Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/23/1995 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 March 23, 1995 8:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Scott Ogan, Vice Chair Representative Ivan Representative Brian Porter Representative Caren Robinson Representative Ed Willis Representative Joe Green MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 2: An Act allowing courts to require certain offenders as a special condition of probation to complete a boot camp program provided by the Department of Corrections; making prisoners who complete the boot camp program eligible for discretionary parole; providing for incarceration of certain nonviolent offenders in boot camps operated by the Department of Corrections; allowing the Department of Corrections to contract with a person for an alternative boot camp program; creating the Boot Camp Advisory Board in the Department of Corrections; and providing for an effective date. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 239: "An Act declaring the dragonfly as the official state insect." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HB 46: "An Act relating to the practice of architecture, engineering, and land surveying." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 243: "An Act relating to licensure of landscape architects." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 238: "An Act excluding certain direct sellers of consumer products from coverage under the state unemployment compensation laws." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD *HB 267: "An Act relating to review and expiration of regulations; and providing for an effective date." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HB 218: "An Act relating to the payment of certain trucking operators." BILL POSTPONED (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Corrections 240 Main Street, Suite 700 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-4640 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 2 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 501 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-4527 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 239 RUTH BRADFORD, Teacher Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 BRUCK CLIFT, 7th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 RAINY DIEHL, 8th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 DANA DIEHL, 6th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 DEIDRE BUSH, 8th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 RACHEL BOELENS, 7th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 ANDREA GUSTY, 6th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 DEREK ALUIA, 7th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 MELANIE MATTER, 5th grade student Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak P. O. Box 29 Aniak, Alaska 99557 Telephone: 675-4487 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 239 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green State Capitol, Room 24 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-4931 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 46 DAVID L. BENNETT, Employee PTI Telecommunications 3940 Arctic Boulevard Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: 564- 3005 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 46 JIM ROWE, Executive Director Alaska Telephone Association 4341 B Street, Suite 304 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: 563-4000 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 46 GEORGE FINDLING, Manager of Government Relations ARCO Alaska Box 100360 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Telephone: 263-4174 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 46 COLIN MAYNARD, President Alaska Professional Design Council 1400 W. Benson, Suite 500 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: 274-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 46 DAVID ADAMS, President Adams, Morgenthaler & Co. 3333 Denali, No. 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99515 Telephone: 279-0431 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 46 DOYLE CARROLL, Representative Anchorage Telephone Utilities 600 Telephone Ave. Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: 279-0543 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 46 WILLIAM MENDENHALL, Board Member Alaska State Board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors 1907 Yankovich Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: 479-2786 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 46 and provided information on HB 243 MIKE TAURIANEN, Member Alaska State Board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors Box 937 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: 262-4624 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 46 GEORGE DOZIER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott State Capitol, Room 432 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 465-3777 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 243 DWAYNE ADAMS, Representative Land Design North 510 L Street, Suite 101 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: 276-5885 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 243 LINDA CYRA-KORSGAARD, President Alaska Chapter of Ground Management Society Landscape Architects 1509 P Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: 279-0543 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 243 KEN MORTON, Landscape architect Alaska State Parks 3942 Turnagain Anchorage, Alaska 99517 Telephone: 248-4999 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 243 BEVERLY WARD, Representative ARCO Alaska 134 North Franklin Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: 586-3680 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 243 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 2 SHORT TITLE: BOOT CAMP FOR NONVIOLENT OFFENDERS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIS,Rokeberg JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 20 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 21 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 21 (H) STA, JUD, FIN 03/07/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/07/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/14/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/21/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/21/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 239 SHORT TITLE: DRAGONFLY AS STATE INSECT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) NICHOLIA JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/08/95 641 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/08/95 641 (H) STATE AFFAIRS 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 46 SHORT TITLE: ARCHITECT, ENGINEER & SURVEYOR REGULATION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 32 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/16/95 32 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 33 (H) LABOR AND COMMERCE, STATE AFFAIRS 03/08/95 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/08/95 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/15/95 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/15/95 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/17/95 768 (H) L&C RPT CS(L&C) 4NR 3AM 03/17/95 768 (H) NR: KUBINA,PORTER,SANDERS,MASEK 03/17/95 768 (H) AM: KOTT, ROKEBERG, ELTON 03/17/95 768 (H) 2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DCED, DNR) 03/21/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/21/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 243 SHORT TITLE: LICENSING OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/08/95 644 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/08/95 644 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 238 SHORT TITLE: NO UNEMPLOYMENT COMP FOR DIRECT SELLERS SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE BY REQUEST JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/08/95 641 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/08/95 641 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 267 SHORT TITLE: REGULATION REVIEW AND EXPIRATION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES,Kelly JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/17/95 779 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/17/95 779 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/20/95 825 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KELLY 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 218 SHORT TITLE: PROMPT PAYMENT OF TRUCKING SUBCONTRACTORS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES BY REQUEST JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 03/01/95 531 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/01/95 531 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, TRANSPORTATION, JUDICIARY 03/07/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/07/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-34, SIDE A Number 000 The meeting of the House State Affairs Standing Committee was called to order at 8:00 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Ogan, Green, Ivan, Porter, and Willis. Representative Robinson arrived at 8:26 a.m. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES stated there was a quorum present. The meeting was teleconferenced to Anchorage, Barrow, Fairbanks, Juneau, Matanuska Valley, and Kenai/Soldotna. Chair James announced the first bill scheduled for testimony was HB 239. She called for bill sponsor, Representative Irene Nicholia, to come testify. Representative Nicholia was running late, and so it was decided to hear testimony on HB 2 while waiting. Chair James called for bill sponsor, Representative Ed Willis, to testify on behalf of his bill. HSTA - 03/23/95 HB 2 - BOOT CAMP FOR NONVIOLENT OFFENDERS Number 015 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS stated they had heard testimony on HB 2 in an earlier meeting, and during the discussion, there was concerns expressed by the Administration, which have been remedied by the proposed committee substitute for HB 2 presented to the committee at this time. Changes from the original bill included placing an age cap of 26 years on those who would be eligible for the program and allowing the Department of Corrections to select candidates for the boot camp program. Representative Willis stated it was not his intention to allow the boot camp program to be a bargaining chip during trial. Also, the Administration was concerned about the language alternative boot camp in the bill, and so this was deleted and replaced with the term contract boot camp. Finally, in the proposed committee substitute, the Superior Court Judge was eliminated from the boot camp advisory board. He thought Jerry Shriner, Special Assistant to Commissioner Pugh of the Department of Corrections, would be able to explain the changes better, and so would like to hear his testimony. Number 112 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant to Commissioner Pugh of the Department of Corrections, stated the Department of Corrections was in favor of this bill. They thought the bill sponsor has been very cooperative in taking the departments concerns into consideration. There were a few changes they would like to see, but thought they were trivial and could be dealt with at a later time. As an example, they would have liked to see the age cap of 26 years on candidates a little higher, but were reassured this could be amended at a later time. With reference to the issue of contracting out a boot camp facility, he wanted to assure the committee the department was not against the idea of contracting this facility, but was concerned the original language of alternative could be interpreted as meaning the department could operate its own boot camp facility and be required to also operate a private alternative boot camp program. The department wanted to avoid having to run two boot camp facilities. They were not trying to limit this bill to allowing only a state run boot camp facility. He added earlier, he had mentioned a computer program the department was getting, which would allow them to get some ideas on how to best operate and staff this facility, how long candidates should be held in this facility, and the type of parole conditions that should be on them. He said they had this program now and had run some scenarios for this proposed facility. One thing this program had demonstrated, was that the sponsor was correct in not allowing the boot camp program to be used as a condition of parole by the courts. This was because the department was trying to use the boot camp program as a means of reducing the prison population. If the intent is to use the boot camp program as a means of reducing prison population, then you must be careful to insure that candidates for the program would have gone into prison otherwise. He thought the state must be extremely careful to not allow this facility to become a plea bargaining tool to expand our prison population. The department was still gathering data to find out how many prisoners would qualify for the program. He said the department would have this information available later as the bill continues through the committee process. He stated he would be glad to answer any questions from the committee. Number 188 CHAIR JAMES asked whether there was any economic conclusions from their computer model or other studies. MR. SHRINER replied there were not any economic conclusions specifically, but the program does allow for some extrapolation of calculations for cost savings. He said the computer program does provide information, such as whether there will be a net increase or decrease in the prison population and the results arising from this. In their use of the program, the department has found it would take approximately two years to realize a 100 bed reduction in the prison system. From information such as this, the department can make some extrapolations as to the cost savings of the program. He wanted to clarify though, that their preliminary research indicated the normal day to day operation of a boot camp facility was more expensive than that of a normal prison facility. The savings from a boot camp program result from the fact they are designed to be short duration programs. Cost savings are realized from the ability to move people into the system and provide the training, punishment, and reformative factors in a much shorter period of time with a hopefully lower recidivism rate. Finally, he wanted to state that research indicated that simply holding someone in a boot camp program does not lower the recidivism rate without coordinating this detention with other educational programs. The benefit only results from placing a candidate in a boot camp program, which then allows them to more successfully complete other programs, such as educational training or substance abuse programs. Number 263 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asked if they had looked at the federal model of boot camp facilities, operated by the Army National Guard. He pointed out that they do not go through a period of discipline and then follow it up with an educational program, but rather combine it. MR. SHRINER agreed, saying he did not mean to imply the programs would have to be operated consecutively, but rather would be run simultaneously. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked about the expected duration of the boot camp program. MR. SHRINER stated it was an expected duration of approximately 150 days. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER realized this was within the parameters of a municipal misdemeanor sentence and wondered whether the program could accept misdemeanor offenders from municipalities. MR. SHRINER stated the program could accept misdemeanor offenders, but this would have to be weighed depending upon the goals of the program. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER verified whether the federal youthful misdemeanor offender classification went up to about 26 years of age. MR. SHRINER said he was not sure. Number 299 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked for an explanation of why a boot camp program would cost more to operate than the typical hard bed prison facility. MR. SHRINER explained the operating costs were higher, because it takes additional staff to facilitate the additional discipline and educational programs associated with a boot camp program. Because you were doing a larger amount of program management and discipline, you needed a higher staff to prisoner ratio. Thus, the costs of operating a boot camp facility on a daily basis was higher. He wanted to reiterate though, that the cost of the physical facility for housing the program was lower, because these were minimum to medium security prisoners. Number 336 CHAIR JAMES noted the arrival of Representative Robinson at 8:26 a.m. She said she thought the advantage of this type of program was the lower recidivism rate. She asked if he had any data on this from any of their computer models or studies. MR. SHRINER stated they had not completed their studies of this issue, but the information they had gathered showed mixed results. They were still trying to determine why some programs were successful and others were not. CHAIR JAMES commented her other question was whether there was a point where, based on the volume of prisoners in the facility, there was a cost-savings to the state, based upon the size of the facility. MR. SHRINER thought her implication that the larger the facility, the more efficient it might be, was probably correct. He said there was a limited number of people who would currently qualify for this program, of about 230-245 prisoners. He said he was not sure of how fast the turnover rate of prisoners in the program would be. At this point, they were estimating a program of about 50-100 prisoners. In terms of cost savings, he thought it was probably more efficient to run a facility of about 200 inmates, but did not see this volume as feasible in Alaska. Even with the smaller facility, the Department of Corrections estimated a net savings to the state over a two year period. Thus, he thought they could operate effectively, if they were careful in designing the program, who they selected as candidates for the program and consistently applied the other educational programs as a follow up to the boot camp facility. He said they were still examining how they could reconfigure populations in their other facilities across the state, after selecting inmates for the boot camp program. He mentioned there was some federal money available for construction of boot camp facilities, with the theory of detaining minimum to medium security prisoners in these programs and allowing more room for incarcerating higher risk prisoners in other facilities. While agreeing with this concept in principle, he felt it was difficult to achieve this with our small population. Number 409 CHAIR JAMES commented this was typical of the economics of this state, where you had a large state with a small population. She mentioned to Representative Willis, the bill sponsor, that there was earlier a rather large fiscal note for construction of the boot camp facility and wondered whether it was still applicable. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER was curious whether there was the possibility of partnering with the existing boot camp facility of the Army National Guard. He said he would be interested in the answer to this question if the Department of Corrections would not mind researching to find out. He said he had personally observed this program and thought it was very effective. Number 439 CHAIR JAMES said she would like to pass this bill out of committee. She asked if the a committee member would make a motion to that effect. REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN supported the concept of a boot camp facility, feeling this would help to teach discipline to younger offenders. He said his only concern, was the large fiscal note attached to the bill. He wondered where we would make cuts to fund this bill. CHAIR JAMES answered that this committee needed to concern itself with whether it would be to the benefit of the state to have this option in the statutes. She noted that if the fiscal note was a problem, this bill probably would not receive a hearing on the floor of the House. She thought that there was some real potential in the option of contracting such a facility out. Number 476 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN concurred with the comments and concerns of Representative Ogan. He wondered whether there had been any consideration of using any of the recently abandoned military locations as a site for this facility. CHAIR JAMES said she was sure there had been some consideration of this, and also wanted to point out that in the past, when a statute was signed into law and not funded, the tool was still there at a later date for implementation when the funds were available. She thought this might be the case with this bill. If the option is not in the statutes, then it is not available even if the funds are found. She thought this was another reason to justify passing this out of committee. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN mentioned he would like to see a similar program for juvenile offenders. He thought this might be the most cost-effective use of this type of program. CHAIR JAMES commented this also would have a large fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER thought this need had already been met and available in the form of the Army National Guard program. CHAIR JAMES asked for a committee member to make a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute for HB 2, version F, dated 3-16-95, as the working document for the committee. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS moved to adopt the committee substitute. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objections from the committee. Hearing none, the motion passed. She asked for a motion to pass this bill out of committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN commented that he agreed with the philosophical concept of this bill, but with the states current financial situation, he would be forced to vote in opposition to this bill. Number 541 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON responded that the legislature was putting more laws on the books to toughen penalties for crime, and somewhere in the future, they were going to have to look at options for incarceration and building new prison facilities. Thus, even with the tight budget, she thought it was a good idea to get this option in the statutes as an alternative. She expected the state was going to have to build more prison facilities to deal with the growing inmate population, and thought this was the best approach. MR. SHRINER wanted to mention there was research by the Department of Corrections to use existing facilities at Fort Richardson and Fort Greely. He said there was nothing definite, but there was some real possibilities. They were also sending representatives out for training in operating these types of facilities at the expense of the federal government. They were not expecting to receive additional funding, but thought they would gain some extra knowledge. They thought they might learn of ways to build cheaper facilities and gain access to federal funding. Number 566 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to pass CSHB 2 out of committee with unanimous consent, individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objections. Hearing none, the bill was moved. She called Representative Irene Nicholia to testify on HB 239 as the bill sponsor. HSTA - 03/23/95 HB 239 - DRAGONFLY AS STATE INSECT Number 579 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA said HB 239 amends Alaska statutes to declare the dragonfly as the official state insect. This suggestion was first brought to the attention of the legislature by a group of students from Aniak, Alaska, she said. She stated nominations for the official state insect first started being collected in 1992. Besides the nomination for the dragonfly, there were nominations for the mosquito, the butterfly, and the bumblebee. Following the nomination process, ballots were sent to every public school in the state. The winning nomination was the four spot skimmer dragonfly by 3,941 votes. This nomination won by a margin of 868 votes. She recognized many Alaskans may feel the mosquito would be a wiser choice for state insect, but encouraged support for the dragonfly, as it was a predator of the mosquito, was one of the largest insects in the largest state, the ability of the dragonfly to hover was reminiscent of Alaskas bush pilots, and its large eyes reflected the diversity of culture and beliefs in our state. Thus, the dragonfly is the most appropriate candidate. She encouraged the committee to support the choice of Alaskas students. CHAIR JAMES mentioned there was eight students and one teacher wishing to testify from Aniak. She called for them to testify. Number 621 RUTH BRADFORD, Teacher at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, informed the committee the students had short presentation to explain their cause to make the dragonfly the official state insect. While recognizing the important concerns facing the legislature, they wanted to emphasize this was a grassroots effort from the students of this state. BRUCK CLIFT, 7th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, stated the dragonfly had been around since prehistoric times. By outlasting the dinosaurs, they show Alaska has more than a history of snow and ice. RAINY DIEHL, 8th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, argued the dragonfly is unique, because of its colors and is larger than most flying insects. He thought it was unfortunate there was not enough to destroy all of the mosquitoes in Alaska. DANA DIEHL, 6th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, said she voted for the dragonfly, because they eat mosquitoes. She thought Alaska was better with fewer mosquitoes. DEIDRE BUSH, 8th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, metaphorically mentioned she flew high as a four spot skimmer dragonfly. She said she represented Alaska, because shes an awesome guy. Shell eat mosquitoes until the day she dies. RACHEL BOELENS, 7th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, says she likes mosquitoes, but they are a pest. Because they eat mosquitoes, dragonflies are the best. ANDREA GUSTY, 6th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, thought the dragonfly deserves to be the state insect, because it is slender and graceful, and was the choice of most Alaska students. DEREK ALUIA, 7th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, thought that any insect as big and beautiful as the dragonfly and can survive Interior Alaskas winters, deserves to be the official state insect. MELANIE MATTER, 5th grade student at Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School, said she worked hard on this project. She promised not to stop working until the dragonfly was the official state insect. Number 694 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER confessed he was one of those who had originally been a supporter of the mosquito. Having heard the testimony, he was persuaded and is switching his vote. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN agreed with Representative Porter. He mentioned he had drafted an amendment to change the word dragonfly to mosquito, but had been persuaded by the testimony of the Dragonfly Lobby Team to support the dragonfly. He said he would hate to be accused of being a mean spirited Republican." He thought the students were doing a good job. CHAIR JAMES called for a motion to pass this bill out of committee. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated he was overwhelmed by the forcefulness of the argument by the Dragonfly Lobby Team, and would move the committee pass this bill out of committee. TAPE 95-34, SIDE B Number 000 CHAIR JAMES was pleased the students used this as an educational process to learn how government works. She asked if there was any objection to passing this bill out of committee, but was reminded there was a proposed committee substitute for HB 239. She explained the committee substitute clarified that it was the four spot skimmer dragonfly intended as the official state insect. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he would withdraw his previous motion to allow the committee substitute to be adopted. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt CSHB 239 version C, dated 3-17-95, as the working document. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, the committee substitute was adopted. Number 036 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to pass CSHB 239, version C, with unanimous consent out of committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS thought maybe the motion should say the committee shoos the dragonfly out of committee. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objections. Hearing none, the bill passed out of committee. HSTA - 03/23/95 HB 46 - ARCHITECT, ENGINEER & SURVEYOR REGULATION Number 099 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to bill sponsor, Representative Green, said before he gave his sponsor statement, he wanted to verify the committee had before them proposed committee substitute for HB 46, version K. He passed out copies of this version to the committee. He said there was an error in which version of HB 46 was transmitted. He thanked the committee for the opportunity to present HB 46 to the committee and stated he would like to explain the different sections of the bill to the committee. MR. LOGAN explained that Section 1 of HB 46 regulates when a document must have the stamp of a professional engineer or surveyor. He argued the sponsor had rewritten Section 1 in a more active sense to make it more compatible with the rest of the bill. He stated the committee may hear testimony citing substantial differences between the sponsor's language and that being deleted, but said they disagreed with this argument. He argued the new language clarifies when a registrant has to stamp or seal a document. He stated the intent of the sponsor was to clarify this section. MR. LOGAN continued, Section 2 of HB 46 is the prohibitive practice section of the bill. He stated this section was included at the request of a constituent, who saw there was a conflict in the statutes between AS 48.281 and AS 48.331. Under this conflict, when the Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational Licensing inspectors find a person not in compliance, because of this conflict, there was difficulty in motivating the Department of Law to prosecute these cases because of the loophole. This section of HB 46 attempts to close that loophole, by deleting the words a registered which requires all engineers to be qualified to have that title. MR. LOGAN said Section 3 is the meat of the bill. This section reinserts an exemption from the requirements of the chapter. This section was deleted from the statutes in 1990, but had existed previously. Since the removal, it has become apparent to the bill sponsor, Representative Green, that a lot of companies, workers, and Alaskans in general, depend on and need this section. After reviewing the entire record, Mr. Logan said he found that no members of the public testified at the hearing. He was not sure why representatives affected by this did not testify at these hearings. It turns out, this exemption does affect a large number of Alaskans, and so the bill sponsor is attempting to reinsert it with HB 46. This exemption essentially says that an employee working for a company who does engineering services, need not be a licensed engineer. He felt it was likely the committee would hear comments on both sides of the issue, but was confident the committee would be persuaded to reinsert it into Alaskas statutes. Number 197 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wanted to clarify that under Section 2, the wording a registered was deleted was an attempt to tighten the legislation that prohibits an individual from claiming to be an engineer for hire, unless appropriately registered. He said the intent was to tighten the statutes, not make them broader. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked why, according to public record, the exemption was removed in 1990. MR. LOGAN replied the reason given was that the language was too broad. He said there was testimony from the Division of Occupational Licensing, that there had been a case where a large bank with engineers on staff, claimed to be exempted under the current law. He did not know if the building was ever built. This was the only reason listed in the public record. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any other questions or comments from the committee. She said there were people wanting to testify on teleconference. She asked if there was anyone wanting to testify on HB 46 from Anchorage. She stated she had not received the list of names of those wanting to testify, and so those testifying would have to be clear in stating their names and addresses to the committee. She asked that testifiers limit their testimony to about two minutes. Number 251 DAVID L. BENNETT, employee for PTI Telecommunications, stated the company and their customers had a vested interest in HB 46. He said they were in the business of designing their own telecommunications infrastructure to service their customers. He emphasized they were not in the business of designing systems for other companies or the public. They were not aware of any public safety issues related to telecommunications utility systems design. He wanted to say they supported HB 46. JIM ROWE, Executive Director of the Alaska Telephone Association, said their company was representing 22 local exchange companies in the state, who deliver local telephone service. They were very supportive of the passage of this bill through the legislature. He claimed the exemption was removed without their knowledge or participation. He wanted to point out the language was taken out, not as a result of public outcry and without anyone asking for protection. He claimed there was no indication of any substandard buildings. He said the company does yield completely to national safety standards and building standards. Thus, they did not feel the need for the seal of a licensed engineer on their projects. He argued this would not improve safety standards, as they were already historically good. With this exemption, the company would still be liable for any damages. Furthermore, he wanted to point out that the customers would bear the extra cost of this requirement, should the exemption not be reinstated. He said he would be available for questions from the committee. Number 327 GEORGE FINDLING, Manager of Government Relations for ARCO Alaska, said they did support the proposed committee substitute for HB 46. He said ARCO found Section 1 of HB 46 to be a technical clarification of existing law. He thought the improvement came when the statute was switched to the active voice, as required by the manual of legislative drafting. The new language defines who is to comply with this statute. He said several parties he had been in contact with felt it might be prudent to seek an expedited legal opinion from either legislative or administrative attorneys, regarding whether Section 1 changes existing statute or not. He also wanted to point out, that in the case of a general exemption, ARCO has been on record as supporting this. He said 37 other states currently have broad exemptions. When Alaska had its exemption before 1990, they saw no major disadvantage to it. Having listened to the public record himself, he also found no reason for the change of 1990. By choosing to restore this exemption, he felt Alaska would see an increase in costs and a loss of competitiveness. He wanted to clarify that ARCO was not trying to avoid meeting legitimate safety concerns, but pointed out that they were already a highly regulated industry. In their discussions, he said no one has identified any specific concerns over their operations. Should any arise, he reassured the committee they would address them through the agency that dealt with that activity. Number 377 COLIN MAYNARD, President of the Alaska Professional Design Council, said he and other individuals of the engineering community had met with representatives of the oil, telephone, and cable television industries to attempt to come up with a compromise on this bill. The result was a memo before the committee, which showed general agreement for an approach acceptable for all parties involved. This approach would allow specific industries to be exempted, rather than giving broad exemptions, such as existed before 1990. He argued the exemption was removed in 1990, because of its broad nature. Reinstating it does not solve the problem, he argued. They suggested automatically exempting industries where there was no safety problem, and then allow the board to exempt other industries, as necessary, where public safety was not at risk. He thought this was the intent of the repeal in 1990. He pointed out that the electric utilities industry had been exempted last fall, and by regulation, some of their work was removed from the licensing requirements. Section 3 of their memo, he said, provides the committee with the exact wording of those regulations. He said the point of contention with the telecommunications industry was whether an Alaska licensed engineer should approve REA standards, and it was his belief that someone who knew local conditions should approve those standards. He said they hoped this bill would be amended by the committee to follow the intent of the exemption repeal of 1990. DAVID ADAMS, President of Adams, Morgenthaller and Company, an engineering firm in Anchorage, argued the exemption was deleted in 1990, because it was too broad. The current statute, he thought, allowed for accountability for performance, but agreed that the exemption was entirely too sweeping of a change. He, too, thought the oil and telecommunications companies needed relief. He argued they had been spending a lot of time to try to find a compromise. He also suggested the language provided in Colin Maynards memo. He thought the requirement of a licensed engineer to sign off on a project with a stamp of approval, was better than if the exemption was reinstated, because it made the engineer personally accountable and not the company. Thus, he thought engineers would be more careful in signing off on a project. He thought a sweeping exemption, as proposed in HB 46 was reckless. CHAIR JAMES stated that before the committee took any further testimony, she wanted to give an opportunity for Representative Ogan to testify, as he had to leave. Number 452 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN mentioned he had some reservations on HB 46 and concurs that the exemptions are a little too broad. He thought that in certain situations, it might be appropriate, but was concerned about exempting people such as architects and electrical engineers. He urged the committee to take his comments into consideration when they voted. DOYLE CARROLL, Representative of Anchorage Telephone Utilities, said he concurred with the statements of Dave Bennett, saying they also designed telecommunication systems for its customers and did not offer their services to the general public. He said his company only used equipment accepted by the Federal Communications Commission, and that their network was designed according to national industry specifications. Designs are done in conforming with the National Electrical Safety Code. Most of their network, he said, was low voltage of about 48 to 130 volts. He estimated the engineers on their staff had about 15 years experience, and said to his knowledge the company had never experienced any safety concerns in any of its designs. ATU is concerned about the availability of engineers with experience in the telecommunication plant construction. After a recruitment period of six to eight weeks, they had only found two licensed engineers available. Thus, he felt they would be unable to find enough licensed engineers for their operations. He said ATU supports HB 46 as written. Number 502 WILLIAM MENDENHALL, Board Member of the Alaska State Board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors (AELS) stated he was speaking in opposition to this HB 46 and mentioned he was a member of the Alaska State Board for Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors. He said he was speaking only for himself and not as a representative of the board. He wanted to focus on Section 10 of the bill, which allows exemptions. He felt this bill would allow someone to design anything they wanted, as long as it doesnt involve the design or construction of a structure with walls and a roof. The bill allows for anyone to design a bridge, pipeline, or similar structure without being registered. He felt the exemption was simply too broad. He argued that, in the past, the board had worked quite closely with private industry to provide for individual exemptions. Examples of these exemptions were low-voltage electrical systems and things that meet standard code. Thus, he was confident that the board could work with individual industries to provide appropriate exemptions. He opposed HB 46, as written, and urged the committee not to pass it to the next committee of referral. Number 547 MIKE TAURIANEN, registered engineer and AELS board member, also expressed his opposition to HB 46. He said many of his comments paralleled those of Mr. Mendenhall. He was frustrated that the legislative information office had the wrong version to provide to him, which made it hard to testify. CHAIR JAMES offered to fax him a copy of the proper version. MR. TAURIANEN said he would appreciate this and the chance to testify after receiving this copy. In the meantime, he had some comments on the version he had. He found that little testimony had been offered regarding Section 2 of the bill and wanted to offer his support for this section. He agreed that a trained engineer should be able to use the title, whether or not they were registered with the state. Regarding Section 3, he felt this bill was being rushed and the result would be bad legislation. He felt the exemptions provided in Section 3 were too broad and would like to see the AELS board given some latitude to facilitate those exemptions. He wanted to clarify he was in support of minimal regulation, but was concerned HB 46 was too broad in the exemptions it provided. He said he would like the opportunity to speak again after receiving the updated version of the bill. CHAIR JAMES reassured him the information was being faxed to him and asked if there was anyone else wishing to testify from the teleconference on HB 46. Hearing none, she asked if anyone in the audience wished to testify on this bill. Again, there was no one present to testify. She called for Mr. Logan to respond to some of the concerns raised. Number 596 MR. LOGAN wanted to clarify for those on teleconference, that the difference between Version K of the bill and earlier versions, was the last sentence of the bill, which had been modified in language. In Version K, the last line ended with the word public. In earlier versions, line 28 continues with the wording and if the engineering does not involve the design or construction of a structure with walls or a roof. Thus, if you have an earlier version, he said they needed to simply put a period after the word public and they would have the equivalent of Version K. CHAIR JAMES asked if there were any questions or comments from the committee. Number 608 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he had heard this bill in an earlier committee. He said during the discussion in that committee, the same two positions on this bill were discussed. He had the impression that the concerns were mainly of nonregistered engineers designing and constructing buildings that would be open to the public. He had not gotten the impression that those asking for the exemption were interested in doing those types of activities. He understood that bill sponsor, Representative Green, had an amendment to offer, dealing with that topic. He wanted to state for the record, that in dealing with an individual in the field of engineering, the registration process was necessary to allow for accountability. In the case of the in-house employee who provides these kind of services, the responsibility and liability for those services falls on the employee. Thus, he felt there was protection for the public. He felt this was the difference and was not concerned about leaving the public unprotected by not requiring these people to be registered with the state. Number 633 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON commented she was leaning strongly in favor of this bill, but was concerned about seeing the amendment for the first time. She was also concerned about those people speaking in opposition, who might not have this amendment. She said she was hoping the sponsor would be willing to hold this bill in committee, considering she thought this was the last chance for a public hearing on the bill before being heard on the floor. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded the amendment was to try to find a solution to the controversial Section 10 of the bill. He stated they were sympathetic to the concerns of the AELS board, but felt their suggestions to amend this section, as stated, puts a couple of pages of regulations into statute. He could not agree with this suggestion. He said he would like to offer this amendment to the committee for their consideration. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER offered to move for adoption, the proposed committee substitute for HB 46, version k. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objections. Hearing none, the motion passed. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON suggested the amendment also be faxed off to the legislative information office for public review and comment from those on teleconference. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated after hearing some of the testimony, he would like to modify the proposed amendment with an added sentence. Number 679 MR. LOGAN mentioned the proposed amendment had already been faxed to the Anchorage LIO and was in the process of being faxed to Fairbanks and Soldotna. He explained the amendment as being as follows: On the fifth line, after the word "only," the amendment inserted the words and further. At the end of the bill, after the last word public, add the sentence Exclusion under this subsection do not apply.... REPRESENTATIVE GREEN corrected Mr. Logan on the proper wording and offered to read the new language to the committee. He said his handwriting was hard to read. He said the intended language was suppose to read Exclusions under this subsection do not apply to buildings or structures, whose primary use is public occupancy. TAPE 95-35, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR JAMES verified whether they had received the amendment in Soldotna. They had not and she reassured them it was on its way. She asked Representative Green to make a motion to adopt the amendment, to allow for committee discussion. Number 009 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved that amendment number three be adopted by the committee as amended. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER expressed his approval of the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS verified this amendment would not affect the telephone utilities, who had testified. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied they would be excluded, as they were prior to 1990. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER clarified this amendment would provide them with the same exemption as they had in 1990, with the exception they could not design a building open to the public. CHAIR JAMES questioned whether they had a copy of the amendment in Soldotna. As they did not, she offered to read the proposed amendment to them. She said the amendment would delete the existing Section 10 and read, An officer or employee of an individual firm, partnership, or employee of an individual firm, partnership, association, utility, or corporation, who practices engineering involved in the operation of the employers business only, and further provided that neither the employee nor the employer offers engineering services to the public. Exclusions under this subsection do not apply to buildings or structures whose primary use is public occupancy. MR. TAURIANEN expressed concern that this does not address structures such as dams, bridges, high voltage lines, generators and similar structures not designed for public occupancy. He thought this was still too broad. Number 076 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked whether the certification process for the state of Alaska for registering engineers, would appropriately determine the qualifications for building a pipeline. MR. TAURIANEN thought it addressed standards for the civil, mechanical, and electrical aspects for building a pipeline, dam, or high voltage line that definitely affect the public. He said if it does not do this, then maybe the state should not have a registration process in the first place. If we have a registration process, he felt we should have a level playing field and uniform rules affecting everyone equally. He was concerned that the legislature was still rushing this bill unnecessarily. Number 130 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said the problem with trying to get so specific, is that you can get into the situation of injecting several pages of regulations into statute, which still do not specifically define the various types of structures included. He thought this could get so far out of hand as to be absurd. He said this bill was trying to attempt to return the situation to the way it had been and was currently in 36 other states, allowing for in-house design by nonregistered engineers. He said there could be no end to the number of places a person of the public might be, and the entire situation could get entirely out of hand. He said they were attempting to streamline the operation and still protect the general public. He thought this bill did that, certainly as amended. Number 155 CHAIR JAMES asked if there was objection to the motion of passing the amendment to HB 46. Hearing none, the motion was passed. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to pass CSHB 46, Version K, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objection. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON commented the committee had not heard from Mr. Mendenhall to question his opinion of the amendment. CHAIR JAMES asked if he had any comments on the amendment. She reiterated the new language proposed by the sponsor in committee. MR. MENDENHALL said the amendment was an improvement, but he was still not satisfied his concerns had been met and urged the committee to delete Section 10 of HB 46. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objection to the motion to move CSHB 46, Version K, as amended, out of committee. Hearing none, the motion passed. HSTA - 03/23/95 HB 243 - LICENSING OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Number 214 CHAIR JAMES announced the next bill on the agenda was HB 243. She called for the bill sponsors, Representative Pete Kott, spokesman to testify on behalf of the bill. Number 214 GEORGE DOZIER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott, explained that HB 243 modifies the State Board of Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors into a new board with expanded responsibilities. He said it would be restructured into the State Board of Registration of Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors and Landscape Architects. The expanded responsibilities would concern the licensing and regulation of landscape architects. He stated Representative Kott felt this was justified as landscape architects must, in the performance of their duties, have extensive knowledge of scientific and engineering principles Furthermore, they were in a position, if they were delinquent in their duties, to cause extensive harm to the public. Thus, he felt licensing and regulation was justified. CHAIR JAMES commented she had a hard time finding where there was a danger from landscape architects that justified licensing and regulation of their activities. She asked if he could give examples of where this was the case. MR. DOZIER thought he could give a few examples, but felt testimony from landscape architects on the teleconference might provide more details. Number 250 MR. MENDENHALL stated he was neutral on whether there was a justified need for this legislation. However, if this was the case, he thought the State Board of Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors was the proper place for the regulating of this activity. He also wanted to insure the bill would not be so restrictive to prevent the architects and engineers, who have traditionally constructed drainage ditches and similar structures from continuing with those activities. CHAIR JAMES asked if anyone else on teleconference was interested in discussing HB 243. MR. MAYNARD supported this bill and landscape architect registration. He thought many more agencies are requiring this licensing of landscape architects working on their projects. Thus, he would prefer a program for licensing landscape architects in Alaska, so these projects were not forced to look for people outside of the state who were properly registered. He thought someone licensed in this state would know the local conditions better. Number 290 DWAYNE ADAMS, representative of Land Design North, thought this bill was justified in that landscape architects work on many projects, such as schools and playgrounds, and are trained in the many safety guidelines necessary to protect the public. He argued no other licensed profession was required to have these skills. Even in areas where other licensed professionals do have these skills, they are usually not as qualified as landscape architects, who deal with parks and playgrounds on a regular basis. Other examples of areas where accountability is necessary for landscape architects is with structures such as sidewalks that are not necessarily under the inspection of civil engineers. His greatest fear was that without a proper licensing program, many projects would be given to outside landscapers, who were licensed. LINDA CYRA-KORSGAARD, President of the Alaska Chapter of Ground Management Society Landscape Architects, requested the committee support HB 243. She thought this was necessary to support the safety and welfare of Alaskans and would put Alaskan landscape architects on an equal footing with those of other states doing work in Alaska. She said she appreciated the committees consideration of this bill and would be happy to answer any questions they might have. KEN MORTON, landscape architect with Alaska State Parks, supported HB 243 for the above-mentioned reasons and said he would like to state a few other comments. He stated the education of landscape architects was comparable to that of engineers and architects, with professional degree programs at several universities. He thought this bill would insure the public was getting a landscape architect whenever they tried to hire one. He said currently anyone may call themselves a landscape architect, without necessarily being qualified. Thus, they wanted to insure that when the public tried to hire a landscape architect, they were getting one that was qualified to do the job. CHAIR JAMES questioned whether there was anyone else on teleconference who wished to testify. Number 362 MR. TAURIANEN wanted to express his opposition to HB 243, saying he did not think it would protect the health and safety of the public. He thought the burden should be on the public to check into the qualifications of a landscaper before they hire them. He thought the state would be better served by not adding to the current number of regulations and felt the current process had functioned well. CHAIR JAMES verified everyone who wished, had testified from the public. She asked if the committee had any questions or comments on this bill. Number 381 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER expressed his concern of when there would be the requirement of hiring a licensed landscape architect and when someone could hire an unlicensed individual to plant a few bushes in the flower garden. MR. ADAMS thought this separation would come with the situation of design of major public facilities, where there would be concern for public safety and welfare. He thought that in the case of smaller projects, such as yardwork, where there was less of a concern for public welfare, this would not be necessary. It would not be in the best interest of the public to do so. He said about 50 percent of the major projects he was discussing, are done by outside contractors, who are registered and licensed. He stated this was what they were trying to protect. Number 411 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked whether this was the same bill on this topic that had been introduced into the legislature last session. MR. DOZIER stated he had not examined that bill, and so could not say whether they were the same. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON questioned why this was not put under an existing board, rather than creating a new one. CHAIR JAMES confirmed it was to be placed under the current architect, engineer and land surveyors board. Number 428 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS wanted verification of whether this would interfere with civic projects, such as by the Boy Scouts. MR. ADAMS said it would not. Number 444 BEVERLY WARD, representative of ARCO Alaska, was concerned if this would place requirements on ARCO to use a licensed landscape architect when doing site restoration, or if they would be exempted and allowed to use in-house staff to do these projects. MR. DOZIER stated the exemption was not in this bill and did not know if HB 46, should it pass, would cover the landscape architects covered under this bill. CHAIR JAMES said she was uncomfortable with this bill, in that she was not quite sure of what they were excluding or setting up. She reiterated that she sympathized and supported the idea of having licensed landscape architects in this state, so that we did not have to import them from out of state when required to have them. Thus, she thought there should be a mechanism for licensing these people, but was concerned if this would require people not currently required to be licensed, to get a license, in order to practice their profession. This made her uncomfortable with passing this bill without that answered. Number 481 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON thought these questions could be answered better in the next committee of referral, Labor & Commerce. Because of this, she moved that HB 243 be passed out of committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. CHAIR JAMES verified whether the sponsor would be willing to take these concerns into consideration and address them at the next committee. MR. DOZIER said they would. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objections to passing HB 243 out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing none, the bill passed. CHAIR JAMES said they would roll over HB 238 and HB 267 to next Tuesdays meeting, March 28th. ADJOURNMENT CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs committee meeting at 10:10 a.m.