Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/20/1993 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE April 20, 1993 8:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Al Vezey, Chair Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chair Representative Harley Olberg Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Gary Davis Representative Fran Ulmer Representative Bettye Davis MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 249: "An Act relating to persons whose occupations involve electrical or mechanical equipment and systems; and providing for an effective date." CS MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATION SB 85: "An Act deleting a requirement that certain members of the board of directors of the Alaska Tourism Marketing council be substantially involved in a visitor or recreation industry business; relating to the selection of a presiding officer for the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council; requiring that the council's tourism marketing program include promotion of the state as a destination and promotion of all forms of travel to the state, including travel by air, highway and water; extending the termination date of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council; requiring the council to consider methods to fund tourism marketing using both public and private assets and to consider methods to provide for the financial self-sufficiency of the council; and providing for an effective date." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATION SB 174: "An Act exempting certain taxicab operators from coverage under the Alaska Wage and Hour Act, the Alaska Employment Security Act, and the Alaska Workers' Compensation Act; and providing for an effective date." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATION HB 209: "An Act relating to community health aide grants." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATION *HB 280: "An Act adopting the Uniform Custodial Trust Act." MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH DO PASS RECOMMENDATION WITNESS REGISTER DEBORAH ERICKSON Department of Social Services Division of Public Health P.O. Box 110610 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1106 465-3090 Position Statement: Supported HB 209 JOSH FINK, Legislative Aide Senator Tim Kelly Alaska State Legislature Room 101, State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-3822 Position Statement: Delivered sponsor statement of CSSB 174(L&C)am KAREN CHASSE Anchorage Taxicab Permit Owners Association 2641 Lyvoma Lane Anchorage, Alaska 99502 243-7080 Position Statement: Supported CSSB 174(L&C)am REGINA DOYLE, Dispatch Manager Yellow Cab Company 3647 East 65th Street Anchorage, Alaska 99507 349-8723 Position Statement: Supported CSSB 174(L&C)am REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS Alaska State Legislature Room 15, State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-2693 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor of SSHB 249 CHARLES MAHLEN, Commissioner Department of Labor P.O. Box 21149 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1149 465-2700 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249 JIM WHITE, President Southeast Mechanical Contractors 8221 Cedar Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 789-7406 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249, Opposed CSHB 249 GLENN CAVE, President Cave Electrical Contractors 9421 Glacier Highway Juneau, Alaska 99801 789-2274 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249 GEORGE MCCOY 2201 Bowig Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99501 563-0803 Position Statement: Supported CSHB 249, suggested amendments GARY TRIEWEILER P.O. Box 2905 Homer, Alaska 99603 235-6977 Position Statement: Supported either form of HB 249 CHARLES METZ P.O. Box 83487 Fairbanks, Alaska 99807 479-5853 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249 DENNIS ERICKSON P.O. Box 516 Ward Cove, Alaska 99928 247-8167 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249 WILL JAHRIG P.O. Box 51 Kenai, Alaska 99669 262-4262 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249 SANDY HUSS City of Kotzebue Kotzebue, Alaska 99752 Position Statement: Supported CSHB 249 FRED MOODY P.O. Box 298 Nome, Alaska 99762 443-2380 Position Statement: Supported either form of HB 249 DENNIS LEWIS P.O. Box 329 Petersburg, Alaska 93833 772-4203 Position Statement: Supported either form of HB 249 JOHN LITTLEFIELD P.O. Box 2212 Sitka, Alaska 99835 747-6866 Position Statement: Supported CSHB 249 GLEN MARUNDE P.O. Box 192 Tok, Alaska 99780 883-4601 Position Statement: Supported either form of HB 249 DAN COFFEY P.O. Box 1212 Valdez, Alaska 99686 835-5533 Position Statement: Supported SSHB 249, opposed CSHB 249 KAREN BRAND, Legislative Aide Representative Carl Moses Alaska State Legislature Room 204, State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-4451 Position Statement: Delivered sponsor statement on HB 280 ART PETERSON Alaska Uniform Law Commissioner One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 202 Juneau, Alaska 99801 586-4000 Position Statement: Supported HB 280 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 249 SHORT TITLE: ELECTRICAL/MECHANICAL TRADESPERSONS BILL VERSION: SSHB 249 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) G.DAVIS TITLE: "An Act relating to persons whose occupations involve electrical or mechanical equipment and systems; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/22/93 733 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/22/93 733 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE,STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY 03/30/93 853 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED- REFERRALS 03/30/93 853 (H) L&C, STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 03/30/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/30/93 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/31/93 873 (H) L&C RPT 5DP 1NR 03/31/93 873 (H) DP: SITTON,MACKIE,MULDER, WILLIAMS,HUDSON 03/31/93 873 (H) NR: PORTER 03/31/93 873 (H) -FISCAL NOTE (LABOR) 3/31/93 04/19/93 1324 (H) JUD REFERRAL WAIVED 04/20/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SB 85 SHORT TITLE: TOURISM MARKETING COUNCIL BILL VERSION: CSSB 85(FIN) AM SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE TITLE: "An Act deleting a requirement that certain members of the board of directors of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council be substantially involved in a visitor or recreation industry business; relating to the selection of a presiding officer for the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council; requiring that the council's tourism marketing program include promotion of the state as a destination and promotion of all forms of travel to the state, including travel by air, highway, and water; extending the termination date of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council; requiring the council to consider methods to fund tourism marketing using both public and private assets and to consider methods to provide for the financial self-sufficiency of the council; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/01/93 204 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/01/93 205 (S) LABOR & COMMERCE, THEN FINANCE 02/09/93 (S) L&C AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/09/93 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 02/10/93 314 (S) L&C RPT CS 4DP 1NR NEW TITLE 02/10/93 314 (S) FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (DCED) 03/25/93 (S) FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FIN 518 04/06/93 (S) FIN AT 08:00 AM SENATE FIN 518 04/06/93 1123 (S) FIN RPT CS 5DP 1DNP NEW TITLE 04/06/93 1123 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO CS (DCED) 04/08/93 1269 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/8/93 04/08/93 1269 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/08/93 1269 (S) FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 04/08/93 1269 (S) AM NO 1 MOVED BY ADAMS 04/08/93 1270 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED Y11 N9 04/08/93 1277 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 04/08/93 1277 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 85(FIN) AM 04/08/93 1278 (S) PASSED Y16 N3 E1 04/08/93 1278 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE VOTE SAME AS PASSAGE 04/08/93 1283 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/08/93 1135 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 04/08/93 1135 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 04/20/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SB 174 SHORT TITLE: EXEMPTING CAB DRIVERS FROM EMPLOYMENT LAW BILL VERSION: CSSB 174(L&C) AM SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) KELLY,Taylor,Pearce TITLE: "An Act exempting certain taxicab operators from coverage under the Alaska Wage and Hour Act, the Alaska Employment Security Act, and the Alaska Workers' Compensation Act; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/25/93 946 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/25/93 946 (S) LABOR & COMMERCE 03/30/93 (S) L&C AT 01:30 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 04/01/93 (S) L&C AT 01:30 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 04/01/93 1039 (S) L&C RPT CS 3DP 1NR NEW TITLE 04/01/93 1039 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (LABOR) 04/15/93 1406 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/15/93 04/15/93 1409 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/15/93 1409 (S) L&C CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 04/15/93 1410 (S) ADVANCE TO 3RD RDG FAILED Y11 N9 04/15/93 1410 (S) THIRD READING 4/16 CALENDAR 04/16/93 1444 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 174(L&C) 04/16/93 1444 (S) MOTION TO RET TO 2ND FOR AM 1 WITHDRAWN 04/16/93 1445 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 2 UNAN CONSENT 04/16/93 1445 (S) AM NO 2 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 04/16/93 1446 (S) PASSED Y20 N- 04/16/93 1446 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE VOTE SAME AS PASSAGE 04/16/93 1446 (S) COSPONSOR(S): PEARCE 04/16/93 1453 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/19/93 1314 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 04/19/93 1314 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 04/20/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 209 SHORT TITLE: COMMUNITY HEALTH AIDE GRANTS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES TITLE: "An Act relating to community health aide grants." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/10/93 590 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/10/93 590 (H) CRA, STATE AFFAIRS, HES, FINANCE 04/01/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/06/93 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 04/07/93 1064 (H) CRA RPT 6DP 04/07/93 1064 (H) DP: TOOHEY, WILLIAMS, WILLIS, DAVIES 04/07/93 1064 (H) DP: SANDERS, OLBERG 04/07/93 1064 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS) 4/7/93 04/19/93 1324 (H) HES REFERRAL WAIVED 04/20/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 280 SHORT TITLE: UNIFORM CUSTODIAL TRUST ACT BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): RULES TITLE: "An Act adopting the Uniform Custodial Trust Act." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/08/93 1110 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 04/08/93 1111 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 04/20/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-42, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY called the House State Affairs Committee to order at 8:02 on April 20, 1993. Members present were Representatives Pete Kott, Harley Olberg, Bettye Davis, Gary Davis, Fran Ulmer and Jerry Sanders, representing a quorum. HB 209 COMMUNITY HEALTH AIDE GRANTS Number 019 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HB 209 and noted its introduction by the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee, and called for testimony. Number 031 DEBORAH ERICKSON, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH, joined the committee to express the department's support for HB 209. She noted the state had been providing funds for the Alaska Native Health Board for years in order to provide money for non-profit Native health aides. She stated the money was specifically provided for supervision and training of health aides, and the state was providing only about ten percent of the total funding. She noted there was no need for legislation until two larger sized Native groups splintered away from the Alaska Native Health Board, which meant that funding could not be provided those groups. She said Alaska might be subject to lawsuits unless funding for those groups was provided, which HB 209 provided for. Number 104 CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted that under the statute, grants to qualified health organizations were not limited to those grandfathered in, but the $8,000 grants seemed to be available to everyone. Number 120 MS. ERICKSON stated in the definition of each health organization the statute allows health care organizations receiving aid in 1984 to receive funding, and it is not a problem for local organizations, but rather the regional corporations. Number 135 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he had a problem with the term "entitled" in the statute. He wondered if it bothered the department that the state is obligated to pay an entitled fund. Number 143 MS. ERICKSON stated there is a provision in the statute that limits the funds to the appropriation list in the original list. Number 152 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked, if the statute allowed almost anyone to claim the aid, why not just eliminate the law and open it up completely? Number 155 MS. ERICKSON stated the law provides controls for eligibility that should be kept, and it also provides guidelines and definitions on what state funds can be used for. One concern is that the organizations taking funds do not use the funds for salaries, only for training and supervision. That way, the state's liability is limited. Number 176 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what the state gained by limiting the funds to groups contracting to Indian Health Service groups from 1984, but no new groups. Number 185 MS. ERICKSON stated it really does not limit the entry to the program. She said most of the state was covered by one central organization at one time, which would allow it to enter the program anyway. Number 201 REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER moved passage of HB 209 from House State Affairs. Number 217 House Bill 209 was moved from House State Affairs by a 7-0 vote. CSSB 85(FIN)am TOURISM MARKETING COUNCIL Number 224 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to CSSB 85(FIN)am and noted the committee heard testimony on its House counterpart the previous Saturday. He asked the committee's pleasure. Number 238 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER moved passage of CSSB 85(FIN)am. There were no objections. CSSB 174(L&C)am EXEMPTING CAB DRIVERS FROM EMPLOYMENT LAW Number 246 CHAIRMAN VEZEY then read the title to CSSB 174(L&C)am and called for a sponsor statement. Number 254 JOSH FINK, AIDE TO SENATOR TIM KELLY, joined the committee to deliver the sponsor statement. He noted Chairman Vezey introduced the House version of SB 174, and stated they were almost identical. He stated CSSB 174(L&C)am simply maintains the status quo, which gives drivers the right to collect their pay directly from customers while paying a flat fee to a dispatch service. He said CSSB 174(L&C)am also allows exemptions of taxicab operators from various state employment acts, and enjoys widespread support from both operators and dispatchers across the state. CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted the reason behind CSSB 174(L&C)am was a 1992 court decision. MR. FINK expressed his agreement, and noted that the Department of Labor is currently working to change its regulations after the decision. Number 295 KAREN CHASSE, ANCHORAGE TAXICAB PERMIT OWNERS ASSOCIATION, joined the committee to testify in favor of CSSB 174(L&C)am. She stated operators have for years gone into business for themselves, knowing in advance they would not receive the benefits outlined in state employment acts. In exchange for that, they remain independent businessmen able to determine their own hours and decide their own economic fate. She said the Department of Labor is actively trying to take that status away from drivers by classifying them as employees, while making dispatchers employers. She stated the industry and customers would both lose if that change is made. Number 372 REGINA DOYLE, DISPATCH MANAGER FOR YELLOW CAB, joined the committee to support CSSB 174(L&C)am. She echoed many of Ms. Chasse's remarks, and stated CSSB 174(L&C)am simply put the status quo into statute before independent status might be taken from drivers. REPRESENTATIVE ULMER moved passage of CSSB 174(L&C)am. There were no objections. SSHB 249 ELECTRICAL/MECHANICAL TRADESPERSONS Number 403 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to SSHB 249 and noted a committee substitute (CS) had been drawn up. He entertained a motion to adopt the new version for purposes of discussion. Number 418 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG moved for adoption of CSHB 249(STA) for purposes of discussion. There were no objections. Number 422 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked what the differences were between SSHB 249 and CSHB 249(STA). Number 425 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated CSHB 249(STA) reconstituted the Board of Electrical Examiners and the Board of Mechanical Examiners and placed them under the Department of Commerce, while SSHB 249 would have placed that responsibility under the Department of Labor. Number 432 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 249, stated he felt any version of the bill was necessary to provide for the health, welfare and safety of Alaskans statewide. He noted the sunsetting of both the electrical and mechanical examiners boards, and stated not rebuilding a mechanism to certify licenses of electrical and mechanical administrators could put the state into a position of liability. He said he preferred SSHB 249 to CSHB 249(STA), but because of the urgency of the need, would accept the CS. Number 459 CHARLES MAHLEN, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, testified in favor of SSHB 249 and in opposition to CSHB 249(STA), saying there was a studied need to transfer responsibility of the electrical and mechanical administrators to Labor because of enforcement problems in the Commerce Department. He stated HB 249 was created after the Attorney General noted the need to draw up new administrative and enforcement practices. He said the idea behind the original version of HB 249 was to streamline the administrative, license and training problems behind the electrical and mechanical administrators positions. He also stated that putting the licenses back under the Commerce Department would recreate the enforcement problems first cited by the Attorney General. Number 507 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked how the enforcement would be different. Number 509 COMMISSIONER MAHLEN stated the penalty under the later version was only $300, which would amount to nothing for people working on major projects. Number 518 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated the original statute provided for only a $300 fine, with the possibility of injunctive relief in court. He asked if the commissioner would advocate a larger fine. Number 531 COMMISSIONER MAHLEN stated he felt the administrator should also be responsible for all project work and that the jail time previously included should also be written in. Number 541 CHAIRMAN VEZEY told the commissioner he felt he didn't get an answer to his question, and restated it as to whether the statutory fine should be adjusted, and if so, to what level. Number 545 COMMISSIONER MAHLEN stated he felt the injunctive relief should cover the damages, but restated his wish to see jail time included. Number 552 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER reminded the Chairman of an auto bill the House took up in which the statute gave the court the right to determine the severity of the penalty depending on the offense. She suggested the court ought to be given the same latitude depending on the size of the job under the administrators purview. Number 568 CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted a previous version set out penalties of up to 60 days in jail, and stated he felt a jail term was inappropriate for this type of economic crime. Number 571 COMMISSIONER MAHLEN stated he felt the penalties were immaterial unless enforcement was returned to Labor, as opposed to Commerce. Number 587 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the commissioner to return to the topic of the penalties themselves, and asked if the commissioner would favor a sliding scale system proposed by Representative Ulmer. Number 591 COMMISSIONER MAHLEN said he could go along with penalties being meted out on basis of the scale of the job. Number 598 JIM WHITE, PRESIDENT OF SOUTHEAST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, testified in favor of some form of HB 249, but stated he had several problems with CSHB 249(STA). He said he opposed the provision stating any job lasting over 24 hours must be inspected personally by an electrical administrator. He stated in outlying areas jobs may last more than 24 hours for a variety of reasons, none of which would require a personal inspection. He stated requiring one would cost the industry and consumers unfairly. Number 620 CHAIRMAN VEZEY agreed, saying he felt the provision should also be addressed. Number 627 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS asked what Mr. White thought of CSHB 249(STA). Number 630 MR. WHITE responded he did not like the CS, stating he felt going back to the previous system, as CSHB 249(STA) did, would be a step backward. He stated there was a need for consistency, which putting the entire process under Labor would do, and would make the system more efficient and better enforced. He noted that Commerce had little real enforcement power in the field, and putting enforcement into the department that administered the program would be better. Number 656 GLEN CAVE, PRESIDENT OF CAVE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS, testified in opposition of CSHB 249(STA). He stated putting electrical administrators in the field was better than placing them in a bureaucracy. He said building a new bureaucracy under Labor was a mistake and he favored returning to the board system. Number 675 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS asked if Mr. Cave could support CSHB 249(STA). Number 680 MR. CAVE said he supported the original bill (SSHB 249), but he had problems with the criminal penalties that were to be enforced. He stated it was best to allow problems to be worked out between contractors and customers before allowing the courts to become involved. He also opposed the licensing exemption for professional engineers. TAPE 93-43, SIDE B Number 020 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS asked why Mr. Cave opposed the exemption for professional engineers. MR. CAVE stated that while professional engineers had extensive schooling, they should be required to take the test because of the broad area covered in practical electrical work. He also said exempting engineers from the licensing provision did not take into account the possibility of a lack of experience in the person. GEORGE MCCOY, A FORMER MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF ELECTRICAL EXAMINERS, testified by teleconference from Anchorage in favor of CSHB 249(STA). He stated there was a greater need for renewal of electrical administrators' licenses than ever before because of the increasing population and because of the changes in technology. He opposed the 24 hour personal inspection requirement, stating such a requirement would place a financial burden on the industry and the customer. Number 129 GARY TRIEWEILER testified by teleconference from Homer in favor of either version of HB 249. He stated he was surprised it took the legislature this long to address a pressing need for the state for more than a year, and it was up to the committee to get in gear and pass some form of the bill. Number 146 CHARLES METZ, ELECTRICAL ADMINISTRATOR, testified by teleconference from Fairbanks in opposition to CSHB 249(STA), stating the latest version did not closely resemble the original HB 249. He objected to the exemption given to professional engineers, despite their extensive schooling, saying their degree would not cover the necessary comprehensive code analysis for everyday use. He called for the committee to revert to SSHB 249 and reject CSHB 249(STA). Number 197 DENNIS ERICKSON testified by teleconference from Ketchikan to support SSHB 249, and urged rejection of CSHB 249(STA). Number 209 WILL JAHRIG testified by teleconference from Kenai in opposition to CSHB 249. He stated he saw a need for a bill to be passed, but said he had several objections to the latest version, including the allowance of outside contractors to be given licenses without testing. He stated such a practice would put Alaskans at risk. He also objected to the exemption given professional engineers. Number 245 SANDY HUSS testified by teleconference from Kotzebue in favor of CSHB 249. He stated he had several problems with the latest version of HB 249, but said any version was better than none at all. He noted there was a need to set a standard for Alaskans to follow until the system could be perfected, and no one would benefit by allowing licenses to lapse. Number 273 FRED MOODY testified by teleconference from Nome in favor of passing either form of HB 249. He stated he was most concerned with keeping licenses valid. He also opposed the professional engineers exemption in CSHB 249(STA). Number 317 DENNIS LEWIS testified by teleconference from Petersburg in support of either version of HB 249. He stated the main concern was not allowing licenses to lapse, and stated it was important to get new electrical administrators on line as soon as possible. Number 336 JOHN LITTLEFIELD testified by teleconference from Sitka in support of CSHB 249(STA), but said he had several problems with the latest version. Specifically, he had objections to sections five, eight, nine and ten. He stated it was wrong to exempt professional engineers from the licensing exam; that the $300 fine to be imposed for violations was too low; and that he would prefer to see the entire process put into the Labor Department. However, he said, despite those objections, it was of primary importance to pass some version of the bill. Number 360 GLENN MARUNDE testified by teleconference from Tok in support of SSHB 249, but said he could also go along with the later version. He registered his objections to the engineering exemption and noted that many people in rural areas do their own work, so he called for an increase in the number of administrators, as well as an increase in the number of electrical inspectors. Number 408 DAN COFFEY testified by teleconference from Valdez in support of SSHB 249 and in opposition to CSHB 249(STA). He objected to the exemption for professional engineers, and also called for the streamlining of the process. Number 420 CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted the committee had heard from 14 witnesses on HB 249 and stated he felt time was running out on the last committee meeting of the session. He entertained comments and motions on HB 249. Number 437 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS moved passage of CSHB 249(STA) with individual recommendations. Number 440 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS inquired where the bill was headed next. CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated it was slated next for Judiciary. Number 449 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS withdrew his motion in order to discuss section five, which dealt with the testing exemption for professional engineers. Number 466 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated the reason he deleted the test requirement for engineers was because under current law three licenses would be required to complete and inspect a job: that of the journeyman electrician, the electrical administrator and the professional engineer. He said if the engineer were exempt, that would cut the level of licenses needed on any one job to two, which would accordingly cut costs for consumers. He also noted that being a professional engineer requires not only a degree but years of experience and the successful completion of a comprehensive test. He also told the committee the standard for such a test was higher than that required of an administrator. Number 488 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS said he saw no reference to licensed electrical engineers in CSHB 249(STA). Number 493 CHAIRMAN VEZEY explained there was no legal status for licensed electrical engineers, and the policing and guarantor of the proficiency of such engineers was a function of the Board of Architects and Engineers. He also stated there was only one statutory category of engineers, that of the professional engineer. He stated the board issues specialty endorsements in several areas, and that it is a violation of ethical and legal standards to practice engineering outside the area of a specialty endorsement. Number 501 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER noted a problem on page two, line seven. She stated there was an apparent conflict on line 19, which stated a violation would constitute the commission of a misdemeanor, but also deleted the possibility of imprisonment. She stated she interpreted the misdemeanor statute to include fines of up to $10,000 and up to 60 days of jail time. She stated that leaving it up to the court with respect to jail time might be better. Number 517 CHAIRMAN VEZEY said he interpreted an unclassified misdemeanor to carry no jail time. Number 521 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER moved an amendment to place a period after the word "violation" on line 19. There were no objections. Number 530 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS noted a problem under the "lapse of license" section, which set four years as the retesting time. He stated that codes could easily change in four years, and suggested putting the word "and" in the sentence to cover that possibility. Number 542 CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted he built the four year period in to prevent licenses from lapsing this year, after the legislature failed to keep them alive after the board's 1992 sunset. REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS withdrew his motion to amend the line. REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS noted a need for an amendment on page three for section 11, line 12, similar to the previous amendment mentioned by Representative Ulmer, with this amendment applying to the section dealing with Mechanical Administrators. He so moved the amendment. There were no objections. Number 572 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked for clarification on penalties for Class C misdemeanors. Number 589 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS returned to his earlier concerns over competency testing, and moved placing the word "by" with "and" in the previous line. There were no objections. CHAIRMAN VEZEY put the committee at ease to look up Class C misdemeanor statutes. Number 607 CHAIRMAN VEZEY called the committee back to order after a short discussion with Representative Ulmer and the committee staff. He entertained a motion to change the wording in the penalty section from "misdemeanor" to violation, which would effectively allow for a fine of up to $10,000 and give the court discretion on jail terms. Number 614 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS moved the amendment suggested by the chairman. There were no objections. Number 625 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS noted problems with section eight of CSHB 249(STA). He said the new wording appeared to be redundant with respect to the duties and responsibilities of professional engineers working as electrical administrators. Number 633 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he found the section confusing as well, but he had been assured by Legislative Legal it was consistent with the goals laid out in CSHB 249(STA). However, he said he saw no reason for the section and stated he felt it could safely be deleted. Number 645 REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS stated it appeared to him to limit the inspection powers. Number 647 CHAIRMAN VEZEY remarked it actually removed work done by the engineer from being inspected, since it was previously supervised by the engineer. REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS moved deletion of section eight. There were no objections. CHAIRMAN VEZEY called for further discussion. Seeing none, he called the question to pass CSHB 249(STA). CSHB 249(STA) passed by a 7-0 vote. HB 280 UNIFORM CUSTODIAL TRUST ACT Number 689 CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HB 280 and called for its sponsor statement. TAPE 93-44, SIDE A Number 000 KAREN BRAND, LEGISLATIVE AIDE TO REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, joined the committee to present the sponsor's statement. She explained that the intent of HB 280 was to allow everyone in Alaska the chance to develop their own trust in an easy, inexpensive way. She noted that the person who creates the trust would remain in control unless becoming incapacitated or died, and that such a system had already been developed in several other states. She stated HB 280 would benefit Alaska seniors or those who anticipate being incapacitated for a period of time, and that the Uniform Custodial Trust Act had been endorsed by the American Bar Association. She noted similar legislation had passed the House in the second session of the 17th Legislature, but died in the Senate due to time running out. Number 054 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked why a person would not be allowed to revoke the trust when they became incapacitated. MS. BRAND deferred to a uniform law commissioner seated in the committee room. Number 069 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what HB 280 would accomplish that wasn't possible under current trust law. MS. BRAND again deferred to the commissioner. Number 069 ART PETERSON, UNIFORM LAW COMMISSIONER FOR THE STATE OF ALASKA, joined the committee to testify in favor of HB 280. He stated the Uniform Custodial Trade Act (UCTA) would provide those people who anticipated being incapacitated with a chance to direct their assets after such incapacitation. He stated the idea was to provide an easy, legal, simple way for common people to use such an idea, without the problems associated with trusts. He stated under the current system, trusts could only be established with a lawyer, much paperwork, court appearances, and at great expense. He said HB 280 simplified the system and even provided a form for those who would wish to use it. Number 129 CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked about the ability to transfer the trust. MR. PETERSON noted that section E of HB 280 provides that an incapacitated person cannot transfer or change the trust upon his incapacitation. CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he was confused by the interchangeable use of the terms "transferor, transferee, beneficiary." Number 170 MR. PETERSON stated the terms are indeed interchangeable depending on the role of the person referred to in the document. He stated that in some cases, one person could play several roles. Number 184 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER explained to the committee that a bill similar to HB 280 passed the House in the previous legislature; it was non-controversial; it enjoyed widespread support; and would benefit most Alaskans; and she urged the committee to pass the bill. Number 197 MR. PETERSON also took the time to convey the endorsement of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), whose representative was forced to leave the meeting due to time considerations. Number 203 CHAIRMAN VEZEY also confirmed AARP'S endorsement, and stated he had spoken with John Shaffer of AARP. He said he did not wish to rush the committee in its choices on HB 280, but considering its apparent widespread support, he asked the members' pleasure. Number 213 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS moved passage of HB 280. Number 232 House Bill 280 passed by a 6-0 vote. Number 238 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER noted the end of the agenda, but asked the committee Chairman to consider waiving either HB 36 or HB 215 from committee so it might be considered on the House floor. Number 253 CHAIRMAN VEZEY said he appreciated the Representative's concern with getting the bill out, but said he and other committee members simply had not enough time to collect the entire cost figures for a Retirement Incentive Program. He stated he felt HB 215 carried a large fiscal note, and until the total cost could be determined, he did not wish to move it or HB 36. Number 265 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated she felt both bills did not create a financial burden, and that the costs to the state were benign. CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated it appeared to create an unfunded obligation to the state pension fund, which would make the costs to employers so high they would not be willing to participate in such a program. Number 276 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated she felt school districts covered under HB 215 would be willing to participate in the program. ADJOURNMENT Number 293 CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated that any shortfall created under a RIP (Retirement Incentive Program) would eventually cost general fund monies, and therefore should be looked at more closely. With that, he adjourned the last scheduled House State Affairs Committee meeting for the First Session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature at 9:55 a.m.