  APCA's                                                               
community  health centers,  and APCA  manages the  apprenticeship                                                               
program  for  these  employers.    The  association  teaches  the                                                               
didactic education,  and the employers provide  the on-the-skills                                                               
job training, while APCA monitors  and tracks all the apprentices                                                               
so the  employer's only  worry is  employing that  apprentice and                                                               
providing the apprentice with mentorship.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SELLE said APCA has  registered apprenticeships for a variety                                                               
of health care fields, mostly at  the entry level.  Recently APCA                                                               
added  a   human  services  apprenticeship  for   direct  support                                                               
professionals, which  are individuals  who work with  people that                                                               
experience a  disability.  This  fall, she continued,  APCA plans                                                               
to launch  a pharmacy  tech apprenticeship.   She  specified that                                                               
about  one-fourth of  APCA's apprentices  are  youth, defined  as                                                               
ages 18-24,  and that  teens younger  than 18  can't work  in the                                                               
health  care   industry.    To   increase  the   availability  of                                                               
apprenticeships  for  youth,  she  continued,  APCA  is  actively                                                               
working with  Alaska Work Partnership  on a  youth apprenticeship                                                               
grant  as  well  as  working with  several  school  districts  to                                                               
connect their CTE programs with APCA's apprenticeship programs.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SELLE stated  that lots  of energy  is currently  going into                                                               
creating  apprenticeship  opportunities  for youth,  and  HB  132                                                               
would fuel this  fire that is already starting to  burn.  This is                                                               
an  excellent  apprenticeship model  that  works  well for  entry                                                               
level health  care jobs,  she said.   This is  because facilities                                                               
are already having to recruit,  mentor, and train staff for entry                                                               
level jobs;  out of  necessity facilities  must hire  someone who                                                               
doesn't have the experience and  train them.  This apprenticeship                                                               
model can  provide that missing  piece, she  continued.  It  is a                                                               
formal education in a structured way  for a young person to learn                                                               
the  needed skills  and have  multiple mentors  through both  the                                                               
APCA  and the  employer.   These are  great jobs,  especially for                                                               
youth and  those without experience,  she added, as they  can get                                                               
started, get  certification, and  get on  a genuine  career track                                                               
without incurring debt.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:23:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SELLE stressed  her support  for the  proposed legislation's                                                               
structure  that enables  apprentices to  earn dual  credit.   She                                                               
said APCA has a partnership  with Alaska Pacific University (APU)                                                               
where   the  apprentices   can   earn  college   credit  and   an                                                               
undergraduate  certificate through  their  apprenticeship.   Upon                                                               
completion   of    their   apprenticeship    that   undergraduate                                                               
certificate  can   pull  through   to  an  associate   degree  or                                                               
bachelor's degree, and the apprentice  can get on a career ladder                                                               
to go into nursing, or public  health, or even business or social                                                               
work  depending on  what the  apprentice  is interested  in.   As                                                               
well,  Ms.  Selle  continued, apprentices  are  earning  national                                                               
certification  through  the  federal  Office  of  Apprenticeship.                                                               
Many of  APCA's programs, she  added, are well suited  for youth,                                                               
especially  those  youth who  are  on  a  career track  versus  a                                                               
college   track.     The   Direct   Support  Professional   (DSP)                                                               
Apprenticeship,  for  example, would  be  wonderful  for a  young                                                               
person.  These  apprenticeships give youth a  well-lit path right                                                               
out  of  high  school,  while  also  earning  college  credit  if                                                               
desired.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SELLE  concluded her testimony  by noting that  one challenge                                                               
is convincing employers to take  on apprenticeships.  She said HB
132 would provide  a financial incentive to  employers that would                                                               
help offset the  risks that employers are taking.   She expressed                                                               
her support  for including  the nonprofit sector  in HB  132, and                                                               
pointed out  that 90  percent of  the employers  participating in                                                               
APCA's apprenticeships are nonprofits.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:25:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON requested Ms.  Selle to elaborate about the                                                               
risks that employers are taking regarding apprenticeship.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SELLE  replied that  health care tends  to be  an environment                                                               
where there  are high stakes safety  and regulatory requirements.                                                               
In  this  environment,  she  continued,  health  care  facilities                                                               
aren't necessarily keen to jump into  a new training model.  Even                                                               
though apprenticeship  is not new, it  is new to health  care and                                                               
human service  employers in Alaska.   So, there is risk  for them                                                               
to invest the time and energy  into trying this and taking on new                                                               
inexperienced staff,  and she therefore thinks  that an incentive                                                               
would be helpful.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NELSON offered  his understanding  the risks  Ms.                                                               
Selle is  referring to are  the time  and effort that  a business                                                               
would be  putting into the  apprenticeship program, not  risks to                                                               
patients or administrative tasks.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SELLE  responded correct  and  clarified  that she  was  not                                                               
talking about risks to patients.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:27:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY asked whether a  person must be 18 or over                                                               
to participate in APCA's program.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SELLE answered correct.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  stated he  would call that  "young adult"                                                               
rather  than  "youth" given  youth  is  generally categorized  as                                                               
teenagers.  He  requested Ms. Selle to  provide APCA's definition                                                               
of youth.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SELLE replied that APCA  works with the [Workforce Innovation                                                               
&  Opportunity   Act]  WIOA  Program   which  defines   youth  as                                                               
individuals  between the  ages  of  14 and  24,  so  that is  the                                                               
framework  APCA   has  been  using.     She  said   APCA's  youth                                                               
apprenticeship program and youth  apprenticeship efforts focus on                                                               
individuals who are 18-24 and APCA calls them youth.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KYLE KAISER,  Electrical Entry Program, Membership  & Development                                                               
Lead,  Local   1547,  International  Brotherhood   of  Electrical                                                               
Workers   (IBEW),  President   &  Founder,   Veteran  Internships                                                               
Providing Employment  Readiness (VIPER), testified in  support of                                                               
HB  132.   He thanked  the committee  for discussing  the various                                                               
programs  today.     He  pointed   out  that  missing   from  the                                                               
discussions was apprenticeships as  a tie-in for veterans getting                                                               
out of the military.  He said  he heard the terms youth and young                                                               
adult, but not  military even though current  and former military                                                               
members  comprise a  good  portion of  Alaska's  population.   He                                                               
reported that  each year  200,000 veterans  on average  leave the                                                               
military, and 150,000  of them are unemployed and  have no career                                                               
path when they get out.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KAISER  related that  VIPER's mission is  to bridge  that gap                                                               
between  military and  civilian  employment, and  apprenticeships                                                               
are an excellent way  to do that.  He said  he participated in an                                                               
apprenticeship when  he left the  military.  He stressed  that an                                                               
apprenticeship offers  hope.  A  person transitioning out  of the                                                               
military, he  explained, doesn't  have many  transferable skills.                                                               
For example,  he was  an airborne  infantry sniper,  which didn't                                                               
give him  much to  translate to.   Even  someone in  the military                                                               
medical  field won't  have skills  that transfer,  he added.   An                                                               
apprenticeship fixes many of those  issues because the individual                                                               
will learn everything needed for his or her next career.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KAISER emphasized his support  for expanding efforts to bring                                                               
people  into  apprenticeships.   He  offered  his agreement  with                                                               
providing  incentives and  suggested that  the state  also inform                                                               
employers  about  the  federal incentives  for  hiring  veterans,                                                               
which is something that isn't well known or talked about.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KAISER stated  that  apprenticeship and  how  it relates  to                                                               
veterans is  much more than  just a job.   It could very  well be                                                               
saving someone's  life, he said.   Giving someone hope in  his or                                                               
her next career and a  direction for moving forward is invaluable                                                               
"when   the   demons  start   crawling   out   of  the   closet."                                                               
Apprenticeships  would be  a great  thing for  his children  when                                                               
they  grow up,  he continued,  but he  still wants  to make  sure                                                               
there  is  support for  the  men  and  women  coming out  of  the                                                               
military and looking for their  next careers, and apprenticeships                                                               
could be the answer for doing that.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. KAISER  said it doesn't  matter whether something  is defined                                                               
as an  apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, or internship  so long                                                               
as it  is a progression  into a career.   For example,  he noted,                                                               
VIPER  is  launching  an  aviation  maintenance  program  in  May                                                               
[2021].  It  will provide 12 weeks of general  aviation and after                                                               
that the individual  can choose to go to accredited  school or go                                                               
to work for an employer that  has an internal apprenticeship.  He                                                               
stated that  HB 132 will help  get more programs like  that going                                                               
with employers and will open more opportunities.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:33:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  complimented the VIPER program.   He asked                                                               
whether the federal incentives for  apprenticeships were only for                                                               
former military members or also included others.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KAISER replied  that he  was  referring to  the federal  tax                                                               
incentives for the employment of  veterans, and that if the state                                                               
notifies   employers  of   state  incentives   for  creating   an                                                               
apprenticeship program it should also  notify them of the federal                                                               
incentives for veterans.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:34:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  LIBBY,  Director,  Center   of  Strategic  Partnership  and                                                               
Research  (CaSPR),   Director,  Applied   Environmental  Research                                                               
Center (AERC),  University of Alaska Anchorage  (UAA), noted that                                                               
he previously served as the  Associate Dean for the Community and                                                               
Technical College at UAA.   He thanked the co-chairs for inviting                                                               
him  to  provide  testimony  on   HB  132,  which  would  promote                                                               
apprenticeship  opportunities in  Alaska.   He  said  he is  here                                                               
today to  tell members  about the work  the University  of Alaska                                                               
Anchorage has been doing to  support this national initiative for                                                               
workforce development and  helping to put Alaskans  back to work,                                                               
especially after the pandemic.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIBBY specified that both  the University of Alaska Anchorage                                                               
and  University   of  Alaska  Fairbanks  have   associate  degree                                                               
programs  that  provide  avenues   for  anyone  who  completed  a                                                               
registered   apprenticeship   to   transfer   related   technical                                                               
instruction from  his or her  apprenticeship into  college credit                                                               
within  the  University  of  Alaska  system.    For  example,  he                                                               
explained, an individual  completing an 8,000-hour apprenticeship                                                               
can transfer  his or her completed  apprenticeship training hours                                                               
and have that qualify for up  to 38 university or college credits                                                               
toward  an   Associate  of  Applied   Science  (AAS)   degree  in                                                               
apprenticeship technologies at either UAA  or UAF.  The remaining                                                               
credits to complete these associate  degrees can be completed 100                                                               
percent through  distance delivery  classes.   The best  part, he                                                               
continued,  is that  these  degrees  are part  of  what has  been                                                               
traditionally  known as  a "two-plus-two-degree  program."   This                                                               
means that  all previously awarded  college credits  and training                                                               
hours for an individual's apprenticeship  can be transferred into                                                               
a bachelor's  degree in Applied  Leadership at the  University of                                                               
Alaska Anchorage.  This degree  can also be completed 100 percent                                                               
online,  which  allows  anyone  in Alaska  who  has  completed  a                                                               
registered   apprenticeship  an   opportunity   to  complete   an                                                               
associate  degree and  a bachelor's  degree  regardless of  where                                                               
they live in the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIBBY  provided a brief  history.   He related that  this was                                                               
originally  started with  UAA's Community  and Technical  College                                                               
that partnered  with a local  auto group in Anchorage  to develop                                                               
the  first  apprenticeship  for  automotive  service  and  repair                                                               
technicians.   It was anticipated  that existing students  in the                                                               
college's  automotive technology  program  would  enroll in  this                                                               
opportunity, which they  did.  But, not  expected, was enrollment                                                               
by employees from the organization  into UAA's program because of                                                               
the opportunity  it provided  for their career  growth.   As word                                                               
spread through the  program's advisory board, he  said, other car                                                               
dealerships  and   independent  service  and   repair  facilities                                                               
throughout  Alaska wanted  to be  a part  of this  apprenticeship                                                               
opportunity.    So,  UAA  applied  to  be  a  sponsor  for  multi                                                               
occupational  apprenticeships with  the US  Department of  Labor.                                                               
This sponsorship allows UAA to  send students to any employer and                                                               
the university system provides  the related technical instruction                                                               
for the employer, and it can be in any occupation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LIBBY  stated  that  after  becoming  a  sponsor  for  multi                                                               
occupational  apprenticeships,   UAA  decided  to   transfer  the                                                               
sponsorship  from  the Community  and  Technical  College to  the                                                               
Center of  Strategic Partnership  and Research, which  lies under                                                               
the  Business Enterprise  Institute.   This allows  for expansion                                                               
across the  colleges and the  entire University of  Alaska system                                                               
to identify  other opportunities for apprenticeship  to help fill                                                               
our workforce gaps.  He said  UAA has been collaborating with the                                                               
American  Association  for  Community Colleges  and  was  awarded                                                               
external funding  to support apprentices  in Alaska  and increase                                                               
these  opportunities.   Today  UAA  is  working with  the  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Labor and Workforce  Development in  this national                                                               
initiative for  expanding community college  apprenticeships that                                                               
is  sponsored by  the US  Department  of Labor  and the  American                                                               
Association  for Community  Colleges.   Currently, more  than 300                                                               
universities and colleges are participating in this initiative.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LIBBY  opined  that  the term  apprenticeship  is  not  well                                                               
defined.   When the term apprenticeship  is used, he said,  it is                                                               
often associated  with traditional  skills and  technical trades,                                                               
but today almost half of  the nation's apprentices are working in                                                               
the  health care  industry.   He related  that UAA  has partnered                                                               
with  the Alaska  Primary Care  Association and  is working  with                                                               
UAA's College  of Health  to continue  to expand  this initiative                                                               
and help  put Alaskans to work.   Also, he noted,  the university                                                               
has  developed an  apprenticeship program  for diesel  mechanics,                                                               
and  some of  the  related technical  instruction  is offered  as                                                               
articulated credit  and dual enrollment for  high school students                                                               
throughout  the  state to  help  jumpstart  careers.   Mr.  Libby                                                               
further noted that UAA is  currently developing an apprenticeship                                                               
in research for both graduate  and undergraduate students to work                                                               
in  fields related  to climate  change,  fisheries research,  and                                                               
other wildlife and environmental fields.   This will be the first                                                               
of its  kind, he said, and  several universities in the  Lower 48                                                               
are interested  in modeling the  platform being designed  by UAA.                                                               
It will help University of  Alaska students across the board gain                                                               
field and hands-on experience in research.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:39:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  asked  whether  there are  kids  in  the                                                               
middle college who are doing the program at UAA.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIBBY replied that a  couple initiatives are underway at this                                                               
point, one  of them being  information technology (IT).   He said                                                               
dual enrollment  opportunities for  high school students  are the                                                               
big  thing  offered  by  the  university.    At  this  point,  he                                                               
continued,  the  university  doesn't have  anything  with  middle                                                               
school,  middle   college,  opportunities,  which  has   been  an                                                               
initiative for  a while.  He  pointed out that students  who want                                                               
to participate in apprenticeship  could get articulated credit or                                                               
dual  enrollment  credits  at  the high  school  level  and  then                                                               
transfer in to expedite their careers in Alaska's economy.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY inquired  whether  dual enrollment  means                                                               
high school credit plus college credit.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIBBY answered  that those students taking a  course that has                                                               
articulated credit or that is  qualified as dual enrollment would                                                               
be  receiving college  credit  at  the high  school  level.   For                                                               
example,  UA's   automotive,  diesel,  computer   networking  and                                                               
systems  technology,   and  several   other  programs   all  have                                                               
articulated,  or dual  enrollment,  courses offered  at the  high                                                               
school level, so  students are gaining college  credit while they                                                               
are at the high school level.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:41:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  commented  that most  committee  members                                                               
probably agree  that apprenticeship  programs and  vocational and                                                               
technical  training is  good.    He observed  that  the bill  has                                                               
requirements for schools  as well as other  requirements, yet the                                                               
fiscal note is zero.  He said cost  is a big question for him, so                                                               
he  would like  to  hear more  about the  cost  as the  committee                                                               
discusses the bill further.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS responded  that DOLWD  has a  strong network  of                                                               
apprenticeship specialists.   He  said the bill  language directs                                                               
DEED  to   collaborate  with  DOLWD,   and  he  would   defer  to                                                               
Commissioner Johnson (of  DEED) to explain how  he would envision                                                               
implementing that  and obviously it  might change.   He explained                                                               
that the  resources the  state would be  taking advantage  of are                                                               
federal  resources.    Co-Chair  Fields recounted  that  when  he                                                               
worked  at DOLWD  he applied  for federal  grants in  partnership                                                               
with many  great people,  and they were  lucky enough  to receive                                                               
them  and  it helped  jumpstart  programs  like  APCA.   He  said                                                               
[DOLWD] sort of  positioned itself to benefit  from federal funds                                                               
and  the opportunity  today  is to  build  on past  achievements.                                                               
Regarding  the state's  history  on  apprenticeships, he  related                                                               
that  much of  the  foundational  work goes  back  to when  Click                                                               
Bishop  was  the  DOLWD  commissioner   and  Governor  Palin  was                                                               
governor.  While  at DOLWD, he continued, he  felt the department                                                               
was  building on  what  they  did then,  and  the investment  and                                                               
support   for    apprenticeship   has   continued    under   this                                                               
administration.  He  said HB 132 looks at what  is next, which is                                                               
these  linkages  with  schools and  the  connections  to  college                                                               
credit.  There is more federal  money coming down the line and if                                                               
there  is collaboration  with  DEED  and collaboration  continues                                                               
with the university, [the state]  will be very well positioned to                                                               
capitalize  on  that.    Co-Chair  Fields  further  related  that                                                               
district  level CTE  coordinators  have said  the districts  need                                                               
people to make connections with  employers so that there are more                                                               
school-to-apprenticeship  programs  for  existing  apprenticeship                                                               
sponsors and  for employers  that are  looking for  workforce but                                                               
don't yet  have an apprenticeship  program, and he would  like to                                                               
see federal  dollars support this.   He agreed that  paying those                                                               
folks would absolutely  take money and said that would  be a role                                                               
that  federal money  could play.   He  concluded by  stating that                                                               
DOLWD  already  has good  infrastructure  and  the department  of                                                               
labor at the federal level  already has good infrastructure, [and                                                               
HB 132  would] increase coordination  with DEED to  position [the                                                               
state] to capitalize on federal grants.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  suggested this be  taken up further  when the                                                               
committee hears the bill again later this week.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY recalled  Co-Chair Fields  asking whether                                                               
HB 108 should stay part of HB  132 and said that 75-80 percent of                                                               
HB 108  is in HB 132.   He noted today's  testimony was primarily                                                               
about people  older than 18.   But, he  continued, HB 108  is for                                                               
high school  students to  get into the  trades and  be recognized                                                               
that they have certifications to  make them employable right away                                                               
and more viable  to the workforce within a short  period of time.                                                               
He said  he therefore desires that  all the language from  HB 108                                                               
be removed from HB 132.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ stated  she thinks  part of  that is  because                                                               
most of today's testifiers were  talking about existing programs.                                                               
She concurred it  is a fair point that the  committee didn't hear                                                               
very much  today about high  school level apprenticeship  or pre-                                                               
apprenticeship.  She said the  concerns of Representative McCarty                                                               
would be taken  up when the committee again hears  the bill.  She                                                               
further  surmised  that  Co-Chair  Fields would  follow  up  with                                                               
Representative McCarty as well.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that HB 132 was held over.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          HB 45-WORKERS' COMP. AND CONTAGIOUS DISEASES                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:46:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ announced  that  the next  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL NO. 45,  "An Act relating to  presumption of                                                               
compensability  for  workers'   compensation  claims  related  to                                                               
contagious diseases; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:47:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDY  JOSEPHSON,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor  of HB  45, provided a  refresher about  the bill's                                                               
provisions.   He  stated that  the bill's  origins stem  from the                                                               
COVID crisis  and Amendment  5 [on the  House floor]  to [Senate]                                                               
Bill  241.   He said  the provision  of [Senate]  Bill 241  being                                                               
spoken about  here was in  effect until 11/15/2020.   It offered,                                                               
some  might  say,  generous incentives  to  first  responders  to                                                               
report to work as they normally  would, and that only in times of                                                               
a disaster declaration  there would be a  strong presumption that                                                               
if they came  down with the disease, in this  case SARS COVID-19,                                                               
it would  be covered by workers  compensation.  He said  HB 45 is                                                               
in some respects  less generous than Amendment 5 in  that it does                                                               
allow for a rebuttable position to  be taken by the employer upon                                                               
clear and convincing  evidence that the employee did  not in fact                                                               
contract the disease at work,  but still there is the presumption                                                               
of compensability.   Also, he noted,  HB 45 expands the  class of                                                               
workers, principally in  the area of grocery  store employees and                                                               
teachers in childcare facilities.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:49:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELISE  SORUM-BIRK, Staff,  Representative Andy  Josephson, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,   on  behalf  of   Representative  Josephson,                                                               
sponsor  of  HB   45,  reviewed  a  memorandum   written  on  the                                                               
representative's  letterhead providing  answers to  the questions                                                               
that were  posed by  committee members  during the  bill's [first                                                               
hearing on 3/5/21].  Regarding  the question about the definition                                                               
of  grocery store,  she  stated  that it  is  the only  statutory                                                               
definition of grocery store in  Alaska statute.  She advised that                                                               
a new, more inclusive definition  could be drafted by Legislative                                                               
Legal   Services   if  the   committee   saw   fit.     Regarding                                                               
Representative  McCarty's  question  about whether  an  emergency                                                               
could be  statewide, regional,  or local in  nature, she  said it                                                               
can  be any  of those  as per  AS 26.23.020(c)  of "the  Disaster                                                               
Act,"  which  outlines how  a  governor  goes about  declaring  a                                                               
disaster  emergency  and that  the  governor  must "indicate  the                                                               
threated or affected area".                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SORUM-BIRK related  that the sponsor was asked  to supply the                                                               
statutory definitions  of disaster  and the  section for  how the                                                               
governor can  declare disaster emergencies.   She said  there are                                                               
separate sections in the Disaster  Act, and the one referenced in                                                               
HB 45  is the governor's  power to declare a  disaster emergency.                                                               
[The  Disaster  Act],  she   continued,  includes  a  definitions                                                               
section  that   has  several  definitions   of  disaster.     The                                                               
definition in AS  26.23.900(2)(E) is an outbreak of  disease or a                                                               
credible  threat of  an  imminent outbreak  of  disease that  the                                                               
commissioner of the Department of  Health and Social Services, or                                                               
a  designee of  the  commissioner, [certifies  to the  governor].                                                               
The list  of things that  can be considered a  disaster emergency                                                               
is very long, she noted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SORUM-BIRK addressed  Representative Kaufman's question about                                                               
whether an  employer might be  opened to liability by  having one                                                               
of its  employees receive workers'  compensation.   The sponsor's                                                               
answer,  she  said,  is  that   under  Alaska  statute,  workers'                                                               
compensation files and medical records  are kept confidential and                                                               
are  not considered  public  records.   If  something becomes  an                                                               
issue of litigation,  those records might be  released and become                                                               
more  public.   Regarding Representative  Kaufman's concern  that                                                               
employers  might  discriminate  against  employees  in  high-risk                                                               
categories,  she  cited a  publication  by  the Equal  Employment                                                               
Opportunities  Commission (EEOC)  that  was originally  published                                                               
during the H1N1  pandemic of 2009 and which the  EEOC updated for                                                               
COVID.   She informed the committee  that the short answer  is no                                                               
but  added that  it  is  more complicated  than  that.   Bringing                                                               
attention to page 3, she explained  that if something raises to a                                                               
certain level  of threat  the employer can  then ask  for certain                                                               
things  to  be   revealed  that  weren't  able   to  be  revealed                                                               
otherwise, which is why it isn't a straight no.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:54:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SORUM-BIRK  discussed Representative Kaufman's inquiry  as to                                                               
shared costs to the business  communities.  She drew attention to                                                               
the analysis  of HB  45 by the  National Council  on Compensation                                                               
Insurance (NCCI) that modeled infection  rate scenarios of 5, 15,                                                               
and 25 percent, and used a  mortality rate of 0.5 percent.  Given                                                               
Alaska's real  infection rate at  the end of December  [2020] was                                                               
about 5.9  percent and  the mortality rate  was 0.4  percent, she                                                               
said the  model for  a 5  percent cost  scenario is  probably the                                                               
most accurate  for Alaska.   There are different caveats,  and it                                                               
isn't  a perfect  fit  into  the model,  she  continued, but  the                                                               
NCCI's estimate for a 5 percent  infection rate was $2 million in                                                               
overall workers' compensation costs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SORUM-BIRK examined the implications  for paid sick leave and                                                               
how that  might interact with  the workers'  compensation system,                                                               
which was another question brought  up by Representative Kaufman.                                                               
She related that directors Scott  Jordan and Charles Collins both                                                               
explained  to her  that since  workers' compensation  is designed                                                               
really to be an exclusive remedy,  the first money out is payment                                                               
for  workers' compensation.   She  said workers'  compensation is                                                               
based on  80 percent  of a  worker's average  weekly wage  when a                                                               
worker  is out.   She  noted  that, interestingly,  the State  of                                                               
Alaska calculates what the remaining  20 percent would be so that                                                               
the employee is made whole.   Using that 20 percent from [a state                                                               
employee's] leave allows [a state  employee] to stay current with                                                               
benefits.   She added that  other employers might do  it slightly                                                               
differently than does the state.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:56:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ remarked that  the memorandum is very thorough                                                               
in its detail and very useful.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SORUM-BIRK spoke  to  Representative  McCarty's request  for                                                               
more details on the data, costs,  and number of claims in Alaska.                                                               
She  said Director  Collins  followed up  with  some numbers  via                                                               
email,  and while  she wouldn't  state  them all,  the number  of                                                               
COVID-related cased opened as of [3/12/21] was 2,483.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:57:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  inquired whether  HB 45 is  retroactive in                                                               
covering previous iterations back in December.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SORUM-BIRK replied  that there  are two  effective dates,  a                                                               
retroactive date  and an immediate  date.  Under  the retroactive                                                               
clause, she  explained, anyone previously covered  last spring by                                                               
[Amendment 5  on the  House floor  to Senate  Bill 241]  would be                                                               
covered  retroactively to  November 15  [2020].   She noted  that                                                               
this  would be  first  responders and  medical professionals  who                                                               
lost  this  incentive  when  the  initial  emergency  declaration                                                               
expired.  For the new groups  of employees, she said, there is an                                                               
immediate effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NELSON  observed  that  the  sponsor's  statement                                                               
says, "An  employer could only  rebut a claim by  producing clear                                                               
and convincing evidence  that an employee infection  was not work                                                               
related."  He asked what the  sponsor would consider to be "clear                                                               
and  convincing evidence."   For  instance,  whether the  sponsor                                                               
would consider  an example to  be a  Facebook post of  the person                                                               
partying without a mask.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SORUM-BIRK  deferred to the  sponsor to speak  to evidentiary                                                               
standards.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  confirmed it could indeed  be something                                                               
like a Facebook post.   He explained that if a  claim were to get                                                               
very expensive,  an employer  may want to  depose people  to find                                                               
out where  the claimant could  have contracted the  disease other                                                               
than  the  place  of  employment.   For  example,  in  Anchorage,                                                               
patients brought  to the  hospital by  paramedics are  tested for                                                               
COVID, thereby  tracing it in  most circumstances.   According to                                                               
the attorney he  spoke with at the Municipality  of Anchorage who                                                               
is mitigating  some of the other  ones, they can trace  it to the                                                               
patient and then  the assumption is made, and the  claim is paid,                                                               
that  the  paramedic  delivering  the  patient  to  the  hospital                                                               
contracted  it from  the  patient.   There  are  other cases,  he                                                               
continued, where  the narrow language  in Senate Bill  241, which                                                               
isn't exactly mirrored  in HB 45, is being challenged  and so the                                                               
lawyers are  battling in  those cases.   He deferred  to Director                                                               
Collins to provide further detail.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  posed a hypothetical  scenario of  a store                                                               
worker who  doesn't get infected  at the  store but goes  home to                                                               
someone  who  is  asymptomatic   and  unknowingly  spreading  the                                                               
infection.   He asked whether  that would technically  fall under                                                               
workers' compensation under HB 45.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON answered that  in this scenario there is                                                               
a chance that  the employee would receive benefits.   He said the                                                               
benefits would be limited in that  there must first be a declared                                                               
disaster of infectious disease, and  typically the extent of that                                                               
disaster is  going to be  30 days unless the  legislature extends                                                               
it.  This  benefit is important, but it is  constrained, he said.                                                               
Typically, it will not be  utilized because it won't be available                                                               
on the facts before (indisc.  rustling of microphone).                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  said that  while he  doesn't like  to play                                                               
the "what  if" game,  it is also  good to game  play to  find out                                                               
whether this  would count for  someone who isn't infected  at the                                                               
grocery store but rather at home.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ announced  that Director  Charles Collins  is                                                               
online and  could address Representative Nelson's  question about                                                               
clear and convincing evidence.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:03:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  COLLINS, Director,  Division  of Workers'  Compensation,                                                               
Department of Labor and  Workforce Development (DOLWD), responded                                                               
that the question is somewhat  complicated.  He explained that if                                                               
the  employer decided  there was  a possibility  the disease  was                                                               
contracted outside  the course of  normal business,  the employer                                                               
could  controvert it  and have  a hearing  before an  industry of                                                               
labor and  hearing officer panel,  at which the employee  and the                                                               
employer  would bring  their  evidence.   He said  it  is a  very                                                               
complicated  question in  that three  people  in an  adjudication                                                               
setting  must be  convinced  of the  merits  of [the  employer's]                                                               
case, just as with every  injury in workers' compensation where a                                                               
"controversion" comes into play.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  asked whether he could  talk off-line with                                                               
Director Collins to get more background information.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLLINS replied yes, he is always available to assist.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:04:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  inquired  about  how  responsibility  is                                                               
assigned.   He stated that  in the previous example  of emergency                                                               
medical  technicians (EMTs)  and  a COVID  positive patient,  the                                                               
EMTs are  wearing protective  equipment and  are in  a controlled                                                               
circumstance.   It  sounds  like  it would  be  assumed the  EMTs                                                               
caught it  at work, he said,  when they may have  caught it while                                                               
out  at the  bars  the night  before.   He  asked  whether, in  a                                                               
situation of  there being a  COVID positive person  where someone                                                               
works, it would be assumed the worker caught it at work.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  replied  that under  Alaska's  current                                                               
workers' compensation  statutes without HB  45, a person  can try                                                               
to make a  claim that he or she contracted  an infectious disease                                                               
by exposure  at the workplace.   He  said it is  more challenging                                                               
than it would  be under HB 45 because the  worker must prove that                                                               
the  conditions  of  his  or  her  employment  are  substantially                                                               
different from the ambient background  that everyone lives in and                                                               
therefore the  worker is susceptible  to contracting  the disease                                                               
at  that  place  of  employment.    For  example,  he  continued,                                                               
according to documents  in the committee packet  presented by Ms.                                                               
Sorum-Birk, it is now common  knowledge that more police officers                                                               
have  died from  COVID exposure  than any  other disease  they've                                                               
suffered  from or  being  shot,  and it  is  known  that this  is                                                               
certainly true in  the medical community.  It is  also known that                                                               
personal  protective  equipment  (PPE)  and  other  barriers  and                                                               
safety precautions may be insufficient.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  continued his  answer.  He  stated that                                                               
part of  this is  a policy call  - wanting people  to go  to work                                                               
without fear  to save  [the public's]  loved ones  - so  the bill                                                               
tries to  identify who are  the essential workers and  offer them                                                               
this  protection.   He  recalled  last  week's testimony  by  Mr.                                                               
Collins that only  $850,000 had been spent and noted  that it has                                                               
now just  eclipsed $1 million based  on the data provided  by Ms.                                                               
Sorum-Birk.    However,  he  pointed out,  this  is  spread  over                                                               
730,000 Alaskans and,  if he is remembering correctly,  only 1 in                                                               
12 people  who have  contracted COVID in  Alaska are  believed to                                                               
have gotten it at work.  He further  said that that 1 in 12 would                                                               
include a librarian who would not  be an essential worker, and so                                                               
HB 45 limits the group.   Additionally, he continued, many of the                                                               
people who filed claims simply went  to get a COVID test and were                                                               
told  they're  negative,  and this  is  a  workers'  compensation                                                               
claim.   To be really understood,  he added, the numbers  must be                                                               
investigated and peeled back.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ [opened public testimony on HB 45.]                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:09:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAKE  METCALFE,  Executive  Director,   Local  52,  Alaska  State                                                               
Employees Association (ASEA), testified in  support of HB 45.  He                                                               
noted that  ASEA, Local 52, represents  approximately 8,000 hard-                                                               
working public  employees who deliver the  critical services that                                                               
Alaskans rely  upon every day.   He  pointed out that  last year,                                                               
essential workers,  including ASEA's  members, were asked  to put                                                               
themselves and their  families at risk to keep  Alaska running by                                                               
ensuring  critical  services  continued.   Public  employees  are                                                               
asked to  rise above and  go beyond to  keep the lights  on, keep                                                               
the roads  cleared, ensure  public water is  clean and  safe, and                                                               
that children and families in need  are cared for.  This year was                                                               
no  different,   the  pandemic  caught  everyone   off-guard,  he                                                               
continued.    Organizations  across  the  country  realized  that                                                               
pandemic preparedness was not in  many people's rule book and the                                                               
State  of  Alaska  was  no   exception.    As  organizations  and                                                               
governments  worked  hard to  respond  to  the novel  coronavirus                                                               
pandemic, the essential workers never stopped working.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. METCALFE  stated that the pandemic  Alaskans stumbled through                                                               
revealed  numerous  gaps in  the  safety  net cast  for  Alaska's                                                               
working people.  He  said HB 45 would help fill  one of the holes                                                               
in  Alaska's  safety net  by  providing  a remedy  for  frontline                                                               
workers and their  families if they contract  a pandemic disease.                                                               
Several ASEA's  members, especially those working  in corrections                                                               
and  24-hour  facilities like  the  Pioneer  Home and  McLaughlin                                                               
Youth Center,  have personal stories  they can share  about their                                                               
working conditions and  exposures to the virus.   These dedicated                                                               
Alaskans,  he stressed,  are being  asked to  take major  risk to                                                               
keep Alaska running.   He requested that  legislators think about                                                               
those workers  and pass this  important bill so that  those risks                                                               
are met with some relief for the worker and the worker's family.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  METCALFE  further  specified  that  HB  45  is  critical  in                                                               
ensuring that Alaska is taking  care of the essential workers who                                                               
are taking  care of Alaskans.   This bill, he added,  is just one                                                               
step that will fill a gap  that became too wide and too consuming                                                               
as  essential  workers  fell  ill   with  little  to  no  relief.                                                               
Families should not be forced  to choose between their health and                                                               
safety  and  earning  a  living.    While  HB  45  can't  protect                                                               
dedicated  essential employees  against contracting  the disease,                                                               
it will offer  them relief they will need if  they do suffer from                                                               
a pandemic illness.  He urged that HB 45 be passed.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:12:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ thanked  the  members of  ASEA who  routinely                                                               
work in tough  conditions, especially this year  given there were                                                               
COVID outbreaks in  several of Alaska's prisons.   She noted that                                                               
ASEA members also kept Pioneer Home residents safe.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ retroactively opened public testimony.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:13:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES STEWART,  Chair, Local 52 Probation  and Parole Officers,                                                               
Alaska State  Employees Association (ASEA), testified  in support                                                               
of HB 45.  He stated he is  before the committee in support of HB
45 using his own personal  experience with a contagious disease                                                                 
COVID.   He  said he  tested  positive for  COVID at  the end  of                                                               
December and was  exposed at work.  He knows  this, he continued,                                                               
because he  was so  afraid of  getting COVID,  given his  age and                                                               
health issues,  that he  only went  to work  and home  every day.                                                               
His girlfriend  worked from  home and did  not leave  their house                                                               
for  the same  reasons.   They ordered  all their  food from  the                                                               
grocery store and had it delivered to their home.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEWART  stated that all peace  officers, firefighters, EMTs,                                                               
and  paramedics   experience  possible  exposure   to  contagious                                                               
diseases  daily   in  their  types  of   employment  and  working                                                               
conditions, and  they never  know what they  will walk  into each                                                               
day.  He  stated that HB 45 would support  these workers and give                                                               
them some peace  of mind that they would not  have to worry about                                                               
all the  other personal leave  for medical reasons in  case there                                                               
is another health issue in the future.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ thanked Mr. Stewart  for his testimony and his                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  MIRANDA,   President,  Alaska   Professional  Firefighters,                                                               
testified  in support  of HB  45.   He stated  he is  an engineer                                                               
paramedic with  the Anchorage  Fire Department  at Station  14 in                                                               
northeast Alaska.   He thanked the committee for  working on this                                                               
important issue and  related that this issue is  important to all                                                               
the men and women in Alaska  who serve their communities as first                                                               
responders and  frontline essential  workers.   On behalf  of the                                                               
500  members  of  Alaska Professional  Firefighters,  he  offered                                                               
strong support for HB 45.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA  pointed out that firefighters  and emergency medical                                                               
services  (EMS) personnel  place  themselves in  harm's way  when                                                               
caring  for  patients in  uncontrolled  environments,  such as  a                                                               
patient's  home or  the  back of  an ambulance.    He said  these                                                               
professionals  are not  afforded  the opportunity  to  work in  a                                                               
controlled environment  with properly ventilated rooms  and other                                                               
protective  measures.     First  responders,  along   with  other                                                               
frontline essential workers, are at  much higher risk of exposure                                                               
to  contagious  disease  due  to  the nature  of  the  work,  and                                                               
therefore  are much  more likely  to  contract certain  illnesses                                                               
through  the  course of  their  work  than individuals  in  other                                                               
career fields.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIRANDA recounted  that  at the  beginning  of the  COVID-19                                                               
pandemic many  [fire] departments  in Alaska struggled  to obtain                                                               
adequate  levels  of  PPE to  sufficiently  protect  their  first                                                               
responders,  putting them  at  further risk  of  exposure to  the                                                               
[COVID] virus.  Due to  the nature of emerging infectious disease                                                               
outbreaks or pandemics, he continued,  there are many unknowns at                                                               
the  beginning  until scientists  have  time  to figure  out  the                                                               
nature and characteristics of disease transmission.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIRANDA noted  that while  it can  be difficult  to pinpoint                                                               
exactly where  an exposure to an  illness came from, it  is known                                                               
that Alaska's first  responders and essential workers  are out on                                                               
the frontlines  being potentially  exposed each  time they  go to                                                               
work.  He  related that first responders take an  oath to protect                                                               
life, property, and the environment  throughout their career.  He                                                               
said it is critical that  Alaska's first responders and frontline                                                               
essential  workers know  they are  protected and  that the  state                                                               
will have  their backs  so they  can focus  squarely on  the oath                                                               
they  promised   to  keep.     He  reiterated  that   the  Alaska                                                               
Professional Firefighters strongly supports HB  45.  He urged the                                                               
committee to support the bill as well.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ thanked  Mr.  Miranda for  his testimony  and                                                               
thanked  the  members  of Alaska  Professional  Firefighters  for                                                               
their work.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:18:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  surmised the  aforementioned firefighters                                                               
have sick leave.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA replied that's correct.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN asked  what the driving need is  for HB 45                                                               
if someone is already covered by sick leave.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA explained  the notion is that if  someone contracts a                                                               
disease such as  [COVID] through the course  of their employment,                                                               
the individual should  not be burdened with using his  or her own                                                               
sick  leave, if  they  have it.    It should  be  covered by  the                                                               
employer, he  continued, if the individual  contracts the disease                                                               
during his or her course of normal duties.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN stated  that a person may not  want to use                                                               
his or her sick leave [for COVID],  but that's what it's for.  He                                                               
said he  still isn't  convinced when someone  is covered  by sick                                                               
leave.   He stated that  when he has  gotten sick with  a typical                                                               
cold or flu, most of the time he probably caught it at work.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON responded that  this is a pandemic where                                                               
the lucky  ones are asymptomatic  or only affected for  3-5 days,                                                               
while others are on ventilators or  at the hospital.  He said the                                                               
three basic  things [in HB 45]  are that the employee  would need                                                               
to  use his  or  her sick  leave, the  employee  would have  full                                                               
medical rather  than be subject  to deductibles and  co-pays, and                                                               
the  employee  would  receive  a  spendable  weekly  wage,  which                                                               
doesn't  often  amount  to  much,  but  the  employee  would  get                                                               
something rather than no weekly wage.   He further noted that for                                                               
an  employee who  is  a  "long-hauler" and  sick  for months  and                                                               
months, it's meaningful  to have that rather than to  have a sick                                                               
leave bank that is expired.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:21:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NELSON  recalled  previous  statements  about  it                                                               
being difficult to pinpoint whether  the infection came from work                                                               
or elsewhere.  He said that is where he has a quandary.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ requested Mr. Collins  to speak to the process                                                               
for determining whether there is employer responsibility.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COLLINS explained  that  as with  any  workplace injury  the                                                               
employee  has  the  responsibility  of  turning  in  his  or  her                                                               
paperwork and the employer always  has the rebuttable evidence to                                                               
bring forth  as to whether  [the injury did  happen at work].   A                                                               
disease might  not be  quite as  straight forward  as a  slip and                                                               
fall, he continued,  but there certainly is  the possibility that                                                               
it could be rebutted.  The  employer could controvert or deny the                                                               
claim and  the employee would then  be forced to go  to a hearing                                                               
to prove his or her case.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:23:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  recounted that while doing  graduate work                                                               
he drove  an ambulance in Los  Angeles.  It was  during the start                                                               
of  the  AIDS  epidemic,  so   he  was  dealing  with  bloodborne                                                               
pathogens and fluids.  But,  he continued, airborne pathogens are                                                               
being talked  about here.  He  asked Mr. Miranda whether  in this                                                               
industry it is correct that there are always airborne pathogens.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA answered that's correct.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY asked  how Mr.  Miranda and  the industry                                                               
differentiate whether  someone's illness from  airborne pathogens                                                               
was acquired on the job or not.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA responded that he  thinks the nature of this pandemic                                                               
has opened people's  eyes to some of those  things.  [Paramedics]                                                               
have  personal protective  equipment  for respiratory  protection                                                               
that are now  being worn in most of the  departments in Anchorage                                                               
during   every   interaction   with   patients.     As   far   as                                                               
differentiating previously,  he said  he thinks  it was  a little                                                               
easier  to trace  because it  wasn't in  the middle  of a  global                                                               
pandemic.  When  [a paramedic] took someone to  the hospital with                                                               
a  respiratory  illness,  the  hospital  followed  up,  and  that                                                               
exposure could be easily traced  to the workplace, whereas COVID-                                                               
19 is different.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY posed  a scenario in which  an employer is                                                               
doing due diligence  to make sure the workplace is  safe, such as                                                               
having masks  and protective equipment.   He asked at  what point                                                               
does it becomes an infraction or a claim to the employer.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLLINS replied  that that is an extremely  good question for                                                               
which  there  probably is  not  a  definitive  answer.   He  said                                                               
firefighters already  have a presumption of  coverage for certain                                                               
diseases under  AS 23.30.121, which  speaks directly to  that and                                                               
is  a  bit  of  a  carveout.    He  explained  that  for  certain                                                               
carcinogenic  airborne  particles  that may  cause  certain  lung                                                               
diseases,  firefighters  have  a  presumption  that  allows  them                                                               
greater   access   to   workers'  compensation   than,   say,   a                                                               
construction worker who burns things  all day long and is exposed                                                               
to the  same materials but would  not be covered because  it is a                                                               
much steeper incline  for that construction worker  to prove that                                                               
it's a  workplace injury.   He stated  that moving the  needle of                                                               
the presumption  opens the gate a  little bit wider to  what is a                                                               
workplace injury, whether it is  an airborne disease, blood-based                                                               
pathogen,  or something  else.    That is  a  discussion for  the                                                               
committee  to have,  he said.   He  offered his  opinion that  he                                                               
thinks extreme care  must be taken about how  wide that floodgate                                                               
is opened.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:28:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIRANDA returned  to the  initial question  asked of  him by                                                               
Representative  Kaufman.    He  said  Representative  Josephson's                                                               
answer  to  that  question  was  very  accurate  -  this  is  not                                                               
necessarily just  for those folks  who might have  minor symptoms                                                               
and miss a couple days of work.   For example, he related, one of                                                               
the  firefighters  contracted  COVID  while at  work  at  a  busy                                                               
station, it was  well documented, it was at the  beginning of the                                                               
pandemic  when  this  person responded  to  many  COVID  positive                                                               
patients,  and  this  person   is  having  long-term  significant                                                               
symptoms from  COVID.  He said  that speaks to the  need for this                                                               
bill  specifically and  these pandemic  situations that  can have                                                               
long lasting effects on employees.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:29:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony on HB 45.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SNYDER  moved to  adopt  Amendment  1 to  HB  45,                                                               
labeled 32-LS0304\B.3, Marx, 3/13/21, which read:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 14:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new subparagraph to read:                                                                                         
              "(I)  employee of a farmer's market;                                                                              
          (J)  employee of a vendor who sells products                                                                          
     directly to consumers at a farmer's market;"                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Reletter the following subparagraph accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 17:                                                                                                           
          Delete "(A) - (H)"                                                                                                    
          Insert "(A) - (J)"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 23:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new paragraph to read:                                                                                            
               "(4)  "farmer's market" means a seasonal                                                                         
     market                                                                                                                     
               (A)  operated under the sponsorship of a                                                                         
     community organization; and                                                                                                
               (B)  the main purpose of which is to provide                                                                     
       an opportunity for producers to sell agricultural                                                                        
     products directly to consumers;"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:30:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SNYDER  explained Amendment 1 would  add "employee                                                               
of a farmer's  market" and "employee of a vendor  who sells" at a                                                               
farmer's  market.    She  said  the  amendment  uses  the  Alaska                                                               
Administrative Code's  existing definition for  farmer's markets.                                                               
She stated that  adding these occupations to  the list originally                                                               
covered in  HB 45  on page 2  is in line  with the  rationale for                                                               
including grocery  store workers, which  is to ensure  that peace                                                               
of mind is  provided to those Alaskans who  are essential workers                                                               
making  sure the  public has  access  to food  in the  time of  a                                                               
pandemic.    Farmer's markets,  she  noted,  are an  increasingly                                                               
important  venue  for food  procurement  in  Alaska.   They  were                                                               
thrust  into the  pandemic response  conversation this  past year                                                               
when they  weren't initially included  in the list  of operations                                                               
permitted to be open during  the temporary lockdown in Anchorage.                                                               
After  discussions with  local leadership  and with  food-focused                                                               
stakeholder groups,  the importance  of farmer's markets  to food                                                               
access and to local economies  including Alaskan farmers and food                                                               
vendors  was recognized  and farmer's  markets was  added to  the                                                               
list of operations  that should stay open.  She  said Amendment 1                                                               
seeks to  make sure farmer's  market workers delivering  the same                                                               
important services as grocery store workers are protected.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON spoke  to his objection.  He  said he knows                                                               
farmer's  markets are  prevalent, especially  in east  Anchorage.                                                               
He recalled  earlier statements about  the importance  of keeping                                                               
people covered  for what they  must do  and if they  have contact                                                               
with  COVID.   But,  he continued,  a warning  was  given of  not                                                               
casting this net too wide.   He stated that including an employee                                                               
of a farmer's market  and an employee of a vendor  who sells at a                                                               
farmer's market is too wide and he is uncomfortable with it.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:33:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN stated  he is  struggling with  the scope                                                               
and potential  impacts of the bill,  and Amendment 1 is  a nuance                                                               
of a bigger picture  about which he is concerned.   He said HB 45                                                               
allows to whom the bill applies to  be defined in the future by a                                                               
commissioner,  so  there  is  no  real  scope  of  applicability.                                                               
Getting  Amendment  1  in  the   bill  would  be  one  thing,  he                                                               
continued,  but  it  wouldn't   solve  his  concerns  of  greater                                                               
potential in the future of how this could be defined outward.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ inquired  whether  Representative Kaufman  is                                                               
saying Amendment 1 dramatically  expands the applicability in the                                                               
bill.  She said she is not reading the amendment that way.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  replied  not   [Amendment  1],  but  the                                                               
amendment doesn't address his concern.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ offered  her understanding that Representative                                                               
Kaufman has  concerns with the  underlying bill,  not necessarily                                                               
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  responded that  the amendment  doesn't go                                                               
far enough in respect to his concern.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SNYDER  offered her  appreciation for  there still                                                               
being  questions and  further discussions  on  HB 45.   She  said                                                               
Amendment 1 simply  looks at the occupations covered,  and if the                                                               
committee is  interested in protecting essential  workers who are                                                               
ensuring the public  has access to food resources in  the time of                                                               
a  pandemic during  a disaster  declaration, then  it is  an easy                                                               
connection that these employees are  just as important as grocery                                                               
store workers.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ stated that unique  about farmer's markets and                                                               
those who sell produce at markets  are that they can only operate                                                               
during a  very limited  time frame.   It's  an attempt  to ensure                                                               
Alaska's farmers  have a  market for  their produce  and Alaskans                                                               
have  access to  fresh produce,  which Alaskans  have not  always                                                               
had.   If this can help  keep Alaska's farmer's markets  open and                                                               
people working during that timeframe, it is a positive thing.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  said he  loves Alaska's  farmer's markets                                                               
and noted that they are held  outdoors, so the inherent risk is a                                                               
bit lower for some but not all.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SNYDER agreed with some  but not all.  She pointed                                                               
out that some markets are in partially enclosed pavilions.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  stated that the  objection to Amendment  1 is                                                               
maintained.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:36:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Schrage, Snyder,                                                               
Fields,   and  Spohnholz   voted   in  favor   of  Amendment   1.                                                               
Representatives Nelson,  Kaufman, and  McCarty voted  against it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 4-3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  explained  that  final action  on  the  bill                                                               
cannot  be  taken  without  Co-Chair  Fields  being  [physically]                                                               
present,  and therefore  the  committee would  take  up the  bill                                                               
again on [3/17/21].                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that HB 45 was held over.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
^Alaska Workers' Compensation Board                                                                                             
^Board of Chiropractic Examiners                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
               Alaska Workers' Compensation Board                                                                           
                Board of Chiropractic Examiners                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ announced  that the  final order  of business                                                               
would be  the confirmation hearings  on governor's  appointees to                                                               
various boards and commissions.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:37:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  stated that  the  House  Labor and  Commerce                                                               
Standing  Committee  has  reviewed   the  qualifications  of  the                                                               
governor's  appointees  and  recommends the  following  names  be                                                               
forwarded   to   a  joint   session   of   the  legislature   for                                                               
consideration:   Bronson Frye  and Christina  Gilbert, appointees                                                               
to  the  Alaska Workers  Compensation  Board;  and Brian  Larson,                                                               
appointee to the  Board of Chiropractic Examiners.   She reminded                                                               
the committee  that [signing  the reports  regarding appointments                                                               
to boards  and commissions]  does not reflect  any intent  on the                                                               
part  of  committee   members  to  vote  for   or  against  these                                                               
individuals;  the nominations  are merely  forwarded to  the full                                                               
legislature for  confirmation or  rejection.   [The confirmations                                                               
of  Mr.  Frye,  Ms.  Gilbert,  and  Mr.  Larson  were  considered                                                               
advanced.]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:38:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
9:38 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 132 v. B 3.10.21.PDF HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 45 Amendment #1.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 Sectional Analysis 2.24.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 Sponsor Statement 2.24.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 Version A.PDF HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 Presentation 3.2.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 Fiscal Note DOLWD-WC 1.22.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 - testimony received as of 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 background document- Division of Workers' Compensation- Effects of Covid 3.3.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 background document- Division of Workers' Compenstion- COVID-19 WC Year End Report Final 3.3.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 background document- NCCI- AK HB 45 Analysis 3.3.21.pdf HL&C 3/5/2021 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 45 supporting document - research, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45
HB 100 v. A.PDF HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 supporting document - UA presentation.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 letters of support, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 supporting document - DOL AWIB Flow Chart.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 supporting document -TVEP Annual Report FY20.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 supporting document - UA Results Overview.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 FN - DOLWD-WIB, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 FN - DEED, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 FN - DOLWD-WD, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 FN - DOLWD-UI, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB 132 FN DOR, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 FN DOLWD-WH, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 FN DOLWD-WIB, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 100 presentation, 3.13.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
SFIN 5/14/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB 132 Sectional Analysis v. B 3.12.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 Sponsor Statement 3.12.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 PowerPoint 3.12.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 Letter of Support - ASHNA 3.11.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 Letter of Support - Matsu Borough School District 2.24.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 132
HB 100 UA Presentation 3.15.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HL&C 3/17/2021 5:45:00 PM
SFIN 5/3/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 5/14/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 Bill Presentation 3.15.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HL&C 3/17/2021 5:45:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 Supporting Document - FY22 Proposed Distribution 3.15.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HL&C 3/17/2021 5:45:00 PM
HB 100
HB 45 responses to House Labor and Commerce committee questions 3.15.21.pdf HL&C 3/15/2021 6:30:00 PM
HB 45